Category Archives: Reviews

Bajaj Platina100 : Review, Problems and Complaints

Bajaj Platina 100: A Deserving successor

platina100

Pic: Bajaj Auto

Bajaj Auto in automobile space is what Samsung in mobile handsets space. They have products in all ranges to woo prospective buyers in their respective business.  From low to middle to high end product range has helped them in establishing themselves as market leaders.

Entry level segment is such one which cannot be ignored by a commuter bike manufacturer. Every Indian bike manufacturer knows this and offer at least one model in this space. From Bajaj Auto, it is Platina.

When Platina replaced Bajaj CT100 as the cheapest bike from Bajaj Auto, expectaions we high in terms of pricing and fuel efficiency of the new Platina. CT100 had established itself pretty well in both the aspects. Fortunately for Bajaj Auto as well as those who were eagerly waiting for the new model , Platina did not disappoint.  It has all the goodies to be the successor of the successful CT100 model.

Design :

Platina is petite in size.  The design reminds you of its elder sibling Bajaj Wind 125. The design team has managed to pull off a decent looking  bike, as usual.

Technical Specifications :

Engine : 99.27cc air cooled 4 stroke;  Max Power/ torque : 8.2bhp@7500rpm / 8.05nm@4500rpm; Transmisson : 4 speed constant mesh;  Suspension :  125mm telescopic Hydraulic Front & rear; Fuel tank capacity : 13ltrs (including 2lrts of reserve); Weight: 113kg (dry)

The bike scores good in basic aspects like styling, fuel eceonomy and suspension in its class.

But where it falls short is in braking and control of the vehicle. Due to its light weight, thin body and poor quality tyres, you will have to be very careful while applying brakes when the speed is more than 55 kmph.

Bajaj Discover 100M : Review

Bajaj Discover 100 M – M for Mileage!

dis-100m-blue
100M has Pulsar’s muscular look, but spiderweb alloy wheel makes it look like scooter

Bajaj Auto have the widest range of motorcycles to cater to the differing needs of the target audience. If you are looking at a bike with power and macho looks – they have the Pulsar series, cruiser type – they have an Avenger, Platina in the entry level segment and coming to style, power and mileage they have the Discover series. Here we are going to talk about the recent addition to the Discover series – Discover  100M.

headlamp
Aggressive Headlamp with Pilot Lamps

There has been a general perception that mileage bikes cannot offer you what the premium segment bikes do in terms of power, comfort and styling. With Discover 100M, Bajaj Auto have honestly tried to overcome these shortcomings in a mileage bike. The effort to bridge the gap really seems to have paid off.

Technical Specifications:

Powered by a 4 valve twin spark DTS-i 102cc, Discover 100M comes with a max power of 9.3ps@8000rpm and a max torque of 9.02nm@6000 rpm. Front hydraulic and Nitrox twin rear suspension gives decent riding comfort and helps negotiate the rough roads. 100M has a disc brake variant too to give the control and comfort that was once available only in premium segment.

Design:

100m-wheel
Spider web wheelbase with petal disk break is unique

The styling of the bike is same as the latest Discover series. The 50mm reduction in wheelbase makes it proportionately smaller compared to its sibling Discover 100T. The sharp headlight cowl which comes with pilot lamps only adds to the looks of the vehicle.  The unique alloy wheels and fresh colour combinations get the bike sporty looks.

Fuel Economy – Mileage ka Naya Satya

Muscular Tank with Two Tone Decals
Muscular Tank with Two Tone Decals

Touching the fuel economy part, the very line used by Bajaj Auto on Discover 100M – Mileage ka Naya Satya says it all. The 84kmpl (under standard conditions) for a bike with all the new generation bike features and styling is no small feat.

Some Concerns…

There are a few areas where the bike lags behind. The light weight of the bike makes ride on highways a bit difficult. The poor tyre quality makes braking and controlling the vehicle a bit messy when clocked beyond 60 kmph.

Pricing

Many argue that it is overpriced in 100CC segment. In my opinion pricing is decent at around 46,800  for drum break variant (ex showroom, Bangalore*) & 49,800 for disk break. Yes, you have to shell out 3K more for the comfort and safety of disk break! Soon I’ll update this review with on-road price in Bengaluru. Click here to find authorized Bajaj dealers in Bengaluru.

