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Old 30th May 2008, 20:03   #1
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Default Caliber: My First and Fav. bike

My father used to ride on Girnar 150 scooter ( this brand will be unknown to most of you ) for around 15 years. Then it was evident that the scooter wont pull on for long and has started giving trouble. So it was time for a new two wheeler. My father decided upon Splendor, but was not comfortable with the bike and also the cost was a bit high for our budget at that time. So we thought of Bajaj Boxer. All four of us went to Bajaj showroom, parked our 800 and then instantly stared at Boxer. At that time, Caliber was on display but not avaliable. Booking was supposssed to be opened in a few days.

My mom instantly disliked Boxer for the looks so did sister. I was looking at Caliber after the initial glance at Boxer. My mother then said that Caliber has got better looks. My father wanted to avoid Caliber ( after all it was his money to be spent and he was the prime user ) but we were just stuck upon the beauty ( for me it was very beautiful, much more than my present zues ). Eventually owing to family member's pressure, my dad booked Caliber after two days from A.S. Motors, Vadodara. Then on 1st Feb 1999, we were suppossed to get delivery of the bike. My father went to Varna ( a place near Vadodara where A.S. motors stockyard was ) to take the bike. There were only three calibers sold in Vadodara and ours was fourth.

As soon as the bike came home after the RTO stuff, almost everyone from neighbours came and started looking at Caliber. They were surprised to find a Bajaj bike with us. Someone commented that Splendor was better than this and we said nothing. After the celebration, I was just sitting on the bike and appreciated rpm meter, a necessary thing absent even on most of today's bikes. At that time I was 12years old, yet had a lot of technical knowledge. Then my father decided to offer me to ride as a pillion on the bike. I was filled with immense joy, and literally tried to jump on the bike but i fell down. Now I realised that is not a scooter's rear seat, and it was pretty high for jumping unlike Girnar's.

Got up and climbed onto it. It had got fantastic headlight and the meters were a joy to observe ( I had habit of observing the meters since I was 5-6 years old, then we had President and Girnar, though girnar meter wont work ) and orange color impressed me. ride was better than Girnar and the exhaust note made everyone look at us at shopping center at IPCL township vadodara ( where we were residing ). Was real fun and I felt proud of MY bike.

Time passed by and dad bought a plot for construction the house where from where I am writing this. Even today the roads are non existent, and at that time it was farm. Caliber used to daily travel till this place for my dad's sightseing . I would be with him ocassionaly. I felt bad for the bike as it had to go thorough roads where only tractors and bullock carts went. The bike was now, in my opinion, abused. I told my dad that he was doing wrong with bike. At that time he told me he hadnt bought the bike to keep in museum ( now I really understand what he said and what he did ). Days passed by and we shifted into this house in 2000. The bike now took my father to IPCL plant 13kms one way. Was now the workhorse of family ( the other being My hercules topgear ) and as it was new locality, we had to usually search around a lot for the things.

In 2001, came earthquake. My maternal grandfather who was living in 200 year old house just survived this. Their old house came down crashing. Location is 110 kms from A'bad and in saurashtra. Basically they were small Rajwada before independence. The house was old type constructed out someother thing than Cement. We got the news off late the next day because of the telephone lines out of order. Immediately we went to some pvt. travels office and asked about the road conditions. He told that they cant ply busses because the road are broken. So our car cant go. My dad started with Caliber to this place 165kms from our house the next day. The bike took everything in its stride and it was real go anywhere bike of that time with great torque. Cruising at 70 was not a problem. Nobody died, but the whole house was now nothing but huge and heavy debris.

Till now the caliber returned 69-66kmpl with my father's driving. He always accelerated slowly than others. But it resulted in great effeciency. Bike used to visited service center at 15kms intervals and oil changed by self at every 4k kms. Because calibers were rare, people would sometimes stare at us and occassionaly gave unwanted instruction to sell this bike off and get the standard bike " splendor ". We ignored them. This bike was great for monsoon also, as we soon find out. It was able to invade into sometimes really deep waters collected on the roads. Two people on the bike 2nd gear, 4K rpm and it was enough for most of the purpose. spares till now were not required and no accidnets on this bike till now! mean while the bike completed 50K in 2004.

