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Old 26th June 2012, 01:32   #1
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Default Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

The Push

"They needed a push", says Nick Fury in The avengers.

I needed a push too, which I got when my wife found a job at Gurgaon. The change of workplace from Noida to Gurgaon at first seemed to be a Godsend, but when we came to know that her office does nt provide transport options, the joys vanished in thin air. A puzzled me put up a query in Tbhp inviting some very helpful suggestions. We pondered over the options available and finally it was decided that we ll buy a bike which I can use to pickup and drop her to and from the office. Thus the ''Push''

A brief recap

I was not much of a bike guy, after my very disappointing experience with Kinetic GF170 Laser. Yes you read right, I had bought that bike once!! The initial joys had quickly evaporated when I started facing service issues and spare parts availability problems. Our Swift which came home after some years transformed me fully into a Car Person and my love for two wheeled things disappearing almost completely. The probability of going back to two wheels seemed very slim.

That was until very recently when one of my colleagues was scouting for a bike which made me take a look at the current biking scene in India. Soon the love rekindled towards things on two wheels but was not sufficient enough to push me into buying one. A push, which came much later bundled with necessity.

What Bike?

Now that the decision was made to buy a bike, we were very sure it should nt be a normal plain jane commuter. Requirements kept on changing as we scouted for options. Initial requirements stressed on good mileage decent power, which gradually tilted more towards power than mileage. Looks had their importance and also exclusivity. Then the comfort came into picture as we were moving from a car to a bike.

Finally, all that mattered was Comfort, Looks, Exclusivity and decent performance. Mileage was pushed out of the equation and suddenly we seemed very happy with a 35ish mileage as long as other things are taken care of. One thing we were not sure off was the Budget. Although we had put a cap at 70K initially, we realized our requirements may not be met at that price point. So we decided to stretch it as and when we find a worthy contender.

Suggestions came pouring in from all quarters. Fazers, FZs, Unicorns, Karizmas and many more were looked into and were rejected. Of course my wife had a soft corner for the Pulsar. For that matter even I had a liking towards it. When the GF170 had come home years ago, many had advised us to go for the Pulsar, which was just beginning its illustrious carrier. Gradually as the Lazer fell apart due to lack of spares and an indifferent service back up, and finally gave up, I had a feeling in the back of my mind, if I had gone with a pulsar then, it would have still been by my side. Hence the soft corner.
But a major drawback for me was its ubiquity on the roads and hence did nt qualify for the exclusiveness criteria which my wife was willing to overlook.

All this while I had the Avenger in mind, and slowly pushed the idea of buying one to my wife.

Avenger for me had some advantages. Its ride position giving a more upright stance that transformed into a perceptibly comfortable position for many. Then the fact that it is a looker and our roads are not exactly filled with them, so gives a bit of exclusivity too. The 220 cc motor seemed to have sufficient grunt to keep me happy too. Yes it did'nt seem very flick-able, but I m not normally in a hurry as am not really the boy racer kind. The bike for me had to be a comfortable cruiser capable of upping its ante and getting past 100 K occasionally. But quite understandably much of its useful life would be spent traversing straight lines at 60-80Ks.


It had a very strong competitor in the Royal Enfield Thunderbird. While the RE is in a different league all together, it fell out of favour due to its price which at over a Lac was above our already stretched budget. The waiting periods did nt do much help either.

Luckily wifey was impressed and more importantly was willing to look beyond the Pulsar now. Time to check out the Avy then!!

Test ride and dealership experience


"Bajaj Probiking showrooms which used to sell the P220 and Avenger earlier have now been converted to KTM stores and will be selling only Dukes and Ninjas", said a news report. Bajaj website though still listed them as Probiking stores and still said P220 and Avy are available there. I shot a few mails at the email addresses of the Probiking outlets given in the website. All of them bounced back. I called up Bajaj customer care and the most disinterested customer care executive ever, answered the call.

