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Old 25th June 2011, 21:01   #1
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Default Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Hello Guys !

I've finally broken the age-limit barrier and am now in the market for a new bike. I currently ride a Honda Dio (gearless license, you know) and planning to sell it and get a new bike within 90,000-1,00,000. So let me pen down my requirements in the next few lines and hope you guys can guide me to the right bike for my demands.


1) Newbie: I did about 14k kms in as many months on my Dio but I don't know to ride a geared bike because I wanted to be 18 before I drive one. So, it should be easy to learn.

2) Weight: I'm 5" 8' but I am underweight for my age, 50-52kg. So, the primary requirement is that I shouldn't feel the bike to be bulky while city drives. I like the R15, but I guess it won't suit on a thin physique like mine.

3) Daily running: I will do about 60 kms on an average daily on the Eastern Express Highway from Thane to Wadala, Mumbai. This highway is generally congestion free except on a few locations, so need something that can do 80kph without any sweat. Mileage isn't a concern but a large tank would be a boon.

4) Touring: Yes, this is what I currently dream every night! Plan to do a BOM-BLR-BOM by this year end with a pillion rider on the 'yet-to-come' bike, so it should be comfortable and the headlights should be adequate for night driving.

5) Servicing: Pricing of the spare parts isn't an issue, but the attitude of the dealers and the service technicians is. I won't buy a Honda, thanks to their pathetic servicing issues I faced with my Dio. Similarly, resale doesn't matter since I would keep the bike for 4-5 years.

6) Reliability: It should be reliable. I don't want it to leave me stranded on a lone highway with no mechanic in site for the next 50 kms. The best feature of the Apache is the ABS, but will it be reliable?

6) Performance: Top-end doesn't matter me, but the initial pickup does matter A LOT. Should have good handling on curves.


In my mind, I have shortlisted TVS Apache 180 ABS or the R15 as the next bike, but I am open to other suggestions too I can wait a maximum of 2-3 months if there's a bike getting launched which meets my expectation and the waiting period is justified.

Thanks for reading, drive safe.

Prateek.
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Old 25th June 2011, 21:35   #2
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Hi Prateek,

I can suggest the following models:

1) Yamaha - FZ S or Fazer
2) Bajaj - Avenger starting at 77000, Pulsar 220 DTi starting at 82K+
3) Honda - Unicorn dazzler starting at 70K+
4) Royal Enfield - Electra

I would have suggested Honda Karizma too but dont know whethet Honda still sells it or not (Model not seen on Honda website).

TD the above (if possible) and choos the right one for you.
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Old 25th June 2011, 21:45   #3
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Hi Prateek,

Going by your criteria, your options would be a Honda Unicorn/Dazzler (Even though you say you don't want a Honda), Yamaha R15 (Reports of a more powerful R15 are all over the internet), TVS Apache RTR 180, Bajaj 220 Dtsi, Hero Honda Karizma/ZMR, Yamaha FZ16/FZS, Yamaha SZ and of course the Honda CBR 250R.

1. I think when it comes to learning to ride a bike, any bike would be the same IMO.

2. Among the mentioned bikes, I think the ZMR might feel a little "bulky" in the city, thanks to the fully body fairing.

3. All these bikes can cruise b/w 80-100 kmph quite effortlessly. But of course, I think the Honda engines are way more refined and relaxed at higher speeds (from my experience of riding a TVS, Bajaj and a honda).

4. When it comes to touring, CBR 250R (Though you clearly need to stretch your budget) is the best of the lot closely followed by ZMR and Pulsar 220 Dtsi (We'll come to reliability later). CBR, Karizma R/ZMR and Unicorn/Dazzler score a little more because of the upright ergonomic position.

5. Though none of the A.S.S are anything to talk home about, I have heard Yamaha service is better compared to Honda/TVS. Bajaj also have a good network and the probiking outlets are excellent (Personal experience with the Pulsar 180). Cost of Hero Honda spares are sky high!

6. I would rate the R15, Unicorn and Karizma R/ZMR as great and reliable tourers here. We don't know much about the CBR yet of course. Be ready for unwanted vibrations above 60kmph with the Apache! The Bajajs have known reliability/component quality issues.

7. When it comes to handling, nothing can beat the R15. It's a complete track bike for sure! The apache also is a very good handler but for those stock TVS tyres! ABS is definitely a bonus!

