Bikes - Fri, 15 Jan 2021 21:18:26 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb TVS K03 (with BMW Motorrad) bike Review


TVS motor company of Chennai & BMW Motorrad of Germany had announced a tie up quite some time ago. After more than a year the tie up is bearing fruit. The above two companies jointly announced the impending launch of a ~~310 cc bike code named K03. This bike is also called G 310 R. Expect to see it at the Auto Expo in Delhi in early February 2016.

At least three versions will be launched using the same platform: An off-roader, a street bike, and an Adventure version – whatever that means. The bike designed in Germany will be produced in India in TVS factory, which will keep costs down. BMW is the most innovative bike maker in the world. <1>It is the first company to make the Boxer twin engine. A boxer twin is a two cylinder engine in which the two cylinders are HORiZONTALLY OPPOSED. Thus this engine is the MOST BALANCED engine in the world.


Note the cylinder head with fins jutting out of the crank-case with the exhaust pipe.

<2>It uses SHAFT DRiVE to drive the rear wheel – as in cars. Most (over 90%) Indian bikes use chain drive. Some bikes use belt drive. <3>All bikes have a rear swing-arm (on both sides), but in some BMW boxer twins which use shaft drive, the casing of the shaft drive does the job of


This is the casing which houses the shaft drive. It also serves as the swing-arm—one sided!

the swing-arm, on one side only. <4> Till 1968, BMW used Earles type front suspension. Earles type front suspension does not have twin forks in front, but has sealed shock absorbers as are fitted in the rear. The original Indian bike Rajdoot with a 175 cc engine (made by Escorts Ltd. in the sixties & seventies), also used Earles front suspension. With these kinds of exclusive innovative technologies, BMW is definitely the top bike maker in the world.

Information on the 310 cc bike / K03 / G 310 R bike is as yet sketchy, but the engine is smaller than the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. Yet this TVS/BMW 310 cc bike makes more power than 350 cc Bullet. It has 4-valves and the engine is liquid cooled. While Bullet 350 makes 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm, the K03 makes more than 30 bhp at 9500 rpm. In fact the K03 makes more power than Bullet 500 and even more than the 535 cc Bullet Continental GT which makes 29.1 bhp. As far as torque goes, the 350 cc Bullets make 28 Nm torque which is exactly the same as the TVS K03, but the Bullets make this torque at 4000 rpm while the K03 makes it at 7500 rpm. The 500 cc Bullets make 41.3 Nm of torque which is much more than K03 and Bullets produce this torque at 4000 rpm. Thus city traffic ability of Bullets will be much better than the K03. The mileage given by the TVS K03 is @ 36 kmpl which is almost the same as Bullet.

This is what the K03 will probably look like

Other details: The TVS K03 has USD twin fork suspension front and mono-shock rear and kerb weight of @ 160 kg, while all Bullets weigh @ 190 kg. The TVS K03 has both alloy wheels of 17-inch diameter and Michelin tires of size 110/70 at front and 150/60 at rear. All Bullets have tires 19-inch diameter at front while the rear tire is 19 inch in some models and 18-inch in some others. While Bullet has 5-gears, the K03 has six gears. Braking in the TVS K03 is by single disc both front and rear with ABS. Headlight in the K03 bike is single projector.

Price of TVS K03 would be three to four lakhs while all bullets cost less than two lakhs. My reason for comparing this bike with Bullet350 is that the K03 single cylinder engine is nearest in size to Bullet. 36 kmpl mileage is pretty close to Bullet. The success of this bike would be less than Bullet which today has a six month waiting period. Price is another issue since the K03 will cost at least one lakh more than the highest Bullet and more than double of low end Bullets. Due to K03 lower torque, traffic ability would not be as much as Bullet and would need more frequent gear changing.

Most important is that the TVS K03 will not be able to produce the legendary THUMP sound of the Bullet exhaust because the K03 uses Over-Head-Camshaft with timing chain to operate the valves while Bullet uses push rods, and only pushrod engine can produce thump!

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Fri, 10 Jun 2016 03:07:30 +0000
Review of TVS RTR 200

Review of TVS RTR 200.

TVS has recently launched the Apache RTR 200. The actual single cylinder engine size is 197.75 cc, has four valves and is oil cooled.  (The latest Royal Enfield HiMALAYAN—is also oil cooled).  The bore X stroke of the TVS RTR 200 is 66 X 57.8 mm. Thus it is a short-stroke engine where stroke/bore ratio is 0.876, which is less than 1.

Thus this engine is not a champion of Low-End-Torque (=LET) – but then I am not sure whether it was TVS’s intention to make this bike an LET champion. For LET, TVS has other smaller engine bikes, such as Sport and Star City+.

So how will this bike fare on the road? TVS claims zero to sixty in 3.9 seconds! That speaks of high end – which is fine – that’s what this bike is!

Power seems to be adequate. There are two versions for fuel feed: One version is fed by a Keihin CV carburetor, while the other by Electronic Fuel Injection – also known as EFI. The difference in power between the two versions is very small – not even one PS. While the carburetor version produces 20.05 PS, the EFI version produces 21 PS. Both versions produce their max power at 8500 rpm. Also both versions produce the same torque which is 18.1 Nm at 7000 rpm. Idling rpm of both is @ 1400.

The chassis is double cradle. Front suspension is twin-forks and rear suspension is mono-shock. The best part is that headlight is 60 watts which is much brighter and hence safer than the conventional 35 watts. Battery is 12v,9Ah.

The bike rides on 17-inch diameter tires – front being 90/90 X 17 and the rear being 130/70 X 17. Stopping is by Petal disc brakes on both wheels. Petal disc brakes cool faster and are hence safer. Front disc is 270 mm and rear disc is 240 mm. The bike has ABS, which is much safer.

The wheelbase is 1353 mm and ground clearance is 180 mm. Seat height is claimed at 800 mm. Kerb weight is 140 kg. Fuel tank is 12 liters.

I have not tested or ridden this bike, but since the RTR180 tops 120 kph, the RTR200 should be able to top over 130 kph.

Mileage (I assume) would be around 35 kmpL. My old RTR180 is now giving @ 40.

My comment:

1>There is no kick starter. Only battery start!

2>It has split seats and the pillion sits much higher than driver. Therefore people who are married (and wife wears sarees) better check out the seating geometry with wife before buying. People having kids should specially check out about carrying kids behind you.

3>The bike has clip-on handlebars. This makes seating position quite forward bent. Please check out if this is OK with you.

4>It has a belly pan which I like very much.

5>Personally I prefer carburetor rather than fuel injection.

6>The bike is available in seven colors.

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Sat, 28 May 2016 03:50:37 +0000
Royal Enfield Himalayan review

It is NOT called Bullet, and rightly so, because it is NOT Bullet. It is made by Royal Enfield, so it can have the Royal Enfield name / brand / badge, but it cannot be Bullet.

Bullets have THUMP, which this bike does not have. Why? Because it has overhead camshaft to operate the valves! The overhead camshaft is operated by timing chain which all Indo-Japanese bikes have. In fact almost all bikes in the world today have timing chain driven overhead camshafts, which just cannot produce THUMP.

