Myself Vishnu Rajan aged 26, presently working as an Asst. Professor in an Engineering college in Kerala. My thrive for bikes emerged in my early teens when I first got a chance to drive my dad’s RX100 which was the master blaster bike during that time. I am from a village, and at that time stylish bikes were so rare in my area. So you know, the looks shot by elders when a teen rides their dream bike fast.

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From that instance, I took 1 pledge. I should study hard, get a job, and buy my own dream bike, and I should not put pressure on my parents for getting me a bike from their cash. In between, my dad upgraded his bike several number of times. The old RX100 was sold, and he took the Kawasaki caliber aka “Hoodibaba”, the Bajaj XCD and soon.

And as he already owned a car, all these bikes were at my disposal. But, telling from my heart, none of these bikes matched the beast in me. Finally, I got into my college life, where I got several chances to ride many bikes of my friends, but still the desire to buy a bike with my own cash was still in me.

Thinking Practical

College life was over, and I got a job as a tech support representative for Acer computers. I took a decision to take Pulsar 150 Dtsi as my dream bike, but as per the suggestions from my friends, Pulsar is a bike which performs excellent for the first 2-3 years, afterwards the engine will lose all its refinement. I had to leave that idea too.

I got a sudden hike in my salary, when I got posting as an Asst. Professor in a reputed Engineering college. Then I started to think big. Anyway, I will not be satisfied with a lousy cheapo machine, then why can’t I go for the big league of full faired sport/tourer bikes? I had to fix my choice between 5 machines.

  • The Yamaha R15 V2.0 (Still my favorite in looks)
  • Yamaha Fazer
  • Karizma ZMR
  • Honda CBR 150
  • Pulsar 220NS

Testing Phase

I was shooting to any of the bike showrooms near me whenever I get a chance. I got a chance of test riding all these dream machines except the 220NS, either from the bike showrooms or from my friends circle. I loved the Yamaha R15 because of its extreme looks and had an eye on the same as the first priority. But when I rode it, the whole image on the bike was lost.

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The bike was absolutely a performance machine, which lacked comfort big time. Also, the bike was extremely meant for youngsters who generally ride single, without a pillion. So if there were times when I should give a lift to my mom or sis, it will be a menace, if I owned the R15 queen. Fazer, which was the next choice lacked in proportions. As I am 5.9, the bike looked too small for me. My choice was narrowed to ZMR, CBR and the 220NS.

220NS dint show any popping up in the Bajaj showrooms so soon, so I had a toss between the CBR and the ZMR. I rode both of the vehicles, and found both were equally comfortable for me, even though ZMR was a little bigger than the CBR. In terms of mileage, from internet, I got an idea that the ZMR used to give a mileage between 40 to 45 and the CBR between 38 to 43. And the ZMR was about 20K cheap in my pocket. So finally I took my fairy queen, the ZMR 223.

Handling (4.5/5)

The bike is pretty much heavier and bulky than almost all other bikes in the category. So initially, you may feel, it won’t let you glide through the traffic much. But after a certain time, you will get trained for the same. In highways, the bike handles well with no jerks or vibrations. I think, it is just because of the weight that the bike is ultra-stable even after 100kmph.

Breaking (5/5)

A major part of my bike riding happens in highways, I always travel at speeds more than 80. Once there was an instance when a trailer turned to my lane and I was watching my bike’s Instant fuel consumption reading. All of a sudden, when I looked forward, the trailer was just in front of me. I hit both be brakes, and the bike instantly came to a halt, even though the back tire of the bike made some squeaking sound. The twin disks perform great and give great breaking.

Tires (3.5/5)

This is the part where, the bike appears a little cheap. The bike tires are so narrow (thick as a P150 tire) so the bike does not appear muscular from the back. They do provide awesome grip in dry roads, but I have experienced light skids in a rainy season. The tires are tubeless, and with a bigger diameter which is a good addon, but it makes the selection for aftermarket tires a mess. It would be good if HH shipped the bike with thicker tires.

Performance (4/5)

The bike performs well as a tourer, but it is not at all a sports/racing bike. That means, you can’t win a long drag race with a R15/CBR 250/P220 using this bike. Of course the acceleration is great as any Honda engine, but it is limited by the lousy top end.