"Sir all outlets sell avengers now." She said/
I said "I know that, what I wanted to know was that do the probiking stores still sell them?"
"Yes sir they still sell"

Off I went to Vasant Lok Probiking to check out the Avy. A KTM South delhi board welcomed me at the outlet and I could see only the Dukes. On enquiry, I came to know the news article was indeed correct. Pro biking outlets are now KTM Stores and sell only Dukes and Ninjas. Dont know what the customer care Exec was thinking?

Next, I called up Dewan Bajaj Dwarka and asked if they have a bike for test ride. The lady at the store said, "Sir, we dont have the bike now, but if you make a booking and pay the booking amount, we can arrange one in two days."

I was surprised and asked, how they expected me to make a booking without a test ride? At that she said, she ll get back to me in half n hour. But that call never came.

Come on Bajaj don't make me hate you even before purchasing your bike.

Couple of more calls and a day later, I finally recieved a call from them to come to the showroom and check out the Avenger.

Off we went to check it out. The test ride would have to wait as somebody else had taken the vehicle apparently.They had a red one on their upper floors which we checked out in the meanwhile. I took it off the stands and sat on the riders seat. First impression was ''extremely comfortable''. Next got my wife to sit on the Pillion seat, which according to her was quite comfortable even after considering its lesser width. The back rest helped matters further, as the height seemed just perfect for her.

The ride comfort however could only be confirmed by the test ride which was getting further delayed. As we had other appointments to take care, we decided to leave the place as the test ride could be taken the next day too.
Our choice of colour was blue and the showroom did nt have the colour in stock. But they expected fresh stock to arrive at night so the possibility of getting my hands on one the next day were pretty bright.

Next day I was pleasantly surprised by a call from the dealer saying the bikes have arrived and there were two blue bikes available. As there were quite a few people who had asked for the avenger, if I hurry only then I could lay my hands on it.
"Fine enough" I thought and hurried off. They indeed had recieved stocks and many new fully covered bikes were kept outside the showroom. The showstopper was not surprisingly the latest Bajaj rockstar, the 200NS.

My eyes however were fixed on a covered Blue Beauty parked outside. Was it possible, I am looking at my next bike here?

Without wasting time, I asked for a test ride. My main aim was to check ride quality and the ease of maneuverability in traffic. From the first impressions there seemed to be sufficient power on tap though I really did nt push the bike to its limits. The ride seemed a bit stiff, but not bothersome. Did nt really feel too clumsy in the traffic either. Nothing that could be termed a deal breaker.

So the Avenger it is then.

Rest of the buying experience was uneventful and I was just going through the motions dreaming about my beauty.

I got a helmet and a bike cover for free with the bike. Helmet as expected does nt seem to be of any use, would be buying a DOT certified one soon.
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Old 26th June 2012, 15:53   #2
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Default re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Let the Pics do some talking now

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2761-large.jpg


Nice imposing stance head-on

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Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2778-large.jpg


Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2752-large.jpg

Yes I know the helmet sticks out like a sore thumb, but thats what Bajaj gave along with the bike. Will be upgrading to a new one soon

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2751-large.jpg




The tank houses the Fuel indicator. Have read that the glass often gets translucent due to moisture. Lets wait and see.

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The speedo. Would have liked to get a Tacho too. Running in would have been easier. Now I have to rely on my ears to assume the rpm. Make sure I m not revving it much and upshift as soon as possible.

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2755-large.jpg


The fuel level indicator. Has battery charge indicator on one side and a left-right indicator on the other. No audible indication for the turn indicators. Having tough time to remember to take off indication after taking turns.

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2769-large.jpg


The rider seat is comfortable and I felt riding position was good. Pillon seat is raised and a good angle to the back rest. Could be of good use during long rides provided the pillion rider is not too tall and is of slight to medium built. Heavily built or tall people may feel slight discomfort as the pillion seat is narrow and the back rest may touch the base of spine.

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2773-large.jpg



Notice how the Pillion seat narrows down. Could be an issue with huge people specially during long rides. My wife however did nt feel any discomfort during an initial 20 Km ride. Longer rides will Give out a clear picture.

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2775-large.jpg


The back rest.

Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God-img_2776-large.jpg


The ignition Key is not at the normal position near the speedo console, but near the engine.