As far as I know, only Bullet and Harley Davidson (HD) bikes have pushrod operated valves, yet HDs do not produce the distinct THUMP which Bullets produce because all HDs have twin cylinder engines! So in the time Bullet produces one distinct THUMP HDs produce two, so the distinctiveness of the THUMP does not exist in HDs.

The other difference is that ALL Bullets: 350/500/535 have kick starter, Himalayan does not have kicker (weight reduction?). Though some may consider this a minor matter, there is no kicker and it is a difference!

There are other differences, but I will let YOU discover/identify them. The major ones have been named above.

So, what is the Himalayan all about?

Starting from the front end, the first thing we see is the front wheel having spokes – hence cannot have tubeless tires. Front wheel diameter is 21-inch & has tire of thickness of 90/90 – quite a common tire thickness as today’s bikes go. The front wheel has a 300 mm disc brake. The front wheel is held in twin-forks of 41 mm diameter with bellows. The tire has a very close fitting mudguard (How will it fare in wet mud when mud gets between the tire and the mudguard?), though without the rubber splash preventer (for city and corporate rides). I suppose you will have to drill two holes at the rear bottom of this front mudguard to fit such a splash preventer, which is available anywhere for a few Rupees. The 17-inch diameter rear wheel is 120/90 and has a 240 mm disc brake.

A few inches above the front mudguard is another kind of? Mudguard which looks like a horn=seeng, not bajnay wala ! It is useless and adds weight. It should not exist. Above this useless protuberance is the headlight dome and instrument cluster, which is very illuminating. Take a look.

The big circular analogue on LHS is the speedometer showing road speed in km/hr as well as miles/hr. The digital display below it shows current time and current ambient temperature. The 0 shows current road speed (bike is at rest). The other figures are odo 7.5km and trip 5.5km meter.
The circular dial at bottom right shows direction SE=South-East in which the bike is headed. The other meters are self explanatory.


There is a transparent shield above the headlight.


The bore X stroke of the 350 is 70 mm X 90 mm, while for the 500 it is 84 mm X 90 mm. The point to note is that the stroke of both is 90 mm. I believe all 350 and 500 Bullets use the same Crankshaft. The 535 cc Continental GT has bore X stroke of 87 mm X 90 mm. Thus the Continental GT also uses the same Crankshaft. All the 350’s produce 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm and all 500’s produce 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm EXCEPT the model Bullet 500 which produces 26.1 bhp at a lower 5100 rpm. All 350’s develop a Torque of 28 Nm at 4000 rpm and all 500’s develop a Torque of 41.3 Nm at 4000 rpm EXCEPT the model Bullet 500 which develops 40.9 Nm torque at a lower 3800 rpm. Since the model Bullet 500 revs at LOWER rpm than all other Bullets (whether 350 or 500), the model Bullet 500 has the HiGHEST ENGiNE LiFE FACTOR (ELF) OF 2.307 among all bikes made in India – and probably the whole world! But what of the HiMALAYAN? How does it compare with the 350/500 Bullets?


The Himalayan is NOT a Bullet nor is it named Bullet – it is simply named Enfield Himalayan. The Himalayan has a totally different engine which is 411 cc and has a bore X stroke of

78 mm X 86 mm and a Compression Ratio (CR) of 9.1, while all Bullets have CR=8.5. Thus Himalayan has a HiGHER Compression Ratio than all Bullets – 350 & 500. It produces 24.5 bhp at a much HiGHER 6500 RPM. Max Torque of HiMALAYAN is 32 Nm at 4000-4500 rpm which again is HiGHER than all Bullets. Himalayan has ONLY Electric start, no kicker ! Also, the ELF of Himalayan is 1.69. Since the stroke of Himalayan engine is 86 mm, it is obvious that it is not using the crankshaft used in ALL Bullets. Also, the Himalayan has an OiL Cooler, which does not exist in any Bullet.


Consequent to the fact that the Himalayan has totally different bore X stroke than all Bullets, the shape of crankcase is also totally different. The 22-inch long rear swing-arm is of rounded rectangular shape, which is 61 mm vertically and 31 mm horizontally. The rear disc brake is also visible in the picture below.

The Himalayan has five gears and is fuelled by carburetor with a throttle position sensor. Front suspension is Twin-Fork with 200 mm travel and rear suspension is mono with 180 mm travel.

At 182 kg kerb weight this is the lightest Enfield bike. It has a 1465 mm wheelbase which is about 100 mm longer than any Bullet. Ground clearance is 220 mm, which is 80 mm more than any Bullet. Fuel tank is 15 Liters which is more or less same as most Bullets. Headlight is 60/55 watts backed by a 12 volt – 8 Ampere hour battery.

I took a short ride (within my colony) and felt that Himalayan has a slightly faster pickup – probably due to its high (6500 rpm) revving engine (overhead camshaft) and smallest (17-inch diameter) rear tire. I also feel that the seat is a bit high – due to its largest diameter (21-inch) front tire and its 220 mm Ground Clearance. The silencer is upturned – probably because one has to ride thru many water bodies in Ladakh.


The name Royal Enfield is written on a plate carried in a metal frame on both sides. The company could have written the name on the fuel tank and reduced the weight by a couple of Kilos.

All-in-All the Himalayan feels to be the best bike to ride to Ladakh !



]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Tue, 03 May 2016 00:39:34 +0000
Yamaha R3 Report

Road Test: Yamaha R3 = Twin Cylinder / Eight Valves / 55 watt headlight.

Today in March 2016 it is almost 28 years since I last tested a twin cylinder bike. In 1988 I tested the Yamaha-Rajdoot RD350 (better known as Yamdoot) twin cylinder bike, two-stroke, two carburetors – there was no fuel injection at that time (maybe 2-strokes cannot be fuel injected). But in 1988 I was also 28 years younger.  Today I am more than 69 years old, while at that time I was just 41 years old.

Basically I am not in favor of two or more cylinder bikes – they push up the cost and if and when you have to do up the engine, you have to have TWO of everything – two pistons, two sets of rings, eight valves – most of today’s 4-stroke power bikes have four valves per cylinder – so two cylinders == eight valves.

The RD350 – better known as Yamdoot , was 2-stroke, so it did not have valves – thank god = money saved on valves at least.

The other thing is that most of today’s so called power bikes have a very short stroke, high rpm and high compression ratio (CR) – so they have poor Low-End-Torque and very low Engine-Life-Factor (ELF). Just see my Test Report of the Honda CBR250 on this site and you will see. The Honda CBR150 is even worse. It revs too high and has a very high CR. Its ELF is even lower than the CBR250.

Coming to this bike under test – this Yamaha R3, it is definitely high revving. It produces max power at 10,750 rpm and has a CR of 11.2, giving it and ELF of 0.83, Compared to the ELF of Bullet500 standard which is 2.307. Thus this engine will not last long as compared to Bullet500 – that is LAW OF NATURE. Cheetah – the fastest animal in the world which runs at 120 km/hr lives 14 years, while tortoise which runs at 120 inches per hour lives for 300 years and more. In fact, the same tortoise on which Charles Darwin did research in the islands of Galapagos in the Pacific Ocean in 1830 – is still alive! And it was already 100 years old when Darwin saw him.

