2011 Karizma ZMR Review and Road Test

by Naren on May 31, 2011

When I and Deepak thought on what should be the next bike we are gonna review for BikeAdvice, both of us were clear that it has to be the 2011 Karizma ZMR.

Let me begin describing this big looking bike. The moment I saw this bike in BikeAdvice office, I just went crazy on just taking a look at its paintjob. Unbelievably metallic, it was. What a glossy finish! The bike literally shines when placed under hot sun. I’ve never even seen cars having paintjobs like this.

If at all a lame man who knows absolutely anything about any bike decides to get a bike delivered, he would book a Karizma ZMR, just by getting impressed by its paintjob.

I can still feel the metallic effect. We tested a black Karizma ZMR. What puzzles me is that this metallic effect is visible only in this black coloured one or in all colour schemes of ZMR. Other colour users please answer this small query from my side.

Hefty Size

Firstly, this bike is really huge in size. Resembles a fighter plane? Oh well, yes to a certain extent. But, I always had a doubt. Why is the Karizma ZMR so damn big?

What is the purpose of its bigness? But, for a tall guy above 6 foot and a few inches, this bike would be a kind of tailor suited among all the bikes in India.

Body Cowl

The ZMR is more or less the old Karizma R with a big body cowl added onto it (and of course with a few other changes). By big, I really mean big. It occupies the major area of the entire bike. The turn indicators are embedded onto it.

This fairing is the actual style quotient for this XXL sized bike. The big ZMR sticker adds to the gorgeousness of the bike. This sporty full body cowl also houses the body coloured rear view mirrors. This is the new feature added up to the 2011 variant of Hero Honda Karizma ZMR. It is an eye catching part in the bike as well.

The Digital Instrumental Cluster

The Best, I would say. If at all you want to see an even better looking instrumental cluster in an Indian bike it is in the hand of Hero Honda only. An amazing piece of work I would say. Just turn the key on and The Karizma ZMR displays ‘Hi Welcome on board the Karizma ZMR. Fasten your helmet and fly safe. Bon Voyage.’

Turn the ignition off and the cluster displays ‘C u soon.’ The best part here is the fact that this message can be customized. The blue illumination makes the cluster really comfortable to be read during night drives. A set of 2 tripmeters, a tachometer, fuel meter, speedometer and of course like all new bikes, it sports a clock as well.

Total Styling

The styling factor is what differentiates this bike from its other counterparts in the market. It is neither a Sportbike derived design nor a Tourister derived one. It is a new design language which really blends both these purpose of riding.

The Karizma R is very popular among avid bikers as a bike that is best suitable for Touring. This bike being a successor of the former, doesn’t ditch people in that aspect. Its styling supports it to be a fantastic go-tour bike. Nay, a sporty go-tour bike.


This is the area of concern when it comes to reviewing Hero Honda bikes. The front tyre sports a 276 mm diameter disc and at the tyre, it is a 240 mm diameter disc. But the braking is again not so damn precise, as against many of the other bikes in the market.

I expected sharp braking effect which this bike failed to provide me with. Aesthetically, both the front and the rear discs are Astra gold touched making it a noticeable feature and is really a good move from Hero Honda.


The Karizma ZMR is equipped with Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers in the front and the Hero Honda’s flagship Gas Reservoir Suspension at the rear.

It comes as a boon when this bike is taken for a spin on the highway and when off-roading it. But, why would you do that?

We have absolutely no regrets when it comes to the suspension of Karizma ZMR.

Engine and other Mechanicals

Karizma ZMR sports an air-cooled, 4 stroke, single cylinder engine. The displacement capacity is 223cc making it the bike with the highest displacement in India till before Honda CBR 250R’s launch. The bike is capable of producing a maximum power of 13.15kW @ 7000 RPM and a maximum torque of 18.35Nm @ 6000 RPM.

However, for its price, the company could have provided a liquid cooled engine. I wish, the next generation Karizma sports one such engine. But the oil cooler solves the problem of engine overheating, which a tourister kind of bike should never experience. The bike has a multi plate wet clutch with a five speed gear box.

The bike sports a PGM-FI, which stands for Programmed Fuel Injection. This ensures that Karizma offers decent fuel efficiency, despite its large engine displacement.

However, I observed a minor flaw with the bike here. The gear lever goes further down even after putting the bike in the 1st gear. Similarly, the lever goes further up after the 5th gear. There is still free play left with the gear lever. This should be resolved for hassle free riding.