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The handle lock. The welding marks are visible at many places like this. Bajaj could have masked these. Gives an impression that finish is not great.

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Notice how close the ignition key hole is to the engine.
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Initial Impressions : Engine and transmission

Initial rides indicate there is sufficient grunt to take off from standstill. Although I have not yet put the bike through its paces, a little flip of the throttle launches the bike pretty well. The 220 cc motor is the same one that does duty on Pulsar 220 albeit in a different state of tune. In the Avenger, it reportedly produces lesser power and torque as compared to the P220. Yet there is enough bite in the engine to satisfy atleast me.

The fifth gear at around 40Km/hr has enough grunt to initiate overtaking maneuvers without having the need to down shift. The bike does pick up speed reasonably well. Get below 35 and you start getting the thuk thuk sound and the need to downshift comes up. The engine it seems has a strong mid-range. As said earlier I have not tested the top range yet.

The issue with the engine in my opinion is that it always sounds as if its in a hurry. Even at 50 Kmph in the fifth gear one can feel the engine revving a tad too higher than you would like it in a cruiser. Or may be its just the sound but it does nt seem laid back enough to be doing duty on a wannabe cruiser.

Seems it likes to be revved, pity that I ll have to wait till I finish the running in. An additional gear for highway cruising could have done a world of good because in the current set up, I feel higher speeds around 100 Ks would make the engine sound as if its being red-lined. But an additional gear would mean the engine chugging along at comparatively lower RPMs at those speeds. Even the overall efficiency could've been benefited.

Gear shift is decent, though I occasionally have to search for the neutral. Once or twice I got false neutral between first and second gear. May be will will get used to it in due course.

Initial Impressions: Vibrations and Ride

There is quite a bit of vibrations on the handle bar, though not too much to be an issue. Will have to see how they shape up at higher revvs. But yes the engine does nt seem very refined as of now. No vibrations are felt in the feet and through the seat though.

The ride is noticeable stiff specially for the pillion rider. Tackle bad roads with speed and your Pillion rider may turn into your enemy in no time. Reduce the speed though and the Avy takes bad roads in its stride. The rider however is in a comparably better position.

Note: I ve not been in the Pillion seat as yet and these are impressions from my wife. Comparatively I felt my experience at the rider seat was much more comfortable. Not that she felt an discomfort, but yes bad roads at high speeds do get felt badly.

Initial Impressions: Maneuverability and braking

I thought the Avy might be cumbersome in traffic. But I was surprised at the ease of maneuverability specially because its been some time since I rode a bike. The Low stance gives you good control over the bike unless you try to do something with it which it is not designed for.

Biking in my opinion requires a kind of connect between the rider and the bike. The rider should be very well aware of the bikes capabilities and its limitations. I have heard a lot being said about the Avy skidding during braking in surfaces without optimum grip. The issue I think has to do with the design. The rear brake is lousy and when used alone does nt do much to stop the bike.

Both brakes have to be used simultaneously with slightly more emphasis on the rear brake as the front wheel has the tendency to lock up. I have not ridden it extensively enough nor have I experienced a panic braking situation on such surfaces. But I do feel with proper braking technique one can go around the issue. More importantly acknowledge the dangers of biking on slippery surfaces and ensure the bike does nt get out of its comfort zone during such situations.

These impressions are from the very limited time the bike has been with me. Will update the thread as time goes on hopefully with full details of problems and issues faced and solutions found.
Though I have tried to be true to what I felt riding the bike and present an unbiased picture, I acknowledge the possiblity of my initial impressions being completely wrong and off target, mainly because of the short duration it has been based upon and also my own lack of experience as far as biking is concerned. As time moves, these impressions themselves may change and I will make it a point to update the same here.

Cheers

Ride Safe

Last edited by vibbs : 27th June 2012 at 12:49.
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Old 27th June 2012, 17:21   #3
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Default re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Note from Mod: Your thread has been moved to Motorbikes section. Thanks for sharing it with us !!!
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Old 27th June 2012, 17:40   #4
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Default re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

So you finally got one , Congratulations for your latest acquisition. I really like the looks of avenger and blue color is best of the lot.

