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Old 26th February 2008, 01:57   #1
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Default Purchase Advice Guys !! - Karizma / P220 / Avenger 200

Hi everyone,

It's been ages since I posted anything on Team BHP after my intro (for which quite a few appreciation messages were received) in Oct 2006. I did contribute to some threads in Nov/Dec 2006 though. Got busy with my job after that.

Anyway, I own a CBZ with front disc brake (June 2001 model) and I have been enjoying the bike. I have been getting 43-44 kmpl of mileage since the time I got it and I have been very happy with it.

Once I got back from Australia in Sep 2006 after my MBA, I spent a bit on the bike and got a new set of tyres, Roots horn, good seat cover, alloy wheels etc. Spent slightly more than 6k overall. People still aren't able to believe that my bike is 6.5 yrs old today. I shall post some snaps of the bike shortly.

The tyres I got were - FKR (Malaysian) 120/80 for the rear and 2.75/18 for the front. I was planning to change the front to a 90/90 MRF Zapper but have put it on hold for now since I have decided to change my bike !!

Ok coming to the main topic, the 3 bikes in the subject are my choices.

I would like to mention that I test drove the Pulsar 220 and Avenger 200 today afternoon at the Bajaj Probiking showroom in Adyar, Chennai.

My observations were:

(1) The Avenger was supremely comfortable to sit and ride. Everything from the controls, foot positioning, seats etc was very good. It was a world of difference between this bike and my CBZ.

(2) Power was good too and engine was quite smooth. The bike felt very stable (without losing balance) even at a low speed of 15 kmph, where we would generally have to put a foot down on sporty bikes like the CBZ, Pulsar etc.

(3) However there is only a speedometer and no tachometer (unlike my CBZ which has both). In other words, the instrumentation is VERY basic.

(4) The Pulsar 220 had excellent pick up and the engine was very refined. The difference made by fuel injection as opposed to carburetion was very obvious. The bike just zoomed.

(5) The riding position in the Pulsar 220 was a bit too sporty for my taste. It was more sporty than my CBZ. Especially after test riding the Avenger 200, this was too much of a contrast.

(6) The mirrors mounted on the fairing were a complete let-down. Almost 60-70% of the mirrors showed only my arms and shoulders and a bit of the pillion. I had only about 20-25% of the road, which was very disappointing. I am of the type who can't ride a bike or drive a car without seeing the side mirrors or wearing the seatbelts. This was a total disappointment for me.

(7) The gearshift had only a toe shifter. I can't see myself riding this bike to office everyday in stop and go traffic, and spoiling my formal shoes with this toe shifter !!

I came to the conclusion that since I am not getting younger by the day, the Avenger 200 was far more suitable for me than the Pulsar 220, even though the Pulsar 220 is technologically the most advanced Indian bike in the market as of today. Comfort wise the Avenger was beautiful and I felt it was a much more practical bike to own compared to these sports bikes.

Price wise too, the Avenger is around 69k on road while the Pulsar 220 costs around 87k on road. I seriously don't feel that bike is worth that much extra.

BHPians, please do provide your opinions on this.

As for the Karizma, I have been reading a lot about it on this forum as well as others but I have not had a chance to test ride this bike till date. Hence I can't say anything. My friends tell me that this is quite a sporty bike as well with a much more refined and powerful engine than the CBZ. Do you guys think I should try out the Karizma as well ?

Another thing I hear is that there may be a fuel injected version of the Karizma released shortly, though there is no confirmed information from the company. I am sure if released, this fuel injected Karizma would be at least 6-8k more than the normal carburetted version. Is it worth waiting for this version ?

I am in quite a dilemma now to be frank. I have almost deleted the Pulsar 220 from my choices but whether to wait for the fuel injected Karizma or not is my question.

Another concern on my mind is about the quality of the parts in the Avenger (chrome plating on the mirrors, silencer etc) and quality of Bajaj products in general. Though my Probiking showroom experience was good, I am worried on this area. My idea is to use the Avenger for 2-3 years max and then go for an upgrade, since there may be much better cruisers available in the market at that time.

