Dec 1, 2007

15 Review of Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi [Test Ride/Road Test]

Test Ride/Review of the Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi..

"I Feel Like God".

The Avenger 200 DTSi is the closest that our "desi" bikers can get to "Americana" on Indian roads and by spending Indian money.

Do wear that rider jacket, wear it in black leather if you want..

But for God’s sake do not wear that "I am a tough guy attitude"..

That was the tag line that accompanied the advertisements of the 180 cc Bajaj Avenger when it was launched back in 2005. It has now been a few weeks since the Avenger 180 DTSi has been replaced with the new Avenger 200 DTSi, but still there has been no promotion for the Avenger 200 DTSi yet. Forget TV Ads, I have yet to come across even a print advertisement for the Avenger 200 DTSi.

Why..??

When other manufacturers go over the top to proclaim new stickers on existing bikes as all new models, has Bajaj decided to act modest..??

Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi

Positives:

+ Only bike in its segment
+ Comfortable on good roads
+ Good Brakes

Negatives:

- Pillion seat not that comfortable
- Harsh Ride on Bad roads
- Gearbox could improve

According to me it is actually "Smart Marketing". The "I Feel Like God" campaign had already created an awareness/impression about the Avenger among consumers back in 2001. To keep the interest of the customers alive, Bajaj has decided to upgrade the engine by increasing the displacement and consequently the power and torque figures.

The small cruiser is still a niche segment in India. Since there is virtually no competition for the Avenger in this segment, why bother to spend crores of moolah on promotion. After all there are Bloggers like me to bring you the test ride and review all for free..!!


Styling:

Apart from an optional windshield, it’s almost impossible to distinguish the now discontinued Avenger 180 DTSi from the new Avenger 200 DTSi. Thankfully the engine covers and the cylinders have not been doused in black color. The previous “Avenger” moniker has now been shifted from the side panels to the Tank. The side panel now sports a “200 Oil Cooled” sticker. Like the Pulsar 200 DTSi, the Avenger 200 DTSi also does away with the kick lever and goes in just with the Electric Start.

Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi
Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSiThe Avenger 200 DTSi still retains the chrome-laden charm of a low-slung cruiser. It also retains the somewhat awkward ignition switch for which you have to fish under the petrol tank. The petrol tank now also houses a small fuel indicator along with the telltale lights. But with all that chrome, the sunlight does find its way to your eyes. But hey..!! That’s what you get in a cruiser.



The brand that comes to everyone’s mind when talking about “cruisers” is Harley Davidson. One of the vivid memories of my childhood is the image of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Harley in the movie Terminator. The Avenger is the closest that our “desi” bikers can get to that kind of Americana on Indian roads and by spending Indian money.




Ride Experience:


Riding position:

    For any who has ridden street bikes all his life, the low seat of the Avenger feels a little awkward. But it takes only a few minutes to get used to this comfortable riding posture. The feet are placed forward with the arms outstretched.



Clutch & Gearbox:

    Press the thumb start and the Avenger immediately settles into a smooth idle. The jerky clutch that used to plague earlier versions of the Pulsars has become almost perfect now and the clutch of the Avenger also is free from any issues. The same cannot be said about the gears though. Even though the gears are smooth to operate they still could do with a little bit of more feel. Also like the Pulsars finding neutral is an art that needs to be mastered. That being said, the gearbox was thankfully free from any false neutrals.



Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi

Engine Performance:

    Cruisers are supposed to be made for easy and relaxed riding. So I was a bit sceptical on how the short stroke engine of the Pulsar 200 DTSi would perform on the Avenger. But just a few minutes on the Avenger was enough to dispel any doubts. The engine pulled quite effortlessly in every gear. But to enjoy the bike the most, it is better not to stress the engine too much.



Handling:

    For someone who has always ridden road bikes, the handling of the Avenger with the long wheelbase and kicked out front forks, need some time to get used to. Although the Avenger handles quite well, one cannot expect to attack the corners like one would on a Pulsar.




Ride:

    The ride quality of the Avenger isn’t exactly plush. Ride quality on smooth roads remains ok, but show the Avenger some bad roads and the road irregularities will get transmitted mildly to your spine.



