Hero Karizma ZMR Road Test

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Hero ZMR Road Test



The first thing to strike me about this bike, are the very prominent rear view (RV) mirrors. Being mounted on the front fairing (instead of on the handlebar like in most other bikes), they are much far ahead of the driver’s eyes than almost any other bike, and most conveniently give a much wider and more panoramic view of what is coming behind you on the road than any other bike, most important for safety.


I remember my sister once owned a Mercedes 220 in 1973 in Malaysia. I have been in Malaysia and driven that car. The car had Rear View Mirrors mounted in front at both extremities (LH & RH) on the frontest part of the bonnet, maybe four or five feet distance in front, ahead of the driver in front of him. These mirrors were so good and effective, that driver could reverse the car in and out of parking lot and garage without having to look backwards out of the window. The RV mirrors of the ZMR are as good as this Mercedes==Safety=live longer.


People don’t think much about Rear View Mirrors (except maybe for combing hair), but research shows that 13.2% of accidents in Pune are caused because you do not see traffic coming behind you! This makes the Karizma ZMR 13.2% safer than other bikes. You will live longer. Before I tested this bike, I had thought that being mounted on the fairing, the mirrors might vibrate, but much to my delight, I found that there is absolutely no vibration! In the old carburetor version of Karizma, the RV mirrors are mounted on the handlebar like in all other bikes. Recently, on a 230 km ride from Pune to Roha and return, both via Tamini ghaat (horrible road), the LH mirror was baar-baar droooping because of khad-khad (=bad road – and it was dheela==Character dheela hai!) and I was wondering how to tighten it. When I reached home, I tried to tighten the mirror on the stem by tightening the three screws which all other mirrors have, but to my surprise, there are NO SCREWs on the mirrors of the ZMR! I thought, dhatt-teri-ki, I am screwed! How do I tighten the bloody mirror? Kya Karen? So I decided to screw the mirror by turning the mirror itself clockwise, and prest0! It became tight! Then I looked carefully into the OWNERs MANUAL and Technical Training Handbook (=WORKSHOP MANUAL) whether anything is written in them about mirror tightening, but found nothing. So my discovering the mirror tightening procedure was just by chance! HeroMotoCorp should kindly write this in the 0wners Manual / Workshop Manual, otherwise how would owners know HOW TO TiGHTEN this dheeli-fication feature?


The second thing to strike you about this bike is its Fairing: It is fully faired and has a very prominent (loud?) road presence, more than any other bike in this class! In current language this bike is: “Mai Hu Na!”  This bike makes a personality statement which no other bike of this size and price can make. If you own this bike, it means: YOU HAVE ARRiVED! And how!  

Another point I must mention here is about the tyres. I removed the tubeless tyres (80/100 X 18 Front & 100/90 X 18 Rear) which came fitted on the new ZMR and fitted Ralco tubed tyres on it: 2.75 X 18 Front & 100/90 X 18 Rear). These Ralco tyres were the ones on which I rode Pune to Roha & back (230 km) thru Tamiini Ghat==TERRiBLE ROAD – but the RALCO tyres really took the bad road in its stride. It is a lonely forested mountain road with almost zero traffic these days. On the return journey (back to Pune from Roha) it had become dark (andhera), and iF I had a flat tyre (punchur), I would have to push the bike for maybe 40 km. The authorities are NOT going to repair this road bkoz the Forest Dept. claims there are three tigers there. If they repair the road, the traffic will inkreeze and the Tigers will get disturbed. I was quite scared. Bkoz of the almost zero traffic and night time, the few Dhabas on this stretch were closed. I am all for tigers and agree & believe that TiGERs are more important than TYREs. But because the dhabas were closed I could neither find a safe place to sleep (in case of punchur) nor got any food. But I surely did not want to become food for the Tigers!  Yet since the tyres are Ralco, Tigers are no problem – I can run away, and I did! After all, Devjeet Saha had been on the same bike on the same RALCO tyres Hi-speed from Pune to Ludhiana and back safely.




