Feb 15, 2008

36 Test Ride/Review of 2008 Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS

Read the Test Ride/Review of the 2008 Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS on "The Bike Chronicles of India".. Test Ride of the New Gladiator Type-SS

First things first:

Compared to the earlier Gladiator models, there is no change in the Power/Torque output of the New Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS.

Payeng on the Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS

    So is it another cosmetic/sticker job with a fancy name (la Hero Honda Karizma "R")..??

    The answer to that would be.. "No".


"Quality of parts used in the new model has to be seen and felt.."

Of course there is no change in the power output in the Gladiator Type-SS, but the quality of parts used in the new model has to be seen and felt to realize that the Type-SS is only a precursor of good thing to come from Yamaha India in 2008 (namely the R15 and the FZ150).




Price:

# The Gladiator Type-SS will be available in showrooms only by Feb 2008 end.

# The Gladiator Type-RS will be launched after a month.

# Tech Specs of the Gladiator Type SS/RS are same as the older Gladiator

The best part is that the Gladiator Type-SS will have a Ex-Showroom price tag of around Rs. 46,350..!! (which would be more or less uniform across the country) Considering the quality and the equipment levels, the price according to me is quite an aggressive one.

Also what is more exciting is the fact that the price of the Gladiator "Graffiti" Variant (with Self Start, Front Disc Brakes as standard) has now been lowered to Rs. 43,650..!! (Ex-Showroom, mostly uniform across India)


New (Semi Flat) Handlebar:

Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS Handlebar

The handlebar on the Type-SS sits flatter than the earlier Gladiator models. As a result of which the rider now leans more towards the handlebars. Though the riding position is not as aggressive as the TVS Apache RTR 160, but the stance is now more like the Bajaj Pulsar 150/180 models. The handlebar has been given an anodized matt black finish.

Payeng on the Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS
One can also find handlebar-ends on the Type-SS along with handlebar Grips which according to Yamaha has been design like the ones found on its 1000 cc R1.

The Type-SS sports a tachometer, a feature which isn't present in any other 125 cc bike right now. There is also a brushed aluminium handle bar crown, which adds to the aesthetic appeal.

The switches are functional and comprehensive, but compared to the competition, it is getting a bit too old and has been in duty on Yamaha models since the RX135 days.



Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS Dimple Type Seat

Dimple Type Seat Cover

The Seat cover on the Type-SS has a new perforated material which Yamaha prefers to call as "Dimple Type". It certainly looks good on the Type-SS but I am not quite sure if it is functional too.


Yamaha Gladiator Type-SS, Exhaust End & Heat Shield

New Design Exhaust End & new material Heat Shield

The exhaust of the Type-SS has a newly designed end piece which Yamaha again likes to call as "Machine Gun Type" end piece. Although it looks ok to me, the choice of the colour of the end piece makes it look a bit tacky.

Unlike the heat shield on the exhaust found on other Indian bikes, the heat shield on the Gladiator Type-SS is made out of a special synthetic-plastic-resin material. Apart from protecting the pillion's foot from scalding, the heat shield looks cool too.


Aluminium Die Cast Footpegs:

Aluminium Die Cast Front FootpegAluminium Die Cast Rear Footpeg

The classy aluminium Die Cast footpegs of the Gladiator Type-SS enhances the Sporty feel. Both the footpegs are retractable. The front footpegs have rubber inserts to damp vibrations.

What sets these footpegs apart from ones found in other bikes is that the front ones are spring loaded, so that even if they happen to touch the tarmac during hard cornering, they will automatically come back to their original position.

I was quite impressed by the way the rear footpegs makes a "CLICK" everytime you retract it or bring it back. Exquisite..!!



Apart from these changes, the Gladiator Type-SS has many other small changes like newly designed sleek Front and Rear Fenders, front fairing which has been lowered by 30 mm, Half Chain Cover, O-Ring Chain Drive, Toe-only type gear lever. Not to mention an excellent paint job. All these changes manage to give the Type-SS a Stylish and Sporty stance and look.


Colors:

The Gladiator Type-SS will be available in two color combinations..

