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Old 11th September 2012, 17:21   #1
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Default What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

As you guys can see from my signature, I own a Royal Enfield Thunderbird. I've owned it for close to 7 year now. But I think the time has come for me to sell it. I've had years of good rides on it and even done a ride to Kanyakumari on it. Of late, it has become too unpredictable. I mean this in the sense that I cannot trust it to give me trouble-free performance. Though I own the CBR 250R, I use the TB primarily as a commute to and from office.

Trouble started with some wiring issues a few years back. These were corrected and have had relatively trouble free rides for the past few months. However, I have somehow lost my trust on this bike. And it stayed true to that by just dying on me a few days back on the way to office. I'm simply tired of it giving me trouble and want to get rid of it.

But this is not what this post is about. This post is not about chest-thumping Bullet lovers too. This is not for those people. This is not for people who try and say things like "A Royal Enfield is god" etc. Yes, I was one of you. If you are so interested in the Royal Enfield - please buy the TB from me. PM me for a price.

This post is a post asking for feedback and ideas for a bike that I am planning to buy. As I have mentioned - I already own a CBR 250R for my touring and long rides. Love the bike! I only want a trouble free bike for my daily commute. I don't want to go the lower rungs of the ladder to choose something like a Splendour etc. That is out for me.

1. Budget - hoping for a bike for around ~75K.
2. Primary use - commute to office
3. Looks - good styling - R15 is too much, out!
4. Engine - a decent punch to give me a smile when riding to office too
5. Trouble-free ride with no major known issues
6. Good service centers, customer service
7. Should be a good fit for a 5'11" frame - not too small a bike

These are my main requirements. I have not seriously considered even buying another bike until now so this is kinda new for me. The past few days, I have been looking at some options and was thinking of the FZ-16 FZS. Somehow those were the first bikes to come into my head.

I have not done a test ride of these bikes but might try to. Any known issues with these? Hows the sales and service? What is the on-road price? Will it be a good fit?

Would love to hear what you guys say. Please do keep my requirements in mind before you shoot me down with your ideas

And please - the Royal Enfield is out for me.
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Old 11th September 2012, 17:38   #2
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
I have not done a test ride of these bikes but might try to. Any known issues with these? Hows the sales and service? What is the on-road price? Will it be a good fit?
If you get a fault free bike from the factory, it will be bliss. (Saying this out of experience as i landed with a lemon while at the same time bhpian driverace got an amazing and flawless bike. We have gone on a few rides together and swapped our bikes. His bike was poles apart from mine in terms of everything)

The known issues with FZ series is air leakage from the rear rims due to soft compound low profile tyres, handle bar-cone set making a "thak" sound every time you hit an uneven patch of road which is a design defect (not sure if its sorted in 2012 range), low mileage if used W.O.T most of the times.

I owned it for a short time and was in awe of its handling abilities. I was not very pleased with its acceleration though (owing to the huge rear tyre). And the major grouse for me was i could not find a comfortable seating position on my long rides (am 6'0 tall, 72kgs).

EDIT: Guess you are not hard fixed on 75k if you are looking at the FZ series since it costed me 78k in May 2011. (it would be slightly more expensive now with the raise in taxes etc)

As far as suggestions go, for daily office commute, you need a refined engine, good low down torque and light clutch. Honda Unicorn Dazzler suits this need perfectly closely followed by Suzuki GS150R with similar traits of Unicorn but with 6 gears. Try these as well and let us know what you felt.

EDIT 2: Forgot about the sales and service question: Well with the GS or Uni, any local mechanic can attend and do a good job of maintaining the bike in case you are not happy with the service experience since they are simple machines (unlike the CBR that you own which I would dare not allow any local mech to touch)

Last edited by abhinav.s : 11th September 2012 at 17:46.
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Old 11th September 2012, 17:40   #3
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
I only want a trouble free bike for my daily commute. I don't want to go the lower rungs of the ladder to choose something like a Splendour etc. That is out for me.