It was now my turn to ride the bike in August,2005 when bike had cloked 65K kms. Now my heart was on this bike. Leant quickly thanks to technical information and rpm meter. In fact I learnt to ride a bike wathcing rpm meter! Gear shifts at 2.5k even with 180kg load of people was not a problem. Got liscence and dad moved onto 800. The next month , we bought Baleno. It was now MY BIKE. The earlier spirit was not like this I felt and initially appreciated Automatic transmission ( I am a bit lazy AFA gear shifting is concerned ), but then within 2 months I was now very happy with the bike. I rode it like a performance bike extending it to 6K before each gearshift.

But when I serviced it, the service advisor told me that engine is gone and will not work for more than 5K kms. I then started analysing the bike and came to conclusion that the valves need replacement. Piston ring is also in need of replacement. The bike acutally stopped in shallow water collected on roads. But decided to pull on with it. Nothing was that major. I was now doing 8K before each gearshift and once did 22km journey in 18mins and the most part was highway where i touched 95 indicated. It must be 85 in reality. I was in full enjoyment mode despite the now evident power loss. But now I discoverd when surying for engine overhauling that the spares are now not avaliable in proper quality at any place. Bajaj dealer was rude and said I dont have technicians. My heart was now crying becasue I had abused the bike. Still it was returning 55kmpl.

Now my elder sister was now learning the bike. She got the liscence and now I realised that bike has competed 88K+ kms. False neuterals were too much and finally I took dad' s permission for 15k rs. upgradation to Hodibaba. Dealer was not responding and parts were not with him. So my father said it was time for a new bike. Was confused with Shine and Zeus. The one who gave more rs. for caliber in exchange will get me as customer. Suzuki gave me 12K for a now 90K kms completed bike. Bought zeus. And when at the dealership they took away MY CAKIBER, I was in tears. Literally. It was closet I came to real joy and it was my friend, the one who took many of my frustation in the form of 2nd gear full throttle rides. I loved it. Now I realised that if I had used it properly, that bike would have done 1,25,000 kms overall. I crave for that punchy exhaust ( my third fav. exhaust after HD, Superbikes) Zeus was selected apart from price, because it had tachometer. I simply cannot ride a bike without tacho.

This was sad ending. Really sad.


some positives:
1) excellent handling.
2) great FE
3) great looks
4) great electircals. ( the original horn was still there ) They could power 5560W bulb
5) Perfect Exhaust note.
6) Good reliability.

I dont think of any negatives of this bike now. It was solid and excellent performer and I used to ride it at 80kmph in city also. I am also not giving maintence details as this is for appreciateing my associtation with the bike.



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Old 30th May 2008, 20:55   #2
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Torture we gave to the bike.
The Bajaj Spirits in our family ( one for my sister and one for me ) would frequently break down. And the nearest Bajaj Authorized Service center was 7.2kms away and includes a section of flyover.

We specially bought a rope for towing spritis! How:
My after tying up rope on Spirit, the rope would then be tied to the rear grabrail of Caliber. This bike had very strong grabrail. My father ( 94-96kg) would ride Caliber and me ( 86kg ) would sit on Spirit. In this manner, we rode to that service station and the bike would climb the flyover with this load of two person and one vehicle in 3rd gear at 4K rpm. This is not the Caliber engine was designed for, but we did this. People laughed at us, but it was appreciaton and complemetns for us.

Our choise of vehicles have always been odd in general except M800.
Spirit not scooty, Caliber not Splendor, Baleno not NHC, Bajaj Kristal and not scooty pep, Zues and not Discover.

After the first week of Zeus was complete, I went to a local tyrewallah to get the typre pressure checked( mostly monday is the day). Some one came to me and asked " Did you sell your Caliber ? ". I was shocked to find that many poeple knew we had caliber and now they all know I have Zeus. Zeus is even rarer to find than Caliber.

After hearing this, I wanted to cry, but it was a public place so in very difficult fashion, I tried to smile and say " yes , and did that for 12K rs. "
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Old 30th May 2008, 21:54   #3
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WOW!that was a report straight from your heart.I too own a caliber.It is a improved version, the one with new graphics,clear lens headlight,bigger drum etc.This is the only 100cc bike which I feel can be ridden like a perfoomance bike.Its got a relatively good top speed of 90-95 as well although mileage isint that great.
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Old 30th May 2008, 22:35   #4
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@Veelubai:
Thanks for appreciation.

Yes, correct, this is straight from my heart !