Lights and Electricals

The 12V, Multi reflector Halogen bulbs in the headlamp gives us the confidence to ride in nights without any fear. The tail lamp is fitted with LED lamps making it look great at nights. The electric start is not a kind of feature touch as we had mentioned while reviewing Hero Honda Hunk. But that has got absolutely nothing to grumble about.

As with the case of other Hero Honda bikes, this bike also does not house a basic ‘Engine Kill Switch’. I could not come up with a proper reason why Hero Honda engineers are not concentrating on this small switch at all.

Sensors in Karizma ZMR

  • Engine Oil Temperature Sensor
  • Intake Air Temperature Sensor
  • Throttle Position Sensor
  • Crank Position Sensor
  • Oxygen Sensor
  • Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor

Riding Experience

First thing I want to tell you here is the fact that touching 100 kmph mark is absolutely a cakewalk for this bike. No struggles to do that. The initial pick up is almost close to excellent. The riding position offers good support to the back; highly suited for long rides. Though, the distance between the seat and the clip on handlebar is pretty large and one has to stretch a little, it is still fine.

This bike is almost 30kg heavier than the Yamaha YZF R15. This makes it slightly difficult for new users to handle this. Karizma ZMR enables pillion riders to have a comfortable journey at times of long drives. So it is a big nod for this bike from pillion riders too.

However, the size of the rear tyre could have been widened, thereby offering better road grip.

Colour Schemes

Available in the market with a set of 4 gorgeous colour schemes namely Vibrant Orange, Spot Light White, Panther Black Metallic and Candy Blazing Red.

Dealer’s Note

Hero Honda dealers are very satisfied with the new Karizma ZMR. The General Manager of a showroom in Salem said. “Presently, the demand is so high for this bike that it has become a tough task to match the demand with supply. This is owing to the great design and brand value of this bike. The response for this bike has gone way ahead after the ads that had been put up by Hero Honda during this IPL season (which ended on last Saturday)”. He added, “The supply from the company is good in Tier 1 cities, but when it comes to tier 2 and tier 3 cities, customers are forced to face a waiting period for its delivery”.

Overall Experience

If Big means Beautiful for you, this is the bike that is exactly designed for you. The Karizma ZMR is a great performer and a value for money.

I even tried to pull this bike off the road for a couple of minutes and the power it exhibited was just amazing.

Priced at 1.10 lakh, you get a big macho bike with great capabilities that also offer you a style statement.

BikeAdvice Rating for 2011 Karizma ZMR

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

For more info, head to Hero Honda Karizma ZMR Official Website

Author – BikeAdivce.in

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayraj May 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm

The review is awesome man :)

Btw @ Deepak UNCLE ZMR is oil cooled u can chk it out and tht p-220 a crab is air cooled :P


rohan June 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Helllooooo!!! HH zmr FAN!!! FYI P220 is the 1st bike to boast of OIL cooled engine!!! And for Deepak ZMR’s Not the highest displaced engine till the launch of CBR 250!! It was the Kinetic Comet and then there’s the Kawasaki ninja 250 in four strokes n in two strokes there’s the Legendry RD350′s and the Yezdi’s. And even while i ride my frnds ZMR i feel like am drivin a dead bike ( no power at all)


Jatinder Singh May 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Of all the things – why is that guy riding on the wrong side of the road? Trying to prove something here??


jerk November 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

wtf man it must b underconstruction or something…………i think u are a p22o fan tryin 2 critisize zmr :P betr luck next time


444 May 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Look at those morons going the wrong way on the highway in the fast lane .I hope they all learn their lesson the hard way soon.
The review is good.I enjoyed the videos as well.


Ayan May 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm

R15 is is superior to Karizma ZMR in most aspects…


aj May 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Naren, that was an impressive writing… I’m goin for karizma too…. But the r version…. A small correction in ur write up the older one only has an air cooled engine but the new one has oil cooled… engine…. And u guys are doing gr8 job
Regards… Aj


krishna May 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Hey Naren

The Headline states : 2011 Karizma ZMR Review and Road Test . The review does not talk about the Mileage achieved in City Riding & High Way Riding. There is no figures mentioned about the Top Speed Nor 0-60 speed timing. I did view the Off Road Video , i really disagree the statement that its an Off Road test.. Its something a very small stretch and quite often in india we all come across on a daily basis while we commute , courtesy our Corporation & Municipality fights not to TAR or Fill up the pot holes. I would say its an average review and only touching basic points and not an indepth one.