The ZMR F-i has exactly the same engine dimensions as the old carburetor version which has been around for half a dozen years and more. With a bore X stroke of 65.5 X 66.2 mm the engine has a swept volume of 223 cc, and produces 13.15 kw==17.6 bhp==17.88 ps of power at 7000 rpm at a compression ratio of NiNE. As a comparison, the old carburetor version produces 12.68 kw==17 bhp==17.24ps of power, also at 7000 rpm at the same compression ratio of NiNE. The max torque of both versions as per the website is 18.35 Nm at 6000 rpm. The 0wners Manual and the Technical Training Handbook (Workshop Manual) DO NOT give torque figure – why? I wonder.


Being a long stroke engine, (stroke is longer than bore) & stroke/bore ratio being greater than ONE (1.0107 to be exact), makes for better Low End Torque (LET) as per Archimedes Law which is: Mechanical Advantage X Velocity Rati0==1 always! And hence better traffic ability and less need to change gears all the time in city traffic. (Incidentally Bullet 350 stroke/bore ratio is 1.29). In the ZMR, this leads to relaxed driving, which leads to greater safety which means you will live longer.

With the max rpm of this bike being a low 7000 rpm and a low compression ratio of NiNE, the Engine Life Factor (E.L.F.) is almost 1.6, which is higher than most other bikes, which means the life of this bike will be much longer than most other bikes. This is the bike to buy if you propose to keep it for a long time. Bullet has the highest E.L.F. ==2.24, among all the bikes in this hole cunt ree!


The ZMR F-i claims to produce slightly more power (0.6 bhp more) than the carburetor version. Apart from the obvious difference in the fuel induction system – this bike does not have a carburetor, it has fuel injection – the only reason for the extra 0.6 bhp has to be because of fuel injection instead of carburetor. I can see no other reason for this difference to be so unless it is a misprint or my stupidity.


As far as I know, Horsepower (whether PS or BHP) is: 2 X pye (22/7=3.1416) X rpm X Torque divided by 4500 (if the Torque is in M-kg – for MKS=Metric system) which will give PS (=Pferde Starke=German=DIN horsepower) ;  0r divided by 33000 (if the Torque is in Foot-Pounds – for FPS=British system) which will give BHP (=British Horse Power). 1BHP is 0.74556 kw and 1PS is 0.73536 kw. Also 1PS=0.98632 BHP.


However since the Torque for both Carburetor Karizma and F-i Karizma is same=18.35, at the same (=6000) rpm, I cannot understand HOW the ZMR F-i can have 0.6 bhp more than the carburetor Karizma. This is a big mystery to me. The above formula is confirmed by DIN / JIS as well as Pythagoras, Archimedes, Newton, Galileo and Albert Einstein, so it cannot be wrong.  Can anybody enlighten me on how & why there is this difference in power between carburetor Karizma and F-i Karizma? I will give Rs.1000/- to anyone who can solve this mystery!



There is no kick starter on the ZMR. I am sad and disappointed. I feel very nervous when there is no kicker. It makes me totally battery dependant. And battery comes with only ONE year warranty. What happens if battery dies before I die? Sure as hell, I will die one day, but FACT is that battery will definitely die before I die. Then what happens? I MUST replace the battery Kwik Lee Like Bruce Lee! Which will cost Rs.1500/- or more. Udderwise I will have to PUSH START the bike – which would be highly painful for me bkoz the bike weighs 159 kg while I weigh just 49 kg! Just see my Law of Nature BABA photo on my facebook page! As Gabbar Singh said, “Gaadi 159 kilo aur dhakelne-wala sirf 49 kilo? Phir bhi dhakel raha hai? BAHooooT na insaafi hai ! Ab tera kya hoga bikeguru? Bikeguru may die Kwik Lee Like Bruce Lee!



