2016 Bajaj V15
When it comes to making motorcycles with passion and creativity, there are very few manufacturers who succeed in their intention. One such manufacturer is Bajaj Auto. One of the most renowned brands in the field of two wheelers, Bajaj, in the past, has given a number of successful products which not only changed our vision of seeing two wheelers, but also has managed to be successfully acceptable on the expectations of the consumers and be emotionally attached with them.
Bajaj Auto has once again proved that it doesn’t lack the spirit of making motorcycles with soul and vehemence, with the all new V15. So, what’s special about this all new motorcycle from Bajaj, you ask? Well, this premium commuter motorcycle has contains the invincible metal of the mighty INS Vikrant, the famous warship/aircraft carrier, which was one of heroes of the memorable 1971 Indo-Pak battle.
With the intention of not letting history fade into the oblivion, Bajaj has utilized the remains of INS Vikrant, which was dismantled in 2014, in its all new V15. But there’s a lot more to the V15, which also happens to be the first ever café racer from Bajaj Auto. Here’s our comprehensive take on the all new Bajaj V15.
It has to be agreed that the Bajaj V15 is a very distinctive motorcycle, especially in the segment in which it falls into. The motorcycle happens to be a café racer, which actually is a blend of a cruiser motorcycle and a premium commuter.
The front face of the V15 has been inspired from the Pulsar CS 400 concept, which was previewed at the Auto Expo 2014. It includes a curvy and bulbous headlamp unit, which comes with integrated pilot lamps at both of its upper corners. The front fender is a simple unit, though the front forks come with small protectors in the halfway of them.
It is the side profile of the V15, which proves that this bike has substance. The fuel tank happens to be the most talked about aspect of this motorcycle, which is actually forged out of the molten metal of the INS Vikrant, the warship which has been talked about in the introduction part. The fuel tank comes with striped graphics, and the whole reminds you that of the very premium and much more powerful Moto Guzzi V7II café racer. The side body cowls are subtly designed as well, but at the same time, the rear profile of the motorcycle has been designed in a glitzy manner, with a removable pillion seat cowl and fender mounted LED tail lamp giving the V15 a very distinctive rear design.
The instrument console of the motorcycle, though, looks a bit bland, with the complete analog unit having a round analog speedometer in the left and a separate bay for fuel gauge and other warning lights to its right. Thankfully, Bajaj has chosen premium switchgear for the V15, though it misses out on the engine kill switch. The rear view mirrors have been sourced from the Avenger Street 150, which matches the overall persona of the motorcycle. The alloy wheels too have been tastefully designed too, though we would have liked the engine to be painted in black as well, which here comes finished in grey.
Being the fifth 150cc motorcycle in the current portfolio of Bajaj Auto, the V15 comes with the same four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 149.5cc engine from the Pulsar 150 which has been powering the latter since the last ten years. Though, the engine has been heavily tweaked to make it more suitable for torque lovers, with the engine pumping out 12 PS of maximum power and 13 Nm of maximum torque.
As evident from the figures, the engine is not a sprinter like the current crop of 150cc naked streetfighters, but then it manages to impress you with the sheer amount of torque, especially in the lower end of the rev range. The engine comes mated to the same 5-speed transmission unit from the Pulsar 150, which comes with long ratios for the optimum usage of the amount of torque available.
RIDE AND HANDLING
In this particular department, Bajaj has played it safe by adopting a conventional setup for suspension and brakes for the V15. The motorcycle has been equipped with 37mm hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and gas charged twin hydraulic coil springs at the rear.
The motorcycle comes with a broad set of tyres, which have been shared with the Pulsar 180, which make the V15 a comfortable motorcycle to ride in almost all the conditions. The V15 comes with a nice 240mm petal disc brake at the rear, but has a 130mm drum brake at the rear. We definitely would have loved to see a rear disc brake as well.
Keeping the tradition of pricing its motorcycles very competitively, Bajaj has promised to price the V15 in the same league as well. The motorcycle is expected to hit the showroom floors in the month of March 2016, in an expected price range of Rs. 60000 to 65000. That’s one stellar price range, if you ask us.
However, the Bajaj V15 will be available in only one variant, which will be endowed with electric starter and front disc brake as standard equipment. The motorcycle comes with two livery options – Ebony Black and Pearl White.
The Bajaj V15 is purely a very distinctive motorcycle, as it blends the design cues of a commuter, cruiser and café racer in a single package. This increases its exclusivity and genuineness in the segment to which it belongs, which comes with naked streetfighters as its only direct competitors, as far as mechanical specifications go.
However, given its café racer stance, the nearest competitor to the Bajaj V15 is Hero’s bland attempt in making a café racer, Splendor Pro Classic. Unlike the beefy looking V15, the Splendor Pro Classic looks puny and lean, which lacks the muscle which a café racer should possess.
Under the skin too, the Splendor Pro Classic is a much weaker motorcycle as compared to the V15, as its single cylinder, air cooled, 97.2cc engine pumps out only 8.36 PS of power. Overall, the Bajaj V15 succeeds in giving you a feel of a bigger and more powerful motorcycle over the Splendor Pro Classic.
To almost all the consumers out there, the Bajaj V15 is a very special motorcycle, if its heritage is taken into consideration. Perhaps no other new motorcycle contains such a remarkable heritage appeal and soul which the V15 has – by containing the metal of INS Vikrant, the motorcycle surely does possess a special appeal which perhaps no other motorcycle contains.
The overall design is indeed a distinctive one, but many not impress everyone with its slightly unusual stance. The engine may look weak on paper as far as power is concerned, but has enough punch owing to the availability of substantial amount of torque on tap. The ride quality is just adequate, which makes the V15 a nice commuter to live with. With the V15, Bajaj surely has managed to carve out a new niche of motorcycles – the one which is high on aspirational value.