Questions and Answers – Round 19

Hello avid readers, I, Saad Khan, is back with another round of question and answers. This time we decided to keep it a little short to enhance readability. We are also planning to work this way by reducing the number of questions we would publish the articles more frequently.

This would mean that you would get your answer faster and we can include more and more questions. Another thing is that, while you are entering your email ID, please do not misspell it. I receive many bounced-back “ID doesn’t exist” mails.

This way our endeavor to intimate you about your answer fails. Finally, please do not forget to leave your valuable comments in case your question has been answered.

1) Which bike is more value for money between Discover 150 & Samaha SZ? Which is the best 150cc bike in the market? I am planning of buying a bike in the month of March. Will there be new releases? Which bike gives good mileage in the 150cc segment? — SUHAS

BikeAdvice: Hi Suhas, In terms of outright specs Discover 150 outscores the SZ. It has got 1 PS of more power, almost equal torque, better fuel efficiency and a slightly more agile engine. Discover is also a good 11kgs lighter than SZ. The good part is it comes at a much lower price tag as well. Discover, with disc brake and self starter, is priced at an on road price of 52k in Pune which makes it . However, Discover 150 doesn’t have anything distinct to offer. It seems and looks exactly similar to all the other smaller cc Discovers. Talking about SZ, it feels and is a more upmarket product with fresh new styling. It has got a more relaxed engine and the feeling of built-to-last is more exuded on this machine. Choose one based on the above parameters. No machine is ‘the best’, its one’s priorities and preferences which make one machine better than the other. Apart from a possible cosmetically updated CBZ Extreme, we don’t think we would see any new machine in this segment till March. Fuel efficiency depends upon many factors, however in general we would list the bikes for your help in descending order of frugality: Discover 150 >> Suzuki GS150R >> Honda Unicorn >> Yamaha SZ = Unicorn Dazzler = Bajaj Pulsar = Hero Honda Hunk = Hero Honda CBZ Extreme etc

2) I have a Pulsar 150 2007 model. Can I change the chain set size that would increase the gear wheel the speed will be increased or not. Please help — RAJEN

BikeAdvice: Hi Rajen, Yes you can alter the teeth of your bikes sprockets to get either better top end (and lower initial pull) or quicker initial sprints (and lower top ends). Understand that you would not get the best of both the worlds and will have to sacrifice on either one of them. However, it’s a complex game. It depends upon what do you want to achieve. Do you want to play with the front sprocket or the rear? Decreasing teeth would enhance your initial burst but your engine would die out soon (= lesser top speed) and an increase of teeth would mean that your engine would produce more juice towards high revs (= higher top speed). One tooth from the front is considered to cause an effect equal to 3 teeth at the rear sprocket. However, tempering with the stock is not very much recommended under normal riding conditions, until you find something grossly missing in your bike or you want to try out something different knowing the repercussions of your doings!

3) I want to buy a bike in 150cc segment. My preferences are- powerful, stable, reliable, smooth, decent in mileage, less in maintenance. I have selected the New Honda UNICORN but I need help to choose the best. Please suggest. — SWARBENDU

BikeAdvice: Hi Swarbendu, Unicorn is a very good bike and fulfills all your criteria but is slightly less powerful than the competition. If the added budget is not a problem and you can digest the looks of the bike, Dazzler (which is an upgraded Unicorn) suits everything inch by inch. It would also offer you digital console, fatter and grippier rear tire and rear discs for enhancing braking capabilities of your bike. If you have any reservations against Dazzler, you could also consider the same engined Hunk and depending upon your preferences get the rear disc version or the base version.

4) Between Yamaha SZ X 153CC and Suzuki SZ 150R which one should I buy? My monthly running is around 2000-2500 kmpl. – PUSHP

BikeAdvice: Hi Pushp, With that higher running of around 60-80 kms daily, it should definitely be the Suzuki GS150R for you. It would offer you fantastic power delivery, much better torque spread and a smoother and relaxed engine compared to SZ. It is more stable out of the two (both on highways and cities) and has got a more frugal engine as well. You can expect GS150R to return you fuel efficiency figures of around 55 kmpl+ in cities and 60kmpl+ on highways. SZ is an entry level 150cc bike with an underpowered engine when compared with GS150R. Our advice: Go ahead and hit the Suzuki showroom.

5) My bike is cbz xtreme ATFT and I am getting only 40km/litre. I would like to know about the speed at which I should shift the gear for good mileage? — SUDARSHAN

BikeAdvice: Hi Sudarshan, You should be the best judge of when to change the gears. It depends upon the traffic conditions you are driving on. Moreover, more than speed it should be the tachometer which you should be considering while changing your gears. Just for your reference we would list the ideal speeds at which you would get maximum mileage from your bike. Just ensure you always ride on the green band of 45-65kmph without the need for changing gears frequently: 1st: 12-15kmph: 2nd – 20-25kmph: 3rd – 35kmph: 4th – 40-45kmph: 5th: 50-65kmph. Your fuel efficiency figures should hover around 48-55kmpl on your bike in general city driving conditions.

6) What is the ground clearance of Mahindra DURO / RODEO. Many reviews say that these scooters touch the speed breakers so, they were modified with higher ground clearance. Is it true? Is the ground clearance for DURO sufficient enough for India roads. — SASIKANTH

BikeAdvice: Hi Sasikanth, Ground clearance of a vehicle is the distance of the lowest point from the ground. Yes, you are correct in what you have heard. At 115mm, ground clearance of both Rodeo and Duro is an irritating issue. The stand acts as an irritant here which keeps on kissing the bumpy tarmac upon its will. You have to take extra caution when you are riding through rough roads or encounter a huge pothole/speed breaker. No, Mahindra should work on increasing the ground clearance of its scooters. Nonetheless, also look at other positives if you are considering these machines against others.