So, what is this Yamaha R3 bike?

See the rear swing-arm widening in the middle


It has a TWO CYLiNDER engine of~~321 cc, each cylinder having bore X stroke of 68 mm X 44.1 mm (each cylinder has a displacement of 160.157 cc, so two cylinders total 320.314 cc~~321 cc), operating at a Compression Ratio (CR) of 11.2 (90% of bikes have a CR less than 10). R3 produces 30.9 kw of power (==42 ps==41.4 bhp) at 10,750 rpm, and develops a torque of 29.6 Nm at 9000 rpm. Fuel feed is by fuel injection and ignition is transistor controlled.


It is Liquid cooled – see the radiator just above the front wheel.

It has six gears – the old RD350 also has six gears. This Yamaha R3 has four valves per cylinder. It has disc brakes on both wheels – a 298 mm disc on the front wheel and a 220 mm disc on the rear wheel.

17-inch diameter tires on both wheels are 110/70 front and 140/70 rear. There were no disc brakes on the old RD350. In fact disc brakes did not exist in India in 1988 when I tested the Yamdoot (RD350) in 1988 for Car & Bike International magazine (now defunct) then published from Pune. The first bike in India to have disc brake (on the front wheel only) was the old 156.5 cc Hero Honda CBZ – totally different from the current CBZ Xtreme (and Hunk), which are derivatives of the Honda Unicorn – a totally different engine, in fact a totally different bike, even though the name is same.

The wheel-rims are 10-spoke mag-alloy jobs and the front forks are 41 mm inner tube dia with 130 mm travel, while rear suspension is mono-shock with 125 mm travel.

The 1380 mm wheelbase features a fairly long rear swing-arm which, as opposed to all other bikes I have tested, is  (in the first photo above) not uniformly rectangular throughout its length like almost all others, but is wider/thicker in the middle. The swing-arm is pretty long having a length of 61 mm == 2 feet


To start the bike I looked for a kick starter, but there is no kicker – only electric start. I prefer bikes with kicker. If I can kick start a Bullet500 by kicking, why not a 321 cc bike? If the battery is weak or dead, you have to push start. Push starting a 169 kg bike is no joke for me. I am only 54 kg in weight and 174 cm tall. So I pressed the starter button and the engine fired. Idling held and the engine kept purring. It has a “toe-only” shifter which I hate. I prefer “heel-toe” shifter which is much more convenient and easier to use – whether you are wearing polished corporate leather shoes or chappals. Anyway, I pressed toe and got into first gear, turned the throttle and moved off. Got out of the colony where I live and got on the road to Mulshi Dam where I test all the bikes.

The road is good but has undulations and rough patches at some places. When I went over these I could feel them in my spine. To me, the suspension of this bike is stiff. Maybe it has to be so as required by the purpose for which this bike is built – which is performance! The 70 profile tires are no help. There is not much cushioning in such low profile tires. They even call it a superbike. But it does not agree with me. I am 70 years old! To me comfort is primary and at age 70 I am never in a hurry and do not race. I prefer the suspension of Hero Passion XPro which I currently use everyday – much more comfortable.

One thing I observed is that of the three headlights, two remain ON all the time – you cannot switch them off even if you want to. This is good for safety so that oncoming traffic becomes better aware of you, and in the US & Europe it is by law compulsory. Yet it takes a toll on the battery. But then, is battery more important or your safety? Though I wish these were L.E.D. lights which hardly consumes battery, not halogen bulbs which this bike has, & consumes much battery. The other thing about headlights is that headlight does not turn with the handle. I do not like such bikes. Even the Hero Karizma ZMR is the same. Indeed a lot of bikes have headlight fixed with the fairing and does not turn with the handle. It has become almost a fashion. Be that as it may, I don’t like it. It might even be fashionable, but I am not in favor of it. Call it a kink in my brain if you will, but it doesn’t agree with me. On the positive side, the headlights are of 55 watt power, like Bullet and the illumination of the road ahead at night is excellent.

Another thing that I am not too happy about, are the clip-on handlebars. Sure, they are not as bad as the Honda CBR250 (test report is on this site) or the Bullet Continental GT which make me “Homo-Bendus” instead of “Homo-Erectus”, but they are not too comfortable for my 174 cm height or my 54 kg weight. If I slide my ass backwards to get more surface area to park my ass, I become more homo-bendus=too much forward lean, which makes my shoulders uncomfortable. If I sit very close to the fuel tank, it is slightly better but still not too comfortable. So this bike becomes a competition: Ass comfort (more surface area to park ass) versus shoulder comfort, i.e., leaning forward. It is a trade-off between the ass and the shoulder!

Seeing the power and speed of this bike, the horn is quite loud, which is as it should be for most traffic except buffaloes. It is a known fact that buffaloes react only to natural sounds like say, human voice which they are used to from their keeper. Also, among all creatures, buffaloes have the lowest “brain weight-to-body weight” ratio, i.e. they have the least brain weight compared to their body weight.

The power and pickup of this bike is awesome. You can overtake almost any other vehicle, be it a BMW or an Audi. Among the bikes commonly seen on our roads, you can definitely overtake any of them with ease. The TORQUE however kicks in only at 5000 rpm and beyond. Comfort notwithstanding, the road-holding on smooth roads is excellent.

Low-End-Torque (LET) is quite poor compared to even 100 cc bikes. Being a two-cylinder bike, I expected LET to be much better, but it is not so. So if majority of your riding is going to be in city traffic, you will have to stay in low gear, which is not too good for fuel economy. Petrol prices are going to go up. Brent Crude (the benchmark for oil price worldwide) which was $31/- per barrel a month ago (govt. reduced price at petrol pumps) is today $41/- a barrel. I expect this price to go up further.

My test ride was over more than 60 km including excellent tarmac surfaces, curves and slopes, but was single seat. The top speed I did was 100 km/hr, but this bike can go much faster. My partner Devjeet Saha (40 years younger than me) has already done 140 on this bike and he says this bike can go even faster.

If you look at the pillion seat, you will see that it is six inches higher than driver seat. It is like driver is sitting on ground floor and pillion is sitting on first floor. What this does for the CENTRE OF GRAViTY – and hence stability and road-holding of the bike double seat, you can well imagine. Women wearing sarees who sit sideways (both feet on one side) would find it impossible to sit pillion on this bike. It may be possible for young girls wearing short skirts or trousers who sit like riding a horse with legs on both sides.

All-in-all a very powerful bike – you may even call it a superbike, with excellent 55 watt headlight, most suitable for highways and open roads. Excellent road-holding on smooth tarmac, though suspension is a bit stiff! If you believe in staying ahead, this bike is for you.


Photo Credits:






]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Tue, 22 Mar 2016 07:22:45 +0000
Road Test: TVS Star Sport 100 - Dec.2010=Five years ago

Road Test Report :

TVS Star Sport 100:


The MOST Value–for–Money bike in India which gives 78 kmpl in city!

