For those of who follow this blog or the Facebook page are aware that I have been riding a 2013 Hero Karizma. Karizma which is great a bike, a legend few may say and it is certainly close to my heart. Because it was this bike that got my in the beautiful world of touring. (Before Karizma I rode a 2006 Honda Unicorn for 8 years but limited to city commutes)
When Karizma was launched back in 2003, the people of my generation went crazy about it. There was nothing as exciting and as powerful bike as Karizma that was made in India for the Indian masses, provided you were ready to shell out about a lakh of rupees.
Cut to 2013, the news of Hero and Honda split was making rounds. Knowing the fact the spares will be an issue, I decided to get one (before the plug gets pulled on it) over the much advanced Bajaj Pulsar 220 then. Simply because I was more used to the feel of the Honda Engine (Thank you Unicorn).
I had tons of fun with Karizma (40,000 km of it to be precise). After 5 years of ownership I could understand the pros and cons, what works and what does not.
- Karizma can keep running all day long at 80-90 kmph without complaining
- While doing so, the vibrations levels are not uncomfortable. The riders triangle is just perfect for long day stints
- For 225cc, 17bhp power and 18 N-m torque, approximately 40 kmpl never pinched my pocket
- Great low end torque is a boon in stop and go traffic
- A good set of tires and long wheel base really helps in stability
- Hero’s wide service network meant less downtime if things went downwards. Also simple mechanical design meant DIY is possible
- Spares issue has been haunting Karizma since its initial days.
- The cost of spares are on the rise
- I have done required touring modifications yet after every long ride it requires some TLC to keep it in top shape
Other than these 3 points, Karizma fits the bill perfectly. But after having exposed to new technology and powerful bikes, I sort of felt that I have outgrown Karizma. Having said that, I still enjoy riding Karizma and working on it. However, spending your riding days limited to one bike and devoiding yourself from experiencing other is like being a narrow minded person.