Making a Choice. Motorcycle!

I was trying to manage without a motorcycle since I sold my old bike. It was a Bajaj Discover. A pretty good one, decent mileage, but over four years of use drained much fizz out of it. I was not planning to sell it anyway. But one day someone with a generous offer and instant payment came and I let that go.
Two months since that, I am badly in need of a bike. Anyone who started motorcycling at the age of 14 and enjoyed it for more than a quarter century can’t be weaned just like that! I need a bike!!
Definitely I need a better one. More power, but should have good kmpl. That was important. Anyone saying they don’t care about mileage is either filthy rich or, spending someone else’s money or simply lying! If I were rich enough not to consider mileage, I would have booked a Suzuki Intruder. Wow!
The bike I wanted for long was Avenger. But not many endorse it. Bad mileage too. No pro-biking service centers in 70 km. Sorry to Avenger.
Pulser? Actually I love it. But there are more of them in the road than needed.
Hunk. Well, I don’t like the looks, what’s that ugly thing they screwed to the tank?
Unicorn. Sure, a good candidate. But have 3 months booking. Not worth for that waiting. But have some very strong points, riding comfort, mileage and puncture proof tires.
Apache. Too much vibration, doubtful durability. (Actually, I don’t know much about that. Not common in my area. Net search returned the above impressions.)
Now the choice narrows down to Yamaha FZ 16 and Suzuki GS150R.

The Yamaha is a definite head turner, no arguments. I would say it’s the first bike in India with some radical design concept. Good power too. 14 bhp and excellent midrange torque. I almost booked it. But, again buts..! FZ16 is designed for city commuting. Its engine and ergonomics are best fitted for that. Excellent for a rabbit chase, but not good for long distance ride. Pillion rider position is also not comfortable. Worse for women. I love long distance biking and my wife frequently pillion rides.

And the last choice, Suzuki GS 150R is yet to be launched. All the information I could get from the net were that given in their brochure only, like the engine balancer technology, six speed gear box and the dual mode engine function. The picture of the bike was not very impressive either.
I rang up the local Suzuki dealer and asked if a demo is available. Fortunately there was one.
Compared to the other 150 cc bikes, this one looks definitely bigger. The parameters are bigger than that of FZ, but I am not very sure about the other ones. Looks are much better than that evoked by the pictures. I liked three parts most, the headlight, tail lamp with integrated indicators and the instrument console. All these three are better than anything else in the Indian streets. The only competition for the headlight would be a Pulser 220. The tail lamp is LED with white crystalline wrapping. Very clean and decent. The integrated turn signals match the assembly very well. The instrument console has an analogue tachometer and the remaining functions are all digital. It also has a gear position indicator. Much hyped, but not very needed I believe. Another functionality is the gear up-shift timing signal. That too, just a gimmick I think. But the entire appearance of the instrument console is great.
But when you go through the brochure, you will understand why these three parts are such unique. They are either derived or straight taken from the great GSX-R. Designed with effort and talent.
The remaining body parts are just amateur work. Nothing very outstanding. The design doesn’t seem to have done around any particular theme. The fuel tank is massive. Remember the surprise we had when we first saw disproportionate tanks in Pulser? Now that our thresholds have set high, Suzuki dares to fix an even bigger tank. Holds 15.5 lits. Anyway the tank and the side wraps to the tail end give the bike a masculine look. The tank is all metal unlike that of FZ.
The fuel cock is a straight steal from Unicorn. Bad, I say. That thing would be more appropriate on a fan regulator than on a bike. It’s the same with the chrome trims which is also an imitation of Unicorn. Don’t suit both the bikes.
The riding position is very comfortable. A sixth gear itself indicates that the bike is designed for long trips too. Like the FZ, this engine also have good midrange torque that practically translates to excellent pickup and effortless city ride. The engine is very quite, thanks to the balancer tech. (FZ16 don’t have that but R15 have) The engine have dual mode, economy and power. I read somewhere that it remaps the ignition, but the showroom person says nothing that big is there. It only changes the timing indication for up-shift. Anyway more tech than the modes in TVS and Bajaj.
Suzuki leaves the option for kick starting too. FZ don’t have that. I like to have a kicker for some confidence.
Now the final decision;
Looks: Yamaha clear winner.
Engine power and pickup: Yamaha slightly ahead. Suzuki engine seems to be more refined.
Riding Comfort: Suzuki better, especially on long distance.
Pillion rider comfort: Suzuki
Sixth Gear: Suzuki – yes, Yamaha – No.
Fuel efficiency: Suzuki way ahead.

As I am past the age of adrenalin thump, I decided in favor of Suzuki. Waiting for the delivery in mid January. I will update this review, once I have some real road experience.

3 comments:

agog said...

I guess you must compare Unicorn and GS as they are bikes in one league. Comparing with FZ, doesn't help because both bikes are targeted to different audience altogether.
I would say go for any of GS or Unicorn and you'll never regret as per your requirements.

Prashob.ms said...

pls post a full review once u get the bike...like riding comfort,cornering,mileage,engine vibrations at 70-90km range etc

NAIM said...

I guess the bike is available in the market...
Plz post your experience abt mileage if u have taken one.