7) I wanted to know which is a better bike between Hero Honda Karizma R and Honda Unicorn? – BHAVESH CHHEDA

BikeAdvice: Hi Bhavesh, Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no ziltch of a connection between these two bikes. I am sure you have not test ridden these bikes, Please test ride both of them. You yourself would make out quite a much about these two distinct bikes.

One is a bigger cc powerful monster (and a fuel guzzler) other is a regular commuter 150cc refined bike. We would sum up by saying: If you want power, go for Karizma and if you want a sedate family kind of a bike which would also return you good fuel efficiency figures, go for Unicorn.

8.) a) I want average and speed. I am damn confused between TVS apache 180RTR & Bajaj Pulsar 220F. Please give me the best solution. – AMIT LALGE
b) Which among the following is better for handling in heavy traffic?
* Pulsar 220
* Apache RTR
* Yamaha R15 — VIJAY

BikeAdvice: Hi Vijay, it is the Apache RTR 180 which manages this crown of the easiest crawler in congested traffics owing to its high torque concentrated towards the lower rpm which acts upon a lower weight of the bike. This trait of Apache makes it the most nimble and agile bike in busy traffics followed by Pulsar 220. ZMR struggles because of its heavy weight and a huge full fairing. R15 is a dud at lower rpms and hence causes all kind of unsettling when you are stuck between vehicles. Amit, I am a little confused when you say you want both, mileage and speed from higher powered bikes like Apache 180 and Pulsar 220. Let me clear it out that bikes of this segment are more renowned for power and are established fuel guzzlers. Both the bikes you mentioned would return fuel efficiency figures in the range of 35kmpl. Comparing them headon, Pulsar 220 marches ahead simply because of its insanely powerful engine which produces lesser vibrations (comparatively), huge torque and great straight line ability. Apache outscores Pulsar in terms of cornering and handling capabilities and is also slightly better at fuel consumption. Our advice: Pulsar 220 DTSi

9) a)Any idea if the Honda VTR 250 is making appearance across India? — ARIJIT
b)When is Honda launching the VTR 250. Isn’t it hightime our manufacturers launched a good sub 400 cc bike in less than 2.5 lacs. These imported bike are expensive due to the import duties. — RITESH

BikeAdvice: Hi Ritesh, Arijit, Honda seems to be concentrating more on the CBR250R currently and hence we do not see much of the VTR in news currently. But I am sure, Honda would be keeping a close vigil on the response the CBR gets in India. If the response is positive we are sure to witness some technical marvels from the company pretty soon. And with no Hero Honda to cause hurdles now, it might be sooner than later. We share exactly the same sentiments and expect companies in India to start producing machines in India to reduce the customs and other taxes levied on foreign exports in turn causing prices to go over the heads. However, if you look closely the scenario is changing fast. We have the 250cc CBR, Mojo at lesser than 2 lakhs. Hyosung is all set to debut their 650cc sports monsters at some treacherously low prices. Yamaha is also expected to jump in. Kawasaki is busy preparing their own big recipe for India and then we always have the heavily potent Indian manufacturers of the likes of Bajaj and TVS which can set any tempo rolling.

10) Just wanted to know, when is the right time to replace the rear shock absorber in bike. Mine has crossed 25000 kms in city commuting. I feel the suspension has become poor. Is mine just a feeling, or shock absorber usually have more life. — FFEF

BikeAdvice: Hi ffef, As with your name, you did not mention your bike here. Nonetheless, it’s pretty hard to predict whether your rear shock absorbers are functioning properly or not without carefully observing them in person. I would suggest you to get them checked at your service station. However, rear shock absorbers generally have pretty high lives and do not need changes so soon.

11) A) I want to know about the Yamaha SS125 bike, its performance and mileage. It’s a family bike and please advise me should I buy this one, because it looks awesome. — SUDHAKARAN

B) I am a 19 year old man.165cm,54kg. Which bike is best suited for me? I should get mileage minimum 65km/l & stylish. — BASIL

C) Which is the best between the two bikes – Yamaha Gladiator SS and Honda CB Twister? — SARAVANAN

BikeAdvice: Hi Basil, Saravanan, Sudhakaran, Saravanan, Yamaha has upgraded the Gladiator recently. Comparing directly with Twister, Gladiator is a bigger engine (125cc) compared to the 109cc of Twister and hence all the regular specifications like power, torque etc go in favor of it. Twister, though smaller in engine size is a very agile bike with a much better fuel efficiency figures. Go for SS125 if you want a bigger bike with more power but can live with a lesser fuel efficiency (55-60kmpl). Go for Twister if you want a fresh new looking bike, a very agile and refined engine along with fuel efficiency figures of 65kmpl. A thorough test ride would further help you choose one between these two. Basil, you did not mention your preferred segment and budget. Keeping fuel efficiency and looks as the base criteria we would suggest you the Honda CB Twister from the 100cc segment and Shine from the 125cc segment. Twister is a premium 100cc bike and hence comes equipped with all the segment goodies. It is the most exciting 100cc in town with a fabulous and responsive engine and great torque. Shine is more of an entry level 125cc bike with basic looks and features. However, it also is loaded with a very agile, more powerful and a bigger 125cc engine which also returns fantastic fuel efficiency figures. Upon whatever criteria you mentioned, Twister fits the bill perfectly. Sudhakaran, SS125 is a pretty good bike with good torque and adequate power. It returns a decent fuel efficiency around 55-60kmpl. It also looks good. However, there are better bikes available in the market around that price tag. If you are looking for a family bike, also consider Shine from Honda which is one very good bike. You can also consider Pulsar 135LS and Discover 150 here. Take a thorough test ride of all of these.