Sep 19, 2007

13 When will the Fuel Injected Hero Honda Karizma "Fi" arrive..??

Why hasn't the Hero Honda Karizma arrived so far..?? Lets try to find some answers..

Flashback: Early 2006

Just after Bajaj displayed its Fuel Injected Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi at the 2006 Auto Expo, there were rumors and speculations abuzz that soon Hero Honda would also launch a Fuel Injected version of its Karizma. After all Bajaj had stolen the thunder from Hero Honda.

Disclaimer: "I cannot give the guarantee of the veracity of these deductions. But I believe that the following observations are far better to explain the current state of events rather than just pure speculation.."

Rumors of a Fuel Injected Karizma became stronger when Hero Honda launched the 125 cc Glamour PGM-Fi. Never mind if the Glamour PGM-Fi was priced equal to a substantially more powerful 150 cc bike. Also never mind the fact that I did not get to see any PGM-Fi Glamour on road.

What it meant was the Hero Honda took the honors of being the First Indian Motorcycle Manufacturer to officially launch “Fuel Injection” tech in India. It also kept the hopes of thousands of “desi bikers” of our country alive that the Karizma “Fi” could just be around the corner anytime soon.

After all if Hero Honda could give a 125 cc bike Fuel Injection..?? Why would it shy away from giving its flagship model “Karizma” the same treatment..??



Welcome up to the Present World: Mid 2007

Things haven’t changed much. The 125 cc Glamour PGM-Fi is still available for sale and I have yet to see one of those on the road till date.
Hero Honda Glamour Fi

Hero Honda Glamour Fi

So why haven’t the Karizma “Fi” arrived..?? Instead of speculation, let us try to find some answers

In the meantime Bajaj has launched its Fuel Injected Pulsar DTS-Fi 220 (albeit with some delays) and yours truly has gone ahead and booked a Red one too. And oh yes, still no signs of the “Fuel Injected” Karizma. But you do get a new set of stickers along with a plastic engine guard, red shocks and yellow colored speedometer assembly to boot.

In order to get some answers, I just type the words “Hero Honda Karizma Fi” on Google and hit the search button. To my amusement I find that the first link on Google Search for “Hero Honda Karizma Fi” is the link of “The Bike Chronicles of India”..!!

Karizma Fi Google Search

Karizma "Fi" on Google Search


Ok, so this time I try “Hero Honda Karizma Fuel Injection”.. and Bingo..!! “TBCI” has the first link again..!! I try one more time with “Fuel Injected Hero Honda Karizma”.. and guess what..?? The first link on Google Search is again of TBCI..!!

The TBCI link that was appearing in Google was of a post which was published on 4'th November 2006. This post was about a small article found in an issue of Overdrive India. That article was about rumors of Hero Honda preparing a Karizma “Fi”.


Aahh..!! The Evil that Auto Magazines do…



Why hasn’t the Fuel Injected Karizma arrived..??

The real answer can only be given by the big bosses of Hero Honda. All I can say that by not launching a Fuel Injected Karizma, Hero Honda is losing a huge opportunity here.

There is a long waiting list of “desi-bikers” at the Pro Biking Showroom at Bangalore. These folks are waiting for their turn to book the Pulsar DTS-Fi 220. If this wasn’t enough, Bajaj is enjoying a situation where guys are even willing to wait for 60-90 days after booking. This is what happens when you don’t have a competition.

So why haven’t the Karizma “Fi” arrived..?? Instead of speculation, let us try to find some answers.



Origin of the Hero Honda Karizma:

The Karizma was launched in 2003. Like the other offerings of Hero Honda, Honda was responsible for providing the Hero Group with the technical know-how. Now did Honda design the engine of the Karizma especially for Hero Honda and for the Indian market..??

Honda CRF230F


In a bid to search for the origins of the Karizma, I came across a model from Honda called the CRF230F. The CRF230F is basically a 4 stroke dirt bike from Honda and sold in countries like Brazil where off road bikes are quite popular. Now by going through the official specs of the CRF230 and comparing it to the specs of the Karizma, it looks that both the engines share the same DNA. Published below are the tech specs of the CRF230 and the Karizma. Even the two engine blocks look similar.

2008 Honda CRF230F Specifications

    Model: CRF230F
    Engine Type: 223cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
    Bore and Stroke: 65.5mm x 66.2mm
    Compression ratio: 9.0:1
    Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
    Induction: 26mm piston-valve carburetor

    Source: Honda Corporate Press Release

2008 Hero Honda Karizma Specifications
    Engine Type: 223cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
    Bore and Stroke: 65.5mm x 66.2mm
    Compression ratio: 9.0:1

Hero HOnda Karizma Engine Specs

So it looks very much likely that Honda took the engine from the CRF230, did some rework on it and launched it as the Karizma in India. If this is true then it is bad news for “desi bikers” waiting for the Karizma “FI”.

This is because until recently, Fuel Injection hasn’t been quite popular with Dirt Bikes. Dirt Bikes need to be light and usually have simple mechanicals. Only recently Suzuki has launched Fuel Injection for its 2008 RMZ450 dirt bike. Yamaha also has plans of Fuel Injection for its 2008 international range of dirt bikes viz. the Yamaha WR250R and WR250X .

