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Old 23rd December 2015, 00:27   #31
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

This was ought to happen today or tomorrow. The Karizma was such a beautiful bike when it was launched. I remember myself staring at the Karizmas when I was a kid. Hritik playing it rough by riding a dirty yellow Karizma and spilling all the mud on wannabe bikers. Even when dad was getting his Hero Honda Super Splendor back in 2008, I was looking at the Karizma which was kept in the display. I remember pinching him and telling that this has to be my first bike whenever I get one. Karizma, being a 225cc bike was priced less than it's underpowered competitors like the Pulsar 220, Yamaha Fazer etc. This made many people buy Karizma back then. And oh! how can I forget the peaceful Hero Honda ASS.
But with the launch of this Karizma, it lost all it's charm. The pathetic copied front look from the Pulsar 220(Pulsar 220 looks good though). The KarizmaR not having the Engine cover made it look incomplete which was however managed in the Karizma Zmr. And the worst part was the hideous tail light placement. Looked as if the tail light is simply pasted on a pole. While buying my first bike back in May '14, I visited the Hero Honda showroom and wanted to see the KarizmaR pretty badly, in grey colour to be precise. But unfortunately, old Karizma was discontinued and they were taking bookings for the new batch, and there was no way I was going to buy this hideous new Karizma.

Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Here's my 2004 Karizma, still running strong even after nearly 12 years.
You've maintained the Karizma very well, I can see that. This was a heart throb back then. Please don't ever sell it.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 00:42   #32
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Originally Posted by NiInJa View Post
All Hero had to do is give the bike a set of clip-on handlebars, optional disc brakes and maybe tweak the engine power figures and the bike would have stayed in competition for some more years. What Hero did with the product and that brand was hopeless to say the least.

Outgoing Karizma has clip ons. Not sure what you meant by optional discs.

You are missing the most important factor which helped in killing the brand i.e. looks.

Even with an underpowered engine, the older ZMA was somehow able to hold up against the P220 and the likes.

However the downfall started as soon as the design changed.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 05:10   #33
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

I would say Hero deserves it!! A sad news for the enthusiasts. but still..

When I first saw the new Karizma and ZMR, I was like "what the heck is wrong with Hero!!". Even a school kid would do a better design on the back of his notebook. When I first saw the bike, it looked as if it had a huge Spartan shield in front of it to hide the rest of the hideous body. May be they were trying to incorporate the EBR design elements on the Karizma. But looked as if different departments were given one piece each to design and they saw the works of the rest only on the day of assembly. They hadn't given any thoughts at all on making that tank proportionate to the body. Let's not forget this was the company that came up with the biggest looking tank (for it's time) in the 150cc segment (even though with the tank extensions) on the Hunk. I guess the Hero designers are downright lazy to bother with anything over 100cc and haven't moved forward an inch since 2007. In my eyes, the last good looking bike from Hero, for its time of launch, was the Hunk. After that, all they seem to have bothered was making their bikes uglier and uglier with tasteless and weird sticker jobs.

The day I saw the first leaked pic of the new Karizma, I even considered sending Mr. Munjal a mail telling how hideous the new design looks and how dead it will be in the market. But I guessed that mail probably wouldn't really make it to his desk. I posted on their Twitter page not to ruin the good old Karizma and to consider hiring some designers and received their generic reply messages.

I still have fond memories of my teen days when I walked in a Hero Honda stall in an expo, ogled at the Karizma and assured the sales guy I would be coming to the showroom to pick one up once I receive my driver’s license. A Karizma owner, then, was looked up on with as much respect and envy as someone with a litre class sports bike these days. Just hoping they would not launch an even worse looking bike with the Karizma badge and ruin it like they did it with the CBZ.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 09:40   #34
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

Looks like EBR was Jinxed for Hero MotoCorp.. even a remote association with "EBR'sque" like styling elements.