  • Metallic Silver with Red

  • Metallic Silver with Gold





Review of the Test Ride

The test ride was taken on a proper test track prepared by a Japanese gentleman from Yamaha India (Posted below). The test track comprised of a number of twist and turns along with sweeping bends and a few straight portions as well. It was designed to test the handling and performance of Gladiator Type-SS.



"The New Gladiator Type-SS is definitely the "Sportiest" 125 cc motorcycle in the country at present

I took three rounds around the test track. After the ride I can safely say that the New Gladiator Type-SS is definitely the "Sportiest" 125 cc motorcycle in the country at present. The way the rider sits on the Gladiator Type-SS is quite different from the earlier Gladiators. The rider now leans more into the bike, like on a Pulsar. The bike was resonably smooth even and the gear box was a joy to use. Special mention have to made of the front disc brakes of the Gladiator Type-SS. Nowhere during the test ride did it ever feel that the brakes were weak. The handling was also quite sporty (though definitely not as sporty as the Apache RTR 160) for a bike in the 125 cc segment.

Previously I had taken test rides of the various 125 cc bikes and compared them (viz. the Bajaj XCD, Hero Honda Glamour, Honda Shine, Suzuki Zeus and the Yamaha Gladiator Type J.A.) Even back then, I had said that I could hardly find any fault with the Gladiator. In fact apart from the Gladiator, each 125 cc bike had something missing in it.

"The current price of Rs.46,350 along with the Standard Front Disc Brake (Flame without Disc Brake is Rs.45,000 Ex-Showroom Delhi) is very competitive.

As a bonus the Gladiator Type-SS also has the 5’th gear and tachometer"

The Bajaj XCD felt small, the Suzuki Zeus felt a bit underpowered (especially on revving) and had stiff suspension, and apart from the Honda Brand, I couldn’t find something which could set apart the Hero Honda Glamour and the Honda Shine. But on the Gladiator Type-SS, I couldn’t again find any fault with it.

The Gladiator Type-SS feels almost like a bigger 150 cc bike in size. The tank also has functional knee recess unlike a few other bikes.

The only chink in the Older Gladiator’s amour was probably its price which was a bit high compared to the likes of the Bajaj XCD. But the current price of Rs.46,350 along with the Standard Front Disc Brake (Flame without Disc Brake is Rs.45,000 Ex-Showroom Delhi) is very competitive. As a bonus the Gladiator Type-SS also has the 5’th gear and tachometer.

And also because the maximum torque of the Gladiator is produced at a comparatively higher RPM than all the other 125 cc bikes, the Gladiator doesn’t pull that well as say the XCD at low RPM’s. But this also means that the Gladiator is much sportier than the other 125 cc bikes since guys looking for sporty bikes like to have more pickup at high RPMs.

Another reason for the Gladiator not selling well has been its poor advertising. It is no secret that the previous Ads of the Gladiator could be termed as Crappy. According to me the success or failure of the Gladiator Type-SS now depends a lot on its Promotion and Advertising.







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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.




36 Comments:

Anonymous said...

disapponted with the presence of frontset footpegs

Sajal Chakraborty said...

Payeng dude!!!!

where exactly were you test riding the bike, coz in the last image I can see my office building in the back-drop.

Well, for a 125cc bike, the Gladiator finally looks cool and the features too. obviously since 125cc still falls under the commuter class, one cannot expect a much spotier package than this (unless any manufacturer decides to do the un-expected!!!!)

bambang said...

anybody recall the gladiator 165 concept in 2006 auto expo? (or was it 2007?) the air scoop looks similar, but i see many other things lost just i can't remember what, anybody can mention?

is there any chance that the "lost" bits will made it into production? (like, maybe, in form of separately-sold add-ons/accessories?)

ashes_dad_1991 said...

well payeng the bike is really nice but i can't seem to have interest in bikes less than 150cc.
as i have to buy my first bike i don't want it to be a 125cc that is why i have so much interest in YZF-R15(thank god my dad has agreed for it).

i hope it arrives soon in market.

