Bajaj Avenger Review
Refreshed & UpgradedMonday, November 11, 2013
Design and Style
The Bajaj Avenger 220 is a cruiser-type performance motorcycle that serves as a successor to Bajaj’s popular cruiser, the Avenger 200, but the similarities between the two models are extensive. So is the Avenger 220 worth a second look, or has Bajaj's usually innovative R&D department blundered by introducing such a close sibling?
Design and Style
Unfortunately, the time that Bajaj has had to update the bike hasn’t been spent on its exterior – it’s strongly reminiscent of the 200, and the worst characteristics of that earlier model. In particular, the 220 is bulky and feels overweight. Despite a slightly leaner frame than the 200, the bike weighs in at 154 kg, and its front-positioned dual down-tube frame and rear-wheel swing arm look very old-fashioned. Bajaj have gone for a bigger, boxier, more classic aesthetic for this bike: a large round headlamp and rectangular rear-view mirrors are prominent characteristics. Its windshield is unattractive, and looks flimsy. Material quality is surprisingly high: its aluminium levers and metal handlebar weights look solid, durable and classy.
Unlike many of the newly updated Bajaj models, such as the Pulsar 180, the Avenger 220 features a wholly analogue instrument console, including analogue tachometer, analogue trip meter, analogue speedometer and analogue fuel gauge, as well as low-battery, low-oil and low-fuel indicators. All of the displays are clearly visible, but it’s disappointing that Bajaj haven’t made the upgrade, and it might push potential buyers toward the 180.
Engine and Gearbox
The market offers relatively little competition to the 220 – not many of the major manufacturers have yet ventured into this territory, and the discontinuation of the Yamaha Enticer left a considerable gap in the market. The Avenger 220 is equipped with a 219.8cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine, capable of a maximum power output of 19 Bhp at 8100 rpm and a maximum torque of 17.5 Nm at 7000 rpm. It has a five-speed gearbox that performs smoothly, giving the bike a crisp and positive feel with powerful throttling and a broad ability across all power spreads.
Acceleration and Top Speed
The bike’s powerful engine provides excellent pick-up and decent top speeds. You’ll get 120 kmph out of it at the top end, which is slightly disappointing given its capability. Some may also be disappointed with the acceleration, but it’s not half bad: 0 to 60 kms per hour in only 5.9 seconds. It should be noted, however, that Pulsar’s 200NS can make the jump in just 3.6 seconds, which puts the Bajaj to shame.
Bajaj have equipped the 220 with their patented DTS-i technology: the dual spark plugs at the top of the engine designed to improve performance and provide greater fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, the bike’s weight and bulk mean that what fuel efficiency this technology does provide is cancelled out, and the bike offers very poor economy: you’ll only get between 25 to 45 kilometres per litre on average: if you’re driving it on city roads, you’ll get 35, and for longer journeys on open highways it will push to 43 kmpl. The bike’s fuel tank has a maximum capacity of 14 litres.
Comfort while driving
One of the notable ways in which the Avenger 220 differs from its predecessor, the Avenger 200, is the comfort of the bike – it’s a considerably more pleasant ride than that earlier model. Its rider seat is broader than that of the 200, and the riding position is more ergonomic and splayed-out, giving greater comfort as well as improved aerodynamics – the rider will feel considerably less air resistance when moving at high speed.
The bike doesn’t come equipped with any notable safety features, but its headlamp is powerful enough to make night-riding a breeze.
The Avenger 220 is built without any considerable storage space, being a performance motorcycle.
Suspension & Braking
The Bajaj Avenger 220 is equipped with telescopic suspension at the front, and hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear. The bike is equipped with 260 mm disc brakes at the front and 130 mm drum brakes at the rear. The bike’s brakes are excellent – they feel powerful, responding instantly to the squeeze of the hand with great sensitivity, and braking is stable and balanced, even from top speeds.
Ride and Handling
Overall, the Avenger 220 offers only average to poor handling – the ride experience is not what we’ve come to expect from Bajaj, who usually produce quick, able machines that can tackle dense traffic with ease and don’t display any imbalance when leaning. In heavy traffic, the bike’s bulk does it no favours – it feels slow, sluggish and difficult to manoeuvre. When turning through corners and cutting bends, it feels more capable than its predecessor, the 200, but the experience is still something of an ordeal.
The Avenger’s wheels are multi-spoke type, plated with chrome, and look chunky but classic. The front wheel is a 90/90 x 17 and the rear wheel is a 130/90 x 15.
Bajaj Avenger 220 is available in three shades: Plasma Blue, Cocktail Wine Red and Midnight Black.
Any accessories for the bike must be purchased on top of the stated price – there are none included.
The Bajaj Avenger 220 comes in a single standard variant. Its more powerful elder sibling is the Avenger 200, which has a triple-spark, four-valve, SOHC engine.
Reasons to Buy
The Avenger 220 offers a highly powered engine with superb performance, strong pick-up and top speeds, capable braking and good riding comfort.
Value for Money
At an ex-showroom price of roughly INR 76000 (approx., may vary), the Avenger 220 doesn’t come cheap – you’re paying for all of that extra engine power. Compared to the other vehicles in this segment, the price is far from outrageous, although drivers will find the lack of additional features disappointing.
Whether or not you’ll like this bike will depend on whether you view it as classic or simply old-fashioned. If digital instruments are not a necessity, or if you want a bike with serious raw power, the Avenger 220 is a great buy.