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Archive for September 11th, 2009

Review: Bajaj Avenger 200 DTS-i

Posted by silverstag on September 11, 2009

I bought a new Bajaj Avenger 200 recently. A Wine red one. It cost me 74160 INR on road. Here, I’m about to document my experience throughout (from short-listing to owing, to ride quality).

Indecision:

My choices were the following bikes,

  • Yamaha FZ 16
  • Yamaha FZS
  • Yamaha Fazer
  • Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i
  • Bajaj Avenger 200 DTS-i

Yamaha FZ 16, FZS and Fazer are basically the same unit with few differences. I crossed out Fazer and FZS as I didn’t want to pay the premium for tweaked looks. They have the same engine as FZ 16. FZ 16 has a really wicked looking cowl, sculpted curves and aggressive design. While the colors aren’t exactly catchy, I would buy that bike for the mere looks.

Pulsar 220 was quite an enticer. I almost bought the bike, despite the scant finances. The bike is tall and heavy. While it was tall enough for me, I had to balance it on my toes. This is where the weight adds to the discomfort if you’re cutting sharp turns or trudging uneven roads. I dismissed Pulsar 220 entirely for this reason.

One more thing I don’t like about Fazer and Pulsar 220 is the disjointed front-fairing. I never liked that design. It looks weird to me, as if it was an add-on and not a part of the bike.

I narrowed down to Yamaha FZ-16 and Avenger 200. FZ-16 costs around 72000 INR on road with the discount that was available at the showroom I enquired. FZ-16’s are a dime a dozen (not literally) these days and I couldn’t quite go with crowd. If I appear to have thought out through the myriad merits of all these bikes, let me tell you, Avenger was an impulsive choice. I was merely looking for reasons to discard all the other bikes.

Once decided on buying Avenger 200, I paid an advance at the probiking showroom located in Begumpet – Hyderabad to make a reservation. Probiking showrooms are meant to sell bikes of 200 cc and above. Even the service centers are different. You can’t just drop off your bike at any of the Bajaj service centers. I find this quite stupid. I understand it minimises certain logistical efforts on the part of the showrooms and Bajaj; but it adds to the discomfort of the consumer. You have to run around the specific service centers and delivery locations.

Falling in love:

Avenger 200 is for the Rider, not the pillion. While the pillion is comfortable enough, the experience is far richer for the rider. I love the bike for that and many reasons.

  • The carved and well cushioned seat provides for a very comfortable posture.
  • The suspension is just apt for the pothole riddled roads that I have to take. The front telescopic suspension deals minor and violent potholes in it’s own stride, while the back spring suspension along with the lovely seat, cushions out most of the bumps. Altogether you feel like you are sitting on your favourite couch.
  • Gearshift and rear brake are angular which would take a little getting used-to. The same goes for the handle bar if you are used to driving other Indian bikes.
  • Despite the bulk of the bike, handling is easy. While you can’t perform stunts, it’s easy enough to tackle the awful traffic on the roads of Hyderabad.
  • Acceleration is really good. I love pulling away from traffic leaving them in dust.

If I didn’t make it clear by now, well, I love the bike. I love that it turns heads (sometimes). I love that, despite what people think, ours is match made in Heaven  (Yeah, I’m still single). Like every relationship, there are certain compromises to be made here too. Here are mine.

  • The bike’s a guzzler. While I prepared for frequent refills, shelling out money doesn’t get too easy.
  • Ignition and handle-lock are on different sides. It’s a pain if you want get away quickly.
  • At certain angles the rearview mirrors reflect light straight onto your face. You can, of course, adjust them.

It’s been almost a month and I clocked 500 km’s already. So far it’s been a pleasure owing and driving it.

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