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Old 23rd December 2015, 11:16   #35
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

This is indeed a very sad news. The first generation Hero Honda Karizma was a versatile motorcycle. It could do both the daily grind and spirited highway riding with equal ease. Though I was never a fan of its looks-I hate motorcycles with half fairings-there was no denying the fact that the design was functional. The upright ergonomics favoured rider comfort without compromising much on the handling front. It was a comfortable ride even for the pillion rider. The refined engine and linear power delivery made it a very enjoyable package. However, as good things come to an end, this too had to. I believe it ended the day Hero parted ways from Honda and decided that the Karizma needed an update-sadly, it wasn't to be. The engineers at Hero somehow managed to screw up most of the positive traits of the previous generation ZMA. While the first generation bike had a flat seat that was comfortable for the pillion, the update gave the bike split seats with the pillion sitting much taller than before. Aping the looks of the R15 and the DUKE, pillion comfort was effectively ruled out in the new bike. In the quest for more power, that too only marginally, the engine's compression ratio was increased causing excessive vibrations and thus ruining its refinement. To top it all off, the conservative and restrained design of the first generation was replaced with a quirky and outlandish design in the second, which was a big turn off among Karizma enthusiasts. Since its split from Honda, Hero has only managed to create doubts in the mind of consumers about their competencies. They killed th Impulse, which with a slightly bigger engine could have done wonders for them and now they have managed to doom the Karizma brand, much before the end of its product lifecycle.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 11:35   #36
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

My cousin had 1st gen Karizma and I was such a huge fan of that bike and wanted to get one for myself but due to various reasons, I could not go for it. The engine was such a gem (it is Honda engine I believe).

Recently when I was in the market, I did take 2 test drives, just hoping that the vibrations or lack of pickup was due to some problem with the first bike! It is that bad now. A friend of mine has a ZMR and he is struggling to get the fibre parts replacements. All said and done, a very good bike initially was dying a slow death due to company's apathy!

PS: After reading the news yesterday, when I was riding back home, I saw atleast 10 new bikes! Not sure if I had not noticed it before but that may not be the case.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 12:12   #37
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

C'mon this was expected sooner or later. I bought my karizma R after seeing this ugly upgrade knowing that the original one would be stopped from production. I wish Hero should have continued it as a classic edition just like ford did with fiesta which was still loved by people.

Here is my beauty
Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped-088.jpg

38k in 2 years
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Old 23rd December 2015, 13:06   #38
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

Not unexpected. The bike was the first of its kind in India when it was launched, and they should've dominated the segment. Instead, they succumbed to Bajaj Pulsar 220 and other manufacturers. And from what I've heard, Hero's service quality has deteriorated since parting with Honda.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 13:59   #39
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Here's my 2004 Karizma, still running strong even after nearly 12 years.

Though it has just run 7k till now but what a bike.
Ohh I was like when I saw a 12year old bike in such pristine condition but the last line nailed it.. BTW I have a 10 year old P150 with about 1lakh on ODO but looks far outdated in your comparison. Some maintenance that.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 14:22   #40
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

Good time to own a 2004 Zma. I researched endlessly when I decided to buy myself "a bigger bike" then and it seemed like a really good upgrade.

What went wrong? It's not with ZMR or the current crop or EBR bits, it dates back to the Karizma R and second gen ZMAs. The 2006-07 and onwards Karizmas have multiple issues including the dreaded timing chain. The fuel pumps on the first batch of ZMR didn't help. Nor did the steady decline in build quality throughout which most associated with Honda name getting erased on the bike. The latest "ugly duckling" ZMAR or whatchamacallit is actually a pretty good bike in person. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favour of the looks but the wider handlebars, good headlight beam spread etc are very practical things to have on a motorbike for touring. But there are plenty other options today and a puny engine like that with those garish looks and build quality gone to dogs is just a waste of money. I'm just glad I got the first gen zma - a future classic in 2020.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 14:55   #41
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

I have got sentimental values with Karizma, memorable charming teenage days. She drove me crazy those days. She was agile, hot, red, and attractive. She was my first love, but she was never mine ever and from the news it seems like she won’t be forever.
It was my best buddy’s ride, he still have got her, affection since 2003.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 15:07   #42
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

Circa 2003. The cricket World Cup. I vividly remember the Jet Set Go ad. The red beauty set the pulses racing. But the price tag was way too high. A few months in, they got it to 76219. Yes I still remember the amount. And scooped it.