Anonymous said...

WOW this is excellent. I have always loved indian bikes like this, bajaj, hero and TVS. is there anyway in your opinion that an indian bike can be exported to pakistan? i know it isn't impossible. i know many pakistani garment factory bosses who easily bring in huge machinery from india although its illegal, and they have no trouble getting spares.

most pakistanis just say NO, CANNOT. but in your opinion or based on your knowledge do you know any way to bring it across the border?

Think I'm desperate? I guess you have no idea what kind of bikes we get here.

Junaid Muhammed
Karachi, PAKISTAN

Sankoobaba said...

gladiator maybe best in class by its sheer performance...but it may never be popular for the following reasons...in no specific order..
it doesn't have the minimum 150cc motor to be called sporty bike....
its brand visibility and promotion(ads,etc) is not upto the mark....
service center's have to increase in numbers
and lastly there has to be some way to convince people that buying a yamaha doesn't turn out to be their mistake in terms of after sales service and the company doesn't fold up its operations in India...till then the likes of HH, bajaj, TVS will rule the popularity charts....

Payeng said...

@bambang,

Yes the color on the tank extensions look similar to the Gladiator 165 cc concept shown at Auto Expo 2006



@ Juniad Bro..

Thanks for chipping in with your comments from Pakistan..

Yes, I am very much aware of the Motorcycle Scene in Pakistan.. In fact I had written a post in this blog about the bikes in Pakistan..

Indian Companies are very much eager to start business in Pakistan.. they already sell their bikes in our neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh..

It is the Govt. of Pakistan which have not given their approval. I defintely would not advice you to get these bikes illegally.


@ Sankoobaba,

I also hope that their Ads are better this time

2/16/2008 11:23 AM



Sajal

The Venue was somewhere in Greater Noida..

Anonymous said...

somewhere in greater noida means the yamaha factory...wow!! you can tell so much in just "three rounds", you must be really smart

Anonymous said...

Attn:Payeng

See, another negative answer. Yeah I can't blame you. Its just the screwed up politicians we have here. I have read of indian cos like bajaj, ashokleyland and tata willing to invest here but the politicians just want to keep doors closed so that the indians 'won't get richer'. And we pay the price, buying crappy chinese bikes or bikes that you'll probably have sold off 20yrs back. Not only that the few monopolies in the bike business won't let indian bikes anywhwre near the border.

Yet I'm confident I can smuggle one in. all you need here is $$ and the right contacts. but i don't know about registration.

I can't believe that BANGLADESH is importing Indian bikes. Even they are ahead of us! Can they even afford it?

Thanks anyway and keep this blog running. it rox.

Junaid Muhammed
Karachi, PAKISTAN

Payeng said...

@Junaid,

Even if you are capable of smuggling one.. you will again have a hard time with spares.

Apart from our neighbouring countries Indian made bikes are exported to countries like Latin America and Indonesia..

The Japanese and the Koreans are already operating in Pakistan, So it is just a matter of Govt. Approval and Willingness for these Indian Bike Makers.

Moreover bilateral trade between our countries will only lead to peace.

Lets all hope for the better.

Anonymous said...

Junaid Muhammed, please. Bangladesh is ahead of pak in every aspect. you think we can't afford? if we can't indian and jap companies wont be here. use your brains please (if you have one)
If you think we r poor look at the orangi slum in karachi. it dwarfs all slums in asia including dharavi.

please visit bangladesh before commenting next time.

regards,
Sohail, Dhaka

Payeng said...

Whoa Juniad (Karachi) & Sohail (Bangladesh) "desi" bros..

Its nice to know that guys from across the border is reading my site/blog too..

But lets not behave in this way.. Lets put comments in a more responsible manner.

Flaming comments will be moderated and won't be published in the future.

Anonymous said...

i thought this was a biker blog

saurabh said...

great review payang,
what i overall feel by the kind of designs that we are getting in our latest bikes..be it bajaj,HH,yamaha is that our desi bike designers have come of age and finally arrived...though motor giants are still evaluating options of including technologies and new enhancements what i feel is that this is the right time experiment and evaluate indian biker's responses

Anonymous said...