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I have attained the maximum top end of 128Kmph at full throttle on NH47 when a P220 sadly overtook my bike and I had to slowdown weeping. If you need to race using this bike, race against P150-200, Apache series, Fazer, FZ etc. And adding up, HH has advertised the bike as a tourer only and not as a racer. So the bike serves its purpose well in this category.

Comfort (5+/5)

This is the section where the bike throws its league racers into shame. I can confidently say you won’t get this much riding comfort in any other mean machines like the P220 or R15. We can ride the bike for hours without any back pain, at a constant speed of 80-100Kmph. FYI, my work place is 160Km from my home.

So during weekends, I travel from home to work and vice versa in my fairy angel. She takes care of the job beautifully without any vibration problems so far. The riding stance is somewhere between a racer and a commuter. Even though bike is having split handle bars, we may not lean forward that much for handling the same.

So the bike offers style, without compromising with the comfort level. I should also mention that the pillion will also get the same comfort level as the rider because of the good seat and the dual NOS GRS shocks. Monoshocks adds up beauty to the bike, but reduces comfort to the pillion rider. Here, HH have taken a great decision by including a twin shock system with GRS instead of the Monoshocks.

Maintenance & Service (4.5/5)

The bike is equipped with a Honda engine, but the service center network is Hero’s. You know the rest. Till not, I have not came across any issues with the bike. I did some free services where I was charged around Rs. 150 for the engine oil change and all. Overall this is a maintenance free machine, if you do the services in right time.

Mileage (5+/5)

Another explicit area where the bike outperforms its league. Even though she is fitted with a 223 cc engine at the hull, it gives mileage on par/better than a 150cc bike. I am getting mileage between 45-50Kmpl always. I still don’t know how. Even HH is telling only 45Kmpl for the bike. I constantly ride at speeds between 80-100 on highways making sure that the acceleration/deceleration is even. I do not ramp the accelerator all of a sudden or apply brakes without a reason.

And one more point, I reached a speed of 100kmph before first service itself, and there also the speed increase was even with proper gear shifting. For good mileage, it will be better if you do not rage your bike to the high rpm level at lower gears. For eg, my bike’s highest RPM is 7000. Even for a race, I shifts gears below 6000 RPM. I think it is the best practice to protect the engine from getting screwed.

Conclusion

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All my friends used to criticize me for choosing ZMR against R15 as my bike. But many of them are now looking forward to get this bike after selling their pulsars (Even the P220 guy, his mileage is 30Kmpl after all the screwing and lousy comfort). I love this bike now, and can confidently recommend the same to any of my friends.

Plus points

  • Great acceleration throughout the speed range.
  • Great breaking with twin disks (largest disks for the category).
  • Great mileage for a 223 cc bike (45-55Kmpls @ 80Kmph speed) Thanks to ECU controlled FI.
  • Looks great when a rider is sitting on it, just because the bike is so bulky.
  • Great riding comfort and posture. Thanks to good seats, GRS and fairing.
  • Great stability @ high speeds. Thanks to fairing and kerb weight.

Negatives

  • Mediocre tires (slim tires).
  • Looks bad from sides (Bike alone photos).
  • Low top end (128Kmph full throttle).
  • Poor RTM indicator (Sometimes the mileage shown is more than 200 ).

Last but not least, I must say, always wear a helmet whenever you are riding a bike. Of course girls cannot see your faces with helmet, but they love the scene when you just pop off the helmet from your skulls and walks shaggy (Own experience LOL). I own a Vega motocross monster energy helmet which offers pretty much wind resistance at high speeds.

So, if you prefer comfort over looks, it will be better if you stick on to a full face helmet like LS2. I would love to hear comments from ZMR owners. You can contact me @ vishnurajan@live.com or www.facebook.com/vichuzzz . Till then, signing off.

Regards,
Vishnu Rajan

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Nice review dude…cheersss,,,, i got P150 full black machine 2 months back …but i’m in Dubai right now…my bro riding ..once i’ll go there i will upload the pics..soon

  2. A well-maintained P220 DTSi returns a healthy 42-43 kmpl in Bombay city, despite the traffic congestion in Bombay. Pulsar engines last as good as a Honda engine provided good care is taken of it. The Karizma ZMR is a slouch, the tyres are pathetic on wet roads. Headlight of the ZMR is too weak for night riding.

