Bajaj Avenger 200cc Ownership Review by Siran

I am so glad to publish my first write-up in BikeAdvice.in. Pardon me about the wrong technical detail you come across, if any.

So here we are, I’m tagging the Avenger as “Budget-Cruiser”. To start-off with, ‘m briefing the cons,

  • Really poor build quality. I mean both the metallic & non-metallic parts. You cannot find a single perfect weld bead. Right after a week of purchase, I noticed rusting of fasteners.
  • Metallic parts get corrode easily if ride over a drizzle. Profuse spraying of anti-corrosive spray is required (Myself got an imported heavy duty spray which is used for earth movers).
  • Though this ain’t matters much, just wanna make awareness. The engine noise neither sound like cruiser and nor like normal commuter too. It’s not feeble like Hero Honda Hunk and at the same time it ain’t thunders like RE. A little less sharp than Yamaha FZ.
  • Then comes the spare availability. I bought the thing in EMI. Know what, I couldn’t find spares before my EMI expire. I kept mailing Bajaj for a simple chain sprocket. And the people in the service station are unaware about the tech-spec. They suggest me a tyre pressure which is actually twice as the recommended pressure printed in the catalogue. This incident resulted in different landing. The service people started pointing me like “He is the guy who complaints us via mail”. Somehow I tackled it and stopped visiting them. Instead I found “Bike Point” which does a clean job. They reveal, explain us the things they done in our machine and handover the old parts of replaced ones. Quite interesting about them.
  • “Budget-Cruiser” definitely lacks in braking stability. The disk provided in the front wheel seems to be a sales strategy booster. Halting the vehicle in hasty situation requires a lot & lot of expertise. Drum in the back tyre desperately needs a retrofit. Once you adjust it for solo ride and satisfied, an unexpected pillion mate would lead to brake clings automatically on the ride.
  • Trickiest part about “Budget-Cruiser” is riding them on wet/muddy roads. In spite of its lower centre of gravity, it trembles. I crashed my vehicle once on 40kmph swing.
  • Pillion seat is too narrow which makes the ride awkward for a fat person. Sometimes its worst for even the thin guys on the long run.
  • Lack of kicker. In fact, kick starting gives a macho look.
  • Last but not least, the fake neutral issue. Eventually it helped me to get expertise in 1 down-4 up shifting irrespective of the manufacturer.

Previously I had my brother’s Yamaha RX100,

The first bike which taught me the road. Initial pick-up is mind-blowing. No one can accompany you once you are 2meters away from traffic signals. It’s totally an elegant piece of Yamaha which clings to the biker. I happened to smash RX100 to an Apache while a jay walker jumped in to the road from nowhere. I got tensed because I was in rushing to work. Then I checked the apache ride since it was a school kid. Small cracks on RX100’s front mud-flap with misalignment in handle bar were found. But for the Apache, the pillion foot rest (i.e. the entire casting component) was broken. Followed by a dent in gas tank. I was like “What on Earth has happened?”.

I felt guilty and contributed a reasonable sum to the kid. I drove RX100 for a couple of month, so I took back my eye from Activa. Finally I shortlisted Unicorn, ZMR, Thunderbird as my choices. Unicorn’s waiting period was a headache. ZMR doesn’t suit my height. Thunderbird too ruled out because of the price tag and 8 month waiting period. Obviously I dropped the new bike idea. Back to square one, started searching of second hand Activa. Whilst searching I rode an Enticer which lubricated my cruiser hunt. I googled about Aquila, Hyosung Availability in tamilnadu and found a used Aquila tagged 95k. I ended up in Avenger.

Coming back to “Budget-Cruiser”,

Note: – Above snap reveals a 2 year old machine
It doesn’t roar like RX100, but it still got a pretty decent configuration.
Power: – 17.56bhp @ 7000rpm, Torque: – 16.78Nm @ 6000rpm.

Let’s look at the Pros

  • Riding Posture – cannot be expressed in words (among Indian counterparts). Well curved seat and raised leg posture will definitely give a couch kinda pleasure.
  • Alluring head-turner/eye-catcher. My 2 year old “Budget-Cruiser” still allures people. Believe me I hear “wow” at least twice in a week. The reason may be my caring. I don’t leave it in drizzle neither on sun. I used to run for shadow to park. Moreover, I always avoid shortcuts on my ride though it saves some gas.

  • Amazing 0 to 60 in just 6 seconds, that too in a cruiser. The vehicle goes flawless at 80kmph with company behind and 100kmph on solo. About the top speed, I thought of reaching 160kmph by watch YouTube videos. But then, I got satisfied with 140kmph pretty better than 110kmph printed in manual.

  • Low centre of gravity – Every biker gotta experience at least once over this. I felt the miracle on my ride to Kolli hills. It has 72 hair pin bends which I drove in single stretch. For the bikers in South, hit the Kolli hill to check how cruel a 72 hairpin bends would look like?

  • Next comes the price tag. As I named it “Budget-Cruiser”, it costed me 76k. I suppose that ain’t hefty when compared to HMSI 125cc commuter which costs 63k. Last week I bought an Active which finally costed me 58k with accessories. I got consoled of selecting Avenger after getting Active. Of course Activa is of irrelevant category, all I mean is product configuration for the money.
  • Hydraulic rear suspension does a tremendous job.
  • Mileage – I was amused when it delivered 39kmpl in highways and 35kmpl in city.
  • Analogue speedometer with backlight gives a classic look. Fuel gauge over the gas tank adds glossy to the vehicle.

  • Cruiser – This thing can literally be called as cruiser because it’ll never make you tiresome even after long runs (with perfect riding gears). I peeped a maximum of 871kms in 4 days.

My Trips in “Budget-Cruiser”,

  • Trichy to Madurai – to & fro 262kms (Been there several times. My very first trip was a quick trip ever. Started at 6.10a.m, stopped 20mins in Madurai for breakfast and reached home back at 9.20a.m.)
  • Trichy to Pondicherry – to & fro 412kms
  • Trichy to Chennai – to & fro 700kms
  • Trichy to kolli hills – to & fro 278kms
  • Pondicherry to Gingee – to & fro 138.6kms
  • Pondicherry to Cheyyar – to & fro 200kms
  • Trichy to Salem – to & fro 284kms

I’m winding up with couple lines about people behind the screen. I express my gratitude to my brother Naveen, the one who factually sparked the biker in me by affording his RX100. A heart full of thanks to Ezhilmaran & Babu Gandhi, who inspired me in this regard and offering perfect gears like glove etc.

Santhosh Velmurugan, I just want to say thanks for helping out with photography. The only problem is that you did such a great job, I’ll probably end up in asking you to help again. These people did so much for nothing. Thanks a Zillion!

Regards,
Siran

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