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Old 5th February 2009, 23:36   #1
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Thumbs up Buying a ‘Premium’ motorcycle in India and my R15 experience

Recently (November, 2008) I was into the market for buying a motorcycle [henceforth called bike, in our local parlance]

I have driven a few bikes in India – But the ones I’ve used for a reasonably long time are:
1. Suzuki Fiero (Y2K model – As soon as it was launched)
2. Hero Honda Karizma – 2004
3. Enfield Bullet Machismo 350 – 1996 model – Borrowed it from my friend for a while in 2008

Fiero was reasonably good for its times – It was outclassed by CBZ which was launched around the same time though. The most joyous times biking were my rides with Karizma. The bike was a hoot to drive and the bike was the only reason I enjoyed the long commute to office and back!

The RE Bullet was a totally different kind of machine – I cursed it almost every day I used it since it used to stop without warning at traffic signals, and used to have a mind on its own while kick-starting it. But that was the only bike that took me to a meditative mood while driving – I loved the way it helped me cruise on long rides.

After some turn of events, there was a time when I did not have any vehicle to commute and badly needed one, thanks to rude autorickshaw-wallahs of Bangalore.

My first choice was Ninja 250 a.k.a Baby Ninja, if it were launched - I lost all hope waiting for it (looks like a good decision in hindsight!) – Then, I shortlisted the following bikes
1. Pulsar 220/200
2. HH Karizma
3. Yamaha R15 [FZ16 was not launched then]
4. Apache RTR

After a lot of thought, I first eliminated Karizma, since I had already owned it for about 3+ years. I still miss my Karizma, but, I decided to try something new. The bike costs about 85K now in Bangalore.

I then took a test ride of P220 and P200. The bikes were good in their own right, but it was not exciting at all - Not after Karizma. P220 didn’t even feel like an upgrade. And, both engines felt kinda coarse. I was plainly disappointed after my test-rides. And, to top end P220 was visually similar to the already ubiquitous Pulsars. I thought if I do shell 94K from my pocket, I’d rather get some exclusivity. So, the test-rides were eye-opening, and I immediately dropped the pulsars.

By no way am I writing off the P200 and P220. It would be a good upgrade for people driving 125 and 150 CC bikes. I couldn’t enjoy it because of my previous Karizma experience.

Apache RTR was the cheapest of the lot, and I thought I could actually save some money by going for it. I was told RTR-Fi had almost 6 weeks waiting time. And RTR Carb was 67K for the non-yellow colors (orange, black) and yellow was 69K. The test ride didn’t set my pants on fire, thanks to Karizma. Acceleration through the first two gears were good, but going to three from two (IMHO) was not linear, and felt a sudden drop of power. May be it was unique to the test-drive bike. The guy who organized a test-ride in the end, was surprised that I was test-driving it after owning a Karizma earlier - ‘You may not feel that much about the bike after Karizma saar’ was his comment.

So, the only choice was Yamaha R15. So, I went ahead and made the payment - The process was a elimination process, and not that of a love for R15. And, Yamaha still doesn’t offer test-rides for the R15. (Good for them!) - I took the Red color R15 which is simply the best color for R15. I made the payment and took delivery of the bike the very next day. I bought the bike in Pacer Motors, Infantry Road, Bangalore. The on-road price was 1.13L.

In my next post, I’ll compare R15 with other bikes that I have driven and general ownership experience (in comparison with the bikes I've driven)

A couple of pics of my R15 (with my Nokia N85 Camera - The world's worst cell phone camera)
Attached Thumbnails
Buying a ‘Premium’ motorcycle in India and my R15 experience-08112008142.jpg  

Buying a ‘Premium’ motorcycle in India and my R15 experience-02122008006.jpg  

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Old 6th February 2009, 00:37   #2
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congratulations sriramv.iyer! Definately seems to be the best choice. waiting for your review of the same!
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:24   #3
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Congrats, Sriram. Hope you've picked up the appropriate riding gear too.