Experts’ View

The new Bajaj Discover 100M definitely looks like it is here to create a place for itself in the entry level bike market. The bike has so much on offer that it is really easy to forget about the couple of slight gremlins and I am sure that every entry level bike buyer out there would be more than interested in giving the new 100M a good look. [review from motoroids.com]

The 100M is a neat motorcycle that understands its role but brings a bit of sizzle with a bit of extra power, lots of torque and extremely agile handling to a generally staid, economy and value-oriented segment. Road test report from The 100M is a neat motorcycle that understands its role but brings a bit of sizzle with a bit of extra power, lots of torque and extremely agile handling to a generally staid, economy and value-oriented segment. [Road test report from overdrive]

Bajaj Auto has nailed it with the value for money proposition it offers with the Discover 100M. We agree to the fact that this is the most expensive 100cc of the lot (100T aside) but the features on offer and the handsome styling makes it a fabulous package. Bajaj says this particular model has hopes attached with it when it comes to rural market share. It will not be easy to cut the cake here because this is where Hero MotoCorp has a blind following. [opinion from motorbeam.com]

To sum up, Discover 100M is a bike that stands tall among all the other players in its class. Be it mileage, looks, design or technology, the bike scores high on its nearest competitors. If you are looking at buying a bike in mid-range segment, 100M should be a wise and nice pick. Enjoy riding though initial investment is bit pricey!

Want to discover more? Watch the launch video below.

 

Image credit: Bajaj Auto
* Pricing is indicative & subject change without notice

Mahindra Centuro – Review

Mahindra Centuro – A bike with many features to love about.

Centuro
The side view reminds of old Bajaj CT 100 without Alloy wheels!

There is a good news for Indian Motor Bikes buyers from off-road utility champion Mahindra. It is time to rethink if you thought that mileage needs to compromised when you are looking for power, performance, muscularity & appearance in Motorbike.

When Mahindra launched Centuro in July this year, it was a pleasant surprise to know that this is not just another bike. Mahindra very well knew that if they do not offer something very good bundled with some uniqueness, the bike would not appeal to the prospective customers. And I would say, well done team Mahindra, you have managed to pull out something which cannot be ignored easily.

Centuro is not necessarily meant for everyday professionals & field-workers whose purchase decision is normally driven by fuel economy. Mahindra bike can attract youngsters and college kids too. Watch the the official promotional video below!

 Mahindra- a brand on Indian Road For 70 Years & Counting…

Mahindra has always been loved by motorists for their products’ (Be it a 4 wheeler or a two wheeler) toughness and reliability in most extreme of the conditions .  And this addition to their line up seems no exception. Build to take the tough Indian roads, Centuro certainly is the bike to stay tall among its competitors.

centuro
The golden ribs (bars) and unique graphics gives Centuro a stand out look

Techincal Specifications :

Centuro comes with a 106.7cc (falls under 110 CC segment) 4 stroke Air cooled single cylinder Micro chip Ignited – 5 curve engine. Max power is 8.5PS at 7500 rpm and max torque being 8.5 NM at 5500 rpm. Front hydraulic and rear coiled spring suspension manage to take on the uneven roads and unexpected road humps. Fuel tank accommodates 12.7 ltrs of fuel and lets you enjoy a long ride. The 4 gear transmission ensures a smooth riding experience.

NewsX published a video overview of the Bike. Watch it below.

Technical Enrichment & FIRSTs on Centuro.

flipkey
The remote flip key is no longer a luxury for car owners! Kudos to Mahindra
  • Golden ribs to guard the engine, also adds to the style.
  • Locate me lamps which help you find your bike when parked    with a lot of other bikes around. All that you have to do is a button click on the remote, the lights and indicators start blinking.
  • Remote flip Key with key light enabling you the find the ignition slot even in the dark.
  • Alarms you if some one tries to steal the bike using a duplicate key.

Pricing:

Centuro is competitively priced at around Rs 48,000 (ex-showroom, Bangalore* ) Soon I’ll contact couple of authorized dealers in Bengaluru to get on-road price & find out if there is any promo or special offers. Mahindra is yet to build dealers network in tier 2 & 3 cities.

