Questions & Answers – Round 12 (General)

1)A)which one is better between Suzuki GS150R & Apache RTR 160? –ANKUR

B) I read almost all of your reviews. I am a little confused about buying a hunk or an fz. I have a splendor for the last 12 years. I do not use the bike a lot. I love to drive bikes. I would drive this bike mostly city. The question, would my choice of bikes suite my age (36 years). If so which one would be a better choice. Please advice. –SUNIL

C) I have decided to buy a bike within 2 weeks and a little confused within bikes. I want to buy within 160cc and it should not be more than Rs 75000. My list includes Pulsar, FZ & Apache and I want good mileage and digital speedometer. — VIKI

D)I am a medical student aged 20 yr & planning to buy a bike in 150 cc n would like 2 know which one u suggest between Pulsar, Apache, Hunk or any other. Since I have got a bad back ache which one would u suggest in this segment –RITESH

E)This is the second time I am writing to you. I am planning to buy a bike in 100-150cc segment. Suggest me which bike is best, CBZ / Unicorn / GS150R/Apache. Waiting for your reply. Also let me know about the mileage of the bikes above. –SRINIVAS

BIKEADVICE: Apache RTR160: Pint sized performer this bike is with a lovely geometry between the frame, tank and the balance which enables it to be a terrific handler. Fuel efficiency figures of around 45kmpl are also pretty good considering the power it generates. Negatives include a ‘comparatively’ harsher engine with vibrations creeping in at mid to high rpms.

Pulsar 150: This bike has been given a makeover recently and it now comes loaded with a 15PS powerful engine which would enhance its on road performance big time. Pulsar has always been an all round product and if Bajaj manages to keep the fuel efficiency figures upwards of 50kmpl even with this power upgrade, it would make this bike one of the most optimum ones in the market. Negatives include pretty lame and dull Bajaj’s service and few typical Bajaj niggling problems.

FZ 16: Yamaha’s trump card, FZ is probably one of the best and meanest looking bikes in the country. Produces a peak power output of 14PS and torque output of a healthy 14Nm but is low on fuel efficiency (expect 40kmpl+). Negatives might include its higher price tag.

Hunk: All Honda bikes are generally silent performers, both on the road and in the market (read sales volumes). Hunk is one of the best designed bikes from Hero Honda (especially after a lot of bad attempts by them) and has a very potent and a hasslefree engine. This bike doesn’t sport the digital gizmos which have taken the market by storm these days but for analogue fans, these look tremendous. Negatives include a high waiting time (generally) for Honda machines.

CBZ Extreme: Both Hunk and Extreme sport same and better tuned version of the same super refined Unicorn’s engine. Produce 14.2bhp & the torque of 12.8Nm builds up right from the word go and is probably one of the best bikes in the market which has a lovely torque delivery in this segment

Unicorn: India’s most refined bike but that’s about it! Lacks the charm and freshness and needs a desperate proper technical upgrade and more so after the launch of GS150R.

GS150R: It’s the bike which does it all. Takes you from place A to place B in a flash, returns best fuel efficiency (55+ kmpl) in its class and looks good too. Cons include a not so widespread service network and conservative looks that might not be liked by todays youth.

Ankur, as you can clearly make out, Apache is more suitable for a person who is more inclined towards performance. GS150R is for those who want all the worlds combined in one little package.

Sunil, age doesn’t have anything to do with biking! Hunk might be a better buy for you.

Viki, since you want a better mileage bike which has digital consoles, Pulsar 150 would be it among your listed ones.

Ritesh, Apache RTR 160 is a hooligan type of a bike with loads of power and awesome handling characteristics. Pulsar 150, with its latest iteration, has gone through a power upgrade (15.06 PS) and is expected to be a blasting performer as well. Hunk is more of a sedate performer and probably the best looking out of the lot. Since you have a backache problem we would suggest you to thoroughly test drive all the bikes and drive them for as longer distances as you can. We would specially suggest you to concentrate more on Pulsar and Hunk (since Apache has got more of a sporty seating posture which might make matters worse for you). We feel Hunk might be a little more comfortable for you because of a pretty good knee recess and an upright seating posture with a good designed seat.