Hari May 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Very poor review. I never expected this kind of a review from Bike Advice.
Looks like the author is hell bent on selling this bike to the readers…

“If at all a lame man who knows absolutely anything about any bike decides to get a bike delivered, he would book a Karizma ZMR, just by getting impressed by its paintjob.”

Who’s the lame man here? The reader or the author himself?

Even the author’s command on the language is questionable!
For example
“What puzzles me is that this metallic effect is visible only in this black coloured one or in all colour schemes of ZMR. Other colour users please answer this small query from my side.”

Please don’t take the readers for granted.


subodh May 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

new CBZ Extrem is now so booring bike i have to drive ti setting position no comfortable


fas June 1, 2011 at 1:02 am

Very well written review with almost all points covered. A few inputs from my end.

1) New bike has lots of issues with gearbox, after 2nd service that becomes fine and the ZMR will go into neutral.

2) Brakes start making screeching noise after some time. Hero Honda dealers blame dust, unable to do anything.

3) Mileage revolves around 37 kmpl in city riding, extends to 40 kmpl on the highway.

4) Light not adequate for highway night driving.

5) Rear tyre should be changed asap to Michelin M45 for better grip.

6) Engine is very smooth and reaches 100 in a breeze, then 115 with some good road but after that it all depends on aerodynamics and wind conditions. Will touch 130 kmph but just about.

7) One of the best horn in the country. Very good on the highways.

Overall – A good bike for those who look at cruising and also for those who are tall and want to take care of their back.


selvin June 1, 2011 at 7:49 am

love tis bike !!!!!!!!! ABOVE ALL !!


JS June 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

why is that guy riding on the wrong side of the road? isnt that dangerous?? that too uploading on a popular website ??


Deepak June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

The road we used was blocked on both sides. It is under construction. So we used to take the video.

Honestly, does it even matter? :)


Ingit June 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I have never got clear picture about the mileage of this bike, some says its 22, some says 28 few people says its 40..
Whats the exact figure????????

viraj June 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Deepak / Readers,

Kindly check the difference between ” Oil Cooled ” & ” Oil Is Cooled ” Engine. The bikes P220, ZMR fall in the second catagory as mentioned above. Only R15, CBR, NINJA fall in the catagory of ” Liquid Cooled Engine” ( of course, no any bike mfg.rer in India is producing “Oil Cooled” engine till date). The liquid cooled bikes now running on Indian roads, are using Water based Coolant for engine cooling…………….So, I request readers & buyers not to get jumbled in the advertising or logos pasted on these bikes…………Even ask the sales guy for the details & confirm ! Deepak, Being a TEch Guy I am able to explain these things, you should use your blog to educate the peoples about technical things. Have a Great Day !


Jayasankar June 2, 2011 at 8:15 am

the bike is too big for an average indian. in India Yamaha delivers the best bikes according to style, providing decent power to rule Indian roads. bikes are bit costly but thy are class acts.


Reeto June 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

I have owned a Karizma ZMR from Feb 2010 till June 2010. To be honest, I was not at all satisfied with this bike, mine was the Black one. Agreed the paint and sticker jobs are great, the bike looks good and so does the console; but in terms of performance the bike disappoints. It never went above 115 kmph with pillion on an open highway, infact post 110 kmph the bike struggles to pull further. The rear supension is a let down, bottoms out frequently with pillion on board even after tightening it to the second last setting. The seat is good but customers expect a certain level of performance from the ZMR and that aspect is not covered by HH. I tried hard to race an Apache RTR 180 on the Pune-Kolhapur Golden Quadrilateral stretch only to realise that I was lagging behind the RTR at al times. The P220 kicks the ZMR in every aspect expect the seat (P220′s seat is hard as a brick). I will strongly suggest customers to go for an RTR180 or a P220, they are way better than the ZMR. If you are a sucker for ballistic performance, get your hands on an RD350 HT (I was the proud owner of one for 2 years). Ride Safe. Cheers.


jerk November 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm

i guess u dont know how to ride a bike or u must b lying??….liar i dont think u hav a zmr


Devendra K Goyal June 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

What a superb review this is….
I like this Bike a lot…..


hemant gajendra June 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

the best bike i bought a red one on 14 march 2010 and am fully satisfied with its performance comfort mileage everything….


hemant gajendra June 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm

and ya deepak its the same for every variant of zmr the shine n all just one thing about the black variant is that it comes with silver dots (u can see if u examine the body closely) because of which black variant has an extra metallic tinge


Ramachandran P.N. June 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Good review Deepak. Please tell me is this ZMR will satistfy the rider with HONDA cbr 250 r please. Thanking You.