I am planning to buy the bike around April. So there is still some time to look out for anything new in the market before deciding.

One more point I would like to raise is about the resale value of my 6.5 year old CBZ. I am being offered a max of 15k for the bike by the Probiking showroom as part of the exchange offer. I thought this was a bit low. I am of the opinion that I can get at least 20-25k for this bike. Please feel free to give me your opinions on this. The bike has done about 35,000 kms as on date and has been maintained very well. No accidents etc.

Any Karizma owners in Chennai reading this post of mine, it would be great if someone could offer me a test ride on your bike as I don't think the showroom currently provides test rides. Someone told me 2 days back that Karizma is available only on order and there is a waiting period of almost one month.

Well, I shall end my post here as it has become much longer than intended. However I have put down all my thoughts.

Kindly request you all to share your thoughts / views / opinions and any other useful information on the bikes I am considering.

Thanks guys ......

Warm regards,

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Old 26th February 2008, 12:04   #2
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Default Awaiting your views guys !!

Hey BHPians .... surprising that there's not been even a single response to my message posted yesterday ...... others whose messages were posted after mine have got replies.

I'm eagerly awaiting your opinions as my decision would depend to a great extent on what you guys say.

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Old 26th February 2008, 12:06   #3
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Hey, looks like you have done your homework really well. though long, perhaps one of the most sensible posts I have read.

Great to know you have maintained your CBZ so well - but 20k is max you can expect for it. The second hand market it more keen on mileage and a basic bike-moped Splendor may get you 20k easily but 25k for 6.5 years CBZ is unlikely, at least in my area.

As for Avenger - I have loved this bike very much, and was contemplating buying it as well. But it would be my second bike and I would like to keep it for long. Knowing Bajaj quality in general, I decided against it. It's a great cruiser, very comfortable and value for money - but not very reliable. If you are planning to change it after 2-3 years, you can consider it. Here is some info. I got on Avenger -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ger-200-a.html (Considering buying new Avenger 200)

Pulsar 220 as you have wisely decided, is best to avoid.

Karizma/ZMA is a great performance bike and HH is much more reliable than Bajaj (see comparison of P220 with ZMA somewhere on this forum). but ZMA Fi is still just a speculation. You decide if you like it only when you have tried the bike.

Apache RTR eFi was supposed to be released in Feb, but there is no news from TVS guys, it may be launched in March - so you can see if you like it. TVS is much, much better in terms of quality & reliability as compared to Bajaj. I am also eagerly awaiting RTR eFi - let's see.

Let us know what you decide finally -- and what factor affected your decision!
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:07   #4
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BTW, new Avenger 200 does not have a kick start, it only has self start - and Bajaj starter motors known to have problems often...consider that!! Another factor is Avenger should be serviced only at Bajaj probiking centers....so you may want to find out the distance of nearest service station from your place!
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:28   #5
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may be you should really consider getting a car (first of second) since as you have said, you are not getting any younger.

the ZMA is a good bike and is very reliable compared to the P220.
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:38   #6
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Out of the three bikes you have mentioned, i would recommend you the Karizma any day. The ZMA is a fantastic bike and though not having all the advancements like the P220 its surely as good as the P220 and is very reliable unlike the 220.

Also why not look at the P200, it looks by far the best bike on sale today and costs around the Avenger's price.
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:39   #7
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Its tough to compare A200 and P220 or Zma

if ur cruiser lover then go for A200.
A200 is not very good on terrible roads but with Zma and P220 u can easily manage that

Though popular belief is that A200 is very comfortable but i would beg to differ from that. As indian roads is combination of good, bad and terrible roads so A200 will cause some trouble.

i dont recommend cruisers to anyone unless ur a diehard fan of Cruisers.
Best bet is P220 or Zma or P200.

my recommendation - P200
highly vfm product.

but if u can afford to buy P220 there is nothing like it.
Zma is a capable machine but it comes with high maintainence cost.

