2005 Hero Honda Karizma from India
The bike is worth the moolah you pay. I rate it over the Pulsar 180 DTSi any day!
Generally, in the segment for 150-to-250 cc (in India), the toss up is between the Bajaj Pulsar 180 Dtsi (2004) and the Hero Honda Karizma. I have had the fortune of riding both the bikes on an almost regular basis (belonged to my friend). The Pulsar is a hooligan bike! Put it to rough use and it will grunt, but never complains. Whereas the Karizma is classy. It has power, performance, comfort, and build quality which is way far superior to Bajaj Pulsars.
I had read a review stating Karizma is 'sissy'. I felt that reviewer has a point, but now after owning a Krizma, I think he is wrong. For example, the mag-wheels are made by Enkei, which means superb quality! http://www.enkei.com/
Although the bike is long and the rider position is upright, the bike is easy to handle and is very comfortable. Far better than any of the Pulsars made so far.
Acceleration is unreliable. My friend's bike zooms and my doesn't. It could be a fault after the servicing. Generally I have seen that most of these babies are real quickies!
Top speed that I've touched on my bike is 135.. just before my first service.. after that it dropped down to a little below 125 @ 8000rpm. That's bad! Again the theory of acceleration applies here too. Speed of 120 odd is a piece of cake for this 225cc engine (actually 223cc).
The mileage depends on many factors. Engine oil.. use of synthetic oil (expensive) can give a mileage of about 37-40Kmpl, even at speeds of 100Kmph. Unlike the Bajaj bike, there is not much variance is the mileage if driven at an average speed of 60 to 80. Perhaps one may get a constant mileage of 40kmpl, but this bike is not meant to be ridden at 60 odd kmph! I used Shell 20w50 oil and ride at a speed of 120+ (on my way to work through Palm Beach Road), for which I get mileage of 34Kmpl. I will soon be switching to synthetic oil. Its availability is low in my area for people don't prefer to buy an engine oil for 400 odd bucks! This oil retains its good nature for 3000KM, so I guess the price is appropriate.
The dials of the Karizma can put Hyundai cars to shame! Overall digital stuff on this bike is rocking! The only negative aspect of the digital control is its unreliability during rain. Chance of the fuse (under your seat) to cut-off is low; but when it happens, you have to rely on the kick start. Head light and horns don't work either. The reserve fuse is provided by the manufacturer too.
Speaking of the horn.. it's useless! That's where the 'sissy' aptly fits. I changed it.. cos it doesn't suit the size of the bike.
I haven't faced major problems with the machinery.. as yet! Touch wood!
To round it all.. if you have 80 grand, go for a Karizma... if you have 1 lakh 50 thousand, go for a Comet, and if you have under 70 grand, then be satisfied with a Pulsar 180 Dtsi. I didn't like Bajaj's idea of decreasing the diameter of the wheels. Perhaps they didn't account for the effect on mileage and acceleration.
Bajaj should fit the Pulsar with the CBZ's sprocket.. it delivers amazing performance. They could perhaps even challenge the Karizma with it.
An enthusiast can take advantage of the Kaizma's completely decalibrated engine. I mean this engine is capable of delivering more.. a good mechanic can tweak the bike to give higher speeds and BHP. Fit a 2-piece handle and it would look as good as any sport bike of same capacity!
I forgot to mention about the service. I take my bike to service centre at New Bombay (closer to my home). Service is awful!
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 1st April, 2006