Braking:

    I had come across about discussion in a few Internet forums about the braking of the Avenger 180 being prone to sliding under hard braking. So I decided to test it for myself. I gathered some momentum on the bike and then hit the brakes hard. I have to say that the brakes were quite impressive and the bike halted without any issue. Maybe as the tyres get old and hard, the bike might slide under hard braking, but then this is true for any bike.



Fuel Efficiency:

    According to Auto Magazines you can expect a mileage figure of around 35 Kmpl from the Avenger 200 DTSi





Conclusion:

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the Avenger, in the process I probably lost a bit of respect for the bike.

For me a bike has to evoke a feeling of respect for it. Probably even scare you with its limits..

The Avenger could have included flat footboards instead of the front foot pegs. Also the rear seat is a bit narrow and the pillion on the Avenger would definitely require more frequent butt breaks especially on long journeys.

At 5 ft 5 inches I literally have to be on my toes (Pun Intended) on almost every other bike in the country including my own Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi. So the low seat of the Avenger provided me with the rare opportunity to put both my feet flat firmly on the ground. This meant that I could play around with the Avenger with gay abandon.

Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSiI have to say that even though I thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the Avenger, in the process I probably lost a bit of respect for the bike. For me a bike has to evoke a feeling of respect for it. Probably even scare you with its limits. There should be something extra left in the bike that should challenge you to test its limits.

So instead of feeling like Arnold on his Harley-Davidson, the Avenger actually made me feel like a boy on a wannabe cruiser.

So if you happen to ride the Avenger, do wear that rider jacket, wear it in black leather if you want, also never forget to wear that helmet. But for God’s sake do not wear that “I am a tough guy attitude”.

Just put a smile on your face and enjoy the ride.


Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi

Stephen: The Probiking Showroom attendent who accompanied me during the Test Ride






Bajaj Avenger 200, DTS-I: Technical Specifications

ENGINE
    Type : 4 stroke, Air and Oil cooled, SOHC, Single cylinder
    Displacement: 198.8 cc

    Maximum Power: 17.5 bhp (12.88 KW) @ 8000 rpm
    Maximum Torque: 16.78 Nm (1.71 Kg-m) @ 6000 rpm

    Bore x Stroke: 67 x 56.4 (198.8 cc)
    Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
    Carburettor: UCAL Mikuni BS29

    Valve train: SOHC 2 Valves
    Valves per cylinder: 2 Valves

    Power to weight ratio: 113.7 bhp/Tonne

    Starting: Electric Start only
    Idle speed: 1400 ± 100
    Ignition: Digital C.D.I with Load Sensing & non-contact TPS

    Fuel tank capacity: 14 litres
    Reserve: 3.4 litres
    Useable reserve: 2.8 litres


TRANSMISSION

    Clutch: Wet multiplate
    Primary reduction: 3.47 : 1
    Final reduction: 2.71 : 1


CHASSIS

    Type: Double cradle down tube


SUSPENSION

    Front: Telescopic Forks 140 mm Stroke
    Rear: 5-way adjustable, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers, Wheel travel 90 mm


BRAKES

    Front: 260 mm Hydraulic Disc
    Rear: 130 mm Drum


WHEELS AND TYRES

    Rim size (Front): 1.85’’ x 17’’
    Rim size (Rear): 2.75’’ X 15’’
    Tyre size (Front): 90/90 X 17”
    Tyre size (Rear): 130/90 X 15”


ELECTRICALS

    Battery: 12 V 9Ah,
    Magneto: AC Generator
    Ignition system: Digital CDI with Load sensing
    Spark plug: 2nos CHAMPION RG4HC
    Spark plug gap: 0.6 ~ 0.8 mm
    Head lamp: AC, 60/55 W
    Tail lamp: 5 W
    Stop lamp: 21 W
    Speedometer: Mechanical type
    Fuel Gauge: Tank mounted, Mechanical type
    Turn signal lamp: 21 W X 4
    Fuse: 10 Amps


Tyre pressure:

    Front (solo/pillion): 1.5 kgf/cm2
    Rear (solo/pillion): 1.75 kgf/cm2


DIMENSIONS

    Length: 2195 mm
    Width: 750 mm
    Height: 1070mm
    Wheelbase: 1475 mm
    Saddle height: 710 mm
    Ground clearance: 169 mm
    Minimum turning radius: 2540 mm


WEIGHTS

    Kerb weight: 154 kg
    Max. payload: 130 kg



PRICE: Rs. 72,886 (On Road Bangalore)

COLOURS: Blue, Red, Silver, Black








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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.




