Questions & Answers – Round:13

1.A) Which one should I go for among these FZ-S, Unicorn, GS150 or RTR 180?? – JEN JAISON

B) I am looking to buy a 150cc bike but I am very confused between CBZ EXTREME, HUNK AND PULSAR-150. Actually Pulsar sports a digital speedometer and have great looks as compared to other bikes but its very common. I have also heard that it doesn’t have a good engine. My height is 6′ feet. – NISHANT GARG

C) Which is the best bike in 150cc segment considering all its features? – AMIT KUMAR SINGH

D) I want to buy a bike & my budget is about 70k. My height is about 5.10. Fuel Efficiency of 45 to 50 for rough and tough use & it should be cool at looks. – KUSHAL NAWALAKHA

BIKEADVICE: Hi All,

1.Cbz Extreme: Sports a better tuned version of the same super refined Unicorn’s engine. Produces 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 150cc commuter segment.

2.Hunk: Exactly the same Extreme’s engine under different clothes. Cons for both bikes include lack of digital gadgetry.

3.Pulsar 150: Very recently Bajaj has upgraded Indias largest selling 150cc bike with a hike in power output to 15.06 PS which makes this bike the second most powerful bike in the segment after Apache RTR 160 (R15 not included, for obvious reasons!). It also comes loaded with clipon handlebars and all the digital gadgetry. Cons include bad service from the company and typical niggling issues which crop up every now and then on almost all Bajaj bikes.

4.FZ – India’s best looking bike which revolutionized how a 150cc bike can look. A lovely refined engine mated with a fantastic gearbox and awesome ride quality makes it one of the hot favorites among the youth. However, the bike is costly and returns low fuel efficiency of around 40kmpl and above.

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

6.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.

7.RTR 160: If FZ is the beauty queen, RTR has to be the performance queen among bikes. It’s a pint sized powerhouse and comes at very reasonable prices. Cons: slightly harsher engine at higher rpms.

8.RTR 180: An even more powerful and mature elder brother of RTR 160 which can deal with bigger boys at their own grounds. One of the finest products from TVS.

Jen, all the bikes mentioned by you belong to different likings. If you are looking for looks, FZ it is. If you want breath taking performance at cheap costs, RTR it is and if you want a bike which is a jack of all trades (but probably a master of none) GS150R it has to be.

Yes Nishant you are right that Pulsar is very common but the sheer fact that this bike has been ruling the sales chart for the last 8-9 years is a testimony to the trust this bike has won among the masses. However, at a height like yours comfort level is also of prime importance and CBZ Extreme boasts off a lovely seating posture and a fantastic rider-footpeg-knee recess geometry. Our pick would be CBZ Extreme.

Amit, no bike is the best, its your priorities and preferences which make it click to you. We recommend you to prioritize your needs and choose one among the above listed bikes.

Kushal, for your spectrum of choices, you would have to test drive all the bikes listed by you. Almost all of the bikes mentioned by you return fuel efficiency figures around 45kmpl and above. Looks are a personal choice, however FZ stands out but that would fall over your budget by a few grands. All of them are relatively rough and tough to use if maintained and serviced properly. Anyways, if you are bent on hearing our choice, than it would be the Yamaha FZ.

2.I want to buy a new bike and preferable in above 220cc and till 400 cc. Do you have an idea for any new bike launching soon in Indian market in a price range of upto 2.50 & I have heard that Honda is planning to launch a 250cc bike. Is it true and if yes till what time is it expected? — ARSHEESH

BIKEADVICE: Hi Arsheesh, the only bike which you can think of as an option above 220cc around your budget currently is the Kawasaki Ninja 250R which, by all standards, is a worthy and an insane machine for performance enthusiasts. About other bikes, we are a little skeptical about any launches in the near future specially from HMSI stables. However, there are sub 600ccs on the anvil but that would take some time and also would be around and above 5 lakh rupees.

