2016 Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition
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.
In 2015, Bajaj did gave a nice and much awaited makeover to its good old Avenger, which definitely has helped to pick up the sales of the motorcycle. To spice up the appeal of the motorcycle even further, Bajaj has now come up with the Desert Gold Edition of the Avenger Cruise 220. The changes are just limited to cosmetic, while the mechanical underpinnings as well as powertrain have been kept intact. Here’s a comprehensive description of the all new Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition:-
The low slung styling and lots of chrome detailing of the Avenger Cruise 220 already has an old school charm which none of the cruisers in its segment have, and with the Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition, Bajaj has made the motorcycle feel even more plush and premium, with the sparkling paint shade of light golden giving it an air of sophistication.
On the front, the Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition looks the same as the standard Avenger Cruiser 220, with the chrome bathed round headlamp and round turn indicators, with the huge windscreen being offered as a part of the standard equipment.
On moving sideways, Bajaj has retained the entire side profile from the standard Avenger Cruise 220, including the curvaceous fuel tank which comes embossed with a unique ‘Avenger’ insignia as well as the sloping chrome bar above the fuel tank which houses the fuel gauge as before. The low slung single piece seat has too been retained, but here on the Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition, the seat gets a premium looking beige finish, and so is the pillion backrest, which also gets new pillion grab rails integrated in it. It also retains the spoke wheels as well as chrome finished single piece exhaust of the standard Avenger Cruise 220.
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 Desert Gold Edition, Bajaj has opted the old school riding posture of high mounted handlebar, which is the same as the standard Avenger Cruise 220, with drop down palm grips, which come with chrome finished bar end weights and chrome rear view mirrors. 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, especially the switchgear, which still feel like as if it belongs to a decade old motorcycle.
Powering the new Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition is the same old four stroke, single cylinder, oil cooled, carbureted, 220cc DTS-i engine from the standard Avenger Cruise 220. Retained from the previous generation Avenger, this engine still develops the same performance outputs – 19.03 PS of maximum power and 17.5 Nm of maximum torque, but here, 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 Desert Gold Edition. Though in the higher end of the rev range, the motorcycle 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 Desert Gold Edition have too been carried forward from the standard Avenger Cruise 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 this motorcycle 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 the other current day Avengers, the new Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition is too priced attractively at Rs. 85,497, which makes it an incredible value for money offering. As evident from the name, the Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition comes in a shade of light golden, which seems to be inspired from the golden sands of a desert.
The sole true competitor of Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition in the very limited cruiser segment of motorcycles in this entry level range is the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Like the Bajaj Avenger, 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 Desert Gold Edition 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 Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition. 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 Desert Gold Edition.
The new Avenger Cruise 220 sadly was not that huge leap which one was hoping for, especially considering the fact that the Avenger platform needed and deserved a much more comprehensive upgrade. However, with this Desert Gold avatar, the Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition definitely can be counted as one of the most premium and rich looking cruiser motorcycles in the affordable sub-Rs. 1 lakh segment. Where the cosmetic updates are very minimal, there are almost negligible revamp in the areas of powertrain and riding dynamics. 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 Desert Gold Edition is available is nothing but bliss for a majority of buyers who want a big cruiser like feel which is friendly to their pockets. The Avenger Cruise 220 Desert Gold Edition is one incredible value for money offering, but an all new generation change, it isn’t.
- * Looks
- * riding comfort
- * price
- * No rear disc brake
- * dated switchgear