I own a P220 and ridden more than 11K kms on it.
I use it every day to commute and everyweekend for touring.
Bike never gave me any problem. It takes 30minutes to get used to the riding position.
Once u get used to it u'll never feel any problem.

Plus P220 has best headlights. I dont miss HID on my bike after having such a powerful headlights.
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:48   #8
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Avenger 200 would suit you well you yourself has told that you're not getting any younger. It's comfortable, able, has good slow speed manners and is capable of higher speeds too and would be better in comfort compared to the P220 over longer distances. Don't let the basic instrumentation let you down. It's only a minor grievance.

On a P220 other people would expect you to go faster and you might have to live up to that image If you feel that zest to race or go faster it's a good choice.

Even the Karizma imo feels more mature than the P220. And could be a perfect balance between the Avenger and the P220. Only thing going against it is that the design is old.
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:57   #9
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I think you should go for the A200 since you have liked the bike so muc, The riding posture for both P220 & P200 is same.

Karizma has a very good resale, I sold off my two year old zma for 52k

I believe even Avenger would have a better resale as there are not many changes in body unlike the pulsars.
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Old 26th February 2008, 12:59   #10
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Hi VSG1277,
I have been driving an Avenger 180 for almost 2 years now (bought it as soon as it was launched)
Its a great bike, no problems till now, a very comfortable cruiser both for intra city and inter city drives.
I get a constant milage in the range of 35-40.
I used to ride a Pulasr 150 before and I used to face back pains (my daily commute is about 50kms).
If there are people who talk about quality issues, i completely disagree with them..not once, not even once has my Avi let me down.
Think about it
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:40   #11
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you want a comfortable ride go for avenger, if you still want a sports bike then please go for karizma with out a second thought. its the best trouble free premium sports tourer!
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Old 26th February 2008, 18:17   #12
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If you have a 1 lac budget, check out the new Machismo 500. Heard it is pretty good.
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Old 26th February 2008, 19:43   #13
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Hi Manish,

Good info there from you. Yes ... I have decided to eliminate the P220 from my list of choices. It's gonna be either the Karizma or the Avenger 200.

Manish .... the point on the service centre that you have mentioned is a valid and important one. The Probiking showroom/srvice centre is about 2.5-3 kms from my place. Takes hardly 10 mins to reach there by bike. So that's not a problem at all.

Last edited by Technocrat : 26th February 2008 at 20:08. Reason: Consecutive posts
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Old 26th February 2008, 20:19   #14
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BUSA .... advice taken regarding the reliability of the Karizma. Many of my friends as well as others on this forum have been mentioning the same thing. This point has now set me thinking again on whether to go in for any Bajaj product now. Well at least until they improve their quality and reliability to somewhere nearabout Hero Honda / Honda levels. But ...... I really loved the Avenger 200's ride and comfortable seating position. It felt so relaxed to ride that bike. Compared to that, since I test drove the Pulsar 220 right after the Avenger 200, it was a huge difference.

THEBAGCHI .... is the Avenger 200 really that bad on bad roads ? Well I wouldn't say my CBZ (2001 model) takes to bad roads really well. You just ride on those bad patches since there is no other choice. I guess some bikes are slightly better than others in handling these bad patches. But I'm keeping what you have mentioned in mind. Thanks for the same.

To everyone else who replied to this post of mine, thanks a ton guys. Lots of useful info.

Hero Honda's customer service is really bad. I realised this today morning when I went to the same showroom from where I had purchased my CBZ in May 2001. All bike models with their prices were listed on a board in the showroom but nobody bothered to even come and ask me what I was looking for. Pathetic really. Then a guy slowly came up to me and asked me after almost 10 mins of looking around, reading pamphlets etc.

Shockingly, the Karizma was the only model which WAS NOT on display !! They had every other model on display. Even worse, I was told they had only 2 black Karizmas in stock, which could be delivered even in 2 days. It seems all other colours would take a month from the time of booking !!! Atrocious, I thought to myself. I then asked if a test ride would be possible, which was denied immediately. The answer was "we don't give test rides sir. if you book the bike, we can arrange it for you."

