Questions & Answers – Round 11 (General)

1) a) Which bike would be the best buy among Karizma R, Pulsar 220 and Avenger. Features I m looking at are stability, comfortable drive, mileage, looks & value for money. –AMEET

b) I was using pulsar 150 for past four years, now I am looking for new bike but confused between which bike should I take under a budget of 80k. I short listed pulsar 180, Bajaj avenger 200cc & Karizma R. Please advise which one is good bike, I would use the bike mostly on weekends and my height is 6.1. –ABHISHEK

BIKEADVICE: Hi Ameet Abhshek,

Pulsar 220 DTSi: Indias most powerful single cylinder bike with a lovely sorted power and torque curve. The way this bike rides simply puts that adrenalin feeling pumping. Has immense power to blast any other comparable bike to shatters. Almost everything is set right with this bike. It can corner pretty decently (but not like R15), it can tour long roads with aplomb is a pretty good city tool as well (with respect to comparable bikes). Negatives include typical Bajaj niggling issues and bad after sales service.

Karizma R: The bike has been around for long and has been long acclaimed tourer with a completely stressfree and buzzfree engine. Power output is a little low but the way the bike builds up its torque is commendable. Backs the Honda reliability tag. Negatives include heavenly priced “normal quality” spare parts and the presence of more powerful and better value for money bikes available in the market currently.

Avenger 200 DTSi: India’s most affordable cruiser bike which has set little benchmarks of its own. Carries the old Pulsar 200s mill which does its job pretty well, munches miles with sheer pleasure and doesn’t guzzle down fuel.

Ameet, it’s pretty easy if you have to choose one among these. If a cruiser type of a bike is what you are interested in, Avenger it has to be. If you want a “Jack of all trades” bike with added flavors from every aspect of biking and more importantly, can live with those small niggles and bad service of Bajaj, Pulsar 220 is the bike. Go for Karizma if you discard these bikes!

Abhishek, since your budget is 80k and you have included the Pulsar 180, why don’t you consider the recently launched Pulsar 220 DTSi ‘S’! Anyway, among your mentioned bikes, weigh Avenger and Karizma on the basis of your priorities and comfort. Choose the one which pleases you more. Our choice; Karizma.

2) I am confused between Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 180. Which is a better buy?. –BALA

BIKEADVICE: Hi Bala, Both the bikes are ‘good’. Its just ones preferences and priorities which makes them different. While the 180 is more powerful and fuel consuming (42 kmpl), the 150 is a more of a commuter sports type which has ample amount of power and very good fuel efficiency (50-55 kmpl) and has been recently revamped with more power. If you care more for kilometers per buck, go for the Pulsar 150 and if want a more sporty bike with good power, 180 is the bike for you. Considering the price difference between these 2 bikes to be mere ~3k and with the added feel of the 180, our choice would be the bigger sibling.

3) I want to buy a bike & I most interest in TVS flame & Bajaj discover 135. which is the best bike to use? –UDITHA

BIKEADVICE: Hi Uditha, Why don’t you consider the Pulsar 135LS, Yamaha Gladiator and Honda Stunner in your choices? They are better overall bikes from the ones mentioned by you! However, among the mentioned bikes, Discover 135 would be our choice.

4) I am going to buy a pulsar 220 dtsi and this is going to be my first bike. I like the looks and the performance seems to be amazing, according to reports. But I have heard that Bajaj bikes have poor build quality, and usually within a few days of buying, start giving problems like the electric start don’t work, the rear disc brakes are not good and they have serviceability problems. Apart from all this, please tell me how is the ride quality and the ride experience, as I have not yet ridden the bike? And finally, if not the p220 , then which other bike and why? Please reply ASAP as I am going to buy the bike in this week –SUHAS

BIKEADVICE: Hi Suhas, Our first question would be “How can you choose a bike without even test riding it?” Whichever bike you go for would be ridden by you and not by the people whom you are trusting as advisories! Its not that anybody is wrong but everybody’s preferences and comfort level varies. Understand, what might suit you might not suit the other person and the vice versa! We urge you to test drive the bike you have shortlisted. Coming to your questions, Bajaj has evolved with time and the build quality of 220 is pretty good (but not among the best). The major problems which have been doing rounds on this bike are the engine oil leakage from the neutral switch, fairing vibrations, cold start problems, screeching rear discs etc. If you look them at the face of it, they are niggling problems and not something which are very grave in nature. However, these problems are made gigantic by the pretty lack lustrous response from Bajajs after sales service.

However, let us assure you that the ride experience is THE BEST in the industry today. The feel the bike gives you is just impeccable and addictive. Go for the bike, it’s one of the best value for money bikes in the market but do keep in mind the lame serviceability of Bajaj.