Srinivas, we apologize for a delay in reply. CBZ- 50kmpl, Unicorn- 55kmpl, GS150R: 55-60 kmpl, Apache RTR 160: 45kmpl. Since you are worried about fuel efficiency figures we would recommend you the GS150R.

2) I am contemplating in buying a bike in the 150cc and above segment. Because of the concern of rising fuel prices a bike with good fuel efficiency is what I expect. Also, I don’t want to compromise much on style. –RAVI

BIKEADVICE: Hi Ravi, In this segment, GS150R is the bike which returns best fuel efficiency figures (of 55-60 kmpl consistently). Its pretty decent in style and has some great features and a fantastic smooth engine. By the way, why don’t you consider the recently launched Pulsar 135LS? Its lighter on the pocket (and earth!), has performance comparable to starting 150ccs and returns fuel efficiency better than them (60+ kmpl).

3)I am a student and work during night time in my laboratory which is far away in a remote area. I want a bike for plying from my hostel which would be cost effective. Please suggest –WASEEM

BIKEADVICE: Hi Waseem, it would have been better if you would have provided us with more details like budget and segment as well. However, we would provide you a combo of optimum upfront price and mileage. In this regards, you can consider the following bikes

1)Platina 125: This latest offering from Bajaj now comes at shattering prices (43k OTR). You would get a bigger 125cc engine, 5 gears at a price in which you would not get even a few 100ccs. However, we haven’t ridden the new offering so we cant comment on the on road behavior of the bike much.

2)Discover DTS-Si: A fantastic 100cc bike from Bajaj which has been selling like hot cakes of late. Price 45k, FE 70kmpl.

3)Hero Honda CD series: These bikes come with bullet proof reliability, decent FE (60-65kmpl) and lower prices (40k). However they feel and are underpowered.

4)Honda CB Twister: If you want a sporty bike, CB Twister is one of the best bikes to have hit the market of late, however, you will have to pay higher price for that (50k)

Test drive all the bikes and analyze their pros and cons according to your priorities and then zero in on a bike. CB Twister, followed by Discover would be our pick

4) Dear Sir, kindly suggest which bike I should go for from the following requirements:

[1] Will be using it for long distance rides / highways.
[2] Good ride quality, solid build.
[3] My age is 34 years – slightly overweight.
[4] My budget is under 1.5 lakh.
I am willing to wait for another 3-6 months if any new bike that best suits my requirement is coming. Thanks! –PANKAJ

BIKEADVICE: Hi Pankaj, after reading your query, only one bike came to our mind instantaneously, the evergreen Karizma R. It’s the queen of highways with probably one of the best ride quality a bike can provide. It has been regarded as the best tourer in the country so the question on build quality goes out of question. The torque buildup of the bike is impeccable which would take care of your being slightly on the higher side on the weighing scale. But beware! Its spare parts cost a bomb (an unreasonable bomb that is!)

5)Hi, I am planning to buy a new bike. My budget is 70K. I am 6ft 2″ tall. Can you please advice which one will best suite me in terms of both mileage and looks? Please suggest a family oriented bike. –DURGAPRASAD

BIKEADVICE: Hi Durgaprasad, Suzuki GS150R is what we think would best suit your requirements. It’s a good looking bike which returns the best fuel efficiency figures at this price range and has ample amount of torque to pull you along with your family together easily. Honda Unicorn is another bike you could consider but our pick would be the Suzuki GS150R.

6)I have got a Bajaj Discover 125 & its tires have worn out by now. Can I fit different (sport) tires or the normal ones available for the bike? –ABHIJIT

BIKEADVICE: Hi Abhijit, Companies fit a bike with an optimum rating (and thickness) tyre after carrying out a lot of R & D, hence we recommend you to adhere to the same rating. However you can go for a tyre from a better brand. MRF, IRC are regarded to be good and cost effective.

