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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

Last updated on: May 14, 2011 10:00 IST

Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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The Hero Honda Karizma was the first real sports bike of India, when it was launched in 2003. Over the years though, many new models have come along and challenged the Karizma to a significant extend. However all that Hero Honda did was to come up with the R version in 2007. The R version was nothing more than a cosmetic upgrade. Enthusiasts were disappointed.

People wanted more; specially fuel injection, digital speedometer and LED lights. This came true when India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer went ahead and launched the Karizma ZMR. But it was not received well.

The bike does look slightly awkward in pictures but look at in person and it changes your opinion.

Ride the ZMR and it will change your thoughts as well.

So what's new inside the ZMR and is it worth a buy? Lets find out...

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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So what's new?

Fuel injection, full fairing, mirrors mounted on visors, digital instrumentation, LED brake lights, rear disc brakes, GRS adjustable suspension, tubeless tyres, clip on handlebars are some of the new features on the ZMR.

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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Engine

The same 223 cc mill that powers the old Karizma, powers the Karizma ZMR. However with the addition of PGM-FI, and an oil cooler, the bike now produces 17.6 BHP of power at 7000 RPM. While that is not a significant increase over the previous model, the ZMR is more responsive to throttle inputs.

18.35 Nm at 6000 RPM of torque ensures that the ZMR is a breeze to ride in any gear at any speed. Just wring the throttle at any speed and the ZMR responses with utmost urgency.

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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Ride and handling

The GRS suspension and tubeless tyres ensure that the ZMR glides over potholes. Handling is sharp but not the best in its segment. The Yamaha R15 is the benchmark here.

The puny tyres don't inspire much confidence in the riders for aggressive cornering.

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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Braking and display

The front and rear disc brakes on the ZMR are one of the largest on any Indian motorcycle to date and ensure very quick retardation of speed.

However the lack of ABS can some time lock the wheels on uneven surfaces.

The display is the best on any Indian bike and even welcomes you with the words 'Welcome to Karizma ZMR, fasten your helmet and fly safe'.

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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2011 Edition

The company has quietly made a few changes to the 2011 version of the bike, which now features body coloured rear view mirrors and grab rails, Asta gold disc brakes, blue lightning in the instrumentation, new exhaust cover, new seat and as always new logos.

This update is purely cosmetic and there are no mechanical changes.

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Image: Karizma ZMR

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Karizma ZMR: Bike review

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Conclusion

The Karizma ZMR is an excellent bike and a reliable one too. Quality is top-notch and the engine is very refined. However if you are into racing than you should look else where as the ZMR is a cruiser, not a drag bike. It is fast but not the fastest.

It looks good but is not a head turner. It costs Rs 1.07 lakh and will return a mileage of 37 kmpl, making it an excellent alternative for those who seek a peaceful ownership experience.

NEXT: Are you a biking enthusiast? Write to us


Image: Karizma ZMR

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Are you a biking enthusiast? Write to us

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There are few things more intoxicating than a good bike ride. Ask Gul Panag if you don't believe us! Her baraat arrived on a fleet of Royal Enfields!

If you're one bike and travel enthusiast, you're the one we're looking out for!

Have you travelled great distances on your two-wheeler and have memories you want to share of the trip? Or do you have a review of your bike or car to share with us?

Simply write us an email to bikesandmotoring@rediffmail.com (subject line: 'Motorcycle Diaries' or 'Bike Review' or 'Car Review') with your travelogue and/or review and we will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com.

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Who knows you might just inspire someone to take to the bike!

Also Read:

Motorcycle Diaries: Taking the road to freedom

A bike pilgrimage to Trimbakeshwar and Shirdi

Solo biking: Pune to Bengaluru in 18 hours

Travel: Riding high in the Himalayas


Image: Sujay Ray heads out of Delhi on his bike as often as he can. Here is his group during their Lahaul and Spiti trip
Photographs: Sujay Ray
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