Click, Kick and Wroooom. Have you ever heard anything better than that? Well, I haven’t! So this is all how it started, long way back in the 90s it was, the 4th of December.
Well, that’s my Birthday
To be formal (for a while) I am Shubham Mayank, 22, from Ranchi, the capital town of Jharkhand, Professionally a govt servant. As I already mentioned above, note of a running engine is something that makes me go mad and when it comes to bikes. Well you’ll have to see to believe! I’ve been driving my spirits on a 2011, Yamaha Fazer 150 for the past one year who has come to be known as Thorr! So, this is where it all turns up to.
This review is more of the chemistry between Thorr and me! The name suits him, as you see, he’s smart, muscular and mighty! This story kicked off long way back in my childhood days, when for the first time I got my hands on the respected Yamaha RX100 at an age of 8! It was indeed just a twist of throttle by me sitting on the fuel tank but the feel still persists in my mind. Bikes have been the only thing that can amaze me for a lifetime.
I have grown watching them go zoom-zoom through the traffic on the streets, watching them rule the tracks at the GP races on television, making my first attempt to ride a friend’s bike and getting the keys of my first own beauty on 29th of October 2009. It was a Hero Honda Glamour which I rode till 6th of April 2012 covering 35,463 happy Kms on the Odo. It was a joy riding the “Desh Ki Dhadkan”. The Glamour was truly Glamorous in all aspects with a decent pick up, Handling, Mileage, a refined and smooth engine and looks of course. The only downside was an underpowered engine of 125 cc mill churning out only 8 horses. Then I got Thorr, company of which I am enjoying till date!
The big Decision!
Having a thirst for gasoline for long, I craved for a beast under the saddle. But there were always issues. I hail from a lower middle class family, money has always been a big question when it came to the big biker inside. But I’m thankful to have the best and understanding parents in this world. They have always been supportive to my interests and they arranged a ride for me in my initial years of the college, never opposed my decision to buy a new bike after getting a job and even now my mother suggested me of opening an RD account for my next ride! I had been riding a HH Glamour for over two years and in between I got a job under the Ministry of communications and IT, Deptt. Of posts on 4th of April 2011.
So, the job was probably a kick start to my long suppressed dreams. It started with a separate savings account, followed by long long searches over the web. I had decided to get my set of wheels within one year as soon as I get enough savings. My requirements were a decent performer having a balance of Power and handling and looks and reliability being the first choice. During my searches, I came across a lot of beauties. The bikes which I sorted out were:
- The Yamaha YZF R15
- HH Karizma ZMR
- Bajaj Pulsar 220F
- Yamaha Fazer
Apache was also in the list but was ruled out due to its small size (no offence as looks is a matter of personal perception, and for me, the bigger the better). The YZF R15 with its hyper evolved technology and killer looks of the V 2.0 was the first choice but the price tag kept me from thinking of it, still it was somewhere in my mind. I still remember its test drive very well. The Engine was quite at the startup but as the throttle rose, I couldn’t figure out where the hell did a growling beast appeared willing to be pushed off its limits! I could say only one word “Incredible”. Second option was the Mighty, raw and untamed Bajaj Pulsar 220F. Man, I still have a bit of regret in leaving the powerhouse. Just a blip of throttle and there you go! Superbike style on 21 BHPs. The bike literally pushed me backwards as I tried teasing it. Must say the Pulsar 220F houses a hell lot of speed, speed and speed. The downsides were however irritating vibrations, kind of “heavy handling” and maintenance costs in the long run. Hence it was ruled out also.
Third and a very strong competitor was the Karizma ZMR. With a competitive price tag of 1lakh combined with that big daddy look, it was sure to lure a biker’s heart. I was no exception. (I was in a fix between the last Yammie in the list and this big Indo-Jap beauty. A very controversial Thread on the BikeAdvice blog can be seen which was started by me during the selection process. I still am thankful to my dear friends on the blog who were patient enough to guide me.)
The Looks were something more than great, I personally fell in love with the console and the clip ons. Mirrors matching with the bike added to its beauty. But the time I rode the bike it failed my exceptions. It was just a facial uplift of the Karizma R with a few tweaks in the engine. It wasn’t just worth of the Price I was to pay. Eventually it was off the list. Last stood the Fazer in all its pride and beauty. With its test drive on 2nd of April 2012, I decided to go for it.
Did the paper work on 6th of April 2012, followed by a sleepless night till 7th morning. Rushed to the showroom with my father and brother sharp at 10:00 hrs. Thorr was ready to go with me and after payment and some formalities; the keys were handed over to me to take me at the top of the world. The feeling of starter button being pushed for the first time is still indescribable, I let go the throttle and it zoomed off somewhat merrily leaving a stupid smile on my face all the way home! The very next day in the morning, I took it for its first spin just before sunrise. And I was in awe to surprise. The Bike was incomparably smooth, refined and possessed a distinct toyish, yet powerful engine noise! It was this time, 8th of August 2012, 05:00 Hrs IST, that the mighty Yammie got its name “Thorr”.
Thorr Shows itself!
The coming days were full of surprises whether it was the first curve, Thorr’s first visit to a hill top or a drive on the rough, typical Indian streets full of pitholes, the machine proved itself, slowly building a strong relationship with me. Surprisingly it made friends with my Bestie in a short span of time and shares a bonding with her also. Then came the long awaited day of 26th April 2012. Thorr crossed the 1000 Km Mark and was treated with a service at the ASC on 27th.