1. Budget - hoping for a bike for around ~75K.
2. Primary use - commute to office
3. Looks - good styling - R15 is too much, out!
4. Engine - a decent punch to give me a smile when riding to office too
5. Trouble-free ride with no major known issues
6. Good service centers, customer service
7. Should be a good fit for a 5'11" frame - not too small a bike

And please - the Royal Enfield is out for me.
I would suggest you to look into the Honda Unicorn.

Its smooth, reliable, fuel efficient (as you would commute daily) and as far as after sales are I don't think Honda is bad. You take a TD and see.

Riding position is not too forward biased to get you pain in the hands/back.

Anurag.
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Old 11th September 2012, 17:50   #4
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Some bikes for you to look at:
1. Check out Dazzler / Unicorn
2. Check out Pulsar Range (P150 / 180 / 135LS) also if looking for a cost saving look at Discover 135/150 from a purely commuter friendly (mileage) perspective
3. Apache RTR 160/180
4. Suzuki GS150R

If I were in your shoes (with a CBR for touring duties) I would go for a pure commuter with high mileage. Check Stunner/Twister/Star-City/135LS out from that perspective. Would translate into money savings as well (u can buy accessories for your CBR, lets say a new exhaust)
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Old 11th September 2012, 20:24   #5
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

if u have a cbr already then I'd suggest you get an impulse as a 2nd bike. Am pondering about a 2nd bike too, the duke is too exciting & demanding (also bumpy) to ride sane everywhere.

Impulse is supremely comfortable on our roads, it simply glides over potholes and speed breakers. Its pretty cheap on gas too . You may have to stretch your budget by 5k but it'll all be worth it...I guess.
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Old 11th September 2012, 21:57   #6
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

How bout the Unicorn Dazzler? It fits in your budget, is reliable, offers good mileage, cheap to run and maintain, nimble with good low end torque for city riding. It is okay in looks department, has enough power and engine does not feel strained at high RPMs. It moves ahead without a hitch well upto 110 kph.

Honda after sales while may not be great but so far they have done a decent job on my bike everytime I've given it for servicing.
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Old 11th September 2012, 22:21   #7
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

I would suggest you take a look at the new Pulsar NS, but I am not too sure about the price. Apart from this, take a look at Dazzler or Impulse. All these bikes fits your bill - they are not really expensive, offers good handling and are fun to ride in the city. If budget permits, get the KTM - now, that is one proper hooligan commuter which can plant a huge grin on your face every time you take the bike to office.
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Old 11th September 2012, 22:48   #8
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

I am also looking to replace my aging pulsar. I have maintained it immaculately but the engine has lost the grunt! Two clutch replacements along with CDI and Chain-sprocket change within 35k kms.

My eyes were fixed on CL350, but I am too afraid of the issues which RE's suffer. Checked the bike @ showroom and somehow It didn't felt like a lac+ bike in terms of finish. Instead of explaining the bike, the SA was proudly telling the waiting and ride (RE owners club) stories.

I have a respect for the Unicorn for its smoothness and comfortable riding position, but a new Uni is a rare sight these days. Even the showroom is full of other bikes except the Unicorn.

R15 is too sporty for my liking.

Finally my eyes are set on the FZ (Not the FZS). I believe it has a good grunt for the city and perfect naked bike looks. If ridden sensibly, it would return decent efficiency figures too.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 11th September 2012 at 22:52.
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Old 11th September 2012, 22:50   #9
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
If you are so interested in the Royal Enfield - please buy the TB from me. PM me for a price.

1. Budget - hoping for a bike for around ~75K.
2. Primary use - commute to office
3. Looks - good styling - R15 is too much, out!
4. Engine - a decent punch to give me a smile when riding to office too
5. Trouble-free ride with no major known issues
6. Good service centers, customer service
7. Should be a good fit for a 5'11" frame - not too small a bike
Going by your needs, you have the following options. (Your budget may go upto 84k odd though)

From Yamaha, the FZ series, the FZ16 and the FZ-S
Pulsar, the P180 and the P150.
Honda, the Unicorn and the Dazzler
TVS, the Apache
Hero Honda, the Hunk, Xtreme and the Impulse
Suzuki, the GS150R.

