“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride” – John.F.Kennedy. That moment of life when your heart skips a beat could happen in very special occasions. For few it happens when they fall in love at first sight and for few it happens when they get the first sight of their loved bike.
I fall in the latter case where in my heart skipped a beat on 23rd July 2012, when I saw this ‘Cutie’ standing tall and elegant to welcome me onto her (Definitely female! As I’m straight?) blossoms and stating “I’m all yours!”. Hello bike enthusiasts out there, myself Daivik, a passionate biker from Karnataka working for a MNC in garden city Bengaluru and my hometown is heritage city Mysore.
A Rider in me
I started riding a bike when I was in high school and learnt it from my dad on his legacy commuter Hero Honda Splendor. My love for bike started when I saw my dad caring this bike like anything. Even after 13 years of its birth, it shines nothing short than my ‘Cutie’ today. Every morning he cleans it and every now and then he services it.
Looking into this from my childhood days, I’ve a lot of respect to any bike, that they literally share a relationship with the rider. My dad offered me to buy a bike for me many times, but I was not giving much thought to it. Eventually in my final year of engineering, I decided on going for a two wheeled chariot for me.
Quest for ‘My First Bike’
The search for my first bike started. Just like any other bike hunter, I started surfing the web for every possible info, but trust me I landed up solely with the ownership reviews in bikeadvice.in to decide on my first bike. Hearty thanks to bikeadvice.in. I’m basically a person who wishes to live different every moment. Anything commonly seen goes out of my priority.
Same thing happened with Pulsar for me. I had been riding my cousin’s Pulsar for a long time, and It’s a great Indian bike even today with more than 10 years of leadership, but I didn’t like to have my first bike as just another bike on road, ‘I wanted it to be unique’. So after taking test rides of every 150cc bikes, I shortlisted on the following bikes based on my marks for my requirements (I needed a sporty commuter with comfort riding).
- Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler
- Yamaha FZ16
- Apache RTR160
- Hero Hunk
The reason why I rejected FZ16 is its average mileage. 35KMPL for a 150cc bike? This let me drop this lord of streets; though It’s the best looking 150cc bike in India (R15 is different altogether, so I keep it away in this) RTR160, though a racing breed, It didn’t suit my everyday commuting.
This, I’m saying because I had ridden this beast one whole day in Mysore city for my college department fest promotions and ended up the day with back ache. This led me drop out this powerful beast. Still I give a bow to it, for its superb power and throttle response. Hero Hunk, has got the best comfort to ride, but the hefty feel of it doesn’t encourage a rider to sneak in through the traffic and bend through curves, unlike the FZ and Dazzy. So I ruled out this muscular Hunk.
Finally I went to see Dazzler, as usual, with my dad. When I saw the poorly maintained test ride bike, I didn’t like the bike itself due to its golden color and dirty dust all over. My heart told me step back, I felt like compromising on poor average of FZ & decided to go with it.
The next day, I got the news about the launch of deluxe version of Dazzler with sporty racer looking pearl sunbeam white and red graphics. I had seen this graphics in CB Invicta racer edition (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=175n3x5Rqho) from Columbia. (Yes it has got worldwide recognition & good sales as RR150 in China, MegaPro in some other parts, I wonder why ‘Dazzler’ in India whenever my sis pulls my leg with eyetex dazler? ).
The moment I saw the launch, my heart strike to go for it. I decided on it without the second thought. I went to a showroom and tried to book this bike, but they didn’t take the bookings for this colored bike as they were not sure of its arrival. I went to another showroom and got a good response from them telling us that they will deliver it within 15 days! I was shocked to hear that and booked it immediately.
15 days turned to 1 month and I got to know it was a business tactics used by them and I lost the temper. I called up Honda head office in Haryana and shared my problem with the executives there and they asked for 30 mins of time. After 30mins I received a call from them, to my surprise they promised me the delivery in 15 days and I got it in exact 15 days on 23rd July 2012.
After 45days of difficult waiting, I got the first sight of my loved bike and my heart skipped a beat. She looked hot and seducing in every angle for me. I touched the tank shrouds & the face, for which she responded “I’m all yours!” For a moment I was lost in her & then we paid the cash and got the keys & a green signal to go ahead.
I gave the keys to my dad and asked him to start off on this new member of our home. I felt proud on my selection to see that smile on my dad’s face. You are my guru dad. It was my turn to start off on this angel and was a breeze to move her. No words can explain that splendid feeling.
Design and Ergonomics
The bike is designed to meet the requirements of a powerful commuter with a sporty look added to it. It scores excellent in terms of the ergonomics and proportionate design of the vehicle. The intent of reducing weight (8kg) and tuning a bit high power compared with that of the unicorn is to add more handling ability with better power and performance.
