Way back in 1999, Hero Honda (I am not sure what to call it now) launched the Hero Honda CBZ in India. Well so far so good. What next? The day it was launched, this bike attracted the young and old with its sporty styling. I will confess that the CBZ was the bike which actually hooked me onto the biking maniac that I am. From a distance I could recognize that it is a CBZ coming my way. Not with the visual cue but with the sound from its exhaust. After 2001, the CBZ got a lesser bore silencer and so the somewhat throaty roar vanished. Then came the CBZ Star with its refreshed decals and nothing by way of an engine upgrade. What the older CBZ wanted was better head lights and a fuel efficient engine. I used to own a CBZ in my college days and these were the only complaints that I used to hear from others who had the CBZ. Well my subject today is the new Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme in India. The earlier CBZ Xtreme, if my memory serves me right was launched in 2006 or early 2007. However two years down the line, there was a refreshed CBZ Xtreme with new decals and all.
The Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme in India doesn’t look like the one that it replaced earlier on. Not the Xtreme one but the Star one. The bikini fairing has got the chrome striped pilot lamp on the top like Lord Shiva’s third eye with a visor above it and the head lamp below it. The clear lens turn indicators have been neatly integrated onto the bikini fairing. The front mud guard is half body colored and half black. The Karizma R derived alloy wheels look great on this bike. The paint quality has noticeably improved than the older variant. Like the Hunk from its stable, the Extreme also gets red sprinkling for the spark plug holder, rear end and even the mirrors. There is a chrome strip near the air filter panel and below that is scribbled ATFT. The tail pipe unit is completely black save for the chrome shield and the chrome ring at the end. The rear portion is from the Karizma ZMR’s rear was inspired and it has got that clear lens thing going for it with those split grab rails. Here too the indicators are neatly molded into the tail lamp cluster. Ohh, did I forget to mention that the wheels of the CBX Xtreme are now available in two different colors for the front and rear. Options are red or orange for the rear and black for the front or if you want red on both the wheels, black on both the wheels or even red on both the wheels.
The seating position of the Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme in India does feel a mix of sporty and commuterish. Infact more of the latter. Its brake pedal is metal drilled and doesn’t have rubber pads. Instead it does away with that concept entirely. The pillion is perched higher than the front seat. Front seat has ample cushioning even though the set itself feels a bit thin. The rear seat is totally flat. Even a tall rider like me could grip the tank shrouds well but then it feels out of touch once the speeds rise and especially so when hard riding is demanded. The white plastic surrounded meter dials are all analog and comprise of a tripmeter, odometer, tachometer and a small fuel gauge meter.
Time to ride it and I am all geared up for the same. The bike gets the a bit rear set foot pegs and a single linkage toe shifter. Just like the old CBZ. The engine is shared with the Honda Unicorn, Honda Dazzler, Hero Honda Achiever and the Hero Honda Hunk. It is a 149.2 cc engine developed by Honda and used by Hero Honda as well. However the Xtreme in keeping with its sporty intentions get a bit more power from the same unit. The Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme in India gets 14.4 Ps of peak power at 8500 rpm whereas the torque figure reads as 12.8 Nm at 6,500 rpm. The transmission is a 5 speed manual with the 1 down four up shift pattern. The gear lever system felt smooth however the shift from 2nd to 3rd was met with some resistance. The bike easily crosses the 0-60 kmph mark however you really need to look at the speedo to see what speed the bike is going at. Unlike the Pulsar or Apaches, this bike doesn’t give the sense of speed. The 80-100 kmph mark takes a bit of time and thereafter to its top speed of 111 kmph, it is a struggle. The engine though extremely refined in the Honda Unicorn is more of a vocal singer in the Xtreme. However vibes are nicely isolated and its only at the top if its rev range do the vibes present themselves. As far as the ride quality goes, the CBZ doesn’t boast of any gas shock absorber gimmicks and as such has a bit of harsh ride quality. However this hard sprung suspension aids in the handling department with the CBZ sometimes allowing peg scraping action. However the thin disc brake lever left a lot to be desired in terms of feel. Nevertheless the stopping power is excellent. The rear brake also worked fine without showing any signs of fade.
As regards fuel efficiency, the all new Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme in India has rectified the biggest flaw in the old CBZ’s package. It is said that the Xtreme returns 46 kmpl in city and 54 kmpl on the highway. Compare this with the old CBZ’s figures of 33 kmpl in city and 27 kmpl on the highway. I am not taking of the fuel efficiency figures quoted by any agency but from personal experience. I remember that the initial CBZ had a price tag of more than Rs 79000 however the new Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme price in India with standard disc brake in front, tripmeter, LED tail lamps and electric start would set you back by Rs 64,400.
Technical Specifications of the Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme
Dimensions & Weight:
Length (mm) : 2080
Height (mm) : 1145
Width (mm) : 765
Wheelbase (mm) : 1325
Ground Clearance (mm) : 145
Weight (kgs) : 141
Model Designation : Air Cooled, 4 Stroke OHC
Idle Speed : 1400 rpm
Starting mode : Self Start/Kick Start
Displacement (cc) : 149.2cc
Bore & Stroke : 57.3 X 57.8 MM
Ignition : AMI – Advanced Microprocessor Ignition System
Front : Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorber
Rear : Swing arm with adjustable hydraulic shock absorber
Front : 240 mm Disc
Rear : Internal expanding shoe type drum
Front : 2.75 X 18″ 42 P (Alloy)
Rear : 100/90 x 18 – 56 P (Alloy)
Fuel Tank : 12.3 Lts.
Max. Horsepower : 14.4 PS @ 8,500 RPM
Max. Torque : 12.80 NM @ 6,500 RPM