5) a) Please help me in purchasing a bike between Yamaha r15 and Karizma ZMR. –YASH

b) I am totally confused between ZMR and R15.I am planning to buy a bike this month, I had been to both Yamaha and HH show rooms, but now m confused which one should I go for. –NAVEEN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Naveen & Yash,

YZF R15: Indias most technically advanced bike and probably the only bike which could be called as a miniature sportsbike for Indians (apart from Ninja obviously). A ride on this bike truly gives you a slight glimpse of what technological pleasure the richer world has over us. The bike is pretty lazy below 6k rpm but becomes a rocket once you cross that mark. The sheer fun of riding this bike makes you wonder if it really is a puny 150cc engine.

Karizma ZMR; The latest entrant to the performance aficionados’ kitty, this bike is massive in size and does job with the old but reliable 223cc engine from the Karizma R. With the added Honda famed fuel injection (PGMFI) this bike has become more responsive with added fuel efficiency. However, this bike is not that fun to drive as are the others in similar price brackets.

If you want sheer fun while riding your bike and can do with frequent (slightly irritating) gear changing in congested cities, go book the R15. If you want a bigger in looks machine with a stressfree engine, head to the Hero Honda showroom. However our finger would automatically point to the engineering marvel from Yamaha for both of you.

6) I can’t decide between FZ16 and pulsar 180. I am 6 feet and a college student. I want a bike for its looks and according to me pulsar is very common. Which bike do u recommend? –PAVAN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Pavan, You have yourself said it all! No denying the fact that Pulsar sells more than 40k units in India per month on an average, hence is pretty common in comparison to the 5-9k units sold by Yamaha for FZs per month. Since looks is a bigger criteria for you, nothing comes close to the awesome looks the FZ has been made of. Rest assured, it would not disappoint you.

7) a) Can u clear my query about the new bike Yamaha YZF R125? When it would be launched in India and what would be its cost? –AKSHAY

b) Hello, I came to know that Yamaha is going to launch YAMAHA R125 in India. Is that true or is just a Rumor. –SHOAIB

BIKEADVICE: Hi Shoaib & Akshay, Even if you read our earlier Questionnaires, we have clearly stated that contrary to the rumors doing rounds, Yamaha has no plans of launching the R125 in the market in the near future. But yes they have the 150cc SZ in the pipeline. BikeAdvice doesn’t believe in spreading speculations and rumors. We only bring what is concrete info.

8. I am confused between TVS scotty pep & HERO HONDA pleasure for my wife. My wifes height is 5 feet. After sales service is also an important criterion. Please help. –MANOJ

BIKEADVICE: Hi Manoj, It’s a big deadlock situation we are talking about. While the Pleasure is a better scooter overall but considering your wife’s height Scooty also seems to notch up few points. What we will do is enlist a few points and leave it to you to decide based on your priorities.
Pleasure has a bigger and more powerful engine which would mean a much better response, pulling power and better load carrying capability of the scoot. The scoot is a better handler and it comes loaded with MRF Nylogrip Zappers. It has a massive 10 liters tank compared to Scooty’s 5 liter capacity. After sales support for Hero Honda is also the most widespread in the country.

On the other hand, Scooty has a lower saddle height of 740mm (compared to 750mm of Pleasure) along with a low weight of 95 kilograms (compared to 104 kilograms for Pleasure) which would ensure that the riders feet is firmly grounded on the tarmac below and the scoot is easily manageable under all conditions. Also, the Scooty is around 1.5k lesser on road. Mileage for both the scoots would be around 45kmpl.

What we suggest is ask your wife to take a long and thorough test drive of both the scooters and gage her own comfort level. Keep the above mentioned points in mind and take an informed decision. We would tilt in favor of Pleasure a little.

9) Hi, I would like to know, when is the Karizma ZMR expected in stores in Pune? I enquired and all I hear is 3-4 months minimum. Would like to know the rationale behind launching a vehicle and not being prepared to meet the demand. Some dealers have also stopped booking the vehicle. Is there any issue with the Hero Honda manufacturing facilities? –SRIDHER

BIKEADVICE: Hi Sridher, We agree with your view about Hero Honda launching the ZMR and not being able to meet up with the demand in the market. But let us also inform you that there have been certain labor unrest and fews supply issues which the company was facing at their manufacturing plants. However, ZMR is on display on many showrooms in Pune. You can check it out at the Koregaon Park showroom along with the one near BIMM college among others. But still the delivery date which the dealers are quoting are impractical two to three months.

10) Hello sir I am using Honda shine since last 12 months. Bike has crossed 13000km.which parts should I change.In the owner’s manual they have prescribed that spark plug & air filter should be changed but my dealer said there is no need to change it. What should I do? Also I am using speed petrol since last 5000km. Will it damage my engine? Does it affect bikes performance specially engine, spark plug & other system? –PRADEEP

BIKEADVICE: Hi Pradeep, As suggested by your service person, it’s not mandatory to change the mentioned parts; however, as precautionary measures companies prescribe changing few spare parts at around 10k kilometers/ 1 year which are prone to more wear and tear. It’s solely at your discretion to change them for better efficiency of your bike. Using Speed petrol will not do any harm to your engine but it doesn’t make any substantial difference in smaller capacity engines used in India. You can shift to normal unleaded petrol for your bike but ensure you fill your bike from a trusted petrol tank. As a recommendation from our side, you can shift to synthetic or semi synthetic engine oils that would impart a noticeable difference on your bike but again ensure you use the recommended grade of oil.

