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Old 16th May 2016, 13:38   #1
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Default 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

This is a thread to document my Hero Honda Karizma 2004 model soon after it was launched in 2003 by the company, and it is still going strong even after 12 years. Since I plan to take either this or a new RE Himalayan to the Leh circut soon, hence the renewed interest in this bike which I usually use just for my daily tennis runs which is the main cause of it's low mileage figures of just 7800kms till date.

A few photos -

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-2004-25032014_1.jpg

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-2004-25032014_2.jpg

And a just recent one

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The old console body (had got faded)

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-2004-25032014_3.jpg

was replaced with this newer one from the ZMR. Though I liked the old one better. 7820 kms on the odo today

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A few open wires heat shrunk

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It was in dire need of a new battery, installed Exide 6/7A (Rs. 1300/- after exchange)

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A quick look at the Specification Sheet

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And the Maintenance Schedule

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It's filling capacities

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Riding & Ownership Report

For 12 years now the Karizma has been my go to bike. After 'upgrading' from a Bullet 500, the Karizma was a smooth experience with the typical Honda smoothness and fill it, shut it and forget it attitude. Nothing seems to go wrong with it unlike the Bullet which just deteriorated with age. Bullets were not of such good quality back then. Though the Karizma has been ridden very less, but still, things go wrong in 12 years and nothing did. I did have a few issues with front brake light switch but ultimately have shifted to a one from the Pulsar as the original never seemed to be available in stock. The parts costs are peanuts compared to the other high end vehicles I am used to. Never really went back to the Honda service centre after the initial 1st year and serviced at my FNM and now I am doing it myself.

Review

Design and styling
Karizma has been designed specifically for the Indian market. The styling is inspired by Honda VFR800. The instrument panel and the tank recesses are also designed keeping their functionality in mind.

Comfort and handling
The sporty seating position is similar to Honda CBZ 125 F and BMW F650. Reviews have praised the handling of Karizma as "being easy for novice", "impeccable on straights and cornering" and as an "accomplished bike" in ride and handling.However the rear tyre, the handle bar and the foot pegs have been blamed in affecting the handling. I too am thinking of upgrading to a 120/80 section rear tyre to aid better handling. It also has a 150mm ground clearance and 15L (2L reserve) fuel capacity which gives it a 600km range for touring which is remarkable. Braking is decent with a 276 mm single disc at front and a 130mm expanding drum brakes at the rear. Exhaust is through a stainless steel pipe.


Performance and fuel economy
Karizma has the tried and tested, but slightly detuned version of 223 cc SOHC air-cooled engine from the CRF230 series of enduro/MX/supermoto bikes that are sold in the USA and South American markets. It has a five-speed gearbox in place of the CRF's six-speed. The engine is an all-aluminium, undersquare engine (bore 65.5 mm or 2.58 in and stroke 66.2 mm or 2.61 in) running a compression ratio of 9:1 and displacing 17HP@7000rpm and 18.4Nm of torque @6000rpm. It features a Kehlin CV carburettor with a CCVI switch. The top speed is around 130 km/h and the 060 km/h is achieved around 3.8 seconds. The Karizma is reported to have an overall fuel economy of 40 km/l, with a best of 50 km/l and a worst of 28 km/l.

What I like -

* Smoothness
* Great acceleration segregating it from the 100~150cc crowd
* Bullet Proof Reliability
* Comfortable Seat for touring

What I don't -

* Less than decent mileage (around 30kmpl in city conditions)
* Some parts are not available ex-stock
* Weak stock horn which was upgraded to the Roots Windtones a few years back
* Slightly weak on corners on the current 100/90 rear tyre

Verdict


Would I buy the Karizma allover again? Perhaps not in the current 'jazzed up' avatar. But in this original form, it is well into the way of becoming a 'Classic' like the RX-100 (which I owned too till it got unfortunately caught fire) and which I am not letting go anytime soon. It truly epitomises Honda's philosophy of sheer reliability and longevity.