Experts View

If I had to pick a bike without considering the brand, it would without a doubt be the Centuro. Despite all of Mahindra’s promises I am still not confident of how this bike will age.  [consumer review from Overdrive]

The Mahindra Centuro enters the premium 100-110 cc segment that is fast growing and is being recently tapped by mainstream manufacturers as well. The Centuro is an excellent motorcycle for point A to point B commuting offering class leading equipment, comfort and value to the prospective customer. However, the lack of awareness, shortage of after sales service network and long-term reliability remains a question. [review & critique from Motorbeam]

Mahindra launched the Centuro as a premium commuter segment bike. The bike has many advanced features and latest technology along with a very affordable price tag. Price of this 110 cc premium bike is comparable to other 100cc bikes. Also the company is offering a 5 years warranty with the bike. But the segment is filled with many amazing commuters and the competition is at a very high level. Let’s get into the detailing of the bike and try to calculate that the bike is ready for the battle or not. [excerpt from bikedekho.com]

Conclusion:

All said and done, the Mahindra Centuro has all the qualities to make the heads turn. Good looks, unique features and an economy of 70+ kms per ltr makes the bike a good option to look at. Mahindra backs up your Centuro with a 5 years warranty.  If you are willing to forget things like after sales service, longevity, reliability & resale value for the time being, Centuro would give you a enjoyable ride!

Image courtesy: mahindracenturo.com

* Prices are indicative & subject to change

Royal Enfield India Launches CONTINENTAL GT

CONTINENTAL GT From Royal Enfield to Touch Indian Roads

royalenfield-continental-GT
The unconventional seating position is not enjoyable for long-ride. It’s not a problem, but a feature of sporty bikes!

Continental GT has been launched in India and I bet, the first words the moment you have a look, touch and feel of the mean machine would be ‘wow.. what a bike’ . Awesomely designed this macho machine steals the show in no time.

CGTCafe Racer concept is not an unexplored or new to Royal Enfield. They have had Cafe Racer launched almost half a decade ago, what they have done this time around is revived the iconic model. The RE Cafe Racer is back with a bang.  And Royal Enfield India scores perfect timing in introducing CONTINENTAL GT by all means. This is the only bike in Indian market which doesn’t have a competitor. Yes, we don’t have another cafe racer in Indian market.

Innovations from Conservators

Royal Enfield is known to be a bit conservative when it comes to experimenting. With Continental GT, they have proved a point that they are catching up fast with the innovations and latest technologies to meet the expectations from the bike enthusiasts.  Let me explain to you how.

The Cafe Racer sports a double down tube cradle frame which is a new from REI. The all new chassis seems to be the best Royal Enfield has manufactured till date. Imported aluminium wheel rims have been used to lighten the bike.  In order to give customers the best, Royal Enfield have imported and applied best technologies from different parts of the world. Keihin Fuel Injection system from Japan, Paioli shock absorbers from Brazil, and Brembo brakes from Italy clearly show how much effort has been put in to give you something exceptional.

CGT2Engine: Available in Red and Yellow colors, CONTINENTAL GT is the most powerful machine on offer by REI. It sports a single cylinder Air cooled 4-stroke  535cc carburetor engine with a max power of 29.1bhp/5100 RPM and max torque of 44Nm/4000RPM. The bike weighs 184 kg, is equipped with front and rear disc brakes for efficient braking and controlling. Fuel tank capacity is 13.5ltrs.

CGT4Braking: With a 535cc engine and a maximum speed of 160kmph you need to get the braking right. Imported Brembo braking system ensures you do not get it wrong. Front and rear disc brakes enable you have the bike to standstill in 4 seconds (from 65-75 kmph speed range).

CGT3Suspension:  Coming to shock absorbers, its 41mm telescopic forks front and twin charged gas with adjustable preload Paioli shock absorbers give the biker the best in class comfort. Small potholes which are a common feature on Indian roads can be ignored, thanks to its imported GRS technology.

 Observation & Verdict

There are a few aspects where even this premium offering from Royal Enfield falls short. The machine starts vibrating once the needle crosses 130kmph mark, the unconventional seating position results in sort of discomfort to the rider unless you are 6ft & above!

Having said that, Royal Enfield Continental GT is a machine that manages to impress bike enthusiasts. The delightful design, powerful engine and a reliable brand makes the Cafe Racer a bike to look at. The new chassis and design helps you in negotiating the curvy roads quite easily.  And icing on the cake is its reasonable pricing.  One wouldn’t mind shelling out 2.05 lakhs or slightly more for the bike with killer looks and high octane performance.