FACT: 89.7% of India’s bike users want a commuter machine/bike.

Please note: I am using the word bike users, not bikers.

Bikers are different from commuters. The difference between them is very primary.

The commuter segment does NOT want Bullet, Pulsar, RTR, Karizma and R15.

So what does the commuter want? Who is the commuter? A commuter does not want a bike, but needs a bike. He wants purely a means of transport, which means he needs a cheap, easy, convenient, affordable, independent means of individual transportation, at the cost of bus fare, even less if double seat, which is what commuter machine/bike TVS Star Sport 100 bike is.

The commuter human is a nine-to-five type – almost Android! He is a monthly-salary employee who has to reach office / factory / workplace at a fixed time and leave at a fixed time. He could also be a student who has to attend classes at a fixed place (college / university) at fixed timings. The age of worker / student is not important. In his whole life cycle, the most important thing is timings and punctuality – at work or college==Worker’s work timings, and student’s class timings – both of which are mostly Nine-to-Five! That is 8hours of time, And TiME IS MONEY!  Worker EARNs money by SELLiNG his time at workplace. Student (parents) SPENDs money by BUYiNG faculty (and infrastructure) time at college. The journey to and from workplace or college, is an essential activity which may or may not (mostly not) be enjoyable, like shaving and polishing your shoes. Not necessarily an enjoyable or welcome activity, but is a compulsory activity. They have to get to office / college in time and get back home in time because wife / mother is waiting. They have to achieve this with least effort at least cost, so that they can brag to their wife / mother that their bike is giving 80 mileage, and with the money saved how wife / mother can buy ear-rings and necklace and saree. Journey time is not important. Journey quality is slightly important to the extent that it should be as hassle free as possible. That is why you see FAT ladies driving FAT un-geared scooters. But in FAT un-geared scooters, mileage is a problem. Getting anything above 50 kmpL in city traffic is almost impossible except in Pep+ of TVS. But FAT ladies need FAT scooters. And though Pep+ is FaTaFaT, it is NOT FAT.

 The husband of these FAT ladies is not FAT. He is average or thin. Student is not FAT but his mother driving un-geared scooter is FAT. Both==husband / student have to ECONOMiZE their daily travel==daily commute. So they have to use geared bike. In the last 25 years the general speed of traffic on our city roads has REDUCED to less than HALF of what it was in 1990 because the traffic density has increased four times while the road space is reduced due to ments-En-Kroch=Crotch, that is EnCroachMents, and other problems in the Kroch.

 In such a situation, in order to get maximum mileage, the most operative factor is

LOW-END-TORQUE (LET), that is, HiGH pulling power at LOW engine rpm. And that is what TVS StaR Sport100 is all about. Developing powerful 7.5 Nm of Torque at just 5000 rpm, this bike can easily pull (even double seat) from 25 kph speed in top gear. Therefore you can continue to drive in top (==4th) gear over long distances and for long periods with almost no gear changing needed, which means very less driving effort almost like un-geared (without gear) scooter and yet get excellent mileage of a geared bike.

 TVS Sport100 bike rides on 17-inch diameter tires, 2.75 inch wide front and 3.oo inch wide rear. Wheels are 5-spoke alloys. The 99.7 cc engine has bore X stroke of 51 mm X 48.8 mm (same stroke, but NOT same engine as TVS Jive clutch-less bike, StaR City110, WeGo & Jupiter scooters) and produces 5.5kw=7.4 bhp=7.5 ps of power at a compression ratio of 9.15. The engine is fitted as a stressed member on the single down-tube chassis having a wheelbase of 1250 mm. Fuel tank capacity is 12 liters with a 1.5 liter reserve. Stopping is by 110 mm dia drum brakes front and rear. The engine is all black in keeping with the current trend of FEAR THE BLACK. A low fuel indicator in the dashboard serves as a fuel gauge.


 I have stopped at a traffic signal that just turned red and I have switched off the engine, since the lights will turn green again after 70 seconds (most traffic lights in Pune have time indicators, which are correct), and at any stop of more than 10 seconds, you MUST switch-off your engine, for economic reasons, for pollution reasons and therefore for the sake of your OWN LiFE. As the light turns green again I kick the kick-lever and the engine sputters to life instantly. The pull is so powerful that I change to second gear almost immediately. The pull in second gear is still very strong so I quickly get into third gear and by the time I am 50 feet away from the traffic light, I shift to fourth gear. Traffic is heavy with people jostling for space. But I am in 4th gear and trundling along RELAXED ! Because in the kind of traffic atmosphere that exists in Hyd, Bang, Pune, Delhi, Chennai……… name it, it is the same in all these cities and more. And if you want to buy the most economical bike with high quality and best Value-For-Money, it is TVS Star Sport 100.

 I move along with the traffic, easy to keep up with any kind of city traffic. Handling is superb.  Steering response is very nimble and effective. Cutting through space between four-wheelers and autorixas is a breeze = as good as any other bigger and / or more expensive bike. Braking is very good. This is a light bike, one of the lightest in this country! So 110 mm dia drum brakes, both front and rear feel adequate. I have been long distance on this bike. I have been from Pune to Goa and back on this bike. It was the most relaxed long ride of my life. That is because I was not in a hurry. Of course in city traffic this bike is as good as the hurry-est of hurry bikes. But if you want to get to Goa from Pune in five hours, this is not the bike to do it on. Sure you can go to Goa, but not in five hours. For that, you can use an Apache 180 RTR or even 160 RTR. Please note that this is NOT Apache RTR 180. Or even 160! This is pure economy. The pickup is as good as the best of the 100 ccs and the mileage is even better. Top speed is in the low eighties and it does the job. This is the ultimate commuter machine. Period!


Fuel consumption test was done on exactly same route [@ 19.5 km] on which all other bikes are tested, by me (weight 55 kg, height 174 cm), using ordinary unleaded green Petrol



Test conditions of TVS StaR CITY

Distance Covered (km)

Fuel Consumed (litres)

Fuel average (kmpL)


Speeds up to 55 kmpH. Fourteen gear changings, some to 2nd. Twelve Brakings. Up-slope and down-slope





Almost steady 40-45 in top (4th) gear. No braking. No gear changing. Once quickly accelerated to 65 to overtake truck, and back to steady 45.





No braking. No gear changing. Almost steady 40. Some up-slope.





No gear changing. No braking. Almost steady 40. Much up-slope





Down-slope + plain road. Eight gear changings to third. Thirteen brakings. Speeds up to 60.





Overall Fuel Average




The above figures speak for themselves. Low End Torque==LET, is this bike’s USP==Unique Selling Proposition. Every product MUST have USP – as they teach in India’s topmost MBA institute: Sri Balaji Society in Wakad, Pune. LET makes it the most effortless bike to drive (
except un-geared scooters) because you can stay continuously in top gear from 20 kph onwards and even pick-up effortlessly in same top gear without changing any gear. Sure there are other bikes capable of doing this and more, but not at this price. At @ Rs.40K on road Pune on 19 Dec. 2010, with alloy wheels, 110 dia drum brakes, best headlight beam and best LOW-END-TORQUE, this bike gives the best value for money, best value for looks and best commuter in city traffic or relaxed drive on highway. A sporty bike for city use! You have style (celebrity?). You have ease of driving (Low End Torque). Best headlight beam quality (night safety). Great mileage (78 kmpl in city)! All for less than 40K on road Pune in December 2010! That’s value for Money with a capital M. The price may have gone up. You can get the current price on TVS website.

