2015 Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220
In the Indian two wheeler market, the segment of cruisers has been one of the most unexplored potentials, as far as the thinking of enthusiasts is concerned. Since the inception of motorcycles in India, there have been very few cruisers which have been tailor-made for the Indian consumers - save for the motorcycles coming out of Royal Enfield, out of which only the Thunderbird has been categorized under true-blue cruisers.
In today’s day and age, though there are a large number of cruisers, especially from Harley Davidson, Triumph, Hyosung and Indian, but all of them are out of reach for most of the price conscious buyers. For them, the Bajaj Avenger is right now one of the very few hopes present in the Indian market.
Bajaj has finally rolled out a much awaited update of the Bajaj Avenger in two variants – Street and Cruise. Out of the two, the Cruise variant is the one which more or less bears a strong sense of familiarity when compared with the previous generation Avenger (the ‘Street’ variant comes with a long list of cosmetic changes). Here’s a comprehensive description of the all new Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220.
- Year: 2015
- Make: Bajaj
- Price: INR 84000
When putting it against the erstwhile Avenger 220, the new Avenger Cruise 220 is more of a step up on the front of cosmetic changes, though this leap is not too giant, but very minute and noticeable. The low slung styling and lots of chrome detailing gives the Avenger Cruise 220 an old school charm which none of the cruisers in its segment have.
On the front, the Avenger Cruise 220 looks the same as the old Avenger 220, with the chrome bathed round headlamp and round turn indicators, with the huge windscreen now being offered as a part of the standard equipment (unlike the windscreen which was offered as an optional add-on in the previous Avengers).
On moving sideways, you will realize the minute changes Bajaj has carried out for the new Avenger Cruise 220. The curvaceous fuel tank is the same unit as before, but now comes embossed with a unique ‘Avenger’ insignia, which gives an indigenous identity to the brand ‘Avenger’. The sloping chrome bar above the fuel tank still houses the fuel gauge as before, but the fonts within it have changed. The low slung single piece seat has too been retained, but the pillion backrest has been mildly redesigned, with new pillion grab rails integrated in it. The Avenger Cruise 220 is the variant which comes with spoke wheels as before, but the chrome finished exhaust pipe on this version is an all new unit, which looks sleeker than before.
At the rear, the changes are almost negligible, with the ovular tail lamp and round turn indicators still present in the same fashion. Though this time, the turn indicators are clear lens units. For the Avenger Cruise 220, Bajaj has opted the old school riding posture of high mounted handlebar,, with drop down palm grips, which come with chrome finished bar end weights. The chrome rear view mirrors of the erstwhile model have been retained on the Avenger Cruise 220 as well. The instrument console, though, is an all new unit, with the round console now packing in an analog speedometer and a small LCD screen for digital readouts of odometer and trip meter. The overall fit and finish is better than before, but there’s still some room for improvement.
Powering the new Avenger Cruise 220 is the same old four stroke, single cylinder, oil cooled, carbureted, 220cc DTS-i engine from the previous generation Avenger 220. Though the engine still develops the same performance outputs – 19.03 PS of maximum power and 17.5 Nm of maximum torque, the engine has become a bit more smooth and responsive, which is evident on the go. Also the vibrations this time have been controlled in a much better way, especially at higher revs.
The Avenger has always been praised for the punchy midrange its engine packs in, a trait which thankfully is still present in the new Avenger Cruise 220. Though in the higher end of the rev range, the Avenger Cruise 220 could have done with a bit more power, as during the peak of the triple digit speeds, the engine does feel a bit stressed sometimes. The five speed gearbox with which the engine has been mated is the same unit as before, but the gear ratios have been reworked with, due to which the gearshifts have been improved.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Like the powertrain, the basic mechanicals on the Avenger Cruise 220 have too been carried forward from the previous Avenger 220. The bike still comes with the same set of hydraulic telescopic forks with anti friction bushes at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear. Nevertheless, the suspension is fine tuned to gulp up all the undulations and rough patches with ease, because of which the Avenger has always been highly regarded as a comfortable motorcycle to be on.
The riding posture is spot on for a cruiser – lowered seating position, forward stretched foot pegs and high mounted handlebar, which gives an ergonomically fit posture for all kinds of riders. Though during the low city speeds, the maneuverability can be an issue, but once you get used to this seating posture, it may not be a big problem. The brakes too have been retained as well – 260mm disc at front and 130mm drum at rear. The negligence of a rear disc brake may be a big miss for most of the riders who are looking for a bike in this segment.
The Avenger was always known for a stupendous value for money offering, which offered the feel of a big bike at a shockingly low price tag equivalent of a 150cc street commuter. Like before, the new Avenger Cruise 220 is too priced attractively at Rs. 84,000, which makes it an incredible value for money offering. Sadly though, the motorcycle is available in only one paint scheme of Divine Black.
The sole true competitor of Bajaj Avenger in the very limited cruiser segment of motorcycles in this entry level range is the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Like the Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220, the Thunderbird 350 gives the true cruiser feel one would want in this range of motorcycles. Though on the front of looks, where the Avenger Cruise 220 has a typical low slung chopper inspired styling of old school cruisers, the Thunderbird 350 comes with a more contemporary design.
Compared to the 220cc engine, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 comes with a four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, fuel injected, 349cc engine, which puts up 20 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque. These figures surely give Thunderbird 350 a substantial edge over the Avenger Cruise 220. Also, a projector headlamp, tachometer, twin gas charged hydraulic coil springs at the rear and disc brakes at both the ends also make the Thunderbird 350 a better equipped motorcycle when compared to the Avenger Cruise 220.
The Bajaj Avenger was one of the oldest motorcycle in the Indian market which badly needed a substantial update to match on the competition’s pace. But sadly, the new Avenger Cruise 220 is not that huge leap which one was hoping for. Where the cosmetic updates are very minimal, there are almost negligible revamp in the areas of powertrain and riding dynamics. Overall, Bajaj lost on a very big opportunity to reignite the charm of the brand Avenger. Nevertheless, it’s not all bad, with the engine now being more refined than before and lots of chrome detailing still imparting the bling factor on the motorcycle. And then, the price at which the Avenger Cruise 220 is nothing but a bliss for a majority of buyers who want a big cruiser like feel which is friendly to their pockets. The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 is one incredible value for money offering, but an all new generation change, it isn’t.
- * Chrome detailing
- * riding comfort
- * price
- * Minimal upgrades to engine and mechanicals
- * no rear disc brake