3.Can you help me in comparing the 220 and R15. I want superb pickup and performance. Else suggest me any other bike below 1.5 lakhs pertaining to my criteria. – ASHISH ANTAL

BIKEADVICE: Hi Ashish, after the launch of the little gem R15 from Yamaha, people have been found confused with exactly similar dilemmas. And if you believe us, there is no straight answer to this. However, we would try to make it a little easier for you. Understand and figure out what exactly would you do with the bike. If you are a track oriented cornering junkie than no bike in India comes close to the mighty R15 under this price tag. It eats up corners like just another Sunday! The puny 150cc engine is technically advanced than other bike by leaps and bounds. But if you would be riding mainly in congested cities, we would advise you to desist from buying the R15. The low end torque is disappointing and you would be required to change gears more frequently which goes along with the full fairing which, initially, would act as a hindrance and an irritant. On the other hand if your ride would be a mixture of cities, long highways and straight long wide roads, the Pulsar does it with aplomb and sheer fun. The adrenalin rush on this bike is matchless and you would not want to stop riding it. On the negatives, you would have to live with ‘typical Bajaj’ niggling problems and pretty bad service quality. For both 0-60 and 0-100 timings Pulsar beats the R15 in straight lines and (220) has a better top end as well. Also, the R15s seating posture is pretty sporty which might make things even worse in cities. Both the bikes are addictive and hence we leave it to you to decide between these two based on your parameters.

4.I am considering buying a bike under 50,000 with best mileage and lesser maintenance. Please tell me the available options. – K. GOVARDHAN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Govardhan, At this price range you can get bikes from the premium 100cc and 125cc segment.

Platina 125: This bike has been recently revamped by Bajaj with a 5 speed gearbox but power and torque have been lowered. Cheapest 125cc to own (~40k OTR Delhi) and we expect this bike to be pretty frugal as well( ~70 kmpl).

Honda Shine: Agile in performance and zippy in traffic with a smooth engine. Would fall exactly on the borderline of 50k with an expected Fuel efficiency figures in the range of 65kmpl.

Discover DTS-Si: Currently this bike has broken all sales records and is a huge hit in the market. As a product, this 100cc bike from Bajaj is a very good package. Power delivery is adequate with some phenomenal fuel efficiency figures (~70kmpl). This bike would cost you above 45k on road.

Hero Honda Splendor/ Splendor NXG: And then comes the sales masters from Hero Honda. Splendor has been an epitome of reliability and doesn’t need much of an introduction. Though a little low on fuel efficiency (60 kmpl) splendor (45k) is now bested by its latest avatar Spelndor NXG which is more powerful and more fuel efficient and obviously more costly (47k). The NXG version returns FE figures around 65-70 kmpl.

Yamaha Libero G5: Though, this 100cc from Yamaha is on the costlier side (49k), it is the best when comes to ride quality and performance. Also, it is low on fuel efficiency figures (~65kmpl) With so many options in hand, you must be caught in a fix. To ease off your jinx, if a 125cc bike would do than go ahead and buy Honda Shine else among 100ccs Discover would be a good buy. With shine you would get more power and better load carrying capability along with very good ride quality. Discover would become sluggish once you seat your family on it, however, it would be more frugal than Shine. Maintenance wise, Shine is expected to be slightly on the lower side.

5. When will Passion Pro plus be released in Hyderabad and give us the performance details. — ABHINAV

BIKEADVICE: Hi Abhinav, new Passion should have made it to Hyderabadi markets by now. Performance and all other parameters remain exactly same as the older version. However, if you have room for other considerations, than there are other better bikes available in the market, CB Twister being one!

6.A)Is any new unicorn model is going to launched in coming 1-2 months. I have booked a black unicorn but my agent suggested me that there is a new model going to launched soon. – PIYUSH THAKKAR

B) When will Honda launch its new Honda Unicorn? Is Yamaha coming with any new bike in its 150cc class or above? – SUNU THAMPI

BIKEADVICE: Hi Piyush,& Sunu, recently Honda renamed Unicorn to CB Unicorn with a few added tidbits here and there. Frankly speaking, we are apprehensive about Honda launching a proper upgraded Unicorn very soon even after this news of a sporty Unicorn soon to hit the market is floating around on the net. Yamaha might have a new sporty bigger bike in the pipeline but it might not make it to the roads so early.

7.What is the average life of rear brake shoe for Honda shine. — SANDIP

BIKEADVICE: Hi Sandip, brake show life depends upon the quality of the shoe along with a riders usage. If you use rear (or front) brakes more than your brake shoe will wear out more quickly. On an average, genuine mechanical expanding shoes for any bike must best be changed ever service (around 3k kms) for maintaining effective braking. Moreover, follow the 70:30 rule; while braking 70 percent of the pressure must come from front brake while 30 percent from the rear.