Promotional video: From Ace Cafe to Madras Cafe

Image Credit : Royal Enfield

TVS Apache 150 – Review, issues and problems

TVS Apache 150 : A ‘ME TOO’ from TVS Motors

apache-150-big
Apache150 looks like fat red bull! The length is relatively low for 150CC segment. Img cedit: TVS

Apache 150 comes as the successor to Fiero, an established motorbike from TVS Motors for many years. To step in to the shoes of Fiero and take the legacy forward isn’t a small task, but Apache 150 somehow seems to have the stuff to meet the expectations of TVS loyalists.

Fiero being an old lion unable to hunt on its own, TVS Motors had to come out with something really appealing and attractive to woo prospective customers.  Bajaj Pulsar and Honda Unicorn were ruling 150cc premium class, and TVS couldn’t have ignored the tremendous potential in the segment. So born the Apache 150. The Research and Development team must have had a testing time to try and deliver a bike to match up to the standards and performance of these established players in the market. Sorry folks, you guys have missed a few links which we will discuss as we go on. Lets talk about the engine and other stuff now.

Technical Specifications:

Engine & Transmission

  • 4 Stroke  air cooled 147.5cc engine,
  •  Max power        : 13.5bhp@8500rpm
  • Max Torque       : 12.3Nm@6000rpm
  • Bore & Stroke   : 57mm x 57.8 mm
  • Compression    : 9.5:1
  •  Ignition               : Dual mode digital ignition
  • 5speed constant mesh transmission

 Suspension & Brakes

  • Front Suspension : 105 mm stroke Telescopic Forks
  • Rear Suspension   :  Monotube Inverted Gas filled shox (MIG)
  • Front Brake              : 240mm Disc
  • Rear Brake                : 130mm Drum

Road Test Report

I recently happened to go on a 60km stretch on an Apache150. I had given my vehicle for servicing and was told by my boss to hand over a parcel to our esteemed Client who contributes to the majority of Company’s revenues. I borrowed my friend’s Apache150 which is just a month old. Two birds in one shot. Duty and test drive in one go! I took off. Let me share my riding experience here with you guys.

Pickup & Ride Quality

Initial pick up was very impressive as I clocked 60kmph in no time. Smooth gear shifting. But riding wasn’t that comfortable, blame it on the seating position and slightly less height of the bike. Once I crossed the city limits, pulled the accelerator to touch 80kmph. Bike was steady, no sign of any vibes.

Breaking & Control

Breaking was ok. Front Disc and rear drum brakes offer good controlling of the bike. It took about 10 seconds (approximately) in getting the machine to standstill from a speed of 65. Just to check the braking at a higher speed, I dared applying brakes when the speed was 95. Apache 150  doesn’t score great here. A bit messy, and a do not try without experts’ guidance thing. Guess you guys have got what I am trying to say here.

Wobble & Vibration

When I crossed 90 KMPS, the machine hinted a slight vibration. I reckon one should not cross 75kmph on an Apache150 to have a safe ride. I tried crossing 100kmph just to have a feel as to how the bike behaves. Nope. It was not a good idea!

Mileage

Let me not touch the fuel efficiency aspect this time. It would be wrong on my part to give an opinion on this issue since I was riding the bike at a higher speed than one is supposed to do to check the mileage. My friend told me it gives him a mileage around 45kmpl (approximately) in city limits, which is decent considering the traffic conditions and frequent gear changing that takes place.

Verdict

Overall speaking, I feel the bike lacks in a few areas compared to its nearest competition.  Bajaj Pulsar or a CB Honda Unicorn should be a better pick. The design is too simple to stand out.

So I have given my honest opinion about Apache150. Now its your money and your choice. Happy and safe riding. Cheers.

Honda CB Unicorn Review

CB Unicorn – Not a complete no nonsense Bike

CB Unicorn
Black isn’t beautiful always

 

What do you think is important in a bike to win the hearts of customers? Is it the looks, engine or the brand? I know it sounds a little strange to start a review session with question marks. But there is a reason behind this. The latest iteration of the iconic Unicorn model from Honda – CB Unicorn forces me to place the above doubts in front of you.

When we think of a product from Honda, it is quite natural that we attach a lot of expectations to it. Unicorn brand is the eldest of the motorcycles from Honda in India. Launched in India in 2005, Unicorn was the one to give Bajaj Pulsar a run for its money. Despite all the competition, Unicorn is still considered as one of the top in 150cc premium segment.

