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Old 15th June 2010, 20:41   #46
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I'm not quite sure why people say the Karizma is much slower than P220, but then I haven't ridden the Karizma-R which has a different CDI and possibly other unpublicized but power-sapping changes, under similar conditions I found both to be quite similar (I had a 2003 Karizma, and have a 2007 220FI) with the 220 being 2-3km/h faster on the same stretch. Not sure how much the carbed fastest Indian is, but 1 PS can only so much.

Best part about the P220 is the headlamp, whose lens sadly is known to crack (high beam) from the bulb heat, and the projectors tend to go dim. Plastics aren't exactly better, they're better mounted though so the road shocks seem to affect them less.

I'd rate the Karizma slightly better with handling, the P220 has a better front end but the rear suspension is better on the ZMA - on some roads the 220 can bounce and hop unnervingly, and in bouncy corners can be very disconcerting, where the ZMA is much less nervous.

I also rated the Karizma's braking better, once you have good tyres. The OE Zapper in front never let me brake as hard, but with the Dunlop Zebra I found I could brake harder and stop quicker than the P220. Quality wise, Bajaj isn't as crude as it was in the Caliber days. Almost 3 years and the only things broken are the oil cooler plastic cover and taillamp at the mounts. I did suffer a headlamp issue when the projector went dimmer and dimmerwithin a year, but was replaced under warranty and going strong since.

The single biggest downside with the Karizma is the manufacturer - terribly priced spares which may be 10-20% better in quality but cost 200-500% more, and poor *** (though that's not an HH only story). If the tales of the quality going to the dogs after the price drop since the ZMA-R are true, I'd say give HH the slap they deserve and get the 220.

I find the P220 every bit as good a Karizma is most areas, better in some, worse in some and happily recommend it given how haughty HHML has become now.
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Old 15th June 2010, 21:26   #47
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The 17 ps TVS managed to squeeze out of the RTR 180 seems impressive but one can't help but consider the 40 cc difference in displacement. I'll take your word on the handling front. Many people seem to vouch for it. But, performance is at the top of my list now.

The others who complain about Bajaj quality are Bajaj bike owners, right?

Now, how is the Karizma not a bike to extract performance out of daily?
Did you personally test drive all the three bikes? I am pushing on RTR180 against karizma R (the older spec bike you are looking at) since it is seriously that much better. Pulsar 220 is certainly in another league when it comes to performance.

Karizma engine is a relaxed performer. Since you are looking at the older R version, power is low and so is performance. You would love to tot around at 100 km/hr on the Karizma but try to dash and you will notice that neither you or the bike are comfortable with it. It's a somewhat similar case to riding an enfield albeit on a sports tourer.
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Old 15th June 2010, 23:41   #48
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Default Test Rode the Pulsar 220

So, I test rode the P220 today and it doesn't seem to be short on power. But then, the Karizma isn't slow either. This was a test ride machine but I didn't find it rattled or shaken up. I didn't get to take it above 60 kmph or 3rd gear but power delivery is nice and even and not once did the motor cross 6000 RPM. In fact, up to 5000 rpm (and maybe half throttle), the bike seems capable of entertaining routine requests of the rider. With the red line at 10,000 RPM, the tachometer seems to have plenty of space to play with. Didn't feel any abnormal vibes but the exhaust note and engine (mechanical) sound are not as clean and crisp as the Karizma's.

Suspension seems soft enough to keep the wheel in contact with rough surfaces, yet not jelly like. Brakes inspire confidence and the bike doesn't lose footing or get unnerved on hard braking. I didn't try to verify the statement of some people that the rear brake is not that effective in spite of being a disc type.

I now know what you guys mean by 'slotty' and 'notchy'. Gear shifts feel heavy and somewhat hard but there were mis-shifts or false neutrals. In fact, there was no neutral!! I tried and tried and tried again a few more times but couldn't find the elusive neutral between the 1st and 2nd gear! So, it wasn't just my friend's Avenger but an inherent problem in Bajaj gearboxes. Yamaha bikes and the Karizma don't have that problem at all and the gears feel smoother. Not that this bike had a rough gearbox. Any takes on this area?

Half digital nstrument panel is a bit boring compared to the Karizma's sporty yellow dials. I personally prefer all analogue panels, probably because of my Enfield background. A white tachometer would increase readability significantly. Are the mirrors usable? They remind me of Pluto, Mickey Mouse's dog!