BTW How much you paid for her ? and Was the pic showing back rest, taken somewhere near Saraswati Model School ( the road looks familiar ) ?

Wish you wonderful miles ahead with her, Drive safe.

Cheers,
Sameer
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Old 27th June 2012, 17:50   #5
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Default re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Congrats buddy, Apart from vibrations and lil rough engine avenger is good machine. I have clocked few kms on a 200cc model, altho in the city traffic it gets little handful because of the riding position.
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Old 27th June 2012, 18:44   #6
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Hi Vibbs,

Congratulations on getting the Bajaj Avenger.

Now all your worries regarding commuting from Dwarka-Gurgaon must have vanished. It is a comfortable bike and I am sure both you and your wife will enjoy the ride.

Please do keep the thread updated regularly.

PS - Have you upgraded the horns? (I can see roots horn in second pic? or is it the stock horn?)

Last edited by bluevolt : 27th June 2012 at 18:45.
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Old 27th June 2012, 23:46   #7
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Thanks for approving the thread Mobike

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameerg001 View Post
BTW How much you paid for her ? and Was the pic showing back rest, taken somewhere near Saraswati Model School ( the road looks familiar ) ?

Costed me 85600 INR on road. All pics were taken at Sector 6 Dwarka behind Sky Lark apartments near DAV school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
I have clocked few kms on a 200cc model, altho in the city traffic it gets little handful because of the riding position.
I ve been riding it daily on a mix of traffic and open roads. Did nt seem to be a pain in the traffic. Since the engine is rev friendly, it helps to dart into gaps easily and take quick overtaking maneuvers without downshifting.
Yes one thing I have noticed is that ride comfort is not as good as I had felt it was earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Hi Vibbs,

Congratulations on getting the Bajaj Avenger.

Now all your worries regarding commuting from Dwarka-Gurgaon must have vanished. It is a comfortable bike and I am sure both you and your wife will enjoy the ride.

Please do keep the thread updated regularly.

PS - Have you upgraded the horns? (I can see roots horn in second pic? or is it the stock horn?)

Yes blue volt as of now I m dropping and picking my wife up from office. The bike is overall comfortable but, I would have preferred better pillion rider comfort. See more on that in my update.
I have not done any upgrades. The bike is in stock form. But I do have some upgrades in mind.



Update on ride quality


Today is the third day after my purchase and I must admit that I am not that impressed by the ride comfort as I was before. It is not very bad or worrisome, but prolonged riding does seem to make the Bum sore. Also there seems to be too much pressure on the tail bone as the lower back begins to ache very slightly. Mind you I have nt rode for more than an Hr at a stretch as of now and I dont have a sensitive back.

There may be various reasons for this.

1. I have heard Avenger is not very comfortable for tall people. So at 5 feet 10 I may just have crossed the height at which it is supposed to be uber comfortable.
2. I am not used to riding bikes, so maybe it ll take time for my body to settle down and relax on the bike.
3. The seats are a tad too hard to provide ample cushioning.

The Pillion seat is even worse. Too narrow to provide ample support, plus the stiff ride translates every bump on the road to the spines. I have to take care over imperfect roads when I m with my wife, else it becomes very uncomfortable. Rider is again comparatively better off as its not as harsh there.

Mods I m Planning

I am planning to improve the seat cushioning by adding some more softer foam and in the process also increase the Pillion rider seat width. Or else even change the seats all together.
Any pointers as to where I can get people to do these mods on Bikes?

Horns are too meek in my opinion, will think of changing to some better aftermarket horns.

Thinking of getting Saddle bags which wont interfere with Pillion seating.

I m not thinking of touching the rear shocks now, but I guess I ll need to figure out a way to soften the ride a little.

Thats all as of now.
Will keep updating.