15 Comments:

Kedar Parikh, said...

That sounds so plain and uninteresting. Made me lose some respect too :-(

It has a 200cc single cylinder engine not a liter v twin, so there goes the excitement and the respect.

But at 72k i guess its pretty much a poor mans Harley.

But personally i would shell the extra buck and go in for the Tbird than the avenger.

Payeng said...

The Avenger is actually quite an enjoyable little bike..

the Tbird is different breed altogether.. It won't be actually fair to compare both these models

Sajal Chakraborty said...

My best guess..........the Avenger is the only premium chopper style bike that has able to sustain it's ground in the Indian market.

Remember the chopper class from Yamaha - the Enticer.....it's completely off the block these days.

And as payeng said, a Thunder Bird is a completely different genere. If we consider the design, it's not of a chopper, but it can be modified into a great chopper from the Indian biking condition perspective.

At last if we a talking about V Twins, then we should not forget that V Twins are a real premium class even in the US. Not everybody can afford that, and if an Indian manufacturer like Bajaj thinks of making something like that in the current state of the biking market then my guess is that Bajaj should be ready to enter the realms of on-demand bike manufacturing, i.e., making bikes as demanded and ordered by customer. Bulk production of V-Twins can see Bajaj's fortunes comming crashing down.

darshansinh jhala said...

hi there , i am aproud owner of this bike.Riding & acceleration(pickup) is a sheer enjoyment, limited to speeding. You are the king on the road.

But the problem iam facing is regarding the wheel out problem . I would like to know whether this is as avenger problem or problem with my bike...Inspite of getting service done 2-3 times raising the issue I am not able to solve it.The basic problem is when ever there is rough road, there is experience of wobbling.Is it a shockup problem or wheel out problem. Please givean expert comment......will appreciate

FAPORT International said...

Beautiful bike, love this..

girish said...

I just love this bike, but after some modification like Seat, shocker, Handel, mirror, handle lock etc.
so just spend about 20000 rs and u get ur desirable machine.

vivek martolia said...

nice review... it seems you dig deep there.I m also 5ft5 so after reading ur view it's clear that I can handle this beauty.I am desparetly waiting to " feel like god" :D

Sushant Ajnikar said...

Hey interesting take on the bike. I own a 200cc myself. Everytime i ride on it, i have fallen in love with this bike. Agreed there are better cruisers available outside but looking at the cost this bike rocks. i have always ridden it on highways and some rough roads. My longest ride in a day is 320kms and trust me guys its extremely comfortable. 1 word of advice though, do not ride this bike at 100 and above, it kills the cruising pleasure. Love the pickup, especially at the signals when there are all kinds of bikes. M mostly the 1st one :P

tanish said...

I want to purchase tis but confused wheather to buy it or go for difrent model

Syed Akif said...

hey guys m from lko n m goin to buy it tomorrow only...
listening to u guys m sure it'll be real fun driving it...
today only i gave it a test drive and i loved it..
previously i owned a suzuki fiero of my brothers and it is really a pain in the butt...honestly speaking.
yesterday only i had to go for my entrance exam 15kms from my place and it was real pain to ride it.
now i think my backbone will get some comfort..lol..
thanks for such a wonderful blog...

abbas said...

hey frnd i m totaly confused to buy bike.
BAJAJ AVENGER and HH XTREEM.
so pls sgstn me k which one be the best.

Syed Akif said...

hey guys m from lko n m goin to buy it tomorrow only...
listening to u guys m sure it'll be real fun driving it...
today only i gave it a test drive and i loved it..
previously i owned a suzuki fiero of my brothers and it is really a pain in the butt...honestly speaking.
yesterday only i had to go for my entrance exam 15kms from my place and it was real pain to ride it.
now i think my backbone will get some comfort..lol..
thanks for such a wonderful blog...

tanish said...

I want to purchase tis but confused wheather to buy it or go for difrent model

vivek martolia said...

nice review... it seems you dig deep there.I m also 5ft5 so after reading ur view it's clear that I can handle this beauty.I am desparetly waiting to " feel like god" :D

Payeng said...

The Avenger is actually quite an enjoyable little bike..

the Tbird is different breed altogether.. It won't be actually fair to compare both these models

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