Currently -

I cleaned the air filter, spark plug (with adjustment), fuel knob filter, lubricated and inspected the chain with WD40, checked the tyres which had more than 70% tread left and got them inspected from a tyre shop who declared them fighting fit even after 12 years (Oh yes, I hear the naysayers here) as there were no cracks etc. on them, lubricated all crucial points. I had recently also got both the front disc and rear brake pads changed, changed the spark plug to NGK, changed the brake oil for the front brakes and changed the oil and seals of the front shockers. Only thing left is a engine oil change which I will do shortly. The bike is fighting fit for Leh Circuit though I might change the tyres before I proceed, just to be on the safer side.

DIY Project - Fitting Hazard Warning Light Circuit and Switch to your Karizma/Bullet/Pulsar

The Theory

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-hazard-light-circuit.jpg

Making the Circuit

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Identifying the wire colors by opening the Indicator Light Switch housing - Light Blue is the Right Turn Signal Wire, Orange is the Left Turn Signal Wire and Grey is the positive wire from the Flasher Unit

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The Old Flasher Unit - It had to be replaced as it was unable to take the load of all 4 bulbs flashing together

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And a new high capacity Flasher Unit from Swiss had to be installed (Rs. 90/-)

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The Push Button Hazard Warning Switch and metal bracket (which was painted black) (Rs. 15/-)

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Two Diodes used. Higher capacity ones (3A) of 1N5408 series were used instead of the 1A 1N4007 series.

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The Circuit was first tested

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And this is the finished product

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This is how it looks with the hazard lights on

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The wires were attached in the socket under the tank as per the wires identified above. And the bike now has HAZARD LIGHTS as per the new standards.

DIY - Change the Oil on your Hero Honda Karizma (19-05-2016)

So I finally got around to changing the Engine Oil. Ordered the SHELL ADVANCE AX-7 Semi-Synthetic 10W-40 grade engine oil. Did not opt for the fully synthetic version this time around as I feel that a thicker oil is more suitable for our Indian extreme summers and further I would like to change the engine oil more frequently henceforth (once in 6 month), so a costlier oil did not make sense. Got it for 289/- from Amazon India's lightening deal. It is of SM grade (higher than the required SF/SJ Grade 20W40 Oil)

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This is the Oil Drain Plug on the left side of the bike below the gear change lever

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The equipment needed was a 17mm spanner and a oil drain container

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You need to be careful while removing it as it houses a spring and a oil filter which were duly cleaned when removed

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The oil was removed with the bike on the main stand and as it stopped, the bike was shifted to the side stand for even more oil removal. Finally give a few nice kicks to the kick starter (with ignition off) to remove any last traces of oil as mentioned in the owner's manual.

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Finally tighten the oil drain plug carefully with the spring and oil filter in reverse order of removal and fill the fresh oil (900ml) from the oil filler dipstick on the right side of the bike. Check engine oil level after start-up and cool down.

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Cheers for now...

Last edited by dkaile : 20th May 2016 at 09:23.
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Old 16th May 2016, 15:08   #2
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Default re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Dhiraj mate there are very few people like you who lovingly take care of their motorcycles and me being one of them really appreciate your efforts and DIY techniques you employ on all your motorcycles. I remember my cousin buying a brand new Karizma R and selling it off after two years to buy a bigger Duke 390. I always used to tell him if I were you I would've retained the Karizma for its fantastic reliability(read Honda engine) and no nonsense versatility and bought the 390 as well, but we all are different. I somehow managed to convince by brother in law to keep his Hero Honda first generation CBZ(early 2000's) after he scrapped his 1970's Jawa Yezdi. He restored it and it now gleams his 500 Sq.feet personal garage. I really liked the turquoise colour when it was launched besides the Red colour. Keep her and she will serve you well.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 16th May 2016 at 15:10.
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Old 16th May 2016, 15:44   #3
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Default re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

It's always a great feeling to know that someone has maintained his machine in such pristine condition after more than a decade, braving all the dust and grime. Respect.

I am a superfan of your DIY methods and this one just adds to the list.

That being said, I look forward to the tour you've planned on the zma and there is no doubt in my mind that it isn't capable of doing what you expect of it to do. Cheers!
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Old 16th May 2016, 19:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
and there is no doubt in my mind that it isn't capable of doing what you expect of it to do.
You mean to say, it won't make it to Leh!! Or did I get something wrong?
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Old 17th May 2016, 09:04   #5
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Default re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
This is a thread to document my Hero Honda Karizma 2004 model which is still going strong even after 12 years. Since I plan to take either this or a new RE Himalayan to the Leh circut soon, hence the renewed interest in this bike which I usually use just for my daily tennis runs which is the main cause of it's low mileage figures of just 7800kms till date.

