Hi! This is Sudarshan from Chennai! I joined the wagon of proud Karizma owners and I bought this new silver-colored Karizma R in the month of August 2008. However, before I staked on Karizma, I took a test drive of Thunderbird Twin Spark, Pulsar 220cc and 200cc, Avenger 200, RTR 160, and also Yamaha R15 at the Chennai Race Track when R15 was launched on 12th of June. In fact, I also drove Hunk and the Unicorn and almost all the best bikes available in India.
While I previously owned a Yamaha Gladiator 125cc I eagerly waited for the Yamaha R15, but honestly I was very much disappointed with the R15 size, although I liked it very much for many of its unique features. Let me tell you, its not suitable for me and not practical at all.
The Thunderbird was just useless; I am a fan of modern technology including durability, reliability, maintenance free ownership, etc. The bullet manufacturers surprised me; Thunderbird no doubt may have good sound and presence but as far as Indian roads are concerned it is an annoying machine.
And, then the Pulsar 220 I believe is lifeless that I felt like driving an electric scooter; absolutely lifeless and useless. There is no control and no feel and it’s been the biggest disappointment. The aerodynamic efficiency is poor and I think Bajaj is just ripping people off their money by gimmicking them with features that I think are useless. Because at the end of the day you need a bike which can stretch the smile curve on your face just like Karizma does which is to me the best ever motorbike in India. The features in the Pulsar 220 are not matched by its refinement, quality and comfort featured in the marketing materials and I think there is no use of the digital speedometer and backlit switchgear, Digital Twin Spark-Fuel injected, rear disc brakes, oil cooler when the bike per se is no good. Pulsar 200 and Avenger 200 too are just as useless.
I liked the Unicorn, although it is not very powerful but the wheelbase and power were just a tad higher than my Yamaha Gladiator. The Apache RTR was too small for me just like the Yamaha R15 but I feel TVS people have done a good job with RTR. Its a fun bike. Both Yamaha R15 and TVS RTR are good track tools but they are certainly not for me as I am not into racing and at 6’2” the Karizma seems to be my best option as of now. Coupled with the test drive it had reaffirmed of my impression on it.
I drove the new Karizma, a 2003 model of one of my friend and let me tell you that the bike is bulletproof. Even after more than 5 years the bike was still superb and my friend is an adrenaline junkie who drag races with it as for him an average of 20 km/ltr is a big achievement for daily use and his bike had clocked 99000 kms close to the 1-lakh mark and is due for major work; still I tell you that its in superb condition I guess no other bike could have withstood such abuse and torture not even a bullet in the hands of my friend.
I was astonished at the quality, reliability, durability and withstanding capabilities of a Karizma. I was told that the bikes’ overall quality has been improved and the new Karizma R is much better than the old version although no major changes were done still Hero Honda has improved the quality of the bike.
So, the question that’s pondering me is why to change an already good bike. Look at bullets for instance; the same old 70-year tech but still it frenzies every bike lover’s heart and going strong.
I also read an article about a guy who went on a world tour on a yellow Karizma, surely no other Indian-built bike could help achieve the feat, not even the bullets, not the Pulsar 220s or other Indian bikes. So I called up this guy and asked him for his opinion on the Karizma and he told me no other bike could have endured his exploits of a world tour and told me that it was the best decision I had made in my life buying a Karizma; full paisa vasool and more.
Let me tell you about the icing on the cake! It was a video that I saw on the youtube titled CNBC Comparison of Karizma Pulsar 220, RTR 160 and the best thing is that the Karizma had been adjudged as the best by the 3 testers. It came first in the lap around the Chennai Race Track, but more importantly the way it won the lap, flawless braking, suspension geometry, responsive and confidence inspiring handling, comfort, superb engine pickup, torque etc and what not? The Karizma is just perfect for what ever you put in its way, dragracing, wheeling, touring, comfort, looks, quality, durability, track use, fuel efficiency and the list goes on and at Rs. 82,000 the bike is still best bet for your money!
My only regret, I was informed of a new Karizma to be launched next July with Fuel injected 6 gears, rear disc brakes, 250 or 300 cc Honda engine and host of other new features. The new Karizma which would cost more than 1.8 to under 2 lakhs tag. So I know my limitations that its a price tag I cant afford. So I am happy that Karizma R is the best ever investment decision I have made in my life and even if a new Pulsar 250, or a Ninja 250, or Karizma Fi 250 or 300 roll out I still won’t bother as my new bike squeezed my heart and I am enjoying my new love life with my sweetie machine! It’s a tested and tried model, after all from the Hero Honda portfolio!
This post was a comment left by Sudarshan in the Karizma Review. I thought it was a great article and posted it here. If you want your article published email me at firstname.lastname@example.org