11) My Suzuki GS150R is just 10 months old having 9000 km run record but has no pulling power on slightly upward roads. What may be the reason? Its pulling power is worse than my old khatara Yamaha 135. Why? –IRAN KUMAR RAI

BIKEADVICE: Hi Iran, You cannot compare a two stroker with a four stroker in terms of performance. A similar two stroke bike will always be better at pulling or speeding away (generally). However, try and ride another GS150R under similar conditions and areas and try to gage the difference, if any. If the difference is substantially noticeable, get it checked with a Suzuki service center.

12) Hi, I would like to know which are the most fuel efficient bikes available in India. I have few models in my mind and please tell me the actual mileage of these bikes in cities, Pulsar(150), Platina, Discover, XCD and Honda shine & unicorn. I live in kolkata and my budget in within 65000.i am interested in a bike between 100-150cc. mileage is very important to me and the models I mentioned I like the most. So please answer my queries. –PRITAM CHAKRABORTY


Among the models you mentioned the in-city mileages would fall around,
Pulsar 150 – ~50 kmpl
Platina- ~70kmpl
Discover 100- 70+ kmpl
Discover 135- ~60kmpl
Shine – ~65 kmpl
Unicorn- 50-55 kmpl
As you have mentioned fuel efficiency as your prime-most criteria we would recommend you to choose a bike in the 125/135 cc segment. This is the segment where manufacturers have to fine balance between power and mileage (slightly more inclination towards mileage). And we would also recommend not to just look at the fuel efficiency figures for a bike.

13) Among Karizma ZMR, Apache RTR 180 and Fazer, which is the best? –ABHISHEK

BIKEADVICE: Hi Abhishek,

Karizma ZMR: It’s a massive looking huge bike with an impeccably trustworthy engine. The old but reliable 223cc engine is a direct import from the existing Karizma R with the carburetion duties being done by the Hondas famed PGMFI. As a result, the bike has become slightly more responsive at mid ranges and the fuel efficiency has also seen a slightly better world. This bike would have done even better had it not weighed as heavy as 159 kilograms. The long stroke bike feels relaxed at all times on highways but doesn’t feel as exciting and fun as the other bikes do in the same price bracket.

Apache RTR 180: This pint sized powerhouse from TVS is probably the most fun to drive bike in the market today for performance enthusiasts. Has loads and loads of power to outperform even bigger sized competitors like the Karizma R and ZMR. The punch right from the word ‘go’ is addictive and the pull goes all the way to high rpms. However, at higher RPMs vibrations start playing spoilsport and hinder the fun factor.

Fazer: India’s best looking bike and that’s about it! We don’t find a single reason why would anybody choose the overpriced Fazer over Pulsar 220, Karizma R and Apache RTR 180 which fall in the same price range apart from looks. Contrary to the way it is being promoted, the bike is not even better at touring because of its limited capabilities because of a very small engine and low power.

Our pick would be the Apache RTR 180 for the sheer fun of riding. Keep ZMR as an option if you do not like noisy and slightly vibration laden engines. Why don’t you consider the Pulsar 220 DTSi siblings, however?

14) Can you please provide a complete comparo between pulsar 135LS and CBF stunner 2010 edition (with tachometer, non-pgmfi) as I am really confused about which one to choose. –ANJAN


We have not ridden the 2010 CBF Stunner as of now but considering the fact that everything technical has been kept the same in the new model we would list our words considering the ride review of the older (existing) version:

On the face of it, the Pulsar 135 LS is a lot better at performance and slightly better at mileage than the Hondas Stunner. Due to a light weight body, this bike feels a lot zippier than the semi-faired (which acts as a slight hindrance in cities) Stunner. Right from the bottom range to mid range up till higher rpms the Pulsar feels slightly more punchy and at ease.
However, handling characteristics of Stunner are a whole lot better than the smallest Pulsar, along with its scintillating big bike looks.

Our recommendation would be Pulsar 135 LS as bikes of 125/135ccs are majorly driven in (congested) cities and the Pulsar is a better (read agile and zippy) performer than Stunner. Also, Pulsar, which comes loaded with a lot of goodies, is around 2ks cheaper than the Hondas 125cc offering.

We have published an exhaustive road test of Pulsar 135 very recently exclusively for people like you who are considering the Pulsar 135 LS. Please read the same as it enlists the good and the ‘not-so-good’ points about the bike in detail.

– Answers by Saad Khan