Hi BikeAdvice Readers, This is Deepanshul, and today I am just gonna try help every person who is confused to choose between the three meanest devils present in the market these a days, i.e, the Bajaj Pulsar 220cc, the Hero Honda Karizma ZMR, & not to forget the Yamaha R15. Last month I wasn’t sure of what to buy, but after all the hustle, I made my mind to go for the – let’s keep it a secret now. Will reveal at the end of this article.
Disclaimer: This is a review published by a reader of BikeAdvice. The views and opinions expressed are his only and does not reflect BikeAdvice’s recommendation or opinions. Reader discretion adviced.
First, making a decision to buy this bike was not at all easy becuse even after having the brand name badge it was some kind of a risky job in trusting a new gene in market, so I researched every possible database just to make sure that I go with the right machine and I can proudly say now that I did took the right step.
Comparing the Three Beasts: R15, ZMR, & P220
Power: The R15 is powered by a 149cc Liquid-cooled engine, first of its kind in India, throwing 17PS at 8500 rpm and 15 nm torque at 7500 rpm, whereas ZMR, on the other hand, powered by a relaxed 225cc oil-cooled engine, which does a best of 17.6ps at 7000 rpm and a whooping 18.35 nm torque at 6000 rpm, and even after stretching the bike for long, engine remains calm unlike a Pulsar 220, which even after being an oil-cooled bike is somehow not the worth because even after riding it for short duration you can hear the noises coming out from the engine block.
However, the engine gives an output of 21.04 ps with 19.12 nm torque at a lesser rpm of 7000, so it’s totally possible to outperform any competitor whether you are in 2nd gear or 5th gear with a Bajaj Pulsar 220cc.
If we compare the six speed transmission in Yamaha R15, it does its job perfectly, so there is a kind of back to back fight b/w these two, and with a good rider, a Bajaj Pulsar 220cc can do miracles but still it’s always advisable to go for the higher power because when you carry a pillion with you, you need to have that extra punch right in your hand, which is surely available on the Pulsar 220cc and Karizma ZMR. Above all not to forget, it never matters what you drive, what matters more is how you drive!
It’s always advisable to have the power in control, because power without control is somewhat a huge problem for both you and others, so Karizma ZMR does it with great ease: the dual disc brake are more than enough to control it, and this is some what I myself experienced. I was able to stop the bike at 95km/hr within a distance of 4 feet and then too it was totally in control – no skidding or falling.
The Karizma ZMR comes with the largest disc in the class with a 276mm disc in front and 240mm disc in rear, which score way over the single caliper discs in Yamaha R15; whereas the Pulsar 220cc flaunts a 260mm disc in front and a 230 mm disc in the back smaller than the zmr but still very effective.
The Pulsar 220cc comes with size 17 tyres with specifications:
- Front – 90/90
- Rear -120/80
The Karizma ZMR comes with size 18 tyres with specifications:
- Front – 100/80
- Rear – 100/90
And the Yamaha R15 comes with size 17 tyres with specifications:
- Front – 80/90
- Rear- 100/80
Which means that Karizma ZMR clearly gives u a comfortable ride in the hardest rock and gravel by easily flying over the deepest potholes, while the widest and softest compound tires on the Pulsar 220 gives you grip to grab the road with ease.
With a suitable rider on the bike R15 and can easily outperform the ZMR, thanks to the six speed transmission, which helps the R15 to extract even the last breath left in the engine and shoot it way across the exhaust, but yes if you are racing in city traffic, dude believe me Karizma ZMR can be way to excellent with the superior balance it maintains, which helps you cut through the traffic as a piece of cake.
Moreover the way ZMR handles the lower and middle revs are way over excellent, but yes just make sure that you keep the rear view mirrors closed or else you would end stucking yourself badly. As far as Pulsar 220cc is considered its really risky to bend it way beyond the limit because the sitting position is too compact making it hard to tilt in traffic but on highways, its a free bird so fly as fast as you can.
Though the Yamaha people promise a mileage of 40-45 for R15, giving the excuse that it has way to small tyres for the same reason but brother believe me don’t expect that much but yes it would surely deliver a mileage of 30-35, whereas ZMR Fi technology helps the bike to use the last available drop of fuel to its fullest and deliver a mileage of 40-45km/ltr.
Talking about Pulsar 220cc the 32mm U cal UCD 32 Venturi Carburetor – largest ever used in Indian market, may provide a mileage up to 35-40 km/ltr and all these figures can entirely vary depending on the way you ride.
You don’t need to bend on each and every cut you make on the Karizma ZMR, which is a necessary scenario in case of Yamaha R15 and you need to bend yourself so much that, even if u are just 19 or 20 you would soon be facing back trouble and no genuine rider would want that.
On the other hand you just have to be on the Karizma ZMR and rest is a child’s play, the gear shifting is somewhat too hard in the beginning in the Karizma ZMR but believe me once u ride it for 2000 km it would be resolved.
The Pulsar 220cc on the other hand is really hard to steer and with foot pegs coming in your way its kind of a riskier thing, because its less stable once its steered into corners and you really need muscle power to make it cut short of corners.
The Karizma ZMR comes with a more sophisticated console which surely makes you feels as if you are carrying a totally different gadget.