A few photos -

Attachment 1507610
I have no doubt it can easily conquer Leh - especially as it is hardly used. One of my biggest regrets is selling my 2006 Karizma. I sold to friend who uses it as daily drive and long distance touring - the bike is inching to 100k km and still going strong.
Hero should be criminally charged for ruining the Karizma.
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Old 20th May 2016, 20:08   #6
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Default re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Some more photos put in as per 'request' -

The chrome embellishment says it all

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_1.jpg

Circa 2004 Vintage, falling in love with my old sweetheart all over again

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_2.jpg

Head ON

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_3.jpg

And the beautiful derriere'

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_4.jpg

This angle is not good, anyways

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_5.jpg

That's called well proportioned

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_6.jpg

A close up of the Lumax Headlight. Still just as shiny after 12 years. I doubt whether they maintain the same quality in this era of cost cutting...

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_7.jpg

The beak

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_8.jpg

Right profile of the engine

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_9.jpg

The stainless steel silencer

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_10.jpg

The finish is still impeccable

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_11.jpg

One of the bike's touring highlight. The comfortable saddle

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_12.jpg

'Premium Sports' for it's time

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_13.jpg

The front tyre (2.75 x 18 MRF Nylogrip Zapper - Y). Still quite a bit life left. What say?

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_14.jpg

276 mm single disc up front

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_15.jpg

The Kehlin CV Carb with a CCVI switch

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_16.jpg

What an 'epic' partnership! Sad to see it end...

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_17.jpg

The left hand side controls with push to cancel turn signals which were a fad in those times. Notice the new 'hazard' light switch

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_18.jpg

The right hand side controls

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_19.jpg

The left side engine profile

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_20.jpg

Another look at the engine oil drain plug/nut

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_21.jpg

The fuel cock

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_22.jpg

The oil fill dipstick

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_23.jpg

The brake pedal. Still shiny!

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_24.jpg

The rear tyre. Comments about the condition?

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_25.jpg

It's a 100/90 x 18 MRF Nylogrip Zapper-Y

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_26.jpg

The Saree Guard too is not showing it's age. Notice the lockable helmet lock on top which also doubles up as the seat remover pull lug.

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_27.jpg

The derriere'. A classic!

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_28.jpg

A close up of the twin brake light

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_29.jpg

And.... you heard it, it's a

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_30.jpg

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 20th May 2016 at 20:33.
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Old 20th May 2016, 20:21   #7
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Default re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Still some shots left

The well proportioned fuel tank with knee recesses. 15L (2L reserve) and a 600km range!

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_31.jpg

The cockpit

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_32.jpg

Handlebar mounts

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_33.jpg

The Speedometer Console

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_34.jpg

200kmph is ambitious. But the 5th gear indication is more appropriate, topping at 135kmph.

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_35.jpg

The digital console was something revolutionary at that time

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_36.jpg

The rev meter redlines at 9000rpm!

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_37.jpg

The side mirrors do a good job

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_38.jpg

The parts age well

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_40.jpg

The choke

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-20052016-7830kms_41.jpg

And that's it for now.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 20th May 2016 at 20:35.
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Old 21st May 2016, 10:16   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st May 2016, 10:38   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
This is a thread to document my Hero Honda Karizma 2004 model soon after it was launched in 2003 by the company, and it is still going strong even after 12 years.
Nice to see a legendary bike being maintained well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
The old console body (had got faded) was replaced with this newer one from the ZMR. Though I liked the old one better. 7820 kms on the odo today
I guess you meant ZMA-R. ZMR has a fully digital console.
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Old 21st May 2016, 10:58   #10
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

12 years back, Karizma and Pulsar were the only "performance" bikes around. I remember riding both these specimens in Goa (they were for hire). I distinctly remember being "at home" riding the Karizma. For some reason, I felt riding the Pulsar was like riding a bucking bronco!