I could now let my wrist play with the throttle to some extent. And this time again, leaving a broad smile on my face, Thorr performed distinctly. You drive it decently, it obeys you but once you cross the 4K RPM mark, it commands you with a typical growl of its own followed by a healthy acceleration that can easily let you touch 3 digit mark on the speedo.
The bike is capable of doing 100+ speeds under healthy throttling. Till date I have done 122 Kmph highest on Thorr, but it requires some effort and skilled gear shifting to reach those speeds. But you can easily tour at a respectable speed of 75-80 Kmph for hours. That’s quite good for a normal 150cc, air-cooled engine. Fazer possesses a healthy torque of 14.0 NM owing to its square engine. This adds a lot to its decent touring capabilities. I haven’t faced any difficulties till date in climbing up a hill or an inclined highway or while overtaking any big vehicle on the highways. The engine takes a toll on any kind of tarmac.
Seeing its big size, I was in a fix about its handling characteristics, but the bike handles like breeze. Weighing least in its segment after the Apache RTR, its easy to control at all speeds. Many people talk about its maneuverability in city traffic keeping in mind its bulk. But based on my personal experience I feel its much better than most of its opponents in the handling department owing to the soft compound, tubeless MRF Revz Tyres that are grippy enough to grab any kind of Tarmac, the mass centralizing characteristics supported by the small, centrally located muffler and the wind tunnel tested fairing enough to cut oncoming wind blasts at high speeds with ease.
Cornering is the best as far as I think in its segment. It loves to engulf the corners with sharp bends and I bet, every biker heart would love to do that. I have managed knee-down cornering at mind blowing speeds of 95 Kmph+ with ease and Thorr has never failed me.
Suspension and Comfort
Monoshock at the rear and beefy telescopic forks at the front are more than enough to handle any kind of contour that the Indian roads can provide. The suspension is enough to prevent you from having a Sore Butt even on long-long runs. Seats and riding posture is somewhere between that of a track oriented sports bike and a mile munching cruiser.
This is perhaps the most crucial element that a vehicle possesses and I must say that the Yamaha engineers have done a lot of homework in developing this segment to its best. The Fairing is advertised to be wind tunnel tested and when you drive it, you’ll feel that sure it does!
At high speeds the fairing literally whistles cutting most of the wind blast coming to it. Rest of the body is also chiseled to perfection in terms of looks and added aerodynamics. The bike handles windy highways with ease even at high speeds giving you a comfortable and confident ride.
Provided with Bybre disc brakes at the front and large drums at the rear, Fazer possesses more than awesome braking efficiency. I have never felt the need of discs at the rear. You can literally press the front brakes hard even on 70+ speeds and be assured, it will stop the way you desire, safely! This is a big safety feature to run on the Indian streets where you can find a lot negligence to traffic rules.
Haha… here I go boasting! But I would let the Pics do the talking. But I must tell that I often handle a lot of enquiries on signals and enjoy a lot of turning heads wherever I go.
Thorr annoys me!
Nothing is perfect, and so is Thorr! After testing its capabilities the bike turned me down on a few aspects that I feel are important to mention here. First of all, the big Indian question: “Average kya hai?”. If you’re upto ask this then you sure gonna have a disappointment. Fazer can manage figures of 35 to 38 Kmpl in the city and 40-42 Kmpl on the highways. Anything more expected would be unfulfilled.
Secondly the bike lacks that extra punch of power which you’ll desire on long, open, highways. But I have a personal feeling that this desire is a result of its extremely developed handling characteristics which give you the confidence to demand more! Thirdly the rear tyre is prone to punctures, but that’s not much of an issue. The high price tag for a 150cc bike also raises question on its value for money. But at the last its your love for you buddy that matters, rest is the rest!
Riding being my passion has taken me to a lot of places, beautiful locations, greenery, mystic waters and mighty mountains. Thorr has been my buddy on my several road trips. My first long trip was to Patna, the capital town of neighboring state Bihar, approximately 400 Kms from Ranchi.
I drove continuously for almost 6 hours with 2-3 small stops for tea and one half an hour stop for lunch. Against all the odds, Thorr performed distinctly and beside minor engine heating, it didn’t complain a bit. Besides, I and Thorr have done a lot of short trips around the city on weekends, and it has always been a pleasure to ride it!
Till date thorr possesses some visual mods which include a pair of Angel eyes (My Personal Favourite), Engravings of “Thorr” on left side of the front fairing and “Demon” (A nickname given to me by a friend) on the right, a dragon on the front and a special Thorr’s logo at the rear. And pardon my boasting, all the stickers have been drawn and cut out by my own hands. Rest, I haven’t tried any performance mods on it. The Engine is still mint.
A Mman-Machine Affair
The bonding that Thorr shares with me is amazing sometimes even to me. It has been successful in bringing a smile to my face every day, as I come out of a hectic day at the office and enter the parking lot where it waits at #09. Every Saturday is long awaited with a preceding Friday night that is spent in planning a road trip.
It has accompanied me and my friends to whatever place we desired and that’s what it is loved for. It has been with me to all kinds of places and faced whatever comes to me side by side. In short everyday it makes me say: “Life rolls better, When You’ve got wheels”.