Dec 3, 2006

3 150 C.C Test Ride Series: Hero Honda Achiever & CBZ Xtreme

"This is the Third in the Series about my Report on Test Rides (that I took in Bangalore on 20'th November 2006) of the latest 150 C.C motorcycles"



The Bikes:
  • Hero Honda Achiever (149.1 C.C, Front Disc Brakes, Self Start, 13.4 bhp, 12.8 Nm Torque)

  • Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme (149.2 C.C, Drum Brakes all around, Self Start, Black alloys, 14.2 bhp, 12.8 Nm Torque)

The Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme and the Achiever

Showroom: Millennium Motors; Domlur, Bangalore

CBZ Xtreme Likes:
+Refined, Powerful engine
+Stable Handling
+Superb Riding position

CBZ Xtreme Dislikes:
-Looks...!! Styling..!! (Fire the design team please..!! )

"For guys who can take the styling of the new CBX Xtreme in their stride and believe that "Real Beauty is actually skin deep"... the CBZ Xtreme is a very good buy.. no doubt"


Achiever Likes:
+Price Maybe.. (Its the cheapest 150 C.C in India now..!!)

Achiever Dislikes:
-Do I have to say the words..??

In the showroom it was difficult for me to find out which one was the customer, the sales person or the employees representing the bank (for installment schemes). Nor did any one care to ask me what I was there for.. The showroom also had a cluttered look compared to TVS Tristar or Haiku Honda which I had visited prior to this showroom. I had to ask around for someone that i was interested in the CBZ Xtreme and the Achiever and that I wanted Test Rides of both the models. The bikes you see above were then arranged for the test rides.


Price: The price quoted for Hero Honda

  • Achiever: Rs. 54,460 (On road price, Bangalore; Only Drum brakes and kick start model available now)

  • CBZ Xtreme Rs. 63,977 (On road price, Bangalore; Front disc brakes, Electric start, Alloys)


Looks: When the Hero Honda CBZ debuted in the late 90's, so enamoured was I with the beauty of that machine that I could not resist pestering my dad to part 60+ grands of his hard earned money so that I could get a Silver Colored one with front disc brakes...!! And Boy... Did I feel like a king on his throne after i got one..?? I was in awe that Hero Honda had designed (??) such a bike at that time... One naturally expected more from Hero Honda... but can anyone tell me where is all that now..?? O.K agreed the Karizma has decent looks but what has happened to the 150 segment @ Hero Honda ..??

  • Achiever:According to me the Achiever has "Achieved Nothing" for Hero Honda. This is evident as I hardly see any Achievers plying on Bangalore/Trichy roads and when I do see a few of them... my friends can hardly tell the brand of the bike... So there.. you have the picture now..!!

  • The CBZ Xtreme had raised hopes of raising the bar in terms of styling due to the association of the CBZ Brand name along with it.. Being an ex-CBZ owner its needless to say that I am very disappointed.. a few mags have been kind and sympathetic to its looks.. but I don't find anything appealing in its design. For me its several notches below the "Classic" CBZ. The CBZ Xtreme looked bigger compared to the Achiever, TVS Apache or the Unicorn.

Test Ride Experience:

  • CBZ Xtreme:All my prejudices and negative opinion got blown away when I took the test ride of the CBZ Xtreme...!! There was a pillion rider (from the showroom) with me but still the CBZ Xtreme pulled effortlessly in every gear.. Impressive..!! The CBZ Xtreme is the most powerful 150 C.C in the country now on paper and it does show on the roads... The bike also showed stable road manners even with a pillion behind me.. the bike was very confidence inspiring even while cornering.. The CBZ Xtreme felt like a "Mini Karizma". I found the road manners of the CBZ Xtreme better with a pillion than the TVS Apache (Can't comment on Unicorn as the Test ride was solo in its case).
  • Another impressive feature of the CBZ Xtreme is its Superb Riding Position. The rider instinctively slides into a sporty riding position with rearset footrests. The CBZ Xtreme also has retained the "Only Toe" gear shifter of the earlier "Classic" CBZ (Which i love it, don't know about others)... Also unlike the classic CBZ in which the weight of the rider used to be on the wrists due to the sporty riding position, the CBZ Xtreme has a very comfortable riding stance in which the body weight is not transferred to the wrists and still maintain a sporty stance. Cool..!!
  • Achiever: After the impressive test ride of the CBZ Xtreme, it was time to test the Achiever.. the Achiever now comes only with drum brakes and without electric/self start. This has resulted the Achiever to become the "Cheapest" 150 C.C in India. There is almost Rs.10,000 difference between the Achiever and the CBZ Xtreme (with front disc, electric start). Sadly this price difference also gets reflected in the way the Achiever performs and handles on road. Compared to CBZ Xtreme, the engine performance felt perceptibly slow and its handling was also nowhere compared to the CBZ Xtreme.


Conclusion: No matter how much I loathe the looks of the new CBZ Xtreme, the performance of the engine and the confidence inspiring handling simply leaves me impressed. Would I recommend the CBZ then to my friends looking for a 150 C.C..?? Well..

After i had taken the test rides, I was requested to fill out a form.. it was a feedback form about the new CBZ Xtreme... there were questions which asked about the engine performance, comfort and about the looks of the bike and asked me to rate each parameter as "Unsatisfied-Ok-Satisfied"... On engine performance and comfort of the bike I almost give the CBZ Xtreme full marks but when it came to the styling aspects I ticked "Unsatisfied" in all aspects..!!

Finally in the feedback form a question was asked whether I would recommend the CBZ Xtreme to my friends... The kind of biker friends I have, I answered.. "NO". The employee who asked me to fill out the feedback form then asked me why was I not satisfied with the CBZ Xtreme.. I replied that I had a CBZ "Classic" once and this present incarnation of the CBZ just shares its name and has lost it's soul in the transformation... to which even the employee confided in me that he was excited when heard that CBZ was being relaunched as the CBZ Xtreme but when he did get to see the final product.. Even he was disappointed..!! So there..!!

Really sad, because the CBZ Xtreme is a good piece of engineering..

For guys who can take the styling of the new CBX Xtreme in their stride and believe that "Real Beauty is actually skin deep"... the CBZ Xtreme is a very good buy.. no doubt.

Achiever..??: Forget it..!!

CBZ Xtreme Likes:

  • Refined, Powerful engine
  • Stable Handling (even with a pillion)
  • Superb Riding position

CBZ Xtreme Dislikes:

  • Looks...!! Styling..!! (Fire the design team please..!! )

Achiever Likes:

  • Price Maybe..

Achiever Dislikes:

  • Do I have to say the words..??



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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.




3 Comments:

sabu mangalasserril said...

hey there ur blog day after day is getting sexier..i mean it has something added everyday that makes me look into it..even tell this as an exapmle in my classes..

good work..
three cheers!!!
sabu

Payeng said...

Wow Sabu...

I am being qouted as an example in your class..!!!

Thanx a lot for taking notice and appreciating my effort.. I want to enhance the user experience when he visits my blog... also I want him to navigate through my blog easily...

thats why I have made these changes to make it look less cluttered and easy to navigate..


Hey btw may I know where do u teach..?? and how is my blog an example in an academic course..??

Maltesh Ashrit said...

I believe dis is absolute let down..
rather dan spoiling de CBZ name, dey well cud have launched a new bike itself..

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