Honda's spares availability has always been questioned and I am uncertain if this has changed over the past few months. Suzuki on the other hand doesn't really have the service backup all of us desire so much.

I would suggest the FZ, Apache, Unicorn, P180, Hunk or the Xtreme.

Pulsar 180: The P180 looks great though. The split seats, clip-ons, et al, looks smashing! Bike is powerful and still gets my attention though Pulsars are so common. And that may be the only problem, lack of exclusivity. You'll find bashers everywhere, but my brother's Pulsar has been going strong for the past 6 years with no issues whatsoever.

The FZ: Great styling, Yamaha backing. Sticks to the road like a leech but those same tyres bring down the mileage as well. No rear disk brake, but the Monocross suspension aids the handling very well. Performance isn't great, but perfect to find those gaps in traffic!

Apache 180
: The new Apache looks subjective, but I think it looks just fine. Is one of the fastest bikes around. Nimble handler and makes city commuting good fun. Sporty seating posture, so you're leaning into the bike as you ride it. No harm once you get used to it though! Should be fine for a 5'11". Reviews say most punchy bike of the lot.

Unicorn: Bullet proof reliability, but plain jane looks. The engine is carried forward in most of the Hero Hondas today and they've proved their mettle well. A trustworthy bike that will in all probability never leave your side.

Hunk, Xtreme
: Same insides, different outsides. They carry the same engine as the Unicorn but are tuned for a little more power. Good bikes though I personally prefer the Hunk a little more (Check my signature to know why ). The Xtreme with its split seat and the clip-ons looks good as well. Service backup of Hero Honda is unmatched to this day.

My final suggestion, the Unicorn or the Hunk/Xtreme. Or if you wish to put a little more money into it, the Apache 180 ABS. I would not recommend the Impulse as Hero plans on phasing out the bike soon. Spares availability may become a problem thereafter. Also, the Pulsar 200NS costs 1L flat here in Bangalore. If you can stretch your budget to 1L, by all means, go for the NS! May feel more CBR250R like as well!

Last edited by ashwin.terminat : 11th September 2012 at 22:52.
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Old 11th September 2012, 23:17   #10
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

How is the quality of new Unicorns? I haven't checked the Uni, but recently one of my close relative bought a Shine and I have to admit that my 2006 pulsar feels bullet proof in terms of sturdiness. The shine feels too tinny and the plastic visors & shrouds are poor!
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Old 11th September 2012, 23:25   #11
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Unicorn is the ultimate go-to-office reliable commuter man
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Old 11th September 2012, 23:41   #12
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Not sure about the prices, but Unicorn and GS150R are in my opinion apt for daily commute. Also take a look at the Discover 125ST. Though it might feel a segment lower, I have heard some very good views on the bike. Considering the fact that you need it for daily commute, the high fuel efficiency too would help.
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Old 12th September 2012, 00:03   #13
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Thanks for the valuable suggestions fellas! Appreciate it.

I should have mentioned that I won't be looking at the Pulsars either. My friend who owns a Pulsar 220 will KILL me! No seriously - I have ridden it and somehow don't feel like owning one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Honda Unicorn Dazzler suits this need perfectly closely followed by Suzuki GS150R with similar traits of Unicorn but with 6 gears. Try these as well and let us know what you felt.
Thanks for the feedback on the FZ bikes. Yup, looks like a lot of people have suggested the Unicorn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
I would suggest you to look into the Honda Unicorn.
Another one for the Unicorn. Yes, I can trust a Honda engine anyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga View Post
1. Check out Dazzler / Unicorn
2. Check out Pulsar Range (P150 / 180 / 135LS) also if looking for a cost saving look at Discover 135/150 from a purely commuter friendly (mileage) perspective
3. Apache RTR 160/180
4. Suzuki GS150R
------------
Would translate into money savings as well (u can buy accessories for your CBR, lets say a new exhaust)
Another Unicorn! Nope, Pulsars are out. I think the Apache will look a little puny for me. Love the bike though. Have ridden my friend's bike and it is grunty and good. Will have to discount the GS150R as it looks to plain jane. Thanks for the suggests on plain-jane commuters. But I know that if I buy it looking at the savings perspective, I will cry when I commute But a new exhaust sure sounds drool-worthy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitro.1000bhp View Post
if u have a cbr already then I'd suggest you get an impulse as a 2nd bike.
This was a suggest out of the blue. Wanted to discount your suggest at once but on second thoughts, thinking of checking this out. I've not read ANY reviews of this bike. Perhaps it is time to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookkeeper View Post
How bout the Unicorn Dazzler?
Another one for the Unicorn. Yes, agree on all your points - though it might not be the best looker around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
take a look at Dazzler or Impulse.
Yup - another Unicorn. No KTM for me - budget prevents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
My eyes were fixed on CL350, but I am too afraid of the issues which RE's suffer.