8.I am planning to buy a bike for daily commute (avg 75-100 km) and occasional long drives also. Am looking for a bike costing anything between 40-60 K, having a mileage of 50-60KMPL and should be reliable & comfortable for long driving. Please advice. – ROHIT CHATTERJEE

BIKEADVICE: Hi Rohit, we would advise you to concentrate on the following bikes for your kind of usage:

1.Hero Honda Achiever: One of the blandest looking 150cc but with a silky refined and an efficient engine borrowed from Honda Unicorn. Lower weight also ensures easy handling and maneuvering in city traffic. Expect fuel efficiency figures to hover in the range of 50-55kmpl. Negatives: dull looks

2.Bajaj Pulsar 135: Bajaj’s latest shot in the arsenal and probably the best value for money prospect in this 125-135cc segment. Highest power to weight ratio, lovely torque distribution and scintillating efficiency figures of 60kmpl makes this a fantastic buy from all prospects. Negatives: not as reliable as others listed here, not very responsive after sales service from Bajaj.

3.Yamaha Gladiator: Probably one of the most complete package in this list with a lovely balance of everything; looks, mileage, power, durability. Negatives: low end and mid range slightly dull, lower fuel efficiency figures.

4.Honda Shine: One of the most agile and responsive 125cc engines in this segment making it a good overall package. Negatives: simple looks, bad top end performance

Considering your requirements, our bet would straight be on the Achiever. It would be slightly over your budget of 60k but the best buy among all the other bikes mentioned above fulfilling all your requirements if you can adjust yourself with its staid looks. If not the Achiever, land directly at the nearest Bajaj’s showroom for a thorough test drive of Pulsar 135LS. Apart from the not-very-strong reliability factor and bad service response from Bajaj, this bike has everything to lure you as a product. Keep the remaining bikes as buffers.

9.I want to purchase a scooter for my wife. Which will be the best for me Honda Actia or Suzuki Access 125. – Dr. ANUPAM JAIN

BIKEADVICE: Hi Dr.Anupam,

Honda Activa: Indias largest selling scooter which has been a benchmark for reliability ever since it was launched during starting of this decade. Recently Honda upgraded this scooter with a bigger 110cc mill from the older 102cc one which has resulted in better throttle response and more load carrying capability. Surprisingly, fuel efficiency figures have also become slightly better.

Suzuki Access: We love to call this one as one of the best scooter in India currently. It has got loads of power and the ride quality is fantastic. It comes loaded with front telescopic shock absorbers which makes the ride plusher and spine friendly. Take your wife to test drive both (and probably others as well) and make her understand her own comfort levels with both of these scooters. We would tilt slightly towards the Access because of better load pulling capability, telescopic shock absorbers and its ease of drive.

10.I am a great bike fan and considering Yamaha Fazer 150, TVS Apache RTR 180 and Bajaj Pulsar 220. These three bike are great looking bikes & I like them very much. Price is not problem for me. Which bike should I buy? – B VIGNESH

BIKEADVICE: Hi Vignesh,

Yamaha Fazer: The same FZ with an added semi fairing and a ‘tourer’ tag. That’s about the difference with an added 7ks to the on road price. With a smaller heart and added 4 kilograms (141 kgs), the 150cc motor feels punnier and lacks the grunt other bikes in this price range boast of.

Apache RTR 180: Pint sized powerhouse, this bike is, with all the gizmos and gadgets and a super performance. Vibrations and smaller looks are a few let downs.

Pulsar 220 DTSi: India’s fastest and quickest bike (Ninja, is not made in India!). Breath taking performance, huge looks, decent cornering abilities and good highway handling which goes along with a shattering price tag, makes this bike the most Value for money prospect in the country. It also comes with the bikini fairing now which is 3k lesser than the projector headlamp faired version. However, on the negative side of things, typical Bajaj niggling problems continue to bug the buyers. Also, the service rapport of the company is also not one of the better ones in the market. Our unanimous choice, Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi, the faired version because of its sheer value for money prospect and ground breaking performance.

11.I want to buy the FZ-16, and I want to fit it with the free flow exhaust from Daytona which comes factory fitted. I just love the sound. I am worried that by doing so ill reduce the mileage of the bike. By how much will the mileage reduce if I install this exhaust, and apart from the great sound will I get good performance too? – TABISH ALI

BIKEADVICE: Hi Tabish, Yes, installing the performance exhaust from Daytona will increase the performance of your bike by a few notches. It will also take its toll on the fuel efficiency figures by around 5kmpl at least.