I think a test ride of all the bikes back to back will help you take the final call! Among the bikes you have shortlisted, my vote goes for the R15 or if you can wait for the R15 refresh (As it is supposedly called). Cheers!
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Old 25th June 2011, 21:46   #4
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Hi Prateek,

I can suggest the following models:

1) Yamaha - FZ S or Fazer
2) Bajaj - Avenger starting at 77000, Pulsar 220 DTi starting at 82K+
3) Honda - Unicorn dazzler starting at 70K+
4) Royal Enfield - Electra

I would have suggested Honda Karizma too but dont know whethet Honda still sells it or not (Model not seen on Honda website).

TD the above (if possible) and choos the right one for you.
The Fazer will not suite guy with a frame like his I guess, neither will the Avenger or any RE too. The Dazzler is a subjective looker but has a proven engine. The P220 is the real winner in that list.
Coming back to your initial question Prateek,
R15 hands down I guess. More than adequate mileage, dream like handling, FAST. Slightly smallish tank, but I'm sure a petrol bunk is available within a radius of 480km in India.

Lets see:
1) Newbie: Wouldn't suggest an R15 to a newbie as it'll be difficult to handle the throttle response I guess(experts please correct if wrong).
2) Weight: Precisely, R15 will not suit a person with a smallish physique. But with appropriate gear, you should be fine.
3)Daily Running: Made for the odd 30km a day and the rare 300km a day.
4)Touring:I know a friend who did 310km in 12 hours on his R15 and the bike didn't even break a sweat. He also reached 142kmph! Long hours of riding may hurt the wrist and headlamps are fair to be honest. Nothing extraordinary.
5)Servicing: The R15 spares are expensive from what I've noticed. But servicing mainly depends on the outlet rather than the company. So if you find a good service center, well and good.
6)Reliability: R15 is one of the most dependable bikes, especially on the highway. The true liquid cooled engine really helps its cause.
6)Performance: The R15 is the R1's younger sibling. Do you still think about a bike with better performance?

In support of the Apache 180 with ABS:
1) Newbie: The ABS should be very helpful. You'll just need to handle the initial kick from opening the throttle.
2) Weight: Apache suits people with smaller frames.
3) Daily Running: The Apache is a rugged bike and can do 80kmph without any problems.
4) Touring: I've known a guy who travelled around the western ghats on a 160 RTR. So a 180 has got to be better! It's known to have a slightly cramped riding posture though. Don't know about the effectiveness of the headlamps.
5) Servicing: In Bangalore, TVS servicing is pathetic from what I've heard.
6) Reliability: Same as point 4. Only downside is the engine is air cooled, so overheating on those long rides where any speed <100kmph is hard to resist may be a little dicey. At your age, knowing the bike can cross 100 and you have the space for it and trying not to do it is a lost cause(Been there done that!)
7) Performance: The Apache is a good bike with good acceleration(one of the best from what I've heard) and is an excellent nippy city handler.

On the whole,
1) For a newbie: Apache ABS
2) Weight: Apache ABS
3) Daily Running: R15/Apache 180 ABS
4) Touring: R15
5) Servicing: R15
6) Reliability: R15
7) Performance: R15
8) Looks: The present R15 hands down, but just check out the new one releasing soon on the forum and decide if you like it, if not stick to the present R15. Only problem with deciding now is that we don't know the engine specs of the new R15.
New R15: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...5-refresh.html

If you still need some alternatives:
1) Pulsar 220 or 180 DTS-i: Tried, tested, successful!
2) ZM-A or ZM-R(Depending on choice): Personally, I find the ZM-R overpriced for it lack lustre performance.
3) HH Hunk: Personal experience, excellent tourer. No pain anywhere except in the obvious places due to hours of sitting even on long rides. Dependable, I've done 350km in around 12 hours.

Last edited by ashwin.terminat : 25th June 2011 at 21:59.
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Old 25th June 2011, 22:58   #5
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

You haven't listed the budget, but I'd add the CBR250R to the list of candidates, since you mentioned touring with pillion. Touring is more tiring for pillions, so a large seat and soft suspension need to be considered. Of the bikes mentioned, the ZMA/ZMR have larger pillion seats and generally are better for pillion comfort. The Unicorn and GS150 are also good in that regard, whereas the FZ/Fazer has the smallest pillion perch.

The R15 fits most of your requirements best, but it does have poor headlamps, not so sure about pillion comfort. The Apache RTR probably has the best headlamps among the 150s, the P200F best overall. The CBR250R should be good too as it has 60/55W bulb stock. The ZMR/ZMR are decent in this regard, and the you can use a 60/55W bulb in most of the bikes with 35/35W ones , except the R-15 which has a tiny 4AH battery that doesn't support higher wattage bulbs well.
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Old 25th June 2011, 23:24   #6
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
get a new bike within 90,000-1,00,000.