Cheers
Ride Safe
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:58   #8
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Hey nice ride. The color looks good on avenger.
When you plan for mods look out for leather saddlebags and a windscreen. They would give your bike a fuller look...
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Old 28th June 2012, 16:00   #9
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Hi Vibbs - Congrats for your new bike! Great colour pick too! The only issue i had with Avenger is the braking, otherwise its a handsome bike. Please do let us know your feedback and opinion on its Braking.
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Old 28th June 2012, 18:00   #10
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Congrats on buying one hell of a bike. Keep clocking miles and comfortable rides. Have clocked roughly 89000 KMs on my 2005 Bajaj Avenger and still runs like charm.
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Old 28th June 2012, 22:47   #11
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga View Post
Hey nice ride. The color looks good on avenger.
When you plan for mods look out for leather saddlebags and a windscreen. They would give your bike a fuller look...
Thank Bazinga Yupe Saddle bags are on the list. But not the windshield. Atleast not for the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpadki View Post
Hi Vibbs - Congrats for your new bike! Great colour pick too! The only issue i had with Avenger is the braking, otherwise its a handsome bike. Please do let us know your feedback and opinion on its Braking.
Thanks Gpadki. Yes the brakes are somewhat of an issue.As I opined in my review, the rear brakes are lousy. Almost do nothing if used alone. Moreover the front brakes have a tendency to lock up at the slightest instant. Today I managed to Lock up my front wheels at 10Kmph . Both the brakes have to be used in conjunction. I will be putting it to a mild test on some unused lonely stretch of road to figure out how the brakes perform once I get my complete riding gears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveloholic View Post
Congrats on buying one hell of a bike. Keep clocking miles and comfortable rides. Have clocked roughly 89000 KMs on my 2005 Bajaj Avenger and still runs like charm.
Thanks traveloholic. Yupe it is one hell of a ride. 89000Kms!! That gives me some confidence on its durability.

Cheers
Ride Safe.
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Old 28th June 2012, 23:37   #12
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Congrats on the new member !! Avenger is still one of my fav rides in India and IMHO it still has a lot of potential. I was on it on the highway and oh my it was a breeze ! Loved it to bits.

You should hit the highways sometime soon, enjoy the monsoon and let us know how it went !
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Old 29th June 2012, 03:47   #13
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Avenger is indeed a nice choice! It fits your requirements just perfect! Nice choice of color too. I think it will give you more exclusivity in terms of color as most common colors that you can see on the roads are either grey or black. If you are looking for a comfortable bike, this is a indeed a perfect choice.

I ride a 2007 Red Avenger 200 too! From the pics, it looks like they have changed the location of the Ignition. It is on the left side on my bike.

A few things I noticed during my courtship with my red Avy.

- In bumper to bumper traffic, it is a little difficult to navigate.
- Compared to other bikes, the turning radius of Avy is more, so you might find parking in crowded parking lots a little difficult at times.
- Though the back support provide nice comfort for the pillion rider, my wifey often complains about how difficult the ingress / egress is, if you do not want to sit side ways.

Its been almost 5 years and more than 20K on the odo, it still feels good. You never get tired riding this one.

Wishing you thousands of happy miles on your new ride.

Best,
r-six
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Old 29th June 2012, 09:36   #14
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Congrats on the new bike ! These days considering the amount of traffic, that we have on the roads; it's a real wise decision to get a bike. The new Avenger looks nice in the blue colour.

The Avenger always fascinated me, so did the Pulsar. But when I was purchasing a bike, many friends and my family dissuaded me saying Bajaj bikes require more maintenance, gearbox issues, you will look crazy with that riding height and position etc. etc. So the Avenger never happened ...

Does this new Avenger have a 5 or 6 speed gearbox? Also how did you find the gear shifting? Was there any kind of clunkiness with false neutrals? Or has it improved over the older P220/Avenger gearbox?

Ride safe and always wear a helmet.
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Old 29th June 2012, 10:59   #15
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Default Re: Bajaj Avenger 220 DTSi Ownership review - Finally I get to feel like God

Congrats, this the fantastic colour you have chosen. Being the one of its kind in the Indian market, this bike deserves a special place for being unique and trouble free. Maybe the only bike for a matured rider after the Royal Enfields. Enjoy the experience and happy kilometre munching.
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