Meanwhile official press releases from Honda for its 2008 CRF230 specs reveal that the CRF230 would still feature the carburetor and NOT fuel Injection.



But what about the 125 cc Glamour PGM-Fi..??

Actually, Honda has engines as small as 50 cc with fuel injection technology. The present 125 cc engine found on the Hero Honda Super Splendor and the Glamour looks quite similar to the 125 cc engines found in the Honda Step Thru’s sold in a few South East Asian countries. In fact the PGM-Fi technology can be found on a 125 cc Step Thru called the Wave 125i sold in Thailand. The Honda Wave engine also looks quite similar to the engine found on the Hero Honda Glamour.

Honda Wave 125

Honda Wave 125

So it looks like Honda has transferred its PGM-Fi technology from the Wave Step Thru’s of Thailand and plonked it on the Glamour in India. After all why reinvent the wheel when you have a perfectly good set of wheels at your disposal..??

PGM-Fi technology on the Honda Wave 125i


Source: Honda World Website


What about the Future prospects for a Karizma "Fi"..??

I am certainly not aware of the management decisions of Hero Honda or Honda. Nor do I give the guarantee of the veracity of the above deductions of mine. But I believe that these observations are far better to explain the current state of events rather than just pure speculation.

If the above observations are correct then probably our “desi” bikers would have to wait (for a 230-250 cc Fuel Injected Motorcycle from Honda/Hero Honda) till..

  • Honda launches the CRF230 Dirt Bike with Fuel Injection (likely but at least not in 2008) or


  • Honda launches a 230-250 cc step thru with PGM-Fi for South East Asian Countries (very unlikely as Step Thru’s engines so far haven’t crossed 135 cc) or


  • Hero Honda decides to invest into R&D of its own ( ???? ) or


  • Maybe “desi” bikers should/shouldn’t expect an all new 230/250/300 cc model from Honda/Hero Honda.


Now can you tell me which could be the most likely scenario among these..??







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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.




13 Comments:

Anonymous said...

posts have started to sound stupid now...don't u have anythin worth while??

first_synn said...

Here's another little known fact: The Karizma bodywork is based on a 150CC China-market bike by Honda which shares its mechanicals with: guess what? The Unicorn.. :-D

The only difference is that the Chinese bike has a bit more rounded curves.

Lord knows when this game of merry-go-round will end....

Payeng said...

Yes Synn,


I have seen the pics of that Chinese lookalike of the Karizma with engine similar to the Unicorn...

but was not exactly sure which one was first to arrive.. the Karizma or that Chinese 150 cc.

deepanjali said...

wow........... Nice Blog

Payeng said...

Thanks Deepanjali..

first_synn said...

The chinese one.

Sergius said...

Hi Payeng,

Very nice work, this what auto mags should be doing. Tracking down stuff.
Hey would like to discuss with you some other elements offline, do you have an email id I can mail.

Regards

Its my life said...

Hi Payeng,

Your blog is a great place to discuss all the contemporary Bike related Topic.
I would like to know what is this 'Fi' thing which seems to buzz word in the biking arena? What are its advantages for a ordinary biker like me. What justifies Glamour PGM-Fi asking for a premium over it's 125cc peers?
And could you help me choose between Glamour PGM-Fi and Yamaha Gladiator.
My criteria is 55+ mileage and fair bit of Performance in 125 CC segment.

Payeng said...

Hi Sergius,

my mail id is "spayeng@gmail.com"

my contact details can be found by clicking the CONTACT navigation button on top of the blog along with the HOME and DISCLAIMER buttons..


@Its My Life..

"Fi" Stands for "Fuel Injection".. this technology is a modern replacement of the conventional carburetors.

The advantage of Fuel Injection is more precise supply of fuel to the engine therefor eliminating wastage of Fuel. This gives Better fuel efficiency and also Improved throttle response. Also emissions are drastically reduced due to more efficient burning of fuel.


The Downside of this technology is the increase in Price. The Glamour PGM-"Fi" costs around Rs.8,000 more than the non PGM-Fi version of the Glamour.

The 8K increas in price of the Glamour makes it as costly as 150 cc bikes therefore making it a costly affair. But the PGM-Fi Glamour is one of the most fuel efficient bikes of India. It is reputed to give mileage figure of around 65 Km/l.

The 125 cc Yamaha Gladiator is more poerful than the Glamour PGM-Fi and comes with a lower price tag too. The mileage figure should be around 50-55 Km/l.


I would advice you to go for the Gladiator instead of the Glamour PGM-Fi.

Bharathwajan said...

The last option, "Maybe "desi" bikers should/shouldn't expect an all new 230/250/300 cc model from Honda/Hero Honda," is the most likely plausible. Though Hero Honda have been pioneers for long now, the cycle I think is changing and focus has shifted to Bajaj and TVS to lead.

Anonymous said...

ya read all the comments i am looking forward to take a new karizhma should i buy now or wait for the f1 series or if i bought one can i convert it to fi i think i will get answer

...blessed said...

Hmmmm
Interesting. I own Karizma and a 500cc.
I love both bikes. Karizma has fewer problems and seemingly problem free till now (after one year )
If only it had sounded better ( or sounded at all...:-( ]
Yes, I like it to be fuel injected.
DJ

deepanjali said...

wow........... Nice Blog

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