I have a respect for the Unicorn for its smoothness and comfortable riding position, but a new Uni is a rare sight these days. Even the showroom is full of other bikes except the Unicorn.

Finally my eyes are set on the FZ (Not the FZS). I believe it has a good grunt for the city and perfect naked bike looks. If ridden sensibly, it would return decent efficiency figures too.
Well, I think the new CL350s and CL500s are way better than the RE I own. Mine is the AVL engine. And yes, I rarely see a new Unicorn on the road! I will be checking out the FZ16 as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin.terminat View Post
I would suggest the FZ, Apache, Unicorn, P180, Hunk or the Xtreme.

The FZ: Great styling, Yamaha backing. Sticks to the road like a leech but those same tyres bring down the mileage as well. No rear disk brake, but the Monocross suspension aids the handling very well. Performance isn't great, but perfect to find those gaps in traffic!
[b]

Unicorn: Bullet proof reliability, but plain jane looks. The engine is carried forward in most of the Hero Hondas today and they've proved their mettle well. A trustworthy bike that will in all probability never leave your side.
[b]
Thanks for the suggestions! Pulsars are out for me. Another Unicorn - I will certainly have to check it out on a test ride.

Looks like most of you suggested the Unicorn. I will have to test ride the Unicorn and the FZ16 as well. And a surprising suggestion - the Impulse. But does it flatter in the looks department to deceive?
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Old 12th September 2012, 00:13   #14
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

Read somewhere in the forum that Hero Maestro & Impulse are being taken out of production! It would be difficult to get some parts in future for a bike which was just sold for few months. I mentioned 'some' because I believe most of the underpinnings (Engine/Clutch etc) are a straight lift from other Hero 150's.
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Old 12th September 2012, 00:21   #15
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Default re: What bike for 75,000? Ex-Enfield rider, current CBR rider

I would recommend a Unicorn Dazzler.
It fits in your budget, looks decent enough, mileage is pretty good even in city commutes.

It handles pretty good, has an adjustable rear mono shock and MRF Nylogrip tubeless tyres that do a pretty decent job.

The engine has good low and mid end torque which makes for effortless riding in city and the engine does not feel strained at any time and pulls effortlessly till 110 kmph even with a rider weighing 75 kgs.

The fuel economy is in range of 55-60 kmpl with speeds upto 60 kmph. The lowest I have ever observed was 47-49 kmpl with lots of sudden acceleration and riding above 70 kmph. This was based on tank fill method.

Some say Dazzler isn't as refined as the Unicorn but I found it to be quite refined. No vibrations whatsoever anywhere along the RPM range.

The build quality is good, could have been better but is still better than its competitors. However, the plastic bits on FZ seem to be better.

It comes only with an electrical start but in 18 months of ownership I have never had any trouble.

The brakes - discs at both ends are quite good and have good stopping prowess.

Service and maintenance is a dream since there are no complex mechanics or electricals involved. The Honda service center is okay and you do have to remind them and check the job they have done but overall I believe they do a decent job. You just need to follow the instructions in service manual and it will run like a dream.

I find it to be the most practical buy in the category

The negatives are:

1. Looks- Honda could have given it better looks, people often mistake my bike for a Twister

2. Headlamps - They are pathetic and to make matters worse the bike has an AC power setup.

3. The seat - While it should be adequate for you I find it to be a little narrow for my liking but then again I am 6'1 and have a heavy built.

Hope my reply is helpful.
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