1) Newbie:

2) Weight:

3) Daily running:

4) Touring:

5) Servicing:

6) Reliability:

6) Performance:
For all these requirements I guess Hero Honda Karizma is the most suitable bike for you. Now Karizma is available in two models i.e. 'R' and 'ZMR'. The 'R' variant was recently revamped (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...karizma-r.html (Hero Honda launches the Refreshed Karizma R)).

You may TD both variants and see which one suits you. You will miss kick starter in ZMR and on the same note you will miss PGM-FI on ZMA-R but both bikes have same engine.

I own this bike for past two years (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-counting.html) and have zero issues with the bike. The Honda engine is bullet proof, super smooth, powerful yet fuel efficient. I get consistent mileage of 35-42 depending on riding style. I have heard that Mumbai has some good HH SVC centers so servicing will not be an issue at all. Now rest is your pick, I will suggest you Hero Honda Karizma.

Last edited by bluevolt : 25th June 2011 at 23:28.
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Old 25th June 2011, 23:47   #7
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
You haven't listed the budget, but I'd add the CBR250R to the list of candidates, since you mentioned touring with pillion. Touring is more tiring for pillions, so a large seat and soft suspension need to be considered. Of the bikes mentioned, the ZMA/ZMR have larger pillion seats and generally are better for pillion comfort. The Unicorn and GS150 are also good in that regard, whereas the FZ/Fazer has the smallest pillion perch.

The R15 fits most of your requirements best, but it does have poor headlamps, not so sure about pillion comfort. The Apache RTR probably has the best headlamps among the 150s, the P200F best overall. The CBR250R should be good too as it has 60/55W bulb stock. The ZMR/ZMR are decent in this regard, and the you can use a 60/55W bulb in most of the bikes with 35/35W ones , except the R-15 which has a tiny 4AH battery that doesn't support higher wattage bulbs well.
He has given his budget: 90,000-1,00,000 So the CBR isn't an option. But how the R15 then? It costs 1.2L last time I checked. If that's the case, go for the P220 DTS-i I guess. The best motorcycle in the segment. Good headlamps too! Low Projector Headlamps, good fast bike too! The ZM-A is outdated and lacks the grunt of the P220. So my pick would be the P220. You'll be saving a lot of cash too!

Last edited by ashwin.terminat : 25th June 2011 at 23:51.
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Old 26th June 2011, 00:00   #8
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Ah, my bad. I read through the numbers points intently, and didn't recall budget listed.

Anyway, the P220 is good for almost everything, but the pillion comfort is not great. The seat is ok, but the grabrail is not easy to grab and the suspension tends to bounce on uneven roads, with a pillion it tends to be worse. It fits all other requirements well, the R-15 trumps it in some aspects, the 220 trumps it some others. As for HID, if the reflector design is poor, brighter light source will not have the expected benefit.
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Old 26th June 2011, 00:15   #9
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
Ah, my bad. I read through the numbers points intently, and didn't recall budget listed.

Anyway, the P220 is good for almost everything, but the pillion comfort is not great. The seat is ok, but the grabrail is not easy to grab and the suspension tends to bounce on uneven roads, with a pillion it tends to be worse. It fits all other requirements well, the R-15 trumps it in some aspects, the 220 trumps it some others. As for HID, if the reflector design is poor, brighter light source will not have the expected benefit.
Yeah, very true. The grabrails are very hard to grab, quite literally. Only your fingertips fit into the grooves provided to keep yourself on the bike. The whole of the Pulsar's family suspension by itself is pretty stiff. But I'm guessing where Prateek's coming from, there are more open roads than opened up roads. So it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
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Old 26th June 2011, 19:50   #10
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

IMO, you can have the FZ16/ Fazer, as I feel it would be the best bike foryour to learn biking. Once you are comfortable with the bike & carve for better power, you can get the bike modified as per Race Concepts website. It is set up by another forum member Joel (@fieroed). Visit his website for more details.

Best of Luck
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Old 27th June 2011, 02:18   #11
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 27th June 2011 at 19:36.
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Old 27th June 2011, 10:12   #12
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

Prateek, get the Apache 180. It is one hell of a machine.

I ride my friend's Avenger frequently, I don't think your height matters. I am 5'8 too and I find it comfortable to ride. I don't find it bulky either. The long handle makes turning a tad difficult but nothing to sweat over. Road grip is amazing and its super comfortable to ride.

