Hero Karizma ZMR
Hero gives its ageing flagship some comprehensive updates. What’s it like to ride?
All-new? Not quite, though styling is all-new. The bike borrows design cues from the Buells of yore, which isn’t surprising considering Hero’s collaboration with Erik Buell Racing. The looks are debatable though, especially with the vertically stacked headlamps. It gets two DRL strips with turn indicators integrated into the fairing and split seats too. The air-cooled 223cc single-cylinder engine gets minor tweaks to bump up output.
What else? The Karizma looks even bigger, and will appeal to those wanting a large motorcycle. The two-piece handlebars look almost too big, but make for a comfortable riding position. What is it? Hero MotoCorp’s flagship motorcycle, in a refreshed avatar. At the time of launch it was the undisputed king but the game has moved on over the years. Hero has given the Karizma its most comprehensive update yet, revising the design for the half-faired Karizma and the Karizma ZMR pictured above, also tweaking the engine. Fun to ride? The ZMR retains its nimble handling in city and on highway. Contributing to its touring abilities is the high set fly-screen that provides good protection at speeds. Throttle response is crisp, and the gearbox offers precise shifts too. However the bike is slow to turn into corners, especially with its long wheelbase. You need to be careful while negotiating through traffic or narrow passages, since the mirror stalks are really long. Brakes are progressive, but could do with more bite.
Powerful? The fuel-injected 223cc mill puts out 20bhp (2bhp more than before) and 19.4Nm of torque. Mid-range is the forte of this long-stroke engine, and the engine is inherently unstressed, making it an ideal long distance cruiser. It may not set performance charts ablaze, but low-down torque is a boon when pottering around town.
Efficient? Hero MotoCorp has not revealed the efficiency numbers, but we expect it to return 30-35kmpl in the real world, which is on par with most motorcycles in the quarter-litre segment.
Value? The Karizma ZMR retails for ` 1.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune). For the price you get a sporty-looking, full-faired motorcycle that boasts of tried and tested mechanicals, and the Hero brand name. The Karizma may have lost some of its sheen over the years with rival manufacturers launching more modern machinery, but it is a likeable motorcycle even today. The original Karizma was an extremely popular product, and the new ZMR retains its charm in many ways, and great ride and handling make it appealing even today, but it does have a lot of catching up to do in terms of performance as far as the competition is concerned.
1: LED tail-lamp mounted on tailpiece makes for a sportier rear end. 2: Gas-charged rear shock absorbers are unchangedl, no monoshock yet. 3: All-digital instrument console is the same as before. 4: Front end design with vertically stacked headlamps...