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Old 4th April 2012, 17:11   #1
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Default Help me select my fourth bike?

Hi guys,

First about my previous bikes, My first bike was a HH splendor which I used for almost 5 years after which I upgraded to a Yamaha RX 135 5 speed (used) which I used for almost 3 years then upgraded or rather downgraded to a Yamaha FZ (my biggest mistake I guess) which I sold a few days back mainly because the seats were not comfortable for city riding conditions, pillion seat was also not at all comfortable (it was just a thin layer of foam for the pillion) and it used to give me an average of just 28-30kmpl which I think is too less for a 150cc bike (my RX being a 2 stroke used to give me an average of 35-40kmpl).

Now I am looking for a new bike which I would mainly use only for weekend that too not every weekend and may be commute to office once in a while.
After going through many post and blogs my choice boiled down to Honda CB Unicorn, Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler, RE Thunderbird TS & RE Classic 350.
My requirements are that the bike should reliable because I would be using it only once in a week or may be once in 2 weeks, it should be comfortable to ride in a city like Bangalore with a decent fuel efficiency (of say at least 35kmpl) and mainly the seats should be comfortable.

I have taken a test ride of all these bikes and I liked the RE Thunderbird TS the most and was almost ready to book one and wait for 6 months the delivery but after going through a few posts and reviews in team-bhp and other motorcycle blogs/forums I backed off because of RE quality issues and niggles, same with RE classic 350 as well.
Then came Honda CB Unicorn, its comfortable commuter and a smooth reliable bike but my only concern is that Unicorn is in the market from quite a long time and it might be phased out in another year or so (just guessing) and Honda already has a replacement for this bike.

Then was Honda CB unicorn Dazzler’s turn, I found the bike to be more lean or rather not bulky it was like riding a splendor I guess I felt so because I am used to riding FZ from past 3 years and I have got used to FZ profile so this was completely ruled out.

Now I am confused mainly between Honda CB Unicorn and RE Thunderbird. Suggestions for any other bikes are always welcome.
Please help me guys which bike should I go for….

Vijay
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Old 4th April 2012, 17:45   #2
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

Why don't you try the Honda CBF Stunner unless you are keen on racing down the road. Its got a big bike feel and is quite tall. Also owning one for 2 years I was completely in love with the bike. Even though it was a 125cc bike I could could easily give Pulsar 150, FZs a very hard time on the road.

Unicorn is a good bike as well, Honda refinement after all. Bullets IMO gets a little tiresome in daily commuting . Not nimble enough in city traffic though a delight on the highways.
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Old 4th April 2012, 17:55   #3
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

If it is between the Unicorn and the RE, definitely pick the Unicorn, considering you want a reliable bike. Especially given that you are looking to ride weekends only.

If you are looking for a weekend bike, are you looking at down highway runs on it. If so, the junior superbikes would be really good (R15, CBR, Ninja). However, these come at a higher budget, though the R15 is similarly priced to the RE.

Do understand one thing WRT mileage though. It is very heavily rider dependent. I have a HH Achiever, which uses the 150 cc mill that is used in all HH and Honda bikes. If I ride it carefully and well, I will average 50+ kmpl. My normal riding (I like to rev the bike and push it a bit) gets me about 40+ kmpl. My highway riding (red line all the way in every gear) gives me about 30+ kmpl.
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Old 4th April 2012, 18:17   #4
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

If you were brave enough to take risk with the TBird as a choice, then why not give Bajaj a try. The pulsar range is quite good and you can choose from 135cc to 220cc based on your need.

IMHO, there is just no comparison between Honda Unicorn and anything from the Enfield stable. You need a lot of love and passion to own and maintain the latter while you just need money to buy the Honda. (pun intended)

The Unicorn is quite a decent commuter but there are other contenders in between the Honda and Enfield if it's just a weekend bike. Pulsar, Karizma, TVS Apache & Suzuki GS150R have some good/reasonable reputations unless you're fixated with the Honda badge.
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Old 4th April 2012, 18:25   #5
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

if I were you I would steer clear of the thunderbird as it is great if you are into crusiing at 70 kmph the whole day but anything more than that, you will be crying! If you can stretch your budget then go for the KTM Duke or the Yamaha R-15. I have had R15 in the past and have the DUKE now and both are excellent for the feel of a highway machine. You will not be disappointed even if you go for the Karizma R or ZMR.
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:03   #6
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
If it is between the Unicorn and the RE, definitely pick the Unicorn, considering you want a reliable bike. Especially given that you are looking to ride weekends only.
Thats the reason I am considering Unicorn.