12.How to convert a rear double suspension to moshock in pulsar? – DEVENDRA SINGH JADEJA

BIKEADVICE: We would not recommend you to alter with the dynamics of your bike. Every bike which comes to the roads goes through a lot of R&D which is not possible at our end. Instead of bettering your bikes handling, it would result in worse results if not done with proper expertise. Though if you are bent on doing this mod, search for a proper skilled person in your city and get it done.

13.A) Pls provide me the Plus and Minus of Yamaha Fazer indian version. – SUBBU VASAGAM

B) I am puzzled which bike to buy between YAMHA FAZER & TVS APACHE. Please guide me. – SHASHANK CHAUHAN

BIKEADVICE: Please try to be elaborative in your questions. Between these two, consider Fazer only if you are mesmerized too much by its looks. Otherwise, at 80 odd thousand rupees you have better bikes available in the market. Go for FZ, if you want this 150cc engine from Yamaha. Apache on the other hand beats/equals Fazer on almost all factors apart from refinement and looks at a much lesser price.

14.From two month I am in a thought to buy a bike for myself (hero honda Pleasure). but i am in a great confusion to buy it or not . all my friends say PEP or Activa which i dont like that bikes. Is PLEASURE a good bike to Buy? (Compared to them) — PADMAJA

BIKEADVICE: Hi Padmaja, it depends upon what you are looking for. Hero Honda Pleasure uses exactly the same engine which Honda used in their earlier generation 102cc Activa’s. However, Activa now comes with a bigger 109cc engine which has more power and even better mileage. TVS Scooty PEP has its own advantages of being lighter and nimble in city streets, but power delivery is lower than the mentioned Honda’s. Anyways, if you like Pleasure, go ahead and buy that scooter. It has got a very reliable and responsive engine, lower outright purchase cost, lower saddle height to ensure firm foot and good mileage. And all Hero Honda’s come with India’s widest service network.

15.I want to buy a cruiser bike. I need your advice for choosing between Bajaj Avenger and Thunderbird. My issues are maintenance (specifically Rusting),biking on rugged and hilly roads, and mileage. I will be thankful if u can help.
Thank You! — CHINMAY G

BIKEADVICE: Hi Chinmay, Royal enfield’s are known to possess this problem of rusting and maintaining an Enfield is anyday higher than Bajaj Avenger. But on the other hand, all your other criteria s related to riding point straight to the Thunderbird. Enfields posses massive torque and that is what allows for all the fun on any type of terrain. Avenger is a sweet attempt from Bajaj which is a worthy and fantastic alternate to a cruiser kind of a bike. It has got a more refined and hassle free engine than Thunderbird but doesn’t stand anyway close when torque is being talked or ridden about! While you cannot expect a 200cc like mileage from a 350cc 28Nm machine, we would suggest the Thunderbird over the Avenger just because of the ‘play’ factor involved.

16.I have to buy a bike and I am confused between Honda Twister and Bajaj Pulsar 135. Help me in shortlisting one – ADITYA

BIKEADVICE: Hi Aditya, both these bikes belong to different segments and hence different characteristics. CB Twister is a lovely 110cc from Honda which is a very worthy alternate to today’s Passions and other 100cc bikes. Pulsar 135 is made to offer 150cc performance and 125cc mileage and the bike succeeds big time in achieving the targets. On paper, Pulsar is 25cc, 4.5PS, 2.4Nm and 6-8k bigger than Twister. Mileage of both the bikes falls around 60-65kmpl (for Pulsar) and 70+ kmpl (for Twister). If performance is what you are looking at a performance oriented bike, Pulsar 135 is the one for you and if mileage is a more important factor along with ‘standout’ looks Twister would be it. Our choice would be the smallest Pulsar simply because of its lovely power-mileage combo and overall package at a very competitive price tag.

17. Which will give me good Milage and Power in city condition, HeroHonda’s Hunk or Honda’s CB Unicorn ? Which one will be value for money to buy? — Subhendu Ray

BIKEADVICE: Hi Subhendu, Hero Honda’s Hunk uses the same engine from Unicorn albeit in a better tune. Unicorn is the most underpowered bike in this segment currently and it tells clearly in its performance figures. Hunk is a better bike with better pulling power, better throttle and engine response, better looks and a widespread service network. Though, Unicorn, being lesser in power compensates in the fuel efficiency stakes which are better by around 3-5kmpl better than Hunk. If you are a family oriented person who prefers a soft, sedate and reliable drive go for Unicorn. If you want more fun from the money spent, head to the Hero Honda showroom. Our choice: Hero Honda Hunk.

– Questions answered by Saad Khan

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