Yes this is the only bike from economy segment that can be ridden like a performacne one. And the bike also enjoys this. glad to know that there is someone who is also a Caliber Fan. I am one. I might own bigger machines in future, but then very clearly, I will always remember this bike. For me Caliber was the best there was, the best there is and the best economy segment bike.

I would like to add one improvement: All calibers irrespective of generation are 111.63 cc.

But it always i.e.the torque always makes it feel like it has a bigger heart and it does have one!
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Old 30th May 2008, 23:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
We specially bought a rope for towing spritis! How:
My after tying up rope on Spirit, the rope would then be tied to the rear grabrail of Caliber. This bike had very strong grabrail. My father ( 94-96kg) would ride Caliber and me ( 86kg ) would sit on Spirit. In this manner, we rode to that service station and the bike would climb the flyover with this load of two person and one vehicle in 3rd gear at 4K rpm. This is not the Caliber engine was designed for, but we did this.
Umm, couple of things.
Caliber earlier one WAS 99cc if I recall. That's the one I have. Good fun decent bike overall though. Great bike but the P180 is better

And yes, mine did alot more tugging from 2up bullets in dangs, to 48km dragging a splendor, to CBZ and coupla more bikes. It does just fine
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Old 30th May 2008, 23:50   #6
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Umm, couple of things.
Caliber earlier one WAS 99cc if I recall. That's the one I have. Good fun decent bike overall though. Great bike but the P180 is better

And yes, mine did alot more tugging from 2up bullets in dangs, to 48km dragging a splendor, to CBZ and coupla more bikes. It does just fine
Thanks for participating, phamilyman.
I think that all the calibers had bore X stroke dimensions of 53mm as bore and 50.6mm as stroke.
I would love to have more information about your bike. I am open to any upgradation about calibers, because I love Calibers.
Please check back and tell me.

And it can do duty of a rescue vehicle in emergency conditions. Its a major plus point and yes, it does fine.
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Old 31st May 2008, 00:26   #7
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Nice write up there aggoswami!! And if i am correct thats the Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber that you owned.
It was amongst my list of bikes back in 2002 and almost the most sough after for my dad having his own reasons for not buying me the HH CBZ, but finally buying me a Pulsar 150. I was content with whatever i got then.
IIRC, there was also this bike called Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber Kroma (the one with a headlight fairing and disc brake) launched as in a special edition i think in the Caliber range.

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Old 31st May 2008, 09:44   #8
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Nice write up there aggoswami!! And if i am correct thats the Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber that you owned.
It was amongst my list of bikes back in 2002 and almost the most sough after for my dad having his own reasons for not buying me the HH CBZ, but finally buying me a Pulsar 150. I was content with whatever i got then.
IIRC, there was also this bike called Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber Kroma (the one with a headlight fairing and disc brake) launched as in a special edition i think in the Caliber range.

dhaval
Thanks for appreciating.

Yes I am talking about the Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber. Our version was the first one with 110mm drum brakes. Later it was avaliable with 130mm brake and new dials and different ( very slightly different ) Graphics.

Yes correct, there was Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber Croma with a different looks headlight and front disc brake. It was the first economy segment bike with front disc brake as Standard ( in Croma ). There was one bike called Aspire loosely based on Caliber.

The disc brake was then never offered even as an option on the Caliber 115.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 17:03   #9
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Thanks for appreciating.

There was one bike called Aspire loosely based on Caliber...

...The disc brake was then never offered even as an option on the Caliber 115.
Yes i do remember that bike. And it was not just loosely based on the Caliber, but in reality a very loose bike where the parts would easily come off(read that as cheap built quality)..lol!! My friend had one and he would often complain about things coming off from his Aspire. He exchanged it for Splendor instead in just 1.5 years.

Also Caliber 115 is not much to talk about.

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Old 3rd June 2008, 08:54   #10
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Yes i do remember that bike. And it was not just ...

dhaval
Aspire was just a shortcut to revive the falling sales of Caliber.
Caliber 115 was in market for a very short period of time and not many people took to it. Actually after the initial sales ( the caliber was the first bike apart from splendor that did 2,00,000 sales in 18months then it was Victor ), caliber sales were never good.

115 though a good bike, was never taken positively in the market. A couple of my friends own one and even today i find them better than my present bike Suzuki Zeus.
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