Do understand one thing WRT mileage though. It is very heavily rider dependent. I have a HH Achiever, which uses the 150 cc mill that is used in all HH and Honda bikes. If I ride it carefully and well, I will average 50+ kmpl. My normal riding (I like to rev the bike and push it a bit) gets me about 40+ kmpl. My highway riding (red line all the way in every gear) gives me about 30+ kmpl.[/quote]


If i ride carefully i used to get a mileage of max 32kmpl that too if i keep the revs below 3000rpm and the same time if i ride my friends unicorn or rather rip it I got a mileage of 45kmpl. When i asked the SS guys they told me that its a normal mileage with FZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
If you were brave enough to take risk with the TBird as a choice, then why not give Bajaj a try. The pulsar range is quite good and you can choose from 135cc to 220cc based on your need.

IMHO, there is just no comparison between Honda Unicorn and anything from the Enfield stable. You need a lot of love and passion to own and maintain the latter while you just need money to buy the Honda. (pun intended)

The Unicorn is quite a decent commuter but there are other contenders in between the Honda and Enfield if it's just a weekend bike. Pulsar, Karizma, TVS Apache & Suzuki GS150R have some good/reasonable reputations unless you're fixated with the Honda badge.
Thank you for your suggestion, I am not a fan of Bajaj because I have seen my friends pulsar's which have a lot of vibration and have small issues here and there. TVS apache, Suzuki GS150R I dont like the design of these bikes, ZMR is again a very old bike in India...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KK9 View Post
if I were you I would steer clear of the thunderbird as it is great if you are into crusiing at 70 kmph the whole day but anything more than that, you will be crying! If you can stretch your budget then go for the KTM Duke or the Yamaha R-15. I have had R15 in the past and have the DUKE now and both are excellent for the feel of a highway machine. You will not be disappointed even if you go for the Karizma R or ZMR.
Thank you for your reply, I am not keen on buying a duke because comfort is a main concern and considering the size of the pillion seat on a duke i dropped it same with R15

Regarding the budget I am ready to spend around 1.5 lacks for a good bike.

Last edited by vijay_k : 4th April 2012 at 19:11. Reason: updated
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:07   #7
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

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 : 5th April 2012 at 16:11.
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:19   #8
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

The Royal Enfield ThunderBird would get my vote for a weekend bike.
It is reliable(Some of my college seniors' have it for over three years,without any hassles).
You can also get the Karizma ZMR(not the KarizmaR) as it is technologically on par with the latest Japanese bikes(I,assume!) and has a wonderful console
:Wow!You owned a RX 135 5 speed?!
I rode my pal's bike,recently,and it was the most awesome experience.
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:26   #9
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

Karizma is in the market from quite a long time so not interested any how may be will take test ride this weekend..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot_Vishwas View Post
The Royal Enfield ThunderBird would get my vote for a weekend bike.
It is reliable(Some of my college seniors' have it for over three years,without any hassles).
You can also get the Karizma ZMR(not the KarizmaR) as it is technologically on par with the latest Japanese bikes(I,assume!) and has a wonderful console
:Wow!You owned a RX 135 5 speed?!
I rode my pal's bike,recently,and it was the most awesome experience.
Ya I had a 5 speed RX now i regret selling it....

Last edited by GTO : 5th April 2012 at 16:12. Reason: Quoted post has been deleted
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Old 4th April 2012, 20:12   #10
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay_k View Post
Now I am looking for a new bike which I would mainly use only for weekend that too not every weekend and may be commute to office once in a while.

I have taken a test ride of all these bikes and I liked the RE Thunderbird TS the most and was almost ready to book one and wait for 6 months the delivery but after going through a few posts and reviews in team-bhp and other motorcycle blogs/forums I backed off because of RE quality issues and niggles, same with RE classic 350 as well.
Vijay
If your weekend riding will be on highways, and not just through city traffic, I'd recommend the TBTS very highly, especially as you liked it. [Don't worry of the naysayers. They are too influenced by "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics" (as Mark Twain said) ]

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 4th April 2012 at 20:13.
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Old 4th April 2012, 20:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
If your weekend riding will be on highways, and not just through city traffic, I'd recommend the TBTS very highly, especially as you liked it. [Don't worry of the naysayers. They are too influenced by "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics" (as Mark Twain said) ]
No it would not be for highways, it would mainly be city driving. For long drives i would prefer taking my swift any day.
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Old 4th April 2012, 20:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay_k View Post
If i ride carefully i used to get a mileage of max 32kmpl that too if i keep the revs below 3000rpm and the same time if i ride my friends unicorn or rather rip it I got a mileage of 45kmpl. When i asked the SS guys they told me that its a normal mileage with FZ

Thank you for your reply, I am not keen on buying a duke because comfort is a main concern and considering the size of the pillion seat on a duke i dropped it same with R15

Regarding the budget I am ready to spend around 1.5 lacks for a good bike.
That is just scary mileage. I never realised the FZ was that bad when ridden carefully. The worst I have ever got is about 25 kmpl once on a Coorg Bangalore highway ride where I just redlined it the whole way in every gear. If you get 32 riding the bike carefully I can only imagine what mileage it would give if ridden hard.