Sorry sohail. didn't mean 2 tease. just that most pakistanis always like 2 look down on the bangladeshis. dunno why. so couldnt help myself. regretted. and sorry payeng. no heart feelings

Saw your article on pak bike industry. looks very general to me like as if you just sourced info frm some sites and compiled them. in general the market is more-less as u said, but for a better picutre, come to karachi.

feedback: can u pls have a review about bike market in more markets? like lanka, bangladesh etc. just to see how other bike markets are in indian subcont. (I hope we r not the worst).

another thing: u said indian bikes r available in south america n other countries. are they there in afghanistan? coz i know a way to easily bring things from afghanistan to pakistan. So if its there its easy for me. Indo-pakistan borders are more secure so hard 2 bring in frm india.

Junaid Muhammed
Karachi, PAKISTAN

Payeng said...

Hi Junaid (from Karachi),

Yes, the info about the Pak Bike Market was complied from various sites.. Hope I'll be able to visit Karachi one day.


Please mail me with more photos and details about the bike scene in Pakistan.. I'll be glad to recieve it.

Meanwhile I'll try to cover the bike scene of other countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh too.. (it would help if someone from those countries could mail me with the pics and details about their bike scene)

Anonymous said...

i would love to help, unfortunately i don't have a digicam or a camera phone. it would also be quite difficult for me to upload the images as i dont know where the cpu is for this computer. i think it is behind somewhere (i surf from a net cafe).
anyway i will try to borrow a friends digicam and get some pictures if possible ASAP.

And yeah, are indian bikes available in afghanistan? are they sold there?

Junaid, Karachi

Payeng said...

Hi Junaid (from Karachi),

According to my knowledge, I don't think Indian bikes are available in Afganistan.

Sathya said...

Hi payeng,

i am Arun from chennai, i am very much interested in yamaha bikes, i work as website content mangement executive. I have been visiting ur site regularly for the past one year.

pls help me how to ride this "Toe-only type gear lever"

also which other bikes in india are like this toe-type gear lever?

I test ride this bike in ambal motors in chennai but i was very confused and they say i can better take the graffiti version of the bike if i can't ride it easily,

pls suggest me whether the graffiti version or this SS version which is better gladi, actully i was waiting for YZR15 but two things : one cost, may be around 90000 rs which is bigger than my budget and another after visiting ur blog that I am 5.11 inches height the glad looks big will the r15 be smaller than glad

plz solve my confusions

cheers again for your wonderful website.

Payeng said...

Toe Type Gear Levers are found in "Sporty Bikes"..

The Pulsar 200/220, Hero Honda Hunk and the TVS Apache RTR 160 are a few bikes which have this feature.


Since there is no "Heel Lever", such gears levers have to be used with just the toe or the front end of the shoe.. Pushing the lever down will engage the first gear and then lifting them using the toe end of the shoes will shift the gears to 2'nd and above gears.

A few people do not prefer such type of gear levers as it soils their shoes.. on the other hand there are others who prefer such type of gear levers.



The YZF-R15 also features the Toe Type Only Gear Lever.


With the introduction of the Type-SS, the prices of the Graffiti has been reduced and is quite good value for money.

The difference between the Graffiti and the Type-SS is in the Sitting Position and a few new changes which adds to the sporty looks of the Gladiator.


Go for the Graffiti if you have any reservations about the Type-SS

Sathya said...

Thanks Brother for answering my query

i have got some info from ur answer

but i think u can write a post on this type of gear levers if u have time.

As u own a pulsar 220 pls help me,
and also for others

is it easier to ride bike in this kind of lever or
in the normal to-heel lever

and my other option is cbz extreme which is better than hunk

can u also compare those both cbz extreme, hunk)vs (yamaha glad ss versions) vs apachee 150, 160. i think this comparsion would be very interesting,

thanks and cheers once again for your wonderful work.

simran said...

what will be difference between the SS and RS variants of the new Galdiator? except for the colour.
kindly, reply.

