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Old 11th July 2007, 12:43   #1
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Default KARIZMA: 50,000km long term report

Background:

The CBZ was responsible for giving birth to the biking bug in me! My dad, after weeks of pestering finally let me buy a 2nd hand silver CBZ (a June 2000) model on 26th Jan 2001. It taught me a lot, about biking, how to respect power (yeah 12.8bhp of power!), how to ride long distances and a lot more. I always wanted more and finally in May 2003, I saw the Karizma's launch on TV. Couldnt wait to get my hands on her. Finally on 15th June 2003, got myself a silver Karizma from the very first batch of Karizmas to roll out of the HH factory


New found love
43% more cubic-capacity, 31% more power and most importantly, 48% more torque : was I a happy rider? Oh yeah. It was hard resisting ripping the bike for the first 1000kms but still I did

The rest is history. The bike was a stunner (in those days), an eye candy, a chic magnet to an extent too.


Looks, design - 8/10
This has been a bit of a controversial topic but for many but for me, the ZMA looks just fine. Ok, the tyres need to be broad, but then we all know HH, dont we

The fairing gives hints of the earlier version VFRs as well as the Varadero from the Honda stable. As the lines flow backwards, it gets better, with the tail light being the best in the business (back then.. now it is the p220 no doubt). I did crib about the thin tyre though.. (running a wider looking Michelin now) The alloys look cool too.

Going by the number of stares I got on the road, i can safely say the ZMA does look good.


Suspension/Handling 9/10 (cutting 0.5 for bad stock tyres)
This is one of the strongest points i see in the bike. I love offroading and I do it everytime i head out for a long trip, mostly in Himachal Pradesh. I dont consider myself a dirt-bike pro, but still, standing on the pegs and ripping thru bad roads, the ZMA holds itself very very well. No doubt, every passing year, the no of ZMAs taking part in the Raid too is going up.
Handling wise, again, Im no Rossi, but like an avg rider, love leaning the bike around turns and it does not disappoint. The new p220 handles better but then I talking about my 2003 bike.
I have toured a lot on this bike, across flats and across broken roads. She feels very planted at high speeds (pune-mumbai-surat-ahm-delhi, 1690kms, 31hrs) and even when i rode to Mlore and back from Pune in the bloody July 2005 monsoons, I had no issues with the bike.
I seriously recommend users to switch over to better rubber. With the M45 Michelins, she handles even better.

Braking/tyres 8.5/10
Again the stock tyres spoil the fun, specially on wet/muddy roads. Otherwise, the braking and tyres for normal usage are just fine

Fuel economy 8/10
When you ride a 'power' bike (by indian standards), you should not worry about this. Neither do i.
Ridden fast (not rash) in city, she delivers 34-36kmpl regularly
85-90km/h cruising on the highway sees her stretching it to 40kmpl
95-100km/h cruising with 120km/h blasts quite often brings the fig down to 32-33kmpl

Engine, performance, refinement 9/10
The best for the last
Smoothness is the first thing that hits you when you ride this bike. HH engines are known for this and ZMA is no exception. Some say the engine has been picked up from the Honda CRF series.. have no idea about it.

Perf wise, in Delhi, during our xbhp meets, we have seen ZMAs going past the 140km/h mark. I myself have done around 138km/h (on the clock, around 125km/h true). Acceleration is good too (14.05 secs to 100km/h), but the best part is the torque low down in the rev range. Helps a lot while touring. The big may seem heavy, but you can really ride this machine fast.

The engine is quite reliable and has examples to back it up. OD mag's 24hr non stop run, Dr Arn's 1751kms in 24hrs on real road and the recent 2400+kms in 36hrs and my personal 1690kms in 31hrs. The bike can hold 105-110km/h all day long without a fuss and the softly tuned engine doesnt feel overly stressed.

Issues I have had
Often it happens that the product might be good, but with the company not backing it up properly, it generates a bad name. This is also the case here. Parts are very expensive (body as well as running parts). And on top of that their unavailability is a big issue (even in Delhi). The company should seriously do something about this.
The horn is not good, the stock seat sucks for touring and so do the stock tyres. And yes, there is so much potential from the engine. If HH wants, they can easily generate a couple of more BHP but why they arent doing it is a mystery.
Price seems high if you compare it with a p180, but seems ok when compared with a p220.