Regarding the tyres: I see some cracks in the tyres. Change them if you intend to take the bike to Ladakh.
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Old 21st May 2016, 13:02   #11
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
This is a thread to document my Hero Honda Karizma 2004 model soon after it was launched in 2003 by the company, and it is still going strong even after 12 years. Since I plan to take either this or a new RE Himalayan to the Leh circut soon, hence the renewed interest in this bike which I usually use just for my daily tennis runs which is the main cause of it's low mileage figures of just 7800kms till date
That's how it's done. It's so satisfying to see that the love you had for your ride a decade ago still remains. Only a very few have that respect for their rides.

The rear tyre should be replaced as it has developed cracks on it, although it hasn't run much but nature does have its effects on the rubber, it would be a lot more brittle now and definitely not suitable for the high altitudes and terrains you are planning. Do consider a size wider and preferably off-road tyres as they will suit you well in your upcoming trip.

Happy Riding.
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Old 21st May 2016, 17:14   #12
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Wow , what a clean bike you have there , truely phenomenal condition for a bike that's more than a decade old. Regarding the tires , mate they are shot, they have a high probability of bursting under load and prolonged riding.

Whoever gave you the advice that your tires are good was definitely incompetent.

Rubber starts to loose it's potency around 5 years after its manufacturered so changing your tires is the best thing you can do for your safety .
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Old 21st May 2016, 18:14   #13
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Has your bike run just 7830 kms in the last 12 years? Impeccably maintained... I am on my second Karizma after my cousins 03 karizma got totaled. If only they stuffed this engine into the round headlamped Ambition.
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Old 21st May 2016, 18:27   #14
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Kudos to you dkaile. Specialties/ achievements of this model of Karizma are:

1. On Karizma a man has completed world tour.
2. A young man raced with Rajdhani Express on Karizma (from Pune-Jaipur) and won by 30 minutes.
3. It has been put for a 24 hours test on test track (AUTOCAR INDIA team was also involved in that test).

Bike still shines good, looks like it has been kept in a proper shed and protected from rain and sun light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Finally tighten the oil drain plug carefully with the spring and oil filter in reverse order of removal
..
It is not oil filter but only strainer. Centrifugal filter is located inside of clutch cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
The Kehlin CV Carb with a CCVI switch
Cheers...
Good to have a premium bike with carburetor. What is the function of CCVI switch?

For tyres, I will suggest to for tubeless one.

I suggest keeping some rare parts in stock. May not be required in whole life of bike but once it lost, will be difficult to find.

1. KARIZMA Emblem.
2. Original dip stick.
3. Tail light.
4. Original blinkers.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 22nd May 2016 at 21:43. Reason: Spellings + grammar.
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Old 22nd May 2016, 16:34   #15
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Default Re: 2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong

Tyre Change 22-05-2016 7852 kms

So as per general consensus the tyres were replaced today. Chose to stick to the original size and brand i.e. MRF Nylogrip Zappers; Zapper FS 80/100-18 Tubeless (equivalent to original 2.75-18 which were available only in tubetype) for the front and Zapper Y 100/90-18 Tubeless for the rear. Total cost was 3000 bucks after payback of 400 bucks for my old tyres which had quite a bit of tread life left and these guys polish them and sell them to people who use their bikes just locally. Kept both tubes for emergency usage while traveling to Leh as both were in excellent condition. Both tyres were 2016 manufactured.

This brand is still the safest bet in this category irrespective of what the competition says

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_5.jpg

The Front Tyre

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_4.jpg

The balanced tread provides excellent dry and wet traction and sharp cornering ability

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_6.jpg

80/100-18 M/C (Motorcycle) 47P rated

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_7.jpg

Manufactured in 10th week (March) of 2016

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_8.jpg

Both are Tubeless and ISI marked

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_9.jpg

The Rear Tyre

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_3.jpg

The Zapper-Y tread with extended shoulders and sharp cornering ability

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_10.jpg

100/90-18 M/C 56P rated

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_11.jpg

Manufactured in the 16th week (April) of 2016

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_12.jpg

Aligned the Yellow dot with the Valve Body

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_13.jpg

The fitment process-
As usual they kept the rims on blank floor causing minor scuff marks before I could tell them to put a cloth underneath

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The Rear Tyre before fitment

Name:  Karizma MRF Tyre Change 22052016_15.jpg
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The bike with the new rubber

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_1.jpg

2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong-karizma-mrf-tyre-change-22052016_2.jpg

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 22nd May 2016 at 16:35.
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