  3. Nice review . U Could have put up rtr 180 in ur list as its acceleration and top speed is good compared to zmr . Never mind, i think u needed a tourer .

  4. Hi, nice review. I also own a ZMR. But the only thing I cant accept is that you told, the ZMR cannot beat the P220. My friend own a P220 and in all the races between us, I have outrun him. Also my zmr shows max speed of 129 on speedo but on gps it shows 134. All bikes have speedo errors, but in pulsar, it shows a positive speedo error (shows 135 on speedo when bike is at 110) and in ZMR it shows a negative speedo error (shows 110 on speedo when bike is at 135) LMAO

    • That doesn’t sound realistic at all Karthik. The GPS indicated top speed of a ZMR is 126 kmph, the P220 outruns the ZMR on any given day. Either you are bluffing or your friend’s P220 isn’t in great shape.

      • Mayb the race is on a very small strip, or in hefty traffic. Else P220 will outrun the ZMR after 110kmph. Coz ZMR takes a lot f time to pull from 110. Also Reetho, my max attained speed till now is 131kmph (speedo) and 129 kmph (gps) when I shifted 3rd gear at 6.5k rpm and 4th gear at around 7.5k rpm. It was in a race against P220 carb version and he won that race too

        Ps, my ZMR is stock and the P220 had a green filter. I am not sure, whether the free flow filter can help in increasing acceleration as others say.

  5. dude u all r whining abt ZMR,let me tell u,ZMR got fuel injection it back fired ,dont give any advantage ,instead bike weight has incread drastically,rear looks sucks ,bike just struggles to gain more speed after 110 ,
    disadvantages
    rear looks,
    questionable tyres,
    good performance (in dreams),
    vibration in engine(more as compared to honda and yamahas)
    foot pegs arrange ment,
    weight,
    xpensive,
    u mean to say people shld spend more than 1grand for just good looking digital meter and comfort…just xplain me logic.

    • dude, fuel injection = the 50kmpl mileage I am getting for a 223 cc bike 😛
      bike weight = better stability at high speeds
      bike struggles to gain speed above 110. true fact. But zmr is a tourer, and can you show me a road here in kerala where I can cruise all the time at 150kmph?
      tires I already admitted
      U told above bad performance. Comment 1ce you have ridden a ZMR 😀
      vibration is more, sure.

  6. i have an karizMa 2006 model till the date am getting 42+ kmpl in city and 45+ on highways top speed 130kmph and covered almost 1lakh (98768kms) on odo meter just changed air filter k&n rc1100 & ir spark plug…
    in indian market karizma is KARIZMA baap of all bikes….
    n zmr no doubt its an complete package if you really know the technology then you can understand that why hh costing 1.2lakh for zmr…. it got 6 sensors dude…. alwayz a game

  7. there’s nothing to be surprised about fuel efficiency buddy.
    I’d posted my zmr review long back and even won the review contest.
    If zmr is consistently giving me a fuel efficiency of 43+ in hills of himachal , 45 or 50 kmpl in plains is very much possible

  8. HI Folks,

    I ve been driving my ZMR for the past 2 yrs..and I am thoroughly impressed . It is a stable bike…not meant for ripping..it just gobbles up Kms…consistently and at a rapid pace..It is a highway bike in the true sense..I do 120kms daily and no issues at all. Very comfy..a gentle giant…well mannered . Easily outpaces the other bikes on the road.
    Cons : Rear wheel too slim…skids in extreme braking…just not enough grip for emergency situations. Chain & sprockets bear the brunt and needs to be replaced periodically . Rattling can be arrested with strategically placed rubber pads..in the specific problem areas…increase the damping.

    Verdict : Well behaved bike..unassuming power delivery … and keeps going on for hours without U feeling the discomfort.

    A fully recommended buy !!!

    Cheers and safe driving to all !!

  9. I owns a white ZMR doen 2500 kms in new delhi. i am a hardcore roadster..ofcourse with motobikes,so my experience til date is satisfactory+.if you want comfy and a tourer bike..ZMR is for you.good mileage till now…loves ZMR engine SOUND,refined engine,Braking should have been better,, and monoshock shud also been there since itz a tourer-sports bike so monoshock is the need…overall a great experience….good technology..