The bike’s mono-suspension adds to the great handling ability here. The ergonomics of the bike is well maintained to ensure vibe-free ride and the diamond frame chassis of the bike provides with an excellent stability of the bike. The tail design definitely earns an appreciation except the break light design.
Seating Posture, Handlebars and Comfort
As required for any commuter bike, the erect or straight seating posture for the rider is maintained even here. You need not lean forward and stress your back while riding. One can easily get hold of the handles by sitting straight due to its raised handlebars and comfortable with the perfect placement of the gear and brakes. I’ve had many long rides on this bike, but I’ve never witnessed a back ache or the shoulder pain, of course butt pains a bit after an hour, as the seats are not very well cushioned.
Pillion Space and Comfort
Enough space for pillion is provide and is at better height compared to Pulsar and the comfort is of okay type for long rides but it is very comfortable for short rides.
Mono-Suspension & Handling
As mentioned earlier also, this adds really well to the ergonomics of the bike. The centered single suspension can be set into three levels based on the terrain type. Soft, hard or medium. The default level is medium and I’m satisfied with it that I have not found a reason to change the settings yet.
Trust me, the handling of this bike is mind-blowing with its courtesy and we can see FZ standing equal to it on this section, in-fact FZ handling is better with the thick tyre it has got and the kind of handlebar it has. It absorbs the unevenness of the road very well and has never behaved sturdy in bumps and humps due to which my back is very much safe from pains.
Front Telescopic Suspension
It does the job pretty descent. Still I feel it to be sturdy sometimes when front disc is applied compared to that of the Pulsar. Apart from this, the bumps are well managed by this as well.
The buttons and switches on the handles are just above average in terms of the design. They are of good quality though, the wires move around below the handles through the bars which I didn’t like much. Still not a matter to be worried about as it all functions absolutely perfect. It has got all the basic switches and buttons like pass light, indicator switch, horn, light switch, dim and dip switch, self-start and also choke but it lacks the very much needed engine kill switch.
Because in city like Bengaluru, with the courtesy of hell like traffic, it hurts me every time I go to ignition key to turn it off. I give a bow to Pulsars for their electricals, I really like them a lot, with the LED lights for the buttons at night giving some premium look. Honda got to work on this.
The console is of analog-digital type. It looks very descent & perfectly placed with the RPM meter at center, whose left has neutral and left indicator lights & right has right indicator light and the blue backlit digital meter. The below part has select and reset buttons to switch between odo and trip meters and reset the trip meter and also to set time.
The speedo is having good font size. The blue color of the backlit doesn’t strain your eyes during night and it’s a pleasure to see it. The time shown in the panel has helped me in keeping up with my time to office.
Tank & Shrouds
The petrol tank is very well shaped with 12 liters of capacity. The thighs nicely align with the shape of the tank while riding. The shrouds add to the beauty of the bike and give a future-looking feel to the bike. The floating logo of Honda on shrouds adds to the elegance of the bike.
Tyres & chain
The tubeless tyres on both ends deserve an appreciation. It provides with a better road grip compared to tuff-up tube tyres. The MRF tyres are of high quality and are having very good road friction capability even on wet roads. Till date, even after 5555km on odo, not even once I have got puncture issues.
The matt finished alloy wheels and the matt exhaust add to the premium feel as well. The sporty looking half covered chain adds to the future look of the bike and there are no issues with the chain. They need regular lubrication unlike the fully covered chains and don’t make noise when lubricated.
The viscous air filter in this bike is aiding a perfect supply of air to the carbuerator and the carb is perfectly tuned to allow the bike breathe flawlessly. If you replace with K&N filter it would provide a slight increase in the power compared with the stock filter.
This is where Honda bikes score 10 on 10 comparatively. The very well refined engines from Honda are the most reliable engines on road today. The air cooled, 4 stroke engine sounds damn smooth, that you start loving it.
This power mill can deliver a maximum of 14bhp power @ 8500 rpm with a very impressive torque which you notice when you bend your bike at high speed on highways. Even while ripping hard the engine does not seem to be stressed up, in fact it asks for more throttle. Even after 8 months, 5555km of this biking experience, she is still as new as the first day. This is because of the reliable engine she has got.
It has got 5 gear transmissions with 1 down 4 up toe-shifter gear. This toe-shifter adds to the sporty feel as well. The gear shift buttery smooth, never behaved sturdy till now. Due to this smooth shifting, many times I have faced false neutral problem while shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. The gear has never slipped till now. Very much satisfied with it.
Many people step back to this bike for a primary reason of “No kick Start! What if it does not start?!” But trust me till date it has got started in first press itself. Even after resting for many days, she starts normal. The only thing I do before starting the bike every morning is I pull choke and then start the bike and hold for 15 seconds.
This not only helps in the battery life, but also warms up the engine and gets set to perform. No issues with the battery even though the blue backlit of console is always on every time the ignition are on.