7)I have currently booked a pulsar 180 in month of march 2010 but my dealer said pulsar is not in stock because company is making some upgrade in it and soon be available. So, I want to know that really bajaj is doing some up-gradation in pulsar 180 and if yes, then can u tell me what those up-gradations are? –SUNNY

BIKEADVICE: Hi Sunny, we doubt that Pulsar 180 would be upgraded so soon. Remember, it was upgraded a few months ago only. Ask other dealers as well which might clear out the issue. We will also ensure to counter check at our end and if we come across any such concrete news, rest assured it will be featured on

8)I am considering Bajaj discover 135cc. How is the bike? Please compare any another model? –Subin

BIKEADVICE: Hi Subin, Discover 135 is a good bike with very good performance and decent fuel efficiency. However, after the launch of Pulsar 135LS, we would recommend you the Pulsar over the Discover. Pulsar is an overall a better bike in terms of performance, fuel efficiency, aesthetics, technology and handling.

9)A)I’m planning to buy Honda shine. Please advise me on this? –RAJESH

B) Im planning to buy a 125cc bike & stuck with shine or glamour. Which one would u suggest? Plz give maintenance, driving comfort, mileage importance in that order.. I don’t have any plans of selling this bike in the near future. Wanna use it for a very long period. Thats y giving more importance to maintenance. Also any other suggestions in this segment? (on-road price <= Rs 55k). –FEBIN

c)Hi there, I live in Navi Mumbai, planning to go for a new bike & confused between Glamour PGMFI or CBZ extreme. Basically I am looking for mileage as well as looks and performance. –MAC

BIKEADVICE: Hi Febin, Mac, Rajesh, For the bikes mentioned by you we would enlist the pros and cons of both.

Hero Honda Glamor: This is a very decent bike in the market with nothing really outstanding or luring to get attracted to. The bike is underpowered, feels lazy and a little sluggish. However, positives of the bike include very good fuel efficiency figures of 70kmpl and are backed by a very widespread service network of Hero Honda.

Honda Shine: This bike has been selling quietly and has made a little mark for itself in the market. The best thing about this bike which impresses us is the way the bike behaves at lower and mid revs. You would have ample amount of pulling power which goes along with low weight of the bike which makes the bike zippy and easy to handle in congested traffics. However, on the negative front, the bike becomes quite vibrating at mid to high rpms at speeds of 60kmph and above which are irritating for the rider. Service base of HMSI is also not as widespread as Hero Hondas. Fuel efficiency figures reported for this bike fall in the range of around 65kmpl.

Febin, long term durability and (low) maintenance of both the bikes would be their USP as both are basically Honda engines. Among these our recommendation would be Honda’s Shine as it is a considerably better motorcycle than Hero Hondas Glamor.

Mac, with the Glamor you would only get mileage. Performance, looks and pricing are a letdown. Go for CBZ, though it’s not as frugal as the Glamor (it can’t ever be!) but looks good and performs fantastically. And if a 125-135cc bike is what you are more inclined to because of mileage concerns, consider between Honda Shine and Pulsar 135LS.

Rajesh, as said Shine is very good bike and a perfect companion for general day to day commute. You can safely go for it.

10)I want to buy a bike but totally confused b/w unicorn,fz-16and Honda CBF stunner FI. I can afford to a budget of upto 75000. Which one is the best one? –JITHIN RAJAGOPALAN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Jithin, since all three bikes mentioned by you belong to different tastes we would enlist a few positives and negatives for all of them:

1)Stunner PGM-FI: One of the best looking 125cc bikes with a pretty frugal engine aided by the addition of Hondas famed fuel Injection (PGMFi). Expect fuel efficiency figures of above 65kmpl but is highly impractically priced by Honda. Better not consider this bike as you can get a lot at the same amount.

