Hero Honda Karizma ZMR Review by Vishnu

Greetings my dear friends. This is Vishnu and it’s my great pleasure to share my experience with my buddy “The Karizma ZMR”. It’s my first ever review, so kindly forgive my mistakes. It’s been totally a wonderful experience cruising with my ZMR and still a thrill riding this bike after 9000kms.

A Small Flashback

2 years before. At those times I was not at all fond of bikes. I was quite happy with my dad’s Honda Activa. It was a hot summer that I was standing at my bus stop dreaming about my career. Suddenly a bike (I guess it was an altered Pulsar) swiftly zoomed of my eyes. The sound of the bike, the way of riding everything thrilled me. All these happened in seconds.

From that moment a craze about bikes blossomed in my mind. But I was at point blank stage about the bikes (I was aware only of their names). Then I started subscribing one auto magazine where the details about bikes are provided vast. I also researched in internet about it. Then I slowly started convincing my parents about buying a bike. It started in a buying 2nd hand bike worth 30k and reached at the 1lakh. My total family was against it. They didn’t expect more than a Hunk or FZ. But I was firm in my decision and was not ready to compromise for a 150cc one.

Selection Phase

Finally my parents agreed to buy a bike for me. Then three machines started revolving in my dreams.

  • Pulsar 220F
  • Karizma ZMR
  • Yamaha YZF R15

Pulsar 220 was the first option as the beast’s price tag looked attractive. But still I had little hesitation to go on with this monster as my friend who already had a 220 told me about its problems regarding naked chain and other aspects. In addition I was not sure about quality and service of P220. My friend who is working as mechanic in Bajaj service center advised me not to buy this one. So my choice reduced to two.

Then my eye was on R15. I love this born performer and its appearance was also just amazing. But the problem I faced while riding this was that it’s too short and felt uncomfortable for me, as you know that for a tall guy near to 6ft can’t think of choosing this bike. In fact mileage was another factor because 30kmpl will shrink my wallet. So next one to be ruled out was Yamaha R15.

Then the legend Karizma, I went to testdrive a Karizma R but its upgraded version ZMR was the one which satisfied my needs. It really impressed me in every aspect. Love at first sight. Even though it is bit bulky, it caught my mind at the at the first sight. I need to travel about 250km to my college at Salem, I confirmed “This is my bike”. I looked for a white charger but two months waiting period was so horrible and finally chose a black one.

Why ZMR Not R15?

This must be possible quest that everyone may ask. I was having the same question in my mind. I’ve tried to list those arguments:

  • Price factor: R15 costs about 10k more than ZMR (I only know how I begged my dad for 1 lakh Rs. So I was damn sure that my dad will not smile towards a 10k more price hike!).
  • My cousin owns a dazzling red R15 and he is my neighbor. So R15 will be a repetition.
  • Mileage: I’ve asked many about the mileage of R15. The maximum mileage I’ve heard was 40. And I was sure that it may burn my pocket.
  • The problem I faced while riding this was that it’s too short and felt uncomfortable for me (I’ am 6’’).
  • I know the arguments I’ve listed above may not favor many but some supernatural powers drifted me to Karizma ZMR.

Engine Run-In Period


I waited for almost a week impatiently and the day came when I got a call from the showroom that my bike is ready to deliver. I got the bike on 29 Dec 2010. I rocked the New-year with my new friend. But then was the worst moments in my life, till the first service was over my speed was limited to 60km/hr. With this beautiful machine in my hands I was eager to break the limits. Even after the first service I waited for a couple of 100kms to open the throttle. It is really a fun to cruise this machine around 70 – 80 km/hr.

Pricing: (Rating 8/10)

The bike cost Rs 1,04,500 when it was on the roads. Some may feel that it is overpriced but I won’t regret as it is worth for a Honda machine and the technologies used in it.

Mileage: (Rating 7/10)

Well for a 17.6 bhp, 160 kg bike no one expect a mileage what the company says (51kmpl), me too. The question that I faced adequately when I bought this bike was about the fuel consumption. I’m getting an average fuel economy of 42-45 kmpl. Well, some can’t digest this but it’s a fact.

Handling & Riding Quality: (Rating 8/10)

The ZMR gives me immense pleasure on its handling characteristics. I’m studying at Salem and for a long cruising from Kerala ZMR was a wise choice. It gives a good feedback at corners as it makes cornering a pleasure. I can easily slowdown it from 100km/hr to 50-60 km/hr as its braking plays well. It has got the bigger discs compared to its rivals. ZMR is liked by everyone who always like less gearshifts.

It has got a torque of 18.5Nm and this has been very useful in cities and in hilly areas. As the bike is heavy, speeding was not at all a problem for me. The most interesting thing about ZMR is that overtaking is always a fun. The throttle response is quite awesome. Then I met the first accident in my life on the next day of my first service.

I was cornering at almost 90kmph and suddenly lost my control, braked, slipped out of the road. My left side fairing was fully scratched and had sleepless nights until it got replaced. The left side fairing cost Rs.1850 and I paid an amount of Rs 3500 for repairing the total damage. I wondered of the quality of the fiber, just amazing. I thought my whole fairing was crashed at that moment.

Performance: (Rating 7.5/10)

The power ZMR gives is awesome. I takes only 3-4 secs to reach 60kmph and 12-13 secs to reach the 100kmph mark. It’s really a fun when you overtake someone, you can push and push, the engine responds quickly. “The day I can’t forget”: I once messed up with an R15 in a nearby town, everyone started staring at us and I had the final laugh, buhaha.

Service and Quality: (Rating 9/10)

As everyone know that HeroHonda has the largest network in the country and there is nothing negative to speak about it.


I was eager to find my machine’s top speed. I was wandering in the highways to get an opening, finally found one and opened the throttle crossing 100,110,120… I was eager to touch the 130 mark, but all my hopes got buried at 124kmph. Atleast 130 would have satisfied me. Another one is the slight engine vibration at higher RPMs.

Trip to Nelliampathy

The torque does a marvelous job especially in cities & in hilly areas. I went to Nelliampathy (a high range place in Palakkad full of scenic beauty and greenery) with my friends and all were fighting for my ZMR, I was proud of owning one. Less gearshift made hilly riding easy. My friend who has the P220 even seemed struggling while going to the top. On the way back I was moving at 105kmph in P220 and my friend riding ZMR overtook me and he told the meter showed just 95kmph. So you can guess how P220 reaches 144kmph.


For those who are searching for a sporty cum cruiser none other than ZMR would ever be a choice. I always dream of owning higher displacement bikes and I’m sure that I’ll own a YamahaR6 or a Ducati Monster. Always wear helmets and check your bike’s conditions when you are heading towards a ride. I would like to thank Deepak, and other editors for this opportunity. You can contact me at vishnurcvp@gmail.com

Vishnu R