When I ride a bike, I normally hold the handlebar at the extremes, with my palms on the end-pieces. But on the ZMR F-i, I found holding the handlebar slightly inside (on the grips rather than on the end pieces) more convenient. Handlebar width of this bike is 79 cm (=31 inches) including end pieces, while the handlebar width of the Carb Karizma handlebar is 72 cm (=28.25 inches). The ZMR handlebar is wider hence holding grips is probably more convenient. (For comparison – the KTM Duke 200 handle has no end pieces). The 10 cm Lever yawn on both sides is quite convenient and ergonomic for de-clutching and front braking.


The seat is 70 cm long and has a max width of 25.5 cm (=10 inches) and is quite comfortable. Rider Leg-room is a convenient 60 cm and pillion leg-room is 56 cm which is quite ergonomic for my height of 174 cm. I am however, not too sure about the rear split grab-rails. I have a nagging fear (unfounded?) that loose clothing might get caught in the horns jutting out behind. Ground clearance is 150 mm at the end of the retracted main stand.

In keeping with current technology and building geometry, the TWO feet long (61 cm) rear swing-arm is of rectangular cross section, having 51 X 31 mm vertical X horizontal sides are quite solid and flex-free due to wall thickness of sheet metal being TWO mm.


While both, the rider footrests and pillion footrests are 12 cm long, the PRiCK of the gear shifter (LH) is just FOUR cm long and the PRiCK of the foot-brake lever (RH) is SiX cm long. I dunn0 how much weight is being saved due to these short PRiCKs. If the PRiCKs had been longer, my report would have been shorter bkoz I wouldn’t have made this comment on short PRiCKs. The THROW of both: the brake pedal and the gear shift lever at 14, cm is quite effective.



On this bike, I had a chance to measure fuel consumption very accurately and very comprehensively over 4148 km of highway riding by 75 kg rider Devjeet Saha (www.devjeetsaha.com). The measurement was done on a tankfull-to-tankfull basis. I filled the fuel tank right up to the brim, and to remove air bubbles (which are always there – and cause error in calculation), I shook the bike forward-backward & sideways, & tilted it low on both sides (LH / RH) to remove air bubbles and repeatedly topped up the tank till there were no more air bubbles. The 0d0 reading was 3854 km.

En-route to Ludhiana and back the ZMR was always filled with normal GREEN petrol at many places from different pumps of different companies. Thus this would also account for any CHEATiNG in quantity and quality almost throughout the Cunt Ree across the full range or 0iL companies including all kinds of cheating & be-imani.

Starting with a tankfull from Pune, Devjeet Saha filled various amounts of petrol at TEN different pumps, across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. After return to Pune, the fuel tank was again filled to the brim exactly as at the time of starting, including removing bubbles and all that. The total petrol filled was 106.24 liters and the distance covered was 4148 km. This gives the mileage of the Hero ZMR High Speed on highway==39 kmpL, which is EXCELLENT, given the kind of performance and reliability that the Hero ZMR gives! This mileage was achieved on sustained highway driving by Dev who is 26 kg heavier than me, riding at a minimum  average speed of 80 kmph – going up to 110 kmph whenever possible, which is many times. I think this mileage is MORE THAN excellent!

Why MORE than excellent? Bkoz of the quantum of cheating & be-imani that happens all over this Hole Cunt Ree! I have a very good friend (an ex-student of mine) who owns a few petrol pumps besides other businesses in Varanasi.  He told me, “Sir, 100% imaan-daar petrol pump owner does not exist. The true story of SatyaVaadi  HrishChandra (our ancestor) is taught to us by our grandmother. What we should learn from his story is NOT about praising HarishChandra for being Satyavaadi, but to learn from his bewaquoofi & stupidity for doing what he did. He said, “I myself also cheat. All meters can be “fixed”, and are always “fixed”. Mixing few % kerosene or diesel is almost compulsory. So believing in correct quality and quantity is illusory. So if we assume a nominal 10% be-imani, the mileage is 43, which is definitely MORE THAN excellent!