I understand you are not too keen on a mini SBK, but may I suggest you take a long test ride on an R15 and see how you feel. If the position is uncomfortable, drop the bike.

The reason I suggest this is because unlike a car you cannot adjust your seating position WRT your height and your preferences. Therefore whatever bike you decide to buy, please take a long test ride and decide if it will be comfortable. Any 2 km bike ride will be comfortable on the worst of bikes. You just don't have enough time to feel discomfort.

Have a look at the Hero Impulse as well. It is an off road moto cross bike. Might suit you with its riding position. It should fit within the budget comfortably.
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Old 4th April 2012, 20:54   #13
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
That is just scary mileage. I never realised the FZ was that bad when ridden carefully. The worst I have ever got is about 25 kmpl once on a Coorg Bangalore highway ride where I just redlined it the whole way in every gear. If you get 32 riding the bike carefully I can only imagine what mileage it would give if ridden hard.

I understand you are not too keen on a mini SBK, but may I suggest you take a long test ride on an R15 and see how you feel. If the position is uncomfortable, drop the bike.

The reason I suggest this is because unlike a car you cannot adjust your seating position WRT your height and your preferences. Therefore whatever bike you decide to buy, please take a long test ride and decide if it will be comfortable. Any 2 km bike ride will be comfortable on the worst of bikes. You just don't have enough time to feel discomfort.

Have a look at the Hero Impulse as well. It is an off road moto cross bike. Might suit you with its riding position. It should fit within the budget comfortably.
Will surely take a test ride of R15 and impulse this weekend, BTW do they give R15 for test ride now a days??
That's true that we would not be able to judge a bikes comfort level by just taking a small test ride but again there is no other option as well
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Old 4th April 2012, 21:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay_k View Post
Will surely take a test ride of R15 and impulse this weekend, BTW do they give R15 for test ride now a days??
That's true that we would not be able to judge a bikes comfort level by just taking a small test ride but again there is no other option as well
You can definitely get a long test ride if you get an understanding dealer. You will need to leave one of your vehicles there as security I guess. Most importantly, tell the dealer you are willing to pay for the petrol for your ride. Say 100 km at most, maybe 3 litres at 75 a litre is not too bad if you are not test riding every bike on the Indian market I guess.

I think you can get the R15 for a test ride. I remember going with a friend in November to check out the new R15 and they were happy to let him test ride the bike. A short ride of course but still.
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Old 4th April 2012, 21:50   #15
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Default Re: Guys help me select my fourth bike...

You are being prematurely dismissive of the Karizma. I was dismissive of it too based sorely on its somewhat dorky old-school looks. I was wrong. Get past the looks and what you have is an understated, well engineered motorcycle that is as competent on the highway as it is on the streets. The Karizma has a very interesting engine. In some ways it is similar to the old bullet 350 engine - you cant hustle this engine. In some ways it has a mind of its own, it goes about its business in a totally unhurried fashion. This is the main reason it encourages a relaxed riding style, which I simply adore. When every other manufacturer is trying to wring the last ounce of power, Honda has focussed on making a well mannered, user friendly engine.

If I have managed to give the impression that the ZMA is all about the engine and little else, nothing could be further from the truth. The ride is simply astonishing in its ability to soak up bad roads. The handling isnt sport bike sharp, but good enough for a tourer. It will hold its line through a fast sweeper quite well without any drama. The ergonomics are really good, except for the overly soft seat which I am sure you will feel the need to address in some way. Cold starts are uncharacteristically jerky - it takes a good 5 mins during B'lore winters to warm up and provide a smooth throttle response.

I too am in the market for a motorcycle and there is nothing other than the ZMa/ZMR that I am pursuing at the moment. The ZMR's styling looks overdone, but the extra kit in terms of gas shocks, Fuel injection, oil cooler and rear disc are well worth the difference. OTOH, I think all TBTS owners have poor taste.

Just because it is old doesn't mean all the newer bikes are significantly better. There are several things to consider such as trends, fads, value engineering, cost cutting, etc. My 2 cents.
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