The console comes with a digital clock, a personalized message in which you can feed your name, an average meter which calculate the average according to your previous 10 sec driving, dual trip meters, a digital tachometer, a digital speedometer and a digital fuel indicator.
Whereas in an R15 u get the digital speedometer with dial tachometer two trip meters and fuel indicator, so its a quite big benefit to go for the Karizma ZMR since boys always like to have the most advanced gadgets.
However as far as Pulsar 220 is considered the console is not at all reliable with the fuel meter which never gives you the right quantity and speedometer which after sometime develops a problem of showing wrong figures.
So I just suggest you to prepare yourself to soon ride on your own senses on a Pulsar, however the black ring beneath the tachometer looks great in P220 representing a symbol of black edition.
Head Lamps & Tail Lamps
The outstanding design which Hero Honda tried on Karizma’s tail, do work good and you can always find people moving on your trails just to catch a close glimpse of the leds, which somehow is not offered on a Yamaha R15 and the leds are way more trust able than the old bulbs since they last for longer duration.
Talking about the P220 the tail lamps are just the same as on the other pulsar series, making it hard to differentiate P220 from its smaller siblings – when you look from rear.
But if we do compare the headlamps – the light assembly on Karizma ZMR is quite weak which may solve the purpose in city but taking it on highway cause visibility issues, replace the whole unit with 12000k double point HID and they work great.
Whereas Yamaha R15 is concerned the dual headlamps serve the purpose outstandingly, however its not advisable to go for the HIDs since dual HIDs would only end in drinking up the battery power and causing issues later on.
But the projector on Pulsar 220cc works the best apart from the styling which speaks a lot in itself. The projectors light your way outstandingly but if you planning to retro fit it with high temperature HIDs, then its not possible, since it would only end bursting the chambers soon in Pulsar 220 as it cant handle that amount of heat.
Looks & Design
One can never forget the giant looks which ZMR offers on the road and especially not to forget the huge clip-on handle bars, which give a metal touch to the bike which one would surely die for.
Whereas in R15 its hard to feel any such things even after the clip-on one has to lay himself on the tank making it way to far to grab them, one cant even find a main stand in it and the indicators are out of question.
Dual reflectors are accompanied with tiny indicators which is obviously not a problem in Karizma ZMR in which the indicators give an inbuilt look inside the fairing whereas the pulsar ways far ahead with projectors which enlightens your way to a large extent with indicators you can bend to any extent without breaking them and the clip ons are also greatly placed with the chisel logo which boasts of “the fastest Indian”.
One can easily see a bunch of R15s & Pulsar 220s on road but its really hard to spot a ZMR and that in white its the rarest thing one can possibly see. Even after 1 yr of the launch of ZMR, one can’t make it at the 1st sight if it’s a Karizma ZMR.
One doesn’t need to try ways to grab people’s attention, he just needs to be on the Karizma ZMR and believe me if you are on a ZMR, you would be surrounded by people with questions even you never thought of!
So just try being the wise man. The R15 on the other hand is quite common and in order to make it different from others you need to try new combination of colors, whereas the P220 still needs to be updated in a manner which makes it boldly different from the old Fi technology P220.
Service & Reliability
Hero Honda is well known brand for the after sale service it offers to its customers, apart from the easy availability – the low cost which they offer is also a big benefit which people look forward, getting your Karizma ZMR serviced would hardly cost you Rs.175 including the oil change and labor in case of a free service and you can easily rely on the Hero Honda badge since it offers 5 yrs extended warranty.
Whereas Yamaha is concerned – its still a growing sap which means u may not get a service center everywhere and you surely need to pay way more than expected, getting R15 serviced would cost you Rs.300 and in addition to that Rs.150 for getting the chain cleaned since R15 boasts of an open chain cover unlike ZMR which offers chain covers & it also offers an extended warranty just to ensure that it sells the best.
But the Bajaj service costs you lesser than R15 but not more than Karizma ZMR, you need to pay around Rs.250 for an oil change as per the free service schedule, moreover the electronic items on a P220 are covered for just a warranty of 6 months, that even if you have the courage to fight with the service people and ask them to change.
After all the aspects, comes the most important one of spending money to buy these beast. For owning an R15 you need to pay an amount of Rs.1,10,000 whereas the ZMR comes for a lesser price tag of Rs.1,03,000 and cheapest of all is the Pulsar 220cc which after the removal of Fi system has brought down the value to a mere Rs.70,000 for the street fighter version and Rs.76000 for the P220 F version. So decide wisely!
Well, the Pulsar 220cc is a great bike if you are a planning to change the bike in next 2yrs, it doesn’t offer a long run commitment whereas the Karizma ZMR not only offers the extended promise but also the resale value of Hero Honda product is way over the Bajaj and paying an amount over a lakh for a 150 cc engine does not sound good to me because even if its a Yamaha its not worth that price.
At last all these facts were given just to help you out & I mean no disrespect to any of theses machines! So all the best and choose the one which suits your needs the best way.
Words – Deepanshul | Edited by: Deepak Raj
P.S. I guess I don’t need to tell you which bike I own now. You should have guessed it already. Right? Let me know if you have… and also any feedback or additional points are welcome…