Hero Honda Karizma ZMR Ownership Review By Gaurav

Hi Riderz, Karzima, is the one word synonymous with Indian biking unleashed during early 90’s. I always had a thought what could Hero Honda could do extra in such an old model given the fact the power mill is the same and that’s why I was apprehensive before buying this bike.

A quick intro about me, Software management professional, mostly travels on bikes on weekend getaways, passion for Bikes & Cars, best rides driven in past- Bajaj Pulsar 200. Let me recap the decision before buying Karizma ZMR and the possible options which came in my mind. Budget!- Being from my own Kamai/Earning, had to limit the budget around 1 lac, thus Honda CBR250R was an obvious No, Nope!

First bike, which came to my mind, was Bajaj Pulsar 220F. With a whole lot less burn on my pocket, More BHP, Top Speed less than none in the this category, this was the obvious choice. But, I took a long Ride before buying! Then did flip my mind like a coin in an instant.

I had a lot of expectations as far as handling is concerned and the power delivery is concerned. Pulsar 220F is quick but it doesn’t feel like one, it has weight, but doesn’t feel like one connected to. I wanted to speed up the bike on corners but couldn’t. Probably, I needed something which connects better to the ground.

Definitely, Yamaha YZF-R15 was the second bike which crossed my mind but then came the long waiting period before me, a whole 2-3 Months, this just made me switch-off. But before that, I had also taken R15 for a ride from my friend and felt that this ride was made for highways only, it ran just like a regular bike under 5k rpm and needed high revving to get that smooth feel within city.

Although, it felt the best on cornering, it felt way more balanced then Pulsar 220 F. Also, the rider position was not all that comfortable. My mind started tossing on the ocean, being a city rider mostly. Ultimately; Yamaha Brand was getting away from me. The next ride was TVS Apache RTR 180.

“WoHero Hondah… what a ride this is, the power is bang on!, The handling is quite good, price is also good, looks good/OK” these are the words which came to my mind when I had seen/driven this bike. But again, due to engine issue in past which I had seen with my friend’s RTR, I decided not to go with Apache. Although, I must admit I liked this bike.

The last test ride which was in my mind was Hero Honda Karizma ZMR. Reasons: Price of Rs.1.07 for 223 cc bike and Hero Honda being not the parent to the technology. Now about the test ride, what can I say, I felt just so right when I rode this bike for the first time. The ride position is just so comfortable, it feels just so connected and the power is also there, which I earlier assumed to be absent.

On the test ride itself I was able to corner at 60-70 Kmph which I wasn’t able to do confidently with other bikes. Well, I had made a choice for myself, I had made my mind that this is what I would like to ride. I searched a few more showrooms in Pune and finally bought a white Karizma ZMR, as it accentuated itz bulky looks quite grace fully.

Ride Experience

It’s been 7.5k on the run from Feb 2011 with a top speed clocked at 127kmph and also throne the bike into quite a potholes as well. Yes, It’s running as one would expect it to be, great I would like to break the ride experience into two categories: (A) Riding In outskirts of city, (B) Daily routine to Office, purely city traffic.

Riding In outskirts of city: The experience so far has been quite good for the ride I have done to places like Lavasa, Lonavala, and Sinhagad to name a few all near Pune. Well one thing is common in all these rides is twisty roads, Ghats, some steep corners, And I am happy to say Karizma ZMR brought smiles to my face at every turns. If any one of you like to do less gear shifts then this is the bike for you, absolutely marvelous. A comment from Pillion on a ride to Lavasa: ”I feel your bike is much comfortable yaar, compared to FZ-16 and Bajaj Avenger”.

Daily routine to Office, purely city traffic: If anyone is from Pune and has office in Hinjewadi, he would know what I am referring to. The traffic is like hell and maneuvering through it is quite painful, but it is quite less with Karizma ZMR owing to the fact that I have driven some other bikes as well on this road. The mirror position is quite practical but requires folding in case of extreme less gaps to pass through from.


  • The bike has PGMFI engine, so better mileage & a smoother ride.
  • The suspension is very comfortable; GRS is what Hero Honda have termed it.
  • The digital speedometer console is undoubtedly the best on any Bike available in India Under 500cc as per my observation. 2 Trip meters, clock, welcome message with your name, adds a nice touch, last 10 secs fuel average in kmpl. Easily viewable in day light as well.
  • Disk brakes at both front and rear
  • Tubeless TYRES
  • Sensor: 7 types- crank position, oil, throttle, air intake, etc. Totally awesome!
  • Lights are good looking and illumination is decent, rear one’s are LED.


  • The bike is well built, the paint is good, the plastics are of good quality, and it’s a head turner.
  • The suspension is on a softer side thus can absorb the potholes quite easily without any concerns.
  • The ride position is just awesome; you won’t feel stressed even after long rides.
  • The power is Okay, it can take you 0-100 kmph quite comfortably without letting you know.
  • The 5 speed gear shift is smooth; the engine is the smoothest I have ever driven (at all RPM’s).
  • The balance of bike is excellent.
  • Fuel injection engine give smoother ride and better mileage as well. It give 35-40 Kmpl, any way you ride
  • Longer seat length, Split seat isn’t there, I feel, this is better, practically, if tripling is to be done at some point of time, (although not advisable)


  • The top speed isn’t that great, although you can cruise at 110-120 kmph for all day long.
  • The bike suspension is on a softer side, so isn’t made for track surface.
  • May be bulkier for shorter people, it’s quite huge in size.
  • Braking isn’t that great either, need better skills to manage the braking.
  • TYRES could have been broader, given the fact that every other manufacturer is giving it now.
  • Rear of the bike looks puny compared to the front.


If you are looking for head turner, if you are looking a comfortable bike, if you looking for refined engine, good handling, decent mileage then ZMR is the one. Just ride it once and feel the difference!

Gaurav Deshmukh