Hi everyone, this is Santanu (22yrs) from Kolkata. I am a final year engineering student and yet to join Infosys this year. This review is about a very unusual and old bike. But truly speaking I just love this bike and it has been with our family for past 15 years & I have been riding it for past 8 years.
Its a 1996 Kawasaki Bajaj 4S Champion. Apart from this I also own a Hyosung GT250 and Yamaha Rx135 (with performance upgrades).
But this bikes occupies a special place in my heart and so I am writing this review. The review has less technical terms and more of my own ride experiences.
Style & Build Quality
There is nothing to boast of in this section. As compared to any modern bike the 4S looks pretty outdated with its all-square looks. Square headlamps, tail lamp, indicators, mirrors and near square body panels. Front mud guard, rear shocks, grab rails, knee guard and silencer is chrome coated.
The thing I like is the 3D Kbajaj logo and the company has revived it through its pulsar brand. But overall it has a charm of its own. It’s simple and attractive in my eyes. It is small compared to modern 100cc bikes and has got a low seat high but high ground clearance of 150mm.It has got spoke wheels & an Instrument cluster with speedometer calibrated up to 110km/hr, high beam indicators neutral and turn indicators.
Build quality is surprisingly good. The paint and chrome on my bike is original. Though I have spent nothing on the maintenance, the body looks pretty decent and there are no rusts. The bike is all metal expect the mudguard flaps, instrument panel and lights.
Engine & Transmission
It has a 99.35cc 4-stroke over head cam single cylinder engine and produces 7.02b hp@8500 rpm, a Radical Aluminum Combustion Engine (R.A.C.E.) (for newer models), which is fitted vertically on the tubular chassis. The engine is tuned for fuel efficiency and not performance. So don’t expect awesome acceleration and top speed. Its mated to a 4 speed gearbox and transmission is all-down which is very smooth.
The bike accelerates very well within the 0-60kmph range. The engine doesn’t knock at 20km/hr in top gear on a single ride and then pulls all the way. It feels a bit out of breath after 75km/hr. The maximum I did on this bike was 95km/hr on the Speedo (may be 85km/hr-87km/hr actual).
Maximum I have covered on this bike at a stretch is 175kms from my home at Kolkata to my college at Durgapur via Kona Expressway-NH 2 with a 15mins break in between. I steadily cruised (like a tortoise on the highway) at 55-60km/hr. Engine is tuned for city riding and it is not fit for highway riding. The silencer has got a unique note similar to HH CD100 but a deeper note.
This is the test the 4s fares very well. When my father bought this bike back in ‘96 it returned an amazing 85km/l. After 15years of service the bike returns 65+ km/l averages under city riding and I have even got 75km/l for long drives (say 50-60kms at a stretch on highway). It has a fuel tank capacity of 9.3 liters which gives it a range of around 600kms with a single fill.
Handling, Ride Quality & Braking
The bike weighs merely 101kgs and the sitting position is upright and handle bar is wide and raised. This owes to very easy handling and small size of the bike ensures u can slice through heavy traffic with ease. Ride quality is good and seats are wide and soft enough for an average sized man (like me 5’9” 70kgs).
This bike comes with Gabriel shock absorbers and rear one is 5step adjustable. Due to its light weight its bit unstable after u cross 65-70km/hr mark on a single ride but with a pillion it’s steady. The bike comes company fitted with 2.50×18 front & 2.75×18 rear MRF tyres.
I recently upgraded the rear tyre to a 3.00×18 Dunlop JAP 350 which offers superior ground grip. The bike has drum brake at both ends and this result in not so good braking. Also owing to its light weight the bike tends to skid under panic braking at speed of 60km/hr+.
This is an absolutely zero-maintenance bike. The only thing u need to run is petrol. Every 5000kms I change my engine oil (I use Castrol active for this bike), clean my air filter foam with petrol and tune the carburetor. I wash it once every 15 days. The only part I have replaced was the rear tyre (it was worn out). Except this every part is original. Only 2/3 fused bulbs, seat covers, cables have been replaced since then.
This bike is not what a performance freak craves for. It’s a simple bike which fulfils the basic commuter requirements as a good city bike which is reliable, easy to ride and cheap to run. There is nothing special in this bike, but the simplicity is what you will fall in love with.
- Superb fuel efficiency
- Excellent commuter
- Easy handling
- Outdated looks
Thanks for reading