How does it compare to the Karizma? Well, apart from the Karizma's smoothness, there was only one difference - performance. But, that's probably because the Karizma I test rode had zero mileage on it and the road didn't allow me to ride it the way I did the P220.

I don't know. Am I fickle or is it normal for me to now be more inclined towards the P220? The Karizma's not ruled out, though. It seems to be 60:40 now favouring the P220.
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Old 16th June 2010, 00:08   #49
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There hasn't been much problem except a loose chain & gear shaft change & few bulbs change in my case (please also note that in my previous post I had mentioned that I have crossed 56 kms, which is actually 56k kms).

P220 seating may not be sportier because of the clip-on handle bars, which I also feel are higher than those on my bike. Thus it would be better for you, as you won't have to bend your back more, after giving up the RE.

BTW, I am, rather my brother is, switching over to RE (TB or Electra). Strange coincident...
Gear shaft? Sounds like a function-critical component. Had it been a Bullet, I would have easily identified which part you're talking about. Is it the shaft on which the gear lever is mounted or one of the shafts on which the gears rotate?

Seating posture is alright. No complaints there. Don't know why some people say it's too sporty for comfort. When you say, "giving up the RE", you do mean simply not riding it, right? I'll get to ride it every time I go to Chandigarh.

Test rode the Classic 500, too. Initial punch is as good as the P220's. Your wish is its command. Very relaxed engine and all that torque makes the 187 kg bike feel like a, well, Pulsar! Don't know about the 350. I just know it won't meet my performance needs. I would so love a 500... The TB and especially the Electra (all UCE) seem to be readily available while both the Classic 350 and 500 seem to have a 4-6 month waiting period.

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Did you personally test drive all the three bikes? I am pushing on RTR180 against karizma R (the older spec bike you are looking at) since it is seriously that much better. Pulsar 220 is certainly in another league when it comes to performance.

Karizma engine is a relaxed performer. Since you are looking at the older R version, power is low and so is performance. You would love to tot around at 100 km/hr on the Karizma but try to dash and you will notice that neither you or the bike are comfortable with it. It's a somewhat similar case to riding an enfield albeit on a sports tourer.
Looks are also a criterion for me and the Apache doesn't meet it even though the white one stands apart with its sharp sporty looks.

Does the Karizma really get uncomfortable if you push it? Is it if you try to dash when already at high speed or it just doesn't like a twitchy throttle wrist? However, I think I understand to some extent what you're talking about. The Karizma's engine does seem to exhibit typical long stroke single cylinder behaviour. It's not slow, though.

The P220 seems to like a rev happy right hand.
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Old 16th June 2010, 00:17   #50
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Ricci,
Why do you think the bike bounces like that? What, in your opinion, seems to be wrong with the rear end? How is its front end better than the Karizma's? Is it because it's a little stiffer?
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Old 16th June 2010, 12:37   #51
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....Are the mirrors usable?
They are not fully usable. You can say 50% cos your arm obstructs the view behind. Fix an RTR mirror and you have a better view of the road behind you.
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Old 16th June 2010, 13:18   #52
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Bang on, You got what I meant. I never said its slow but I will vouch that Apache RTR 180 is a better bike than Karizma R on any sunny, rainy or cloudy day. NO OFFENSE TO KARIZMA OWNERS. TVS is just that much better.

Pulsar 220 is in a different league. I dont see a reason for you to be confused. I will stay away from the fairing version just because it might rattle and is expensive to replace.
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Old 16th June 2010, 13:49   #53
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Bang on, You got what I meant. I never said its slow but I will vouch that Apache RTR 180 is a better bike than Karizma R on any sunny, rainy or cloudy day. NO OFFENSE TO KARIZMA OWNERS. TVS is just that much better.
Will have to disagree with you on that point mate.

The performance is better than the Zma but the overall feel is something the Zma is any day(or night) better than the RTR.

Sure the plastic quality is shoddy, but the engine is a gem and ive never felt the refinement of the RTR any where close to the Zma's mill.

Once TVS gets the vibes sorted out and brings about a change in aesthetics atleast to a point where one can distinguish the bikes within the RTR range, there is sure no beating them.

