Tag Archives: premium bikes

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