Trips undertaken on the bike
1. Nov 2003 : Del-Shimla-Fagu-Matiana-Del
2. June 2004 : Del-Shimla-Rohru-Mussoorie-Del
3. Aug 2004 : Del-Dhanaulti-Rohru-Larot-Shimla-Del
4. Sep 2004 : Del-Shimla-Kufri-Chail-Del
5. Dec 2004 : Del-Chail-Naranda-Rohru-Theog-Chaupal-Paonta-Del
6. June 2005 : Del-Shimla-Rohru-Larot-Narkanda-Del
7. July 2005 : Pune-Belgaum-Dharwad-Mangalore-Pune
8. Oct 2005 : Pune-Surat-Ahm-Del
9. Nov 2005 : Del-Shimla-Rohru-Narkanda-Jalori-Aut-Chd-Del
10. June 2006: Del-Shimla-Rampur-Peo-Nako-Tabo-Kunzum-Rohtang-Manali-Del
11. Dec 2006 : Del-Narkanda-Hattu-Chindi-Mandi-Mcleodganj-Del
12. Jan 2007 : Del-Shimla-Rampur-Kalpa-Rohru-Del
13. June 2007 : Mumbai-Amby Valley-Mumbai


Overall, I have been one satisfied happy HH ZMA owner. Love the bike a lot, it stood by me in tough conditions. Im currently using M45 Michelins (front and rear), heavily padded seat, HP perf filter, and the stock exhaust but w/o the cat-con. Yes, there a minute perf increase but due to the mileage clocked, the overall perf remains same.
Im happy with the bike, but not with HH due to the above written things. I was looking at the p220, but now have decided to wait for something substantially more powerful to come


Some pics

My 1st himalayan ride, nov 2003


The original silver color. pic taken during an all Karizma ride in Delhi


Me with the bike during the solo dec 2006 ride


The new castrol look


During the June 2006 ride : worlds highest electronically operated pump


During the nov 2005 ride


Oct 2005 non-stop ride from pune to delhi


Taken in Pune


A lil photoshop-ed image, in Pune, on a yet to be opened road (non-public)

Last edited by BunnyPunia : 11th July 2007 at 12:57.
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Old 11th July 2007, 13:45   #2
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Well written account, Looks like you have quit long trips in your zma....
Enjoy !!

Pics are excellent too...

Abhi
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Old 16th July 2007, 15:59   #3
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Haha. That was a nice account.

And Bunny, did you change tensioner? I've done so within 11k kms.
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Old 16th July 2007, 16:12   #4
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scary : got it changed quite sometime back.. over an yr or so. its makin that sound again... i know it needs another replacement.. soon!
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Old 16th July 2007, 16:41   #5
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Still.
I'm jealous. 50k kms with only 1 tensioner change.
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Old 16th July 2007, 16:43   #6
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i dont rip her much
plus i think coz it is from the first batch, it helped me stretch it this far...
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Old 16th July 2007, 17:29   #7
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Great write up and good pictures Bunny !
Keep 'em coming !
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Old 16th July 2007, 18:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyPunia View Post
i dont rip her much
plus i think coz it is from the first batch, it helped me stretch it this far...
LOL.

Yes. HH First batch users are the happy lot. Quite unlike Bajaj where first batch users always end up crying.

Looks like all those troubles back in the day to somehow get the Kari and sell CBZ without dad's help, paid off. Lucky You.
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Old 16th July 2007, 21:13   #9
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50k up?

Wonderful report. Have been following your rides ever since i joined Xbhp about 2 years back. Too bad couldn't see the biek during the GIR.

In most departments, you seem to have mentioned that P220 is better. Which bike do you recommend? (Read XBhp article on P220, am asking your personal opinion as an ZMA rider)
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Old 16th July 2007, 23:10   #10
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excellent write up , keep it up dude !
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Old 17th July 2007, 15:52   #11
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the p220 is no doubt a better vfm bike.. good for someone upgradin from a 150cc bike or so but not so for a zma rider.. mainly coz u end up spendin like 30-40k (price diff between an old zma and a new p220) for a 3bhp more powerful machine. yes the goodies are there but then see the price diff too (30-40k..)

if some one has none of the bikes and has to choose between the two, no doubt the p220
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Old 4th August 2007, 00:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarySkulls View Post
Still.
I'm jealous. 50k kms with only 1 tensioner change.
even i have done 31 K on my stock tensioner . And still it is working fine .
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Old 18th December 2007, 16:27   #13
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Bunny bro, i own a karizma. U said that u changed the stock seats.What changes did you do in the seats.
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Old 18th December 2007, 16:44   #14
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Nice review there, Bunny. Very well written and the bike still looks great!
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Old 18th December 2007, 21:38   #15
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Nice to see the views of a fellow Zmaian. Coyuld you elobrate more on what you have done to your seat? Cos i have padded my seat with a layer of Foam, cant go more than 350 kms continiously in a day.

1600+ kms in 31 hrs, that must have been crazy man!
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