2016 Bajaj V15 : Driven
A commuter which manages to stand out in the crowd
Bajaj launched their newest commuter in India called the’ V’ which perhaps breaks the stereotypes of commuter motorcycles in India. This new offering from Bajaj looks different from the rest of the lot and also carries a premium feel with it. What sets this motorcycle apart from the rest is the fact that each and everytime you swing your leg over the motorcycle you are opening an important chapter of history. The Bajaj V as you all know by now carries the metal from the scrapped INS Vikrant warship which served Indian navy in one of the most prestigious battle between Indian and Pakistan in 1971.
After the first aircraft carrier of India was relieved from its duty it was preserved as a museum ship in Mumbai. Later the museum was closed for safety of the visitors and in January 2014 this aircraft carrier was scrapped for metal. Bajaj brought the scrap metal ship and decided to engrave the same metal onto the fuel tank of their latest commuter motorcycle and thus "the legend is born once again".
After the successful stint with the Pulsar 150, Bajaj needed a new commuter which could win the hearts of the people equally. If we take a closer look the new V15 has been positioned cleverly in between the Discover and the Pulsar range giving a hint that the ’V’ is not exactly your daily commuter like the Discover series neither it wants to become a sporty commuter like the Pulsar series. So there you have it, a completely new 150 cc motorcycle which stands out in the group.
Recently I was able to get my hands on this motorcycle for an entire day so read the whole review to find out whether this new entrant in the 150 cc space has what it takes to make its presence felt in one of the most competitive motorcycle segments of the Country or not.
Click past jump to read more about the 2016 Bajaj V
Quite honestly when I saw this motorcycle for the first time I was confused, it did not looked like a typical commuter neither it was sporty enough. So what was it really?
The tail section reminds you of a café racer, while the chiseled tank and the low seat height gives you a feel of a cruiser. Whatever maybe the case I must agree that the headlamp design looks odd and perhaps is the most boring part of the motorcycle. Bajaj offers a detachable rear seat cowl which can be removed or set with the help of an Allen key provided with the ignition key. Whatever maybe the case the rear seat cowl definitely looks good on the motorcycle and adds a hint of sportiness to the motorcycle.
Bajaj even offers a detachable rear seat cowl which can be removed or set with the help of an Allen key provided with the ignition key
Towards the front profile the Bajaj V gets this unique looking headlamps design which as mentioned above looks odd, then there is the 18 inch wheels which gets wrapped with fat rubber. Just behind the headlamp unit is the analogue speedometer, odometer and a fuel indicator, unfortunately the Bajaj V misses out the digital speedometer and even a trip meter. The whole instrument cluster looks simple and reminds you of the bygone era. The chiseled tank with the fuel cap gets this INS Vikrant logo on it and the words “Made with the invincible metal of INS Vikrant” written on it.
Coming to the seats, quite honestly this is definitely the best rider seat that you will find in its class. The rider seat feels plush and the foot pegs are placed in right position giving you a commuter feel but the handlebars are placed far from the rider seat which makes the riding position bit odd specially when you are thinking of covering long distance.
The rear profile is definitely the most attractive part of this motorcycle, the beautifully shaped rear taillamps, the meaty rear grab rail bar all adds to the styling. The 16 inch rear wheels are actually smaller than the front wheels and get wrapped with thick rubber.
Overall this motorcycle surely looks odd but except the oddly shaped headlamps everything else remind you of retro motorcycle.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The best part of this motorcycle is that it is powered by a completely new 149.5 cc, single cylinder, air cooled, four stroke engine which makes about 12 Hp of peak power at 7, 500 rpm and 13 Nm of torque at 5, 500 rpm. The engine is paired to a 5 speed gearbox with all up gear pattern.
The engine is quite responsive but it does not hurry into things
Switch on the ignition and press the power start button and the motorcycle awakens and settles immediately with a soft yet throaty tone. Although the motorcycle does not produces huge amount of power but there is enough torque which can be felt as soon as you switch to the first gear and let go off that clutch. The engine is quite responsive but it does not hurry into things. The motorcycle is rev friendly and happy upto speeds of 50 km/h but once you cross that speed limit things changes and you feel like you are slightly stressing the engine, Cross the 70 km/h mark and the engine now shows discomfort and vibrations starts to creep in from the footpegs. Push it even higher and the engine sounds stressed and tells you that it does not like to get pushed hard.
So the Bajaj V proves that is a commuter motorcycle which can cover distance with ease of you let it stay within its comfort zone. There is enough juice for you in low gears and the engine is smooth and responsive within its limit. I got my hands on a completely new motorcycle but still I felt that the gearbox is rough and Bajaj could have worked little bit more in making the gearbox a tad bit smoother for crispier up and down shifts.
|Type||Single cylinder, 4 stroke, SOHC 2 valve, Air cooled, DTS-i|
|Max power(PS @ RPM)||12 @ 7500|
|Max torque(Nm @RPM)||13 @ 5500|
RIDE AND HANDLING
The motorcycle has been built around a double downtube frame and I was honestly impressed with how the motorcycle handles. It changes direction fast and one can maneuver the motorcycle really quickly which is its big advantage. The Bajaj V has been fitted with telescopic forks towards the front and Twin spring-loaded hydraulic-type, gas charged suspension setup for its rear. The suspension setup feels composed and can handle bad roads with ease but the bigger potholes can be easily felt. As already mentioned above the Bajaj V wheels gets wrapped with Eurogrip rubbers which surprisingly provides enough traction.
The brakes too works perfectly in bringing the bike to a halt, the Bajaj V uses a 230 mm disc towards the front and 130 mm drum brakes for its rear setup. The 13 Litre tank gives the motorcycle descent range. As far as fuel economy is concerned expect the Bajaj V to return about 55-60 kmpl which is quote impressive. The motorcycle weighs about 135 kilograms which also adds to the advantage.
The Bajaj V is priced at around INR. 62,002 (ex showroom Delhi) and is available with two color options.
I know that the Splendor Pro Classic is only an entry level moptorcycle which is powered by the same Air Cooled, 4 - Stroke Single Cylinder OHC, 97.2 cc engine which makes about 8.36 Ps of peak power at 8000 rpm and 8.05 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. The engine is paired to a 4 speed manual gearbox. The reason why we put the splendor pro classic along with the new Bajaj V is because they both look unique in their segment and perhaps sets an example that the commuter motorcycle can even look good.
Let me just close this case by saying that Bajaj V definitely is one of the most unique commuter motorcycle that does not want to appear sporty neither it wants to blend with the rest of the contenders out there available in the market today.
There is something really unique about this motorcycle which can’t actually be described in just few words. Offcourse! A little bit more refinement and extra power would have spiced things up but overall Bajaj has done a descent job of providing a 150 cc commuter which can surely turn heads without being too loud.
- * Unique Styling
- * Engine refinement
- * Plush ride quality
- * Gearbox still feels notchy
- * More power could have spiced up things
- * odd looking headlamp shape