CB Unicorn, the youngest of the Unicorns from Honda has a lot to excite you but falls short in a few departments. Let me take you through the specifications, unique propositions, good and not so good things about the bike one by one.

Engine : With the goodness of Honda

CB Unicorn is equipped with a 149.1cc 4-stroke air cooled SI Engine. The 13.3bhp@8000rpm power and 1.3Kg-m@5500rpm torque makes it a powerful machine. 5 speed constant mesh transmission with 1Down- 4 Up gear shifting keeps up with the new age pattern.

Body

CB UnicornComes with an Advanced Design Diamond Frame Chassis, CB Unicorn is the lengthiest bike in its class with 2095mm. The 1100mm height makes it a tall man’s darling and a do not buy for short chaps.  A total weight of 150Kg+ helps in getting a better road grip and control of the vehicle.

Brakes:

Front: 240mm Disc & Rear: 130mm Drum. It was surprising and rather disappointing to know that CB Unicorn doesn’t have a variant with Front & Rear Disc brakes. Braking and controlling of the bike appears to be ok, but front disc brake sometimes irritates you with a nasty sound (when applied fully) which I have never experienced in any other bikes.

Suspension

This is one area where I find Honda CB Unicorn way behind its contemporaries. In a time when GRS has been considered and accepted as a must have feature to offer that little extra comfort, Honda still boasts of its Advanced Technology Mono Rear Suspension which is without GRS technology and has only 3 level adjustment option. I own and commute in a CB Unicorn and find the rear suspension stiff even after trying soft, medium and hard level adjustments. Telescopic Fork front suspension is in line with what other players in its class offer.

Cold Start Issues

Most common problem with the bike has been the cold start issue. If kept idle (Engine turned off) for more than 4 hours or so, your CB Unicorn refuses to get up in one shot, and takes a couple of minutes to turn on. Only half the job done there because, it takes another couple of minutes to warm up.

Observation & Verdict

The best thing about this bike is the fact that it comes with a Honda engine. The smoothness and vigour of the engine is a real feel good factor. The engine sound is so smooth that the rider himself wouldn’t hear when not accelerated. The bike gives an average mileage of 50kmpl and nothing to grumble in this regard. The bike is sluggish in pick up and pulling, so not an ideal select for those who crave speed. The Cold start problem gets you pissed off in the mornings.

I think now you know why I raised a couple of questions in the beginning of this discussion. This bike has got the looks to die for, famous Honda Engine and is a trusted Honda brand product. Despite these advantages, the CB Unicorn fails to be a complete no nonsense bike.

Video review: real user

Image Credit : Honda2wheelerindia

Bajaj Pulsar 150 Review : More Pluses and a Few Misses

pulsar-150-color-black

image courtesy : Bajaj Auto

Bajaj Pulsar 150 cc Review

Pulsar 150 is one among the most popular motorcycle from the house of Bajaj Auto.  Born in 2001, the model has been a runaway hit among the youth of India since then. There have been a number of upgrades and cosmetic changes to the model but the fact remains that it is still the top selling Bajaj motorcycle.

Lets take a brief journey through the technology, specifications, fuel efficiency, pluses and shortcomings of the most popular Pulsar model from Bajaj.

Technology:  The motorcycle comes with DTSi (Digital Twin Spark Ignition) technology in which there are two spark plugs per engine cylinder. Another striking special in Pulsar is the Exhaus TEC technology. Exhaus TEC enables the vehicle to pull even at low speeds thus making the riding easy by not demanding frequent gear shifts in high traffic conditions.

Specifications: As the very name suggests, Pulsar 150 comes with a 150cc (149 to be specific) single cylinder air-cooled  4 stroke engine. Equipped with Nitrox dual rear supension and 135mm telescopic front fork with anti friction brushes it can give the rider the best in terms of riding comfort.  The fuel tank capacity is 15 ltrs.

Coming to the fuel efficiency department, you can expect a mileage of 50-55 kms per ltr in actual riding conditions which is pretty decent for a 150cc bike.

Pluses : Good pick up, Decent mileage, Good Design, Great riding comfort

Shortcomings: No rear disc brakes option, Slightly hard gear shifting. (when compared to other bikes in its class)