The mileage has already been mentioned above. The top speed which I have done on the ZMR is 116 kmph: speed0 indicated – single seat of 50 kg==me.  However, Devjeet Saha has done 130 kmph on this ZMR, single seat (75 kg) – inside the L-o-o-o-n-g  Straight  New Katraj Tunnel early morning (almost zero traffic) leaning as much as possible in front, chest almost touching the tank, head at handlebar level. This figure is also speed0 indicated.


I have not done the zero to sixty “stop-watch X headlight test on this ZMR, nor have I done sixty to zero, braking test. Every publication is giving these figures. I am not. Why? Bkoz I am doing more than that. What I need is “Getting-ahead ability and staying ahead ability” – which the ZMR has aplenty! When I go to college (16 km) on highway in weak traffic time, I am almost always ahead of all other traffic, which is what matters to 99% of people on the go. Nobody buys a stop watch (costs only 50 bucks) and does what I used to do in my earlier Road Test Reports and print magazines. Such figures figure only in verbal discussions among armchair nerds who quote different figures depending on WHiCH magazine they read. So by quoting the magazine’s name, these nerds give free publicity to that particular magazine, which is what magazines want – and are getting!


Real bikers DON’T quote magazine figures. They challenge the other figure claimer to a race then and there. If the other claimer is a biker, he will accept the challenge and race then and there. But if he is a NERD, he will say: Your magazine is not accurate, or wrong, or faltu, or some such thing. And just bkoz Shyam Kothari (top racer) can do zero to sixty on the ZMR in 3.5 seconds, doesn’t mean Dilip Bam and / or anybody else / everybody can also do the same on ZMR.


What matters is the capability of the bike. Did it / does it stop in time and in such a way that accident can be prevented? Yes it can and it did when donkey decided to stop right in front of Devjeet Saha who was doing almost 100 on the Ludhiana trip. So the bike can, but doesn’t mean that everyone can. Figures give facts about “Particular bike + Particular rider” as a single unit. If rider changes while bike remains same – figure changes; if bike changes while rider remains same – figure changes. So the figure doesn’t necessarily apply to me, or to you. Then why waste time creating them? From the magazine point of view it is not a waste of time. Investing this time makes the NERDs talk and quote your magazine’s name. Publicity! Verbal hype of your media! I am also media. So why am I not doing it?


I am not doing it bkoz there are practical problems. Earlier I used to do my braking tests on the approach road leading from Paud Road to ARAI hill. A Few years ago, ARAI just EXPANDED its area and gobbled up my test road into ARAI’s private property – with barbed wire, pillars, gates and watchmen preventing entry. This venue was no more available, so I moved my testing to NDA road, where I did the zero-to-sixty (pickup) and sixty-to-zero (braking) test. Few months ago, the NDA also EXPANDED its area, put up barricade and posted gun carrying soldiers, who ask questions. I am scared of soldiers, more so if they are carrying guns. So this venue is also closed. So a major reason for not doing these two tests is lack of suitable road space. However, the ZMR has proved its mettle in Devjeet Saha’s Ludhiana trip and my trip to Roha thru Tamini. Thus, the ZMR has excellent braking as well as excellent pickup and top speed, as good as any bike in this class – and then some!

VERDiCT:  With an ON ROAD price of 0ne-Lakh-Ten, this bike is a bargain. The performance is superb. The mileage is MORE than you expect. Excellent bright headlight beam for night travel on lonely roads; highly reliable and needs hardly any maintenance. You can always stay ahead of the traffic. You are always a winner if you are riding the Hero ZMR!


Team bikeguru:

bikeguru Dilip Bam: www.facebook.com/bikegurudilipbam

Devjeet Saha: www.facebook.com/sahadevjeet

Hrishikesh Mandke: www.facebook.com/hrishikesh.mandke

Photo Credits: www.djclicks.com 

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