Payeng said...

@Simran,

According to what I know there only difference between the Type-SS and Type-RS is just in the Color Combinations and the Stickers.. No change in the engine or other specs.

simran said...

will Yamaha launch a higher engine capacity Gladiator? there r pic of Galdiator 165.

Payeng said...

The Gladiator 165 was a concept bike shown by Yamaha in Auto Expo 2006.


As of now, I don't know of any plans of Yamaha to launch any variant of Gladiator with a higher CC Engine

Sathya said...

Thanks Brother for answering my query

i have got some info from ur answer

but i think u can write a post on this type of gear levers if u have time.

As u own a pulsar 220 pls help me,
and also for others

is it easier to ride bike in this kind of lever or
in the normal to-heel lever

and my other option is cbz extreme which is better than hunk

can u also compare those both cbz extreme, hunk)vs (yamaha glad ss versions) vs apachee 150, 160. i think this comparsion would be very interesting,

thanks and cheers once again for your wonderful work.

Anonymous said...

Is the Gladiator SS/RS Bigger than R15(in size).Please please reply.

Payeng said...

@ all,

QUERIES will be answered ONLY by E-MAIL..

Got Queries..??
e-mail me.

praseeth said...

I own a type ss and i can safely say that this is perhaps more sportier than the 150cc when it comes to ride and handling and all other features are at par with the 150ccs and better than all 125 ccs for sure

This is surely recommended to anyone having access to news channels giving hourly reports on crude oil prices but still wanna be Rossi jr ...no prob if the engine is not new the old one is good enough

RP said...

WHAT ABT THE FRONT NUMBER PLATE POSITION...IT LOOKS AWKWARD...CAN U SUGGEST ANY REMEDY FOR THIS..COZ..I'VE DECIDED TO GO 4 IT BUT IN THE LAST MINUTE I NOTICED ABT THE FRONT NUMBER PLATE POSITION..IT'S GIVEN ON THE DOME OF THE FRONT HEADLIGHT...IS THERE ANY ALTERNATIVE..FOR THAT TO PLACE NUMBER PLATE IN BETWEEN HEAD LIGHT AND MUDHUARD?????

Anonymous said...

Guys i am impressed with the Yamaha Gladi RS ... but the number plate positionin front isvery awkward ... do u have any suggestions on that ??? also what r the differences b/w gladi graffiti & RS type .... is the RPM counter missing in grafitti ??? Do reply if u have any info on this ......

tanmoy said...

Really good bike....best of the 125 cc bikes...esp. the riding comfort, brakes ,maneuverability,lights and well everything...its a good bike .its giving around 55-60 kmps..../lt

sarvesh phougat said...

sir
sub. which new bikes in india 2010
sir pls write about new launching in bharat {india }during 2010.
some quss.?
1. will yamaha launch gladiator 165, r125 and scorpio in india. 2010
2. will yamaha improvemt in {YTPS} technology in inda.2010
3.will yamaha make engine unit of r15 and yzf 125 in india. 2010
4. will yamaha come with new bike 100 to125 cc with fuel- injected bike .2010
5.will yamaha come with 100 to 125 cc with more milage .2010
6.is fz16 is best other 150cc bikes . in fz yamaha doing some improvement in 2010
7.in 2010 will yamaha improvement in r15 as both wide tyres, more power , low price, new stylish seat etc.
thank you

Payeng said...

@Simran,

According to what I know there only difference between the Type-SS and Type-RS is just in the Color Combinations and the Stickers.. No change in the engine or other specs.

Payeng said...

Hi Junaid (from Karachi),

According to my knowledge, I don't think Indian bikes are available in Afganistan.

Anonymous said...

Junaid Muhammed, please. Bangladesh is ahead of pak in every aspect. you think we can't afford? if we can't indian and jap companies wont be here. use your brains please (if you have one)
If you think we r poor look at the orangi slum in karachi. it dwarfs all slums in asia including dharavi.

please visit bangladesh before commenting next time.

regards,
Sohail, Dhaka

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