Mar 1, 2007

Hero Honda CBZ X-Treme: How's it going

Someone asked how the Hero Honda CBZ X-Treme is doing. Well, it's doing rather well. I haven't been with a bike this extroverted (or ugly, for that matter) in quite a while. Since I can't see its warts from the saddle, I'm quite happy with it. In fact, I'm actually thrilled with it.

My favourite bit is the engine. As I've said before, the engine isn't a run of the mill. It's noisy, barky, throaty, stressed out, torquey and exciting. Very un-HH, really. I love it. It turns everyone of my rides, local or extra-urban, into a thrilling, full-chat-hard-brake-full-chat sort of thing. It sounds like I'm on a pogo stick, but it's lovely. It also happens to handle exceedingly well, is a bit flighty in a crosswind and good on the brakes. In my on-off throttle mode, it manages to drag the litre out satisfactorily and I can't complain. On any front.

However, as I've said before also, build quality isn't that great. There's a centimetre between the side panels and the tank and it looks horrid. The seat always looks like it is unlocked and the unsightly fairing is just that. I'm seriously thinking of spending some money and buying the poor thing a face lift. A naked headlamp, if the meter pod shape is all right. I removed the astonishingly heavy crash guard and saree guards (so heavy I had a tough time holding them in the lift while I came up to chuck them in the attic) and the bike actually feels lighter. They're that heavy.

What would I change? Dog leg levers. The CBZ-X will make your hands hurt in traffic. Not because the levers are heavy to use, but because they're far away. I'd also upchuck those stupid orange mirrors for more subtle ones (the only mirrors worthy of individual attention are the ones on an MV Agusta, dig?) and that gigantic rubber mudflap in the back. I'll get around to hacking it in half one of these days.

I also fell into love with the seat lock again. I no longer wear my fanny pack, preferring to just hook the straps under the seat and let it lie on the pillion seat. Very liberating.

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