Aug 1, 2007

Mailbag #13: 150cc decision pending

Caughtilya-Rearset Stamp 1I dunno why you publish every email you get , but I leave it at your discretion if you want to put this on your blog too, maybe it'll help someone make up his mind as to which 150 to buy.

Assume I purchase a 150cc bike now - I could then buy a 250cc or higher bike in 2008 which I would then keep as a weekend special while using the 150 for home-office commuting.

Now I have had short rides on the Unicorn & RTR ,my impression is that the Uni is more comfortable ( suspension wise and vibration/smoothness wise ) but I didn;t like th gearbox while the RTR is quite a hooligan with excellent brakes but I read it has a poor headlight. Didn't ride the CBZX but I did notice that its downtube has a cut where the exhaust header pipe exists and it then sealed with a metal plate welded on to close the cavity. That seems like bad engg practice to me but all reviews state the CBZX is a very good stable handling bike.

Can you rate the bikes : RTR , CBZX , Unicorn for the below factors ?
1.Handling (stability, esp while turning and on bad roads)
2.Comfort (bad roads again)
3.Headlamp (I have an illumination fetish you see)

So what 200cc+ bikes ( I'm looking at 250cc as the next standard ) can I expect by 31 December 2008? So far I have heard of Honda's 250 and maybe a Yamaha 250. What about Suzuki & TVS plans for 200cc+ bikes upto 2008 ? BAL would be busy with the 220 so I won't expect their rumoured 400cc until 2009 ( as it is the 220 got delayed a by so long). HH has a 350cc bike planned but not sure if it'll be launched in 2008. Can you give me more or less certain news which bikes are likely in 2008 and what format ( single/twin, air-cooled.oil-cooled , power, faired/unfaired ) they might be?

name withheld

TVS Apache RTR 160I post some emails (as opposed to all) when I think there could be other people who might be hunting for the same information. And yes, this will appear too. 8-D

If bad roads are such an important consideration, I think you should ride the CBZX or the Unicorn and decide which you like better. I would say CBZX, but it tends to bottom with pillions and those who like the Unicorn, swear its the best thing since sliced bread as far as bad roads go.

Handling wise, when turning on bad roads, I think they would all be more or less similar. The CBZX and the RTR are very agile, which is always at the expense of stability, so yes, the Unicorn is more stable. But still, unless ride quality, especially two-up was an issue, I would not recommend the Unicorn.

Comfort is a personal thing. The RTR is a pretty committed riding position, which happens to suit me just fine. It may not suit you quite as well. Unicorn and CBZX are more 'normal' so you will have to decide after you take a ride.

Hero Hondas, traditionally have always had the best illumination with rare exceptions. Again, I don't think the difference is significant enough to be a decision making factor.

By the end of next year, Bajaj should have launched its rumoured AutoExpo'08 unveiled 400, Yamaha and Honda may also have similar displacement motorcycles out, but this is not guaranteed. I would expect that all of these will be powerful, but single cylinder machines. Twins, especially manufactured in India twins, will take more time, I think. We're more likely to receive multis via the expensive direct import route, not manufacturing... Fairings? Yes, I think they are certainly coming sooner rather than later... my two cents

I have heard of FI Karizma on the cards end of 2007 too but point is I cannot wait too long to sell my bike thanks to depreciation and if am to keep using it for few months more I think at least the rear shocks need to be replaced.

Anyway I thought the CBZX has a stiff set suspension to improve its handling . The trouble with test-rides is they are too short and on different roads that cannot provide similar conditions (I rode the Uni on a much smoother road than the RTR). Hmm... square one again.... if do buy a 150 around now it's most likely to be the RTR.


Anonymous said...

My friend was in similar dilemma last week, finally he has zeroed in on Xtreme. We found RTR at different dealers quite different. Finally it was b/w Xtreme and Uni. HH service station is hardly 1/2 mile from his home as against the nearest HMSI showroom is 6 miles away. So he finally went for Xtreme.

Sankoobaba said...

headlights!! my P-180 headlights are inssufficient !! I don't know if others feel the same....if I am riding at 30-45 or even 50 it seems fine...but zoom past that figure and I feel I am straining to see things clearly up ahead...any idea how that can be changed..