You might wonder why we have put the two motorcycles up against each other. It is ironic to see how the youth these days are crazy about the big fancy engines and all the horses that they have forgotten how it all started. I hold nothing against the current running CBZ Xtreme and will try keeping the comparison as unbiased as possible.
Indian roads were ruled (we apologize for the exaggeration) by small capacity, 100 cc motorcycles till end of 20th century. Keeping aside the glorious Royal Enfield, which by the way has gained popularity amongst the youths only recently, there were fast motorcycles in India. With all due respect, to the Yamaha Rx100, there were no true big displacement motorcycles. The ancestral motorcycles were passed on the next generations without many options in the market.
Who am I to comment on tradition of inheriting forefather’s ride. But I do know what the last gen motorcycles were and how we reached where we are today.
Hero Honda CBZ
Nowadays every amateur on two wheels thinks he’s a pilot. The journey from the slow bee to the extreme riders of today is largely pioneered by the Hero Honda CBZ. Launched back in 1999, the CBZ was the first ever Indian sports bike. In times when two-wheelers were meant for fuel-economy obsessed average chap, Hero Honda launched a motorcycle that was designed for speed. It was way ahead of its time.
Power came from a four-stroke, 156.8 cc, single-cylinder engine that pumped out 12 brake horses. This is a remarkable figure looking at the more recent 150 cc Yamaha FZ16, that develops 14 bhp. It was a long-stroke engine with 12.7 kgm of torque, that pulled the CBZ from dead to 60 kmph in 5 seconds. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, the motorcycle could reach groundbreaking speeds of up to 120 kmph, which was even difficult for the Pulsar that followed. With all the muscle, it was still a lightweight motorcycle sitting at just 138 kg. Other features include a masculine appeal of the motorcycle with a 12.5 litre tank that pleased the younger consumer. It sported disc brakes up front and rear drums, and electric self-start, features which were never seen in an Indian motorcycle before. The following models also featured alloy wheels. The CBZ Xtreme ruled the Indian roads for over 5 years, when the CBZ Star variant was launched with a revised carburetor design to give better fuel economy. It did deliver improved fuel-economy at the cost of the bikes acceleration and was phased out in 2005.
The phrase – it looks fast even while standing – fits best for the Hero Honda CBZ. Bajaj came up with the Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 180 in 2001, that just crashed the market of CBZ. With a shallow price tag and raw performance, the Pulsar was a definitely a keeper.
Hero MotoCorp CBZ Xtreme
Hero Honda answer to the Bajaj was the CBZ Xtreme that was launched with a new face in 2007. Though there was the more powerful Karizma already in the market, Hero Honda went with the CBZ, hoping it would do wonders like its predecessor. Powering it was a 14.3 bhp, 149.2 cc engine, borrowed from the Honda Unicorn. This was a more refined engine, with better torque figure (12.8 Nm) and could reach higher speeds. The bike featured air cooled engine, electric start, alloy wheels and front dics, features that were already seen in the forerunning motorcycle. Though it featured a more fancy instrument cluster and sporty graphics, it failed to impress the Pulsar-crazy Indian youth.
Lets not overshadow the good side to it. It has clear lens indicators, twin-colored alloys, dual tone RVM, LED lights, new visor and headlight with chrome finish, matt silver handlebar and brushed aluminum side scoops. The turn indicators were now integrated into the body of the motorcycle, which prevented them from collapsing on collision. Featuring up front was a massive fuel tank that gave masculine appeal with diagonal color tone. While on the performance end, it had a more refined engine with top-notch NVH isolation. With a shorter wheelbase and better ground clearance, the CBZ Xtreme had an amazing handling. But let’s face it. It lacked the aggression and style quotient of the first generation CBZ.
|Category||Hero Honda CBZ||Hero MotoCorp CBZ Xtreme|
|Engine||4-stroke, single cylinder, air - cooled, SOHC||4-Stroke Single Cylinder Air Cooled OHC|
|Displacement||156.8 cc||149.2 cc|
|Cluth||Wet Multi-plate||Wet Multi-plate|
|Carburetor:||Keihin slide type with accelerator pump|
|Ignition||Electronic CDI||AMI Advance microprcessing ignition|
|Starting||Kick starter/ Electric starter||Kick starter/ Electric starter|
|Frame||Tubular single semi-cradle with engine as stressed member||Tubular Diamond Type|
|Suspension Front||Telescopic hydraulic fork||Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absobers|
|Suspension Rear||Swing arm with dual hydraulic damper- 5-step adjustment||Swing arm with dual hydraulic damper|
|Wheel Base||1335 mm||1325 mm|
|Braking: (Front)||240mm Disc from NISSIN||240 mm Disc Non Asbestos Type|
|Braking: (Rear)||130mm Drum||130mm - Internal Expanding Shoe Type|
|Ground Clearance||160 mm||145.00 mm|
|Kerb Weight||138 kg||143.00 kg|
|Tyres:Rear||100/90*18-56P||100/90 18-56 P|
|Fuel tank||12.5 ltr||12.30 ltrs|
|Power||12 bhp||14.2 bhp|
|Torque||12.7 kgm||12.8 Nm|
|Top Speed||120 kmph||120 kmph|