In our first roadtest (January 2010) we test ride the new Bajaj Avenger, powered by an oil-cooled 220cc motor, to rediscover the evolution. The Avenger has been around while now (launched May 2005), it hasn’t been changed over years, but it’s aged well. Bajaj Avenger 220cc in already available select cities and is being dispatched to others. It’s still a well-designed cruiser that strikes all the right chords. The stretched out riding position, wide handlebars, extended footprint all work incredibly well to make long rides comfortable. Until now, it had a decent little engine too. And now they ‘ve improved on that as well, with a slightly better endowed motor making 19bhp, borrowed from it’s brother Pulsar. It has a fair amount of poke, which makes it a comfortable highway cruiser, and it has enough in reserve to make quick work of overtaking trucks and buses.
Morning start, the ride began with fast open stretches of NH17. The Avenger’s extra grunt from the 220cc motor took little time to impress. The speedo climbed towards three digit speeds effortlessly, but past 80kph, vibration levels weren’t quite impressive. On the brighter side, the Avenger’s cruiser stance was superbly comfortable and the handling wasn’t too bad either. It wasn’t peg scrapin’ material, with that fat 15-inch rear tyre keeping you in check, but relaxed and easy nonetheless. Plus the fact that Bajaj has the formula for the most comfortable seat sorted, made it that much easier to spend long hours on this bike.
The Avenger effortlessly purred on through the back roads, weaving through, crowded bazaars and dodging most of the potholes – but the few I didn’t manage to avoid really took their toll. As comfortable as the Avenger is, the long wheelbase and the stiff rear suspension really send the bike thudding into potholes. Add to that fact that the rear rim is a 15-incher and you end up getting caught by some of the smaller potholes as well. Not the best news for my back. The Avenger at just 70 grand proved to be a brilliantly affordable touring option, and somebody stop me before I chalked out another Avenger trip that I won’t want to come back from.
Bajaj Avenger 220cc is the big launch from pune bike maker after Discover 150cc. Bajaj Avenger is only affordable cruiser available in the market. Yet, Bajaj keeps updating constantly to make it contemporary. The 220cc under the tank of Avenger 220cc develops 19.03PS at 8400rpm and peak torque of 17.5Nm at 7000rpm. The 4 -stroke, single cylinder DTS-I engine displacing 219.89cc is air cooled with oil cooler. The mill is not fuel injected. Apart from the engine, nothing has changed both mechanically and visually. Only few body graphics here and there are the differentiators. Avenger 220cc continues to run 90/90 17″ tyres at front 130/90 15″ at the rear. Yet, they are not tubeless. Avenger features 260mm disc brake at the front and 130mm drum at the rear. Despite the new engine, Avenger 220cc weighs just 1/2 kg more than the Avenger 200cc. Bajaj Avenger 220cc is priced Rs69,930 (ex-showroom Delhi).