Headlamp & Break light & Indicators
The headlamp is just above average in the amount of light it spreads @ night. The halogen bulb delivers the light based on your acceleration. Without any throttle the light looks so dim that the visibility gets screwed up. The break light does a descent job, but the design of it should have been better. The pass light works really great beaming a high flash onto the vehicles coming opposite. The indicators are very well placed and are having clear visibility for the vehicles around.
Power & Performance
This is a high revving machine. The real potential of this bike is know when you cross 50kmph. The power mill is designed in such a way that its delivers maximum amount of power @ higher speeds. This doesn’t mean that it acts like a 100cc machine at lower speeds. The bike delivers a very impressive power @ lower speeds as well.
The 3rd gear pull is so impressive that it picks up speed and climbs to 50kmph within no-time. I have achieved 0-60kmph in 6.2seconds. Once you cross 60 kmph, you notice the real power of this bike. 60-90kmph is a bliss trust me and I love this range of speed. She sprints like a horse and the stability? You will fall in love with it. No vibes, no engine stress shown up, no wobbling.
From 90 to 100 kmph, it slows down a bit comparatively, still picks up in an impressive way. After 100 it takes more time to touch the top notch. Also this bike pulls a single rider with a weight of 66kg like me from as low as 23kmph in top gear (5th), which again is a good sign of its power. I can proudly say that this is a true performance bike. Riding in traffic and squeezing through the gaps and overtaking is a treat on this bike, because she delivers the power you need @ that moment and has never disappointed me.
One of the reasons for in choosing this bike is its dual disc brakes. The rear dual disc brake is very much needed for this powerful machine. Disc brakes double the braking ability over the drum brakes. But one should be careful in using it. Because this bike is not equipped with an ABS for that matter.
There are all chances of wheel locking if the brakes are forcefully applied. Rear brake alone applied is usually prone for this wheel lock which I’ve noticed. But if you go with both the brakes, you can slow down from higher speeds instantly near humps and bumps and also emergency cases. This is definitely an added advantage to this bike.
116kmph is the top notch my ‘Cutie’ goes to, with me alone. I haven’t tried with a pillion rider. If I change to K&N filter, the top notch will increase for sure. I also like to add, take it to top notch only in a wide road with less or no vehicles and never try it in dense or narrow roads and never risk yourself at any cost. Ride safe and happy.
Here comes the most concerned section for a bike. A bike’s worth is known by the average it is returning for what it is taking and giving. If it takes a lot and gives a lot then low average returned is not an issue like in R15. My cutie gives what she takes, so she is returning an impressive mileage. Company claims 60kmpl of mileage in ideal conditions. My cutie returns me varied mileage based on the speed I maintain.
In City: 45-55kmph – 50kmpl
In Highway: 50-60kmph – 53kmpl, 70-80kmph – 45kmpl, 85-100kmph – 41kmpl,
In Mixed Conditions: 47-49kmpl
These figures are based on my observations in the mileage I’ve got in the various conditions and speed that I’ve ridden my bike. It all depends on the range you shift gears and the way you accelerate i.e., linear or burst mode. I usually ride with rapid acceleration. So a linear acceleration and shifting gears between 3k-4k rpm would definitely increase the mileage. Till date I have achieved a maximum mileage of 55kmpl and a least of 41kmpl. But one thing is assured she gives what she takes.
Many a times, I’ve had long rides from Bengaluru to Mysore & the other way as well during weekends. It is 160 km from my Bengaluru residence to Mysore residence. One can really feel the power, handling and the stability in long rides. I have clearly understood how my cutie behaves, through these long rides.
The best part is the engine never compromises with its performance. I have never noticed the power drop with my cutie. I don’t even get back ache or shoulder ache, but I do get butt ache half the way. I have also ridden with a pillion. I have also become pillion sometimes; it is not very much comfortable as the rider.
Just a few days before writing this review we friends went to Nandi Hills on three bikes, 6 members. Two Pulsar-150 and my cutie. While climbing through those steep curves with a pillion, the bike managed to pull in second gear. The pin-end-curves challenged the torque ability of my bike, for which she responded flawless bend and stability. She did consume more fuel than normal as the given task was not simple, riding a hill with a pillion.
I’m little disappointed with the paint job done by Honda. In two places the white color has come out luckily it is at the edge of the side covers below seat. It happened after I gave for Teflon coating during my second service, they actually use machine for coating. I doubt it’s their fault while using the machine at the edges. Apart from this I have not got any performance issues.
Indeed it’s “Lifetime in Every Moment” and nothing can be compared to the pleasure of riding this bike. This is an excellent machine from Honda and bliss to ride on. Every bike is good in its own way and every rider looks at it in his own way. This review is my way of looking at this bike and I’m sure this review might help someone in confusion of buying this bike. Hope you liked this review. Happy and safe riding?
“For few, the heart skips a beat when they fall in love at first sight but for few, it skips a beat when they get the first sight of their loved bike”