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Sun, 31 May 2015 08:33:10 +0000
TVS Apache RTR 160 Road Test

Road Test : TVS Apache RTR 160 motorcycle


Dilip Bam



 When TVS  Lonch”d  the Apache150 couple of years ago, I did some research to find out the origin of the name  APACHE.  I found that  APACHE  are the most fierce  Red Indian Tribe of USA who have killed the maximum number of WHiTE men in USA 150 years ago.  Therefore they are the most famous and best known ADiVASi  tribe of Amerika.

 Now TVS have Lonch”d  Apache RTR 160,  which should be more fierce than ordinary Apache, yet still MUST be Apache. So I did more research and got more information. Just like in India we have “sub-caste” within same caste, these Amerikan  Adivasi people also have sub-tribe within main tribe. And the most fierce and murderously effective sub-tribe of Apache are the “CHATO” Apaches.

 I saw a Hollywood movie named “CHATO”s LAND” starring Charles Bronson. It is the story of how a Chato Apache (played by Charles Bronson) takes revenge by killing five white men who had raped and killed his wife. The movie is not only about violence but more about how this Chato plans to kill these five white men and how he carries out his plan and succeeds in killing all of them. It is not only about physical violence. It is more about thinking, planning, executing….and succeeding.  It is the best lesson in  ViOLENCE MANAGEMENT”” ! And there can be no violence without aggression.

 And aggression is what the RTR 160 is about. Most people believe that if you need a bike for your daily office travel and other social needs like shopping and visiting friends, then you should go for a 100 cc econo-bike, bkoz it kosts less and gives more mileage. While it is true that 100 cc econo bikes are cheaper to buy, it is not necessarily true that smaller bike MUST give more mileage. Mileage is 80% dependant on DRiViNG STYLE and only 20% on engine size, weight and other faktors. This fact was most forcefully brought out when I did the fuel test on the RTR 160. (see mileage table at the end of this report).


 Better known as RTR 160, this Apache has many “firsts” and exclusives.

Starting from the front, a 270 mm dia petal disc provides stopping power on front wheel and is perfect for doing stoppies (see foto-1). The clip-on handlebar is perfect for doing wheelies (see foto-2). While the sharply pointed rear view mirrors enhance frontal fierceness, the split grab-rail at rear gives it the look of bull-horns.

 There are other enhancements. The silencer is different from the 150 and the bend-pipe is fatter. Suspension travel is longer. Foot-pegs are different and so are the blinker lights: clear lens and orange bulb as opposed to clear bulb and orange lens in the 150. A belly-pan below the engine adds a touch of class. RTR Wheelbase is 1300 mm compared to 1260 mm of the Apace150, leading to a relatively lower CG and better stability. Due to the clip-on handlebars, longer wheelbase and rear-set footpegs, the seating geometry and riding posture are highly racist, i.e. ideal for racing. A toe-only gear shifter adds to its racist stance. While the seat and switchgear are identical to the 150, the dashboard and instrumentation are totally different. The digital display at LH has a digital fuel gauge, digital speedometer, digital odometer and two digital trip meters and a clock showing time. A round analog tachometer at RH completes the instrumentation. Hi-intensity LED brake lights enhance safety. (see foto-3)

 This bike is powered by a 159.7 cc engine having bore X stroke of 62 mm X 52.9 mm. Breathing thru a Mikuni BS-26 carburetor at a compression ratio of 9.5, it produces 11.19 kilowatts of power (==15.0 BHP==15.2 PS) at 8500 rpm and develops 13.1 Newton-meters of tork at 6000 rpm. The two-valve engine is operated by a single camshaft and idles at 1400 rpm. Engine starting is by kick as well as self, and ignition is dual-mode digital.

 (see foto-4)

The mono-block engine is mounted on a double-cradle, synchro stiff chassis. The five speed gearbox is operated by a toe-only shifter thru a wet multi-plate kluch. Front suspension is on telescopic forks with 105 mm stroke, while rear suspension is on spring assisted, mono-tube, inverted, gas filled shox with reservoir. Braking is by 270 mm petal disc front and 130 mm drum at rear. Tire size is 90/90 X 17 inch front and 100/80 X 18 inch rear, same as the 150. An AC generator produces elektricity and is backed by a 12-volt, 9-Ampere hour battery. Spark is provided by a twin electrode Mico-Bosch plug. The 35 watt headlight sports a halogen bulb, while the tail light is a twin-triangle, half-watt, LED with a prism-on lens. The 16-liter petrol tank has a 2.5 liter reserve, out which 1.7 liters are actually usable.

The RTR weighs 136 kg (kerb), same as the 150. (see foto-5)


 When I did fuel consumption test, in order to get the best mileage I rode in top (5th) gear as much as possible. As is well known, driving at steady speed between @ 35 to 45 kmpH in top gear, with using brakes as less as possible, and avoid changing to lower gears as far as possible, GiVEs BEST MiLEAGE.

I found that Low-End-Tork of this bike is much better than one would expect in a short stroke engine such as this. Yet, the Low-End-Tork of this bike is surprisingly powerful, and riding at steady 33-35 kmpH in top gear was very smooth, and produced no jerks or chain-snatch. This is the reason I got such good mileage figures. This means that the RTR is a dual-purpose bike like no other: If you ride it as I did in my fuel consumption test, you can get as good mileage as a 100 cc econo-bike, but if you are in a hurry and feel like racing, you can easily stay ahead of the traffik and beat any 150 cc bike.

 Handling of this bike and steering response are on par with the best. Road holding and cornering ability are superb. Pickup is top class and is the fastest in class.

 In my zero to sixty (pick-up) test and braking test, the rider was 23 year old Rishikesh Mandke, height 172 cm (5’-8”), weight 63.5 kg. Rishikesh is an expert professional stunt rider, who does wheelies and stoppies in stunt shows for a living. He can hold a wheelie for many kilometers and even does wheelies and stoppies dubble seat.

 For the brake test, I draw a thick white line on a straight level road. The rider starts riding the bike and achieves a steady speed of 60 kmpH much before this white line which is clearly visible to him. (I have two other helpers standing at both ends of this road to warn or stop other traffic for a few seconds while I do this test. Since I do this test early morning on a mostly deserted road, people are quite co-operative and don’t mind waiting a few seconds). As the rider approaches this line he keeps his eyes downwards, looking at the white line. As soon as the front tire touches the white line, he jams both brakes locking both wheels and skids to a stop. I measure the distance from this line to where the front wheel is touching the ground where the bike comes to rest.

 The shortest braking distance I got was 11.3 meters.