I haven't seen the R15 in person,and I was wondering if it would be possible to get broader tires on the bike (front & back)? Somehow, the narrow tires take away the charm of the bike.The side profile does look very nice,though.
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Congrats, Sriram. Hope you've picked up the appropriate riding gear too.

I haven't seen the R15 in person,and I was wondering if it would be possible to get broader tires on the bike (front & back)? Somehow, the narrow tires take away the charm of the bike.The side profile does look very nice,though.
the tyres though skinny are amazing and people using R15 on tracks have been praising them.
The only negative is that they look skinny.
I read about a R15 with broad tyres and how its flickability went down the Drain.

Congrats Sriram and nice choice of colour
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
the tyres though skinny are amazing and people using R15 on tracks have been praising them.
The only negative is that they look skinny.
I read about a R15 with broad tyres and how its flickability went down the Drain.

Congrats Sriram and nice choice of colour
Thats interesting to know,Akshay. Thanks for the input.
I guess looks aren't everything..eh?
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:45   #6
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Congrats Sriram! Hope you have a nice time with your ride. There is a blue R15 parked 2 bikes away from mine in the office parking lot and I can't help but drool over it.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:48   #7
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Congrats buddy.
R-one-five is definitely an amazing bike.
Dunno much about the performance but has the kills to die for

Drive safe.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:55   #8
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I like the headlights and the parking lights on this bike.

Have not ridden it and will not comment.
The bike has actually surprised me by becoming quite popular in a short time.

May it bring back Yamaha as a force to reckon with in India.
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Old 6th February 2009, 11:15   #9
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Nice choice, sriram.

BTW, you mentioned that FZ16 was not launched when you were in the market for a bike. Assuming it were, would your decision still have been the same or is FZ16 a relatively good choice, especially since it is much lighter on the wallet and is more or less the same specs, with nice fat rubber and good 'naked' looks. Would appreciate inputs on this from not just sriram, but other bikers also.
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Old 6th February 2009, 12:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Nice choice, sriram.

especially since it is much lighter on the wallet and is more or less the same specs, with nice fat rubber and good 'naked' looks.
Same specs? FZ has a simple two valve air cooled motor. R15 is a liquid cooled, 4 valve motor.
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Old 6th February 2009, 13:22   #11
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@Sankar, I was just touching on the very basic specs - engine displacement, bhp, top speed etc, which i remember being more or less same (with minor variations) without going too deep into technical intricacies. Please excuse my limited knowledge with the current set of bikes.

Is there already a thread that does a comparo of R15 & FZ16 ?
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Old 6th February 2009, 13:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
@Sankar, I was just touching on the very basic specs - engine displacement, bhp, top speed etc, which i remember being more or less same (with minor variations) without going too deep into technical intricacies. Please excuse my limited knowledge with the current set of bikes.

Is there already a thread that does a comparo of R15 & FZ16 ?
Except engine displacement there is nothing comparable between the characteristics of these two bikes, not bhp, not topspeed, not handling. Of course the crankcases are similar as both have been derived from the Vixion engine. FZ is just a dressed up 150cc bike and it's stable mates are Hunk, CBZxtreme, Unicorn, Achiever, RTR etc..

It's like comparing a Conty and Civic both have 1.8liter engines..
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Old 6th February 2009, 13:56   #13
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R-One-5 and FZ16 are made by Yamaha, the similarities end there.
It would be unfair to compare the R-One-5 and the FZ16 Supreme Sir.

Edit: Well differentiated Sankar Sir!

Last edited by five46 : 6th February 2009 at 13:58.
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Old 6th February 2009, 15:04   #14
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Hey Sriram, so finaally a report from you on the R15. I am still as undecided as always (still waiting for the Ninja :( ) Congratulations bro, the bike looks lovely in Red.

Nice comparo too. Looks like both you and Techno are still in love with the Karizma

Waiting for the R15 report in detail.

Edit: Did you get any of the official accessories?

Last edited by sammyboy : 6th February 2009 at 15:08.
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Old 6th February 2009, 15:31   #15
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Congrats on buying the R15 Sriram, its a very nice bike & a good upgrade from what you have owned\ridden earlier

Waiting for your comparo report
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