PS: You can't sway an Avenger the way you can sway an RX in traffic
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Old 27th June 2011, 12:15   #13
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

I honestly think that since you are interested in touring, its better to go in for either ZMR or Fazer. Fazer will be better for people with short stature. ZMR is a little big, but you wont have big issues either. After all its just a matter of getting used to. On both these bikes you wont be affected by much wind on your face just like a tourer.
R15 as such would be a little too much for a rookie rider.
And you need to seriously consider one more bike in your final selection.
Just try to borrow a royal enfield from any of your friends and take it for a spin.
Riding a royal enfield is easier than any of the above mentioned bikes.
I'm just 5'5'' tall but I learnt to ride on a 1997 std350. I gave my driving test on the same bike. In kerala we had to do an '8' in defined area back then. It has got a low center of gravity, great stability, ok brakes and is capable of doing 100+ all day long. And you'll be the coolest dude around riding a bullet nowadays.
And on top of that...your kids will thank you when you pass it on to them!!
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Old 27th June 2011, 15:41   #14
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Default Re: Finally, A Bike ! But Which One?

you could wait for the KTM duke.
i read a TD, and apparently it can set the rider on fire....(figuratively)..
costs thrown around were approximately 1 Lac.

... oh, what i would give to be allowed to ride again.


(edit: oooh, launch may go to december according to google...)

Last edited by mayankk : 27th June 2011 at 15:42.
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Old 27th June 2011, 16:07   #15
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Welcome to the world of bikes!!

Given your requirements and your wish to do a Mumbai - Blore round trip on the bike, you will need an engine that is relaxed doing speeds upwards of 80kmph. You also need a riding posture that is very comfortable. And your budget is about 1L tops.

Since you are of average build, I would rule out the ZMR/ZMA-R from the list. The full fairing and the weight of the bike will leave you cursing each time you have to take it for any city runs. And I am guessing you will not restrict yourself to your daily run and want to go for in city destinations as well with cramped parking. The short test ride of the bike did not leave me impressed with the level of kit, handling and the finishing of the ZMA-R. ZMR was not available for test ride but it looks and feels disproportionate with the fat full fairing which does not gel well with the bike on the whole. But it has a very relaxed engine and you can keep touring all day with the near perfect riding posture.

RTR180 (ABS) ticks most of the boxes except for the riding posture. You have a good engine with stonking pick up and acceleration. But the riding posture will force you to take frequent breaks. If you are not too bothered about this, then its a good choice.

R15 is good except for almost zero low end response. So you need to really work the gears and keep the bike in the proper torque band. Else you will not enjoy the bike. You will look alright with the right riding gear on the bike but you need to consider the riding position again with the R15 which is bent forward.

FZ series (my current bike) is relaxed till 90kmph. But doing 3 digit speeds requires an effort and bike does not feel comfy at those speeds. Riding position is the best of the bikes i have owned so far and you can do non stop rides without feeling any pains in the wrist, shoulder, neck etc. Fazer is a good choice for touring since it will deflect the wind blast to an extent. Fairing is not as huge as ZMR to pose a problem and its only 4kgs heavier than FZ16/FZ-S on paper. Pillion seat is almost non existent so you might want to take the prospective pillion on a long test ride before you zero in on the FZ series.

Pulsar 220 will be a good choice if you can do a thorough inspection of the bike before delivery and ensure the service is carried out in front of your eyes by paying attention to each work that is carried out on the bike personally. Touring will be stress free but the service center will screw the bike like nobody's business. Weight again is more or less as much as the ZMA/ZMR series which might be a deterrent.

Looking at the choices, FZ series can be your best bet at the moment followed by RTR180 or R15 based on your preference for seating position. I will NOT recommend a bullet since I have no experience with one but have heard many a horror stories of being left stranded on city streets from my friends who maintain their bulls with lot of care. So will not delve into that area at all!!

I have toured on 3 bikes namely P220(F), RTR160 and my current FZ.

In terms of performance, the P220 was amazing for one up riding with saddle bags. But handling was not as good. Riding posture was quite comfy on long rides and the tank capacity coupled with decent mileage helps matters.
RTR160 was modified and hence it was a stonker except for the shooting pains in the nape of the neck after riding for an hour. Handles amazingly well except for the crappy rear rubber.
FZ is high on comfort, handles like a dream and is no slouch in terms of speed as well. But you will not feel the outright acceleration like the RTR160/180. There are no irritating vibes in the FZ which were omnipresent in the RTR160 and I hear its no better with the new 180's as well.

Long post but hope this helps clear some doubts and aids in your decision making. Take a test ride of all the bikes and decide which one you are most comfortable on!

Last edited by abhinav.s : 27th June 2011 at 16:11.
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