But at the moment, they are improving and IMO not quite there yet.
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Old 16th June 2010, 13:50   #54
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...I will stay away from the fairing version just because it might rattle and is expensive to replace.
Agree to the expensive to replace part. It costs 8k for the fairing replacement. Only problem with the fairing version is that when using the high beam, it cracks the head lamp cover due to the heat.
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Old 16th June 2010, 19:15   #55
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SID. the feed back about the P220 is so true but beleive me it will grow on you. like the engine sound that really scared the Sh!t out of me when i was riding it above 110 for the first time i thought that my bullet never made no sound. but now i regualarly do quick sprint above 120 but they seem fine. and then the millage is just a boon i got 40 last time with a tank full check, full to reserve. and best is that i ride from West delhi to Gurgaon and i regualrly do speeds like 80-100 till the Domestic Airport and after that go just above 115 on the Higway till IFFCO on the Nh8 and i am a happy camper
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Old 17th June 2010, 02:25   #56
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They are not fully usable. You can say 50% cos your arm obstructs the view behind. Fix an RTR mirror and you have a better view of the road behind you.
The RTR mirrors go on the fairing or handlebar? I suppose mirrors from the Fazer should work, too. But, that's an afterthought. I'm sure there is an effective workaround.

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Bang on, You got what I meant. I never said its slow but I will vouch that Apache RTR 180 is a better bike than Karizma R on any sunny, rainy or cloudy day. NO OFFENSE TO KARIZMA OWNERS. TVS is just that much better.

Pulsar 220 is in a different league. I dont see a reason for you to be confused. I will stay away from the fairing version just because it might rattle and is expensive to replace.
Looks like neither you nor anyone else is outrightly denying the P220's performance. The confusion is will the bike stand up to abuse? Can I ride to Chandigarh 250 km away @ 100 km/h for extended durations? The Karizma has proven that ability. What about the P220? Some riders here have tested it but...

I think I'm quite close to going for the P220 but the above is one of my doubts. And, what about the elusive neutral?
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Old 17th June 2010, 02:37   #57
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Agree to the expensive to replace part. It costs 8k for the fairing replacement. Only problem with the fairing version is that when using the high beam, it cracks the head lamp cover due to the heat.
8000 bucks for the fairing??? That is damn expensive!! I don't think even the Karizma's or R15's fairings cost that much. Well, at least I don't think so.

Is the headlamp glass replaceable separately? Any idea about the cost of that part?

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SID. the feed back about the P220 is so true but beleive me it will grow on you. like the engine sound that really scared the Sh!t out of me when i was riding it above 110 for the first time i thought that my bullet never made no sound. but now i regualarly do quick sprint above 120 but they seem fine. and then the millage is just a boon i got 40 last time with a tank full check, full to reserve. and best is that i ride from West delhi to Gurgaon and i regualrly do speeds like 80-100 till the Domestic Airport and after that go just above 115 on the Higway till IFFCO on the Nh8 and i am a happy camper
Can you be specific about the feedback? You're talking about quality issues or what? I would appreciate some clarity here.

What noise does/did the engine make above 100km/h??

How much distance do you cover everyday? Domestic Airport to IFFCO Chowk is about 7-10 km or more? Or, is that the distance up to Shankar Chowk?

I think I believe you. I will say that I'm leaning more and more towards the Wine Red P220F.
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:08   #58
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8000 bucks for the fairing??? That is damn expensive!! I don't think even the Karizma's or R15's fairings cost that much. Well, at least I don't think so.

Is the headlamp glass replaceable separately? Any idea about the cost of that part?
At least that was what i was told when i asked about fairing replacement. The question came up as i saw an accident P220 in the SC. I asked my Service Adviser how much would it cost to replace the fairing. He said 8k to replace the fairing. This was back in Sept '09. Not sure if they have revised the prices now.

I am not sure if the headlamp glass can be replaced separately. It should be possible as Bajaj would not want to incur loss every time the headlamp cover cracks by replacing the full fairing!!
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:46   #59
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Hey Darth Sid

I see the more you enquire about the P200 the more confused you get. Please check the ownership experience of P220 on xbhp. Probably that would help to answer your queries. Plus, desideep & sam_sant (hope I have posted the name correctly... god forbid) own the bike, & they can throw more light on the same.

There is another thread on the ZMR being phased out... do still want to go for a bike that won't be in market for long (pushing the spares cost higher).
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Old 17th June 2010, 15:14   #60
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There is another thread on the ZMR being phased
out... do still want to go for a bike that won't be in market for long (pushing the spares cost higher).
That thread is talking about he new Karizma ZMR [FI] and that is no where near to being phased out. Darth is considering buying the Karizma -R which is a carb version. This is also being sold alongside the ZMR so i don't think they will phase out either very soon.
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