  10. Hello Vishnu,
    This is Shafeeq, from UAE..I am planning to buy a ZMR..
    But I wanted to kno whether my mom ( around 45)can travel in tht bike.
    And I also would like to know whether my dad (50)can ride it without any stress.
    If not then surely I will be the one to post a zmr review in future.
    I am waiting for your reply,sir.
    My pleasure

  11. Vishnu, which one is better among Braking, handling,tyres, comfort, power,….
    Tvs apache rtr 180 ABS vs Hero Karizma ZMR Vs Royal Enfield Thunderbird.
    Please reply..

    • Hi,all…
      Although Karizma ZMR is superb Bike,but in terms of high maintenance..
      Now that i have this one..prsnl experience..
      What say…???

  12. hiiii bro..i like to buy karizma zmr some say it is good and some are saying wasting of money…wat do u say…..is there any problems upto now,some zmr owners say bike is good in all aspects but fuel pump sucks always so that u should pay 14k to get new one…plz suggest me i am reading all reviews about karizma zmr about 1 week continously…..but cant able to decide …..

  13. HII BRO..I AM PLANNING TO BUY ZMR..I AM INTRSTED A LOT…SOME PEOPLE SAY ZMR IS BEST AND SOME OTHER SAYS WASTING OF MONEYY…SO WAT DO U SAY ABOUT THIS……SOME ZMR OWNERS SAYS ZMR IS GGOOD IN ALL ASPECTS BUT FUEL PUMP SUCKS ALWAYS AND ITCOSTS 14K TO GET NEW ONE…..SO PLZ SUGGEST ME ABOUT THIS…DID U FACE ANY PROBLEMS LIKE THIS UPTO NOW ,HOW IS THE MILEAGE…..THANKS IN ADVANCE…..@VISHNU

  14. Hello Abdul Azeem
    + Regarding the Fuel pump: ZMR, CBR, R15 and Bullet 500 classic have EFI instead of Carburettors. There is a fuel pump inside the tank which pumps fuel. The carburettor works on the principle of gravity and mixes petrol and air.

    Also the fuel pump must be submerged under the petrol completely always. For this reason, you must leave 3-4 litres of petrol in the tank for EFI bikes. If you use up the petrol, the fuel pump will get fried and needs changing. Which is expensive.

    So, in summary, if you want to buy an EFI bike, you need to maintain it carefully.

    + IS ZMR a good choice: ZMR is technically behind other bikes, but remember that this is the cheapest EFI bike. The positives of ZMR
    – cheapest EFI bike
    – excellent comfort for rider and pillion
    – quality parts
    – good fuel efficiency
    – good performance IN ITS PRICE RANGE
    – very reliable

    Mohammed Shafeeq:
    You asked, “Which is better vis-a-vis Braking, handling,tyres, comfort, power,….
    Tvs apache rtr 180 ABS vs Hero Karizma ZMR Vs Royal Enfield Thunderbird.”

    Braking: RTR, ZMR, Bullet
    Handling: RTR, (ZMR and Bullet).
    Tyres: All are mediocre. None of them have soft-compound tyres like R15 and Duke. This means they are ok on dry roads and below average on wet roads.
    Comfort: ZMR and Bullet, RTR
    Power: RTR, Bullet, ZMR

    Handling:
    You’ll hear handling and riding comfort being discussed on reviews. Handling is how confidently the bike (not you) can take turns, do speeds, brake etc. This is accomplished by giving a stiff chassis (to begin with). Having a stiff chassis will compromise how comfortable the rider feels. So CBR250 is a touring bike and not a good track bike, because the chassis and suspension are tuned to give comfort to rider.

    The RTR is stiff. Don’t make your 50-year old dad and mom take a ride on it.

    In conclusion, I’d suggest a ZMR if you can afford it. It does all things reasonably well.
    If a bike is good

    • I have been viewing the reviews of K-ZMR for 1 month now and want 2 ask whether adulterated petrol will affect K-ZMR PGM FI Engine ? Things 2be taken care of while buying K-ZMR.

  15. hi guys,

    ‘m planning to buy Karizma ZMR but ‘m afraid of it’s millage. some people say that it gives 40, sometimes it gives 28. this bike is very costly for me. I want to know about it’s real average.

    Please guys comment.

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