That did not make sense at all !! I mean, without knowing whether you would actually be buying the bike, who would put 10k down for booking it, and then taking the test ride ??!! It was absurd, to say the least. I was really put off with all this, but still decided to get all the price and finance details. The Karizma according to the herohonda.com website, costs 74k ex-showroom in Chennai. The on-road price is 79k. I had this "great quality and reliability" point about the Karizma in mind when I went into the showroom but this experience today has really put me off.

And I am a person who thinks customer service is one of the most important factors to be considered when purchasing any product, having worked in technical support (for HP/Compaq - email support) for over 3 years, and now handling credit card related complaints at HSBC Chennai.

Even if the customer service after purchase is bad, at least the showroom visit experience should be a good one to get a sale done. But even this was absent. I am at a loss for words to describe my disppointment with the Hero Honda showroom visit experience today morning. Having experienced this kind of service today, I am not sure what can really make me go for the Karizma. Stocks taking a month to arrive, no test rides. I can't blindly put 80k on a bike and take it, can I ?

Even these guys offered me 15k max for my 2001 CBZ. I feel I would be able to get a bit more through a private sale. My 1st bet would be to put it on this forum in the classifieds section.

Pardon me for another long post guys, but I have to share my Bajaj Probiking showroom experience with you all.

I had visited the showroom yesterday morning. The showroom itself is so neatly done up with nice air conditioning, bikes nicely displayed, some of the components with their cut out sections in a separate area in the showroom etc. Plus, there was the dyno room where you could actually sit on the P220 / Avenger 200 and ride them to the max speed. All the riding info appeared on the LCD straight ahead. The guy who attended to me gave me all details on both the bikes and was prepared to answer any questions I had regarding the bikes. This was something I really liked.

I was told that the full amount would have to be paid and from then, the bike could be delivered within 10 working days. This sounded good.

The special thing was, I was told that if desired, there was a free door delivery of the bike being offered !!! It seems the bike would be delivered at your doorstep in a special Probiking truck, free of cost if opted for by the customer. Wow...... this was definitely a first in the Indian market !!! As for the test ride, he just took down my name, mobile number and driving licence number in a register and then off we went for the test ride. The test rides were very good, as I had already described in my previous post.

After coming back, I told the guy about my intention of doing a buyback with my 2001 CBZ. And he said he would have a look at the bike and tell me. I gave him the keys and he ordered some tea for me, while giving me the pamphlets for both the bikes. He was back in about 5-10 mins and said the bike was in an exemplary condition and that the max offer would be 15k. He put the pamphlets and price list in a neat Probiking envelope and wrote his name and number at the back and handed it over to me, and asked me to contact him when I was ready.

I came out of the showroom as a happy prospective customer !! The extent to which I was satisfied with the showroom / test ride experience is shown by the fact that I am sitting here spending so much time to type all this to share with everyone on this forum. Personally, I feel Bajaj is a company that's taking customer feedback seriously to improve their products as well as the showroom experience. This is probably one of the 1st companies in India to have introduced ONLINE BOOKING for their vehicles !!!

I was completely floored with all this. But, the quality and reliability factor is without a doubt an important one and this remains in my mind as of this moment - regarding the Karizma. Is it wise to completely ignore the customer service / showroom experience and book the Karizma ? I'm not sure on that. After all this, the dilemma stays on.

The fairing mounted mirrors on the P220 are a complete let-down in my opinion and has prompted me to eliminate the bike from my list of choices. It's gonna be either the Avenger 200 or the Karizma. No info from anywhere regarding the Karizma FI version. Someone told me the FI Karizma was on display at the Auto Expo. Is this true ?

Eagerly look forward to your replies everyone.

Warm regards,
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Old 26th February 2008, 20:21   #15
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hay dude i will say that wt for yamaha r15 to come sothat the price are official dude if its under 1 lakh it would be the best option for you
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