11 years on, it's still around. Lying in the garage. Bad availability of sales makes me not take it out as much. Cut back to now, the Eric Buell design was a disaster. Plain simple. The hideous front fairing made it bulbous in all the wrong areas. All the Karizma needed for years was a better engine, probably a 250cc, fatter forks, tyres and a mono shock at the rear. But it got stuck with Hero. All it received was sticker upgrades. Sigh!

From being a legendary bike, to a now nothing, feel terribly sad for it all. And I just want to punch Hero in the face for it all. Long live the ZMA! Take a bow legend. Thank you for those amazing rides & times.
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Old 24th December 2015, 11:43   #43
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

If this is true, it's a sad RIP for one of the best India focused entry-level tourers made till date. The erstwhile Karizma was a great tourer for its time, till the most recent revamp. In the early 2000s, the only tourer option for Indian bikers was the Karizma and the Royal Enfields.

The REs had the entire "soul" aura around them (I'm among the bullet owners from that time), but I must admit that the Karizma was without any arguments the more reliable and capable machine. Bullet-proof to the core (no pun intended), it was ideal for all day, frugal two up touring on the highways of the time. Karizmas have gone across India (even abroad) without any hassles. In my opinion, it was indeed a scaled down equivalent of the Suzuki Bandit.

The reasons that led to its demise are:

(1) Zero target audience focused marketing. Yeah, why market to the right audience when you have roaring sales, right?


Hero should take time out to see what Royal Enfield did in the meanwhile. Despite shoddy quality control and technologically inferior products, RE was constantly building a following. Hero at the other hand was only busy dishing out dividends instead of building a following. What worked for the CD 100 will not cut ice with the enthusiast crowd who purchases Karizmas.

(2) The really out of taste cosmetic revamps that really took the brand positioning away from a tourer perspective. For example, its confused looks or the rear seat which became impractical for a pillion to tag along.

(3) Lack of any tourer focused upgrades. Hero took the HM Ambassador route by not catering to the tourer crowd. The Indian tourer at that segment is a person who wants to take his/her bike to office as well as a trip across the Himalayas. The early Karizmas were ideal for this. But with the advent of more capable tourers like the Honda CBR 250, Hero should have upped the game. And about the later Karizma sticker jobs, lesser said the better.

In the meanwhile, I cannot help but fondly remember the first time I saw a Karizma in the flesh. Cruising effortlessly past me at 120 kph on Navi Mumbai's newly opened Palm Beach road...

Turquoise green, she was.

Last edited by anilp : 24th December 2015 at 11:47.
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Old 30th December 2015, 07:33   #44
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero Karizma, Karizma ZMR production stopped

In 2003-04 I was a Karizma hater. Why because I had a Pulsar 150 (Yes I did a mistake of not going for the Karizma). Years went on and I never could buy a Zma although I had changed bikes a couple of times (Bullet CI350 and P220DTSi).

Later in 2014, after moving to cars for strong 4 yrs, I thought of getting back to biking again. However since the brand was now Hero, I opted for a used Hero Honda Zma. I was mighty impressed by the machine's torque and comfort. I would call Zma the Mercedes of bikes, and the sound, the looks were still so special. Since the bike was not in the best of the condition, I went for a used Hero Honda ZMR in the same year. Again was mighty impressed all over again, but unfortunately I had to sell it due to a fuel pump issue which I had reported on Team BHP.

I use a Pulsar 200NS now, nevertheless, had the old Zma/Zmr been available with the Hero Honda brand I would have bought it eyes closed even today in the days of CBR's and R15's. period.

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 30th December 2015 at 07:34.
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