Hero Karizma ZMR

Hero gives its age­ing flag­ship some com­pre­hen­sive up­dates. What’s it like to ride?

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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...

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