Bajaj V12: First Ride Review
- Jan 17, 2017
- Views : 26916
I shifted to Pune back in February for work. This move was good for all the reasons but one–I had to say goodbye to my love, my 2008 Yamaha YZF R15. For my daily commutes, I needed another two-wheeler and when Hero offered us the BS-IV Achiever 150. No guesses as to who jumped for the keys. Miss 'HR 26 CZ 5916' was about 110Km old when we got her. She looks quite subtle in the dark grey (Valor Grey) colour. It will in no way grab attention even if it was parked right in front of you. But the design, though not particularly appealing, is not bad. On the first ride on the bike, it impressed me with the smoothness of the engine and gear changes. I was excited to check out the i3s technology which automatically switches off the engine when idle for more than 5 seconds and switches it on as soon as you press the clutch.
In the City
I live about a kilometre away from my office. As comfortable as it might sound, my job requires me to ride as much as possible. So, I often go out to explore the city relying on Google Maps to safely guide me home. The bike cuts through traffic nicely and making swift U-turns was never an issue. The pickup lacks a sense of urgency but the bike lets you overtake without having to shift down. It's light and nimble and hence you don't feel the fatigue. The i3s system kicks in when you pull to stop either in traffic or at a signal. When you shift to neutral the system kills the engine after five seconds of idling, saving you a few precious drops of fuel. As soon as you pull in the clutch the engine comes back on and you are ready to ride again. I’m growing to love this technology as it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I’m not burning excess fuel when I don’t need to and doing my bit for the environment as well.
The brakes let you remain confident with a decent feel. But under hard braking conditions, the bike exhibits extensive fork dive, makes it unpredictable. There are a few more issues which I feel need a mention. The self-starter of the bike has started to create problems. It has stopped taking electric starts 8 out of 10 times. Another thing which has been bugging me are the punctures. The Achiever uses 80/100-18 Ceat Securas tubeless tyres (luckily). I have a fairly simple commute route with most of it being clean tarmac, but I have till date got six punctures mended. Our editor, Mr Singhee, is very particular about us keeping the bikes in top condition and hence I get the tyre pressures checked every week. Sadly, I believe that the front tyre now has another small leak.
On The Highway
Arun, my senior here in Pune took the Achiever to Mumbai on a weekend. He came back saying that though the bike was comfortable, it struggled to reach and maintain 100kmph. Given his build, I thought it will do that comfortably with my much lighter frame on board. To test this theory, I took it out for a run and to my surprise, it showed the same result. The gearing of the bike is best suited for city use below 5000rpm. The bike is stable on the highway and the engine feels comfortable cruising up to 70kmph (about 5,200 rpm). Beyond that, the motor starts to feel stressed and the vibrations are eminent.
But, as the sun goes down, your prayers need to be stronger as the headlight is not very effective. The visibility is limited to a few metres. Also, the instrument cluster has too small a backlight, which makes it very hard to read while on the go.
Date Acquired: May 2017
Total km till Date: 1520
Fuel Efficiency: 54.11kmpl (as tested)
Yeahs: Refined Motor, Smooth Gear Changes, Suspension Setup
Nahs: Poorly Lit Instrument Cluster, Weak Headlamp, Electric Starter Switch
Total Cost: Rs 600 (punctures)
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