 I do the brake test in this fashion because this is what any driver would do to avoid accident: Jam both brakes in panic to avoid accident.

 For the zero to sixty test, the driver Rishikesh is on the bike, engine is running, bike is in first gear with kluch pulled in. So bike is at rest. I am standing far away with stop watch, looking at biker. I give a hand signal and at the same moment start my stop-watch. Rider sees my signal and leaves kluch and bike surges forward, with the driver looking at the speedometer (not the road). As soon as speedo touches sixty kph speed, driver flashes his pass-light, and at that moment I stop my stop-watch. Thus I have recorded the time taken for zero to sixty.

 I recorded a timing of 4.53 seconds for zero-to-sixty for the Apache RTR 160.

 Sure, this method is not highly accurate, but it is the easiest, simplest and cheapest. You can yourself do this test. You can buy a digital stop watch for less than a hundred Rupees and can time yourself with the help of a friend.

 For measuring the top speed of this bike, I took it on the Pune-Mumbai highway, and single seat, it could touch 120 kmpHspeedo indicated.

 (see foto-6)

For measuring fuel consumption, I did the test with a calibrated measuring bottle such as you might have seen in hospital, with which patients are given a drip. I have such a bottle fitted in a holder, and which has a cap at upper end and a cock (like fuel tank cock) at its bottom end, to which I attach a long plastic tube. The other end of this tube I fit into the carburetor inlet nipple, to which the tube coming from fuel tank cock is normally fitted. I close the tank fuel cock and disconnect this tube which is coming from fuel tank, and konnekt the lower end of the tube fitted on the measuring bottle to the nipple, so that petrol is not going from tank to carburetor but from my measuring bottle to carburetor. I fill petrol in this bottle up to the 200 cc mark and ride as per conditions given in the below table and get the mileage figures.



Test conditions of TVS

Apache 160 RTR

Distance Covered (km)

Fuel Consumed (litres)

Fuel average (kmpL)


20 gear changes ; 6 brakings for slowing down ; Light traffic ;

Max speed 62, but mostly 40-50. Mostly drive in top (5th) gear.






1 braking & 1 gear change to 2nd. . Speed between 32--46 but mostly steady 41-42 in top (5th) gear.





Speed between 32 – 50 (max), but mostly Steady 40 in top gear. Once brake, change to 4th then shift to 5th and continue at steady 40 in 5th (top) gear.





Upslope & downslope. Many brakings & 6 gear changes to 3rd. Speed mostly @ 30 – 50 in top gear.





Overall Fuel Average






The Apache RTR 160 is top class as well as top-of-the-class. You can call it an Economy-Racer. Available in many attractive colors, the on-road price in Pune on December 10, 2007 is Rs.63,610/- for normal color. If you want special color, it will kost Rs.64,708/-.

6 Attachments

Preview attachment RTR160foto-2.JPG

Preview attachment RTR.foto-3.JPG

Preview attachment RTR.foto-4.JPG

Preview attachment RTR.foto-5.JPG

Preview attachment RTR.foto.6.JPG


]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Thu, 21 May 2015 21:41:01 +0000

The name APACHE comes from the famous North American Red-Indian Apache tribe from the state of Arizona in the USA, which is known to be the most fierce tribe in that continent. And true to its name all the Apache bikes launched by TVS look fierce as well as perform fiercely like the Apache warriors.

The first Apache was the 150. Then came the Apache RTR 160 carburetor, followed by the Apache RTR 160 F-i. And now comes the Apache RTR 180 carburetor, the fiercest of them all. What does it have?

Breathing thru a Mikuni BS29 carburetor, the 177.4 cc Apache RTR180 having bore X stroke==62.5 mm X 57.8 mm, claims to produce 12.52 kw of power, where kw is Kilo Watt=1000 watt. 12.52 kw=17.03 PS =16.77 bhp of power at 8500 rpm and develops a torque of 1.58 Kg-M (==15.5 Nm) @ 6500 rpm at a compression ratio of 9.5. The five-speed gearbox operates on a one-down-four-up pattern. Built on a 1326 mm wheelbase, the bike has a double cradle synchro-stiff chassis which makes for great rigidity and keeps it flex-free for excellent road-holding in tight corners. Riding on 90/90 X 17 tire front and 110/80 X 17 tire rear further enhances road-holding. The FAT 110 mm wide rear tire makes for very good braking as well. The bike is stopped by 270mm petal disc brake front and 200 mm petal disc brake rear. Having a kerb weight of 137 kg and 16 liter fuel tank, the bike has a ground clearance of 180 mm.

0ne German PS is defined as doing 4500 meter-kilograms of work per minute==0.73536 kw. 0ne British bhp is defined as doing 33000 foot-pounds of work per minute==0.74556 kw. Therefore the conversion factor between PS and bhp is: 0.73536 divided by 0.74556==0.98632, that is1 PS=0.98632 bhp.


The highly stepped seat and the clip-on handlebars give the rider a very racy stance. Add to this the rear set foot pegs, and the racist stance is complete. The instrumentation has a digital meter with digital fuel indicator, digital clock, digital speedo & odo and two digital trip meters. The round tacho at RH is however not digital but analog, which is very good.

Switchgear which is fairly standard consists of horn button, blinker switch, Hi-Lo beam switch and day-flash button at LH, and self-start button, headlight switch and engine-kill-switch at RH.

Handlebar width is a comfortable 67 cm (without balance weights) and 71 cm with weights included. The actual ground clearance (bike off-stand, no rider) is actually 180 cm at main-stand clip as well as at belly-pan (I measured), which is very good and never touches any speed breaker even riding triples. The stepped seat is 66 cm long and the stepped pillion seat is 4.5 cm higher than rider seat. Leg room for both rider & pillion is 48 cm. In the 26.5 cm wide seat, 39 cm length of cusp is available for the driver, which is important for assholes having a large ass, though not important for me, who is a macchhar [mosquit0] of 54 kg. Seat length available for pillion is 27 cm.

The twin-forks of the front suspension are of 30 mm dia – which is the same for Apache 150, as well as the RTR 160 carburetor & RTR 160 F-i. As compared to all these Apaches, Karizma & Ambition forks are 31 mm dia, Bullets are 35 mm and Bajaj-Ninja 250 are 37 mm dia. Rectangular section rear swing-arm dimensions are 40 mm vertically and 25 mm horizontally with a wall thickness of @ 3 mm, which is the same for all other Apaches as well. This compares with 48 x 28 mm for Zma and 60 x 30 for Ninja250.


0ne point I would like to mention here is that this bike did not come to me for test brand new. Indeed it had already done more than 5500 km when it came to me. Apparently it came to me after all the hard-copy magazines had done their testing on it, which means it wasn’t in mint fresh kondition. My test results would have been better if the bike had been brand new.

I took the bike for a 483 km test ride on 24+25 April 2010 from Pune to Dapoli on the coast (of the Arabian Sea) in Raigad district, east of Pune. Fuel consumption for such a ride I always measure on a tankfull-to-tankfull basis. Costs a lot of munny (=tankfull=Rs.800/-), but accuracy isn’t cheap. I filled the fuel tank right up to the brim, shaking the bike repeatedly to make sure there are no air bubbles in the tank and it is indeed full of petrol with no air pockets. I also took the odometer reading at that moment. It was 5760 km.