2) Honda Unicorn: Launched in 2004, this 150cc bike still retains the title of the most refined bike in India. Power delivery is decent, handling is superb, fuel efficiency is fantastic (expect 55kmpl+). The bike has lost a lot of sheen due to the ongoing competition upgrades. It feels (and is) underpowered, lazy and sometimes a little dull when you ride todays engines. Lacks the fun factor and desperately needs a good technical makeover (read increase in power) to match upto todays bikes.

3)FZ16 – Yamaha’s trump card, FZ16 is probably one of the best and meanest looking bikes in the country. Produces a peak power output of 14PS and torque output of a healthy 14Nm but is low on fuel efficiency (expect 40kmpl+)

With its dazzling looks, a fantastic engine, digital gizmos along with one of the best ride feels FZ would be our choice. In fact, if you ride all the three back to back (We hope you already must have done that) you would yourself feel the difference.

11) We are planning to buy a bike between Glamour and Passion Pro. The bike will mostly be used by my father. Which is better in all terms of mileage, durability & style – THAMARAI SELVAN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Thamarai, Glamour PGM-FI is the most fuel efficient 125cc in town currently. It returns FE figures in the region of 70-75kmpl. Carbureted Glamour returns FE figures in the range of 65 kmpl and above. Passion pro is slightly on the lower side considering its engine capacity. Its figures resemble that of the carburetor Glamour. Consider CB Twister also, it’s a better bike than both Glamour and Passion. However, if it is too sporty for your father, you can make a choice between Bajaj Discover DTS-Si & Honda Shine (our choice).

12) Hello guys, my name Aniket & I stay in Mumbai .I have already booked a Passion pro. My problem is that I want the disc version of the bike which is shown in the advertisement but it is not available on any of the dealerships I enquired. They say they don’t know anything about it. What should I do now? — ANIKET PAWAR

BIKEADVICE: Hi Aniket, there have been reported problems in Hero Honda bikes’ deliveries. Passion with disc brakes should have made it to the showrooms by now. However, why don’t you consider the CB Twister from Honda? It’s an overall much better and fresh new bike than Passion. Twister also comes loaded with 240mm discs upfront.

13) I would like to buy the Karizma R. I am in Kerala at Kottayam. 1. What is the new price of KarizmaR? 2. What is your opinion about this bike? 3. Comparison of KarizmaR with ZMR? — TINTU PRINCE

BIKEADVICE: Hi Tintu, Karizma R retails at 81k OTR. This bike has been around for quite sometime now and has been regarded as one of the finest motorcycles produced in the country. Especially for tourers the stress-free engine ensures you enjoy every bit of your ride. We like this bike because of its impeccably linear torque delivery. However, age has started showing on this bike as smaller capacity and lesser priced bikes are beginning to outperform it in terms of outright performance. Also, its spare parts are insanely (& unjustifiably) costly which takes the cost of ownership to higher levels but rest assured you would not need as frequent changes as for other manufacturers’ bikes.

ZMR is reincarnated Karizma R with slightly better throttle response and better fuel efficiency figures because of Honda’s PGMFI (Fuel Injection). But added kilograms have taken their toll on the overall performance of this bike which was expected to be marginally better. Moreover, there are some problems with the delivery of ZMRs in the country. Few dealerships are not taking bookings and the ones which are, have been giving long waiting periods. All in all, ZMR comes with a fresh new appeal and head turning bulbous looks which you would miss in Karizma R. We leave you to decide if you are willing to pay 27-28k for these!

14) Sir, I want to buy new motor cycle, I need your opinion / suggestion that which motorcycle to buy? I owned the Yamaha RX100. Also review for Honda’s Twister. My budget is 45K to 50K. Kindly let me where can I buy in good conditions second hand motorcycle or Pulled by Banks Motor Cycle? — Shaikh Abdul Rahim

BIKEADVICE: Hi Abdul, we feel discouraged to inform you that you might not like any of the current selling 4 stroke bikes as you have been riding probably one of the best made 100cc bike in India! Performance of RX100 was unmatchable and we still crave for that surge. We would be coming up with a full road test of CB Twister shortly. Keep tuned!

Answers by Saad Khan