Siddharth Gupta June 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Hi to all, gt my zmr 2011 a week back n already dne wid 1200 kms…
to all who believe R15 n p220 r better…. first thing… go n blog in der communities…
coz we ZMR’s dnt believe in proving others down to show ourselves up..
now about bikes..
R15… magnificent cornering, in engine terms most advanced…. any doubts no… bt at lower RPM’s.. not so good…. service centres.. leave metro’s n dey r hard to find…. spares… even harder… console needs upgrade….
P220… ohh plzz.. its like a CHINESE product…. 2 years AWSOME!!!…. after 2 years more at service centre wid engine problems den wid owner… Value after 2 years… even a LUNA has more value…

So guys i believe in case of 200+ bikes… choice is bet R15 and ZMR…
depends on wht u want frm ur bike….
both are gr8 bikes


nidhin September 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

@Siddharth, yeah u told the ultimate truth about P220.. All pulsars are like Chinese products..No guarantee if the bike will last after the initial couple of years!!!

Engine problems, Chain n sprocket issues are numerous along with a faulty gear box, all the low quality components used for cost cutting show its true colors after its lost its newness.
Any man with common sense can understand how Bajaj manages to give a 220cc bike at a mere price within Rs. 80000!! Bull Shit Bajaj!!!


sai July 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm

great ZRMR is most sportive bike and herohonda’s engine makes good performence


Rajkumar Sharma July 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Dear any body
please help me for I want to be to-urgent of Karizma ZMR Parts Catalogue with picture.please


Sajal August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

Ohh shit.its so boring to ride this zmr.one can beat this bike even with p180.i m satisfied with my 220


sananth November 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm

pulsr is good for nothing. buying a second hand m80 is better than plsr


Amol November 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Really… Awesome bike.


S Chakravorty December 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

I have a Pulsar 135cc LS and i Pulsar was also actually my first choice, cause i needed something that tasty and also in my budget.. Pulsar 135cc LS fixed this purpose.. but i always to try a Karizma the Bike one Indian always wants to fly with :) Pulsar and Karizma are the two’s that come in your mind when you talk about serious guy-Biking.:)

so i asked my one friend who has this hunky bull-of-a-bike.. i would say the start of the engine and the dynamics.. graphics.. sitting arrangement and transmission is what drew me alot in Karizma..

i think braking was not better than my Pulsar 135cc LS but ok.. not bad either.. Styles are greatest plus points about this bike for which it is famous so much..

But still the kind of level and comfort in sitting i got only in my bike.. The Karizma left me with an aching back cause of the bigness”. not a problem with my LS.


Kamalesh Singh December 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hi :) I bought ZMR on october 2nd of 2011 & I m facing some problem in ma bikes rear suspension its not working :( what should I do pls send me a good suggestin


BlogBIKERS January 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm

nice review,….


gomzy March 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm

My Friend has a ZMR he wants to customize the message that comes when you start the bike … can anyone enlighten me how to do so … thanks in advance !


yashasvi May 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

How can you say that the bike looks like a fighter plane? Fighter planes are all about aerodynamics and speed, and karizma, it is against aerodynamics. And about speed, just 130, shame for a 225cc bike. Pulsar 180 achieve’s that speed.


Pawan May 26, 2012 at 2:44 am

RE CL500 is 500CC bike, but top speed is 130 Kmph (as per RE catalog) and cost is almost double of P220, you mean RE CL500 is worst the p220?


rakshith August 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

It was super. Even i’m planning to buy the same


rakshith August 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Today I booked my Dream ZMR. Wednesday i’ll be getting….. So waiting waiting……


Benoy April 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

Ok I agree with people here being technically efficient and knows a lot about bikes and specifications but… every individuals choice matters….every guy who books a bike his dream bike will surely pour out his love for his machine no matter if its a p220 or the ZMR. I have a guy here in my building who has a kinetic Honda and you should see the love and faith he bestows on his machine and every time he rides his kinetic he shows a attitude as if he is on a hayabusa.I have asked him many times to sell that crap and get a beast he says no….its love. secondly I would say all these Techno shots here talking about air cool engine cool liquid cool please bear in mind no bike comes with all the comforts and if you claim that a particular spicies of bike has got all the comfort then the hopes would be lost when the upgraded version comes. so all I would say is no matter what blah blah you say of p220 r15 HD 350 doesn’t matter at all the love for ZMR will remain for every prospective buyers so keep the p220 rtr r15 and let the king ZMR rule


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