The route was around Mulshi lake, via Tamhini Ghat into Konkan, cross NH.17 (Bombay-Goa highway) and ride to the sea. It is almost the same route which I took for the RTR F-i long distance fuel test. I was single seat (55 kg). Some roads were good and I did some speeding, even touching 122 kph at times. The ride was quite high speed as much as road quality would allow. Average speed would be in the region of 65 kph, with much braking & gear changing due to bad roads and traffic. The weather was quite hot and we rode in the afternoon at temperatures of @ 42 Celcius. I agree the weather was not ideal, but it being a weekend, I got company, which was very important. I was accompanied by Pravin and Navendu on two Karizmas and a female Nehal on an RX100. We stayed at a resort on the beach and returned the next day.

Upon return, I refilled the fuel tank, liter by liter with my accurate 0ne-Liter measuring flask, and in 10.150 liters, the tank got filled to its brim exactly as it was at starting time. The total return trip distance covered was 491 km. Thus the mileage returned by this bike on this trip was 491 divided by 10.15, which is 48.4 kmpL, which is excellent by any standards. NO OTHER 180 BiKE GiVE SUCH GuuD MiLEAGE under such konditions.

I also did a very a-Q-rate fuel consumption test (==bottle test) on the 180 in city driving. Following are the results:



     Test conditions of TVS Apache RTR 180

Distance Covered (km)

Fuel Consumed (litres)

Fuel average (kmpL)


Light traffic. 12 gear changes to 4th, five gear changes to 3rd, 0nce full stop and start from 1st gear. Speed mostly @ 45. Max speed 50.





Heavy traffic. Five full stops and start from 1st gear. Many speed breakers. 17 gear changes to 3rd. Max speed 50.





One full stop. Self start and go. No gear changing. Max speed 55.





Steady 40 in 5th gear. No braking. No gear change.





Free ride. Much braking. Many gear changes. Upslope & down-slope. Two overtakings. Max speed 60.





Overall Fuel Average




Overall mileage of 57 is excellent and better than most 150 bikes also.



Press the starter button and the engine fires instantly. Press kluch, press left toe, first gear clicks into place, release kluch and the bike moves. On city roads in Pune where speed rarely exceeds 45, I try to get to top (5th) gear Kwik Lee like Bruce Lee, bcoz that is the way to get good mileage==stay in higher gear as much as possible. And this bike easily trundles along in top gear at 30, and from 35 onwards one can accelerate in top gear itself gradually without changing to lower gear, leading to better mileage.

This is a company that has understood the importance of Low-End-Tork==LET. Even though bore=62.5 mm & stroke 57.8, that is stroke is 4.7 mm less than bore which means  7.5% less than bore. Such short stroke engines are called flat engines and are generally better in high end than low end – as were the Kinetic GF170 & Laser & big Italian0 Blaze scooter. All had the same engine. Yet the Apache 180 displayed amazing low end qualities.

Shifting thru gears is a breeze. Staying ahead of the traffic is easy, if you don’t mind the fuel consumption resulting from changing to lower gear for quick pickup. Taking sharp corners is pat & thanks to the 110 mm FAT rear tire, road-holding is superb. Having PETAL [cool] discs on both wheels, braking is on the spot – further helped by the FAT rear tire. Handling is quite nimble and bike responds admirably even to slight flicks of the handle.


I did the regular 0-60 test with Rishi Mandke as the rider. Rishi is a daredevil. Nobody I know can do what Rishi can do. Even I cannot do what Rishi can do. The procedure is fairly standard, same as all my other road tests on this site.

The best time returned for zero to sixty (many runs by Rishi) was 4.45 seconds by accurate stopwatch. Given my crude, desi, method [sasta-acchha-tikau], and subtracting human error from that, TVS claim of 4.15 seconds in their website is definitely correct.

Braking== sixty to zero was EXCELLENT.  Over many runs and wheel lockings done by Rishi, Varying from 9 meters to 11 meters, I have concluded that zero-to-sixty braking distance for this bike is 10 meters, which is shorter and safer than most other bikes. This is probably because of the FAT rear tire. Also in the TEN-meter skid (both wheels locked), the bike remained arrow straight with no wavering, which is very good and very safe. Rishi is a master bike rider and stunter who does stunt shows, wheelies, stoppies and every other ‘naataks’ on bike.


180 cc is not a defining category. There are bigger bikes and there are smaller bikes. Why manufacturing people are sticking to this 180 figure I cannot understand. But if you want the top 180 cc bike, then at Rs.62500/- price in Delhi, this is it

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Mon, 18 May 2015 07:09:36 +0000
KTM Duke 390

KTM Duke 390 is a SHORT STROKE engine, with an 89mm bore and 60mm stroke, and the actual cc of the engine is 373.2cc. The STROKE/BORE Ratio is 60/89=0.674, which is much less than 1, which is NOT GOOD for Low End Torque (=not city traffic friendly).

Reportedly Producing @ 32kw=43.5ps=43bhp of POWER at 9000-9500rpm and Torque of 35Nm at 7000/7250rpm, the bike gives a Reported mileage of @22kmpL. Compression Ratio (CR) is mentioned as 12.5 by some site. KTM bikes usually have high CR.

Having SiX gears, the top speed is believed to be 100 miles per hour=160kmpH.

This bike comes with ABS=Antilock Braking System which is quite effective because both front and rear wheels have disc brakes.

On a wheelbase of ~ 1375mm, the bike rides on 17inch Low Profile tires both front and rear: Front being 110/70 and rear being 150/60. Having disc brakes both front and rear and a fuel tank capacity of 11Liters, the bike weight without fuel (empty tank?) is 139kg.

With twin-fork USD suspension front and monoshock rear, the bike claims 150mm suspension travel both front and rear, which is a TALL claim. So it should give quite a cushy ride in spite of both front and rear Low Profile tires.

At a max rpm of 9500 and a CR of 12.5, the Engine Life Factor=ELF of this bike is 0.84. Compare this with Bullet500 which has the highest ELF==2.307, among all bikes in the hole of this country. So mathematically, this bike will have short life, say about 35% of Bullet500, which means if Bullet lasts for 20 years, this bike will last only 7 years.

Costing over two lakhs, this bike is meant for speed maniacs, which doesn’t matter because you will not remain a speed maniac for 7 years and will probably sell it off in 2/3 years and go for Hero Splendor or Bullet.

Photos are available on the net.

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Sun, 03 May 2015 06:14:25 +0000
Bun Burner on Hero Splendor Pro

Devjeet Saha with Hero Splendor Pro 2

Devjeet Saha: Bike Trek or Star Trek?

 Dilip Bam is an addict of the TV Serial Star Trek, featuring

James T. Kirk as Captain of the Starship USS Enterprise. His mission:HH To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, TO GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE!

There are many men who have GONE WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE! One was Columbus=First man from old world to go to America in 1492, that is more than 523 years ago. Another was Sherpa Tenzing Norgay = =First man in the world to climb world’s highest mountain=Mount Everest in 1953. Another is Dilip Bam, First man in the world to ride across the world’s Largest (Three times bigger than whole of India) SAHARA desert in Africa on un-geared scooter Kinetic Honda.

eh? what did Devjeet Saha do? As far as I know, he just rode a Hero Splendor Pro from Pune to Chennai and back. What’s the big deal in that?

It is an IBA specified record!

eh? What’s IBA?

IBA is Iron Butt Associationof America!

Ye kya hai? Ye kaun hai? Ye kya kartay hai?


Iron Butt Associationof America is the Premier Body in USA which specifies standards for motorcycle / 2wheeler speed distance achievements.


What are these?


There are many standards.


The first one is SADDLE SORE, for which the rider has to ride a bike 1000 miles=1610 km in less than 24 hours.


The next level is BUN BURNER, for which the rider has to ride a bike 1500 miles=2415 km in less than 36 hours.


Oh yes, I know. But Devjeet has already done these many times on many bikes long ago. So why the Hoo—Ha now? He has earlier done Saddle Sore on Hero Impulse (150 cc), Hero Passion Xpro (110 cc) and Splendor Pro.


He has also done Bun Burner many years ago on Hero KarizmaR. I was trying (but not succeeding) to follow him in a Tavera, but he was so fast that our four wheeler could not keep up with him. We went thru Jaisalmer and Barmer in Rajasthan, and into Kathiawad in Gujarat and back. Quite a trip it was.


All this is history. Everybody knows it. Devjeet has done both Saddle Sore and Bun Burner before. In fact there are many other people who have also done saddle sore and bun burner before and after Devjeet. So why the hoo ha now?


The hoo ha is because of the bike on which he did it !


eh bike? Does bike matter? Even female Shalaka Zad has done Saddle Sore on Hero Impulse. In fact, Shalaka has done it double seat sitting behind her husband Ajay Zad on 350 cc Bullet. So what’s the hoo ha about Dev?


The bike, my friend – the bike !


What bike?


Hero Splendor Pro – 97.2 cc.


Nobody has ever done Saddle Sore ride ANYWHERE in the WORLD on a bike of engine less than 100 cc.


That’s it !


Arrey? Hero Splendor is the largest selling model in the whole world for last ten years. Lakhs, Millions and Crores of people are riding Splendor. Devjeet also did same. So?


So Devjeet Saha has done what NO MAN HAS DONE BEFORE!


He has done Bun Burner on a less than 100 cc bike, which NO MAN HAS DONE BEFORE!

Devjeet has done heroics on a Hero bike.

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Mon, 20 Apr 2015 11:03:24 +0000
Unicorn160: What’s the difference from the 0ld 149 cc 0riginal?

The 0riginal 0ld Unicorn came to me for test on 23.April.2007 (eight years ago) when I was bikeguru at which is now (2015) defunct since two years. In the OWNERs MANUAL which everybody gets with the bike, the official model code for the 0ld Unicorn was/is written as CBF150Q. What was it like? What does the code mean? I guess CB stands for timing chain. Earlier, before timing chain, even Honda used push-rod engine (which all Bullets use even today), for which the code was CG, but by end of 1973, Honda of Japan switched over completely to timing chain engines. What does the ‘Q’ in CBF150Q mean? Does it mean Quantum Core? WTF is quantum core? I dunn0, I am stoopid. Other auto-journos would probably be as clever as me.

The eight year old Unicorn hard copy manual mentions a swept volume of 149.2 cc having bore X stroke as 57.3 X 57.8, giving a stroke/bore ratio of 57.8/57.3=1.008726. The Compression Ratio (CR) in the hard copy manual is given as 9.1.

At 18:00 hrs on Thu.19.March.2015 the new Unicorn160, as given in the website at

Has the same 57.3 mm bore as the old Unicorn 149cc, but the stroke is increased to 63 mm, giving it a stroke/bore ratio of 63/57.3=1.0994764, having a swept volume of 162.71 cc. The Compression Ratio (CR) is increased to 10.1. The power of this 160 cc new Unicorn is 10.82 kw=14.5 bhp=14.71 ps at 8000 rpm.

While the old hard copy manual of the old Unicorn does not give power, torque and rpm figures, the HMSI website currently (at the date mentioned above) gives max net power as 9.8 kw=13.14 bhp=13.33 ps at 8500 rpm and max net torque of 12.84 Nm at 5500 rpm, while the swept volume is shown as 149.1 cc.

While the bigger new160 Unicorn has slightly more power, that is 0.4 kw=0.536 bhp=0.544 ps, the most significant advantage of the new 160 Unicorn is that the max power is developed at 8000 rpm which is 500 rpm less than the old 149 cc Unicorn. Thus the Engine Life Factor (ELF) of the new160 Unicorn is 1.2376, while that of the old 149 cc Unicorn is 1.2928, which means the old Unicorn will have 4.46% longer life than new 160 Unicorn, which is relatively insignificant. Even though the 0ld Unicorn runs at 500 max rpm higher than new Unicorn, the 0ld Unicorn has a higher ELF because of the Lower CR. The max torque in the 0ld Unicorn happens at 5500 rpm as compared to 6000 rpm in the new 160 Unicorn, which is another contributor to the higher ELF and 4.46% longer life of the 0ld Unicorn.

The biggest advantage of the new 160 Unicorn is Low End Torque=L.E.T. With a stroke/bore ratio which is 9% higher than the old Unicorn, the new 160 Unicorn will have 9% better Low End Torque characteristics than the old one, which means the new 160 Unicorn will have 9% better traffic-ability and will require 9% less gear change-ing effort. This is as per Archimedes Law which is: Mechanical Advantage X Velocity Ratio==1. Always!

The new 160 Unicorn has a shorter 1324 mm wheelbase compared to 1340 mm of the old one. The new 160 Unicorn at 135 kg is also 11 kg lighter than the old 146 kg Unicorn.

While the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn runs of 18-inch tires, the new 160 Unicorn runs on 17-inch tires. Both have 240 mm disc brake in front and 130 mm drum brake in the rear. The 160 has a higher profile front tire (80/100) and a lower profile (110/80) rear tire as compared to the older Unicorn which has 2.75 x 18 front tire and 100/90 rear tire. This is NOT very significant, since the difference is very little.

So if both the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn and New 160 cc Unicorn are available which one to buy?

If you want 4.46% longer life, go for the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn. Is 4.46% important?

If you want 9% better and easier CiTY DRiVE-ABiLiTY, go for new 160 cc Unicorn. Is 9% important?

The difference in mileage/average will be less than 3% which is negligible and inconsequential.

The suspension on both is same so the ride quality (hardness/softness) will be same.

The difference is buying price will not be much, with the 0ld one costing slightly less.

Both bikes will be able to go above 100 kph. Top speed of both will be almost same.

Headlight power/brightness of both is 35 watts, so both will be equally bright.

]]> (Dilip Bam) Bikes Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:48:14 +0000