Cruiser Motorcycles have always been a rare breed in India, and the ‘Cruiser Motorcycle’ tag has always been associated with a Harley-Davidson. Well, Harley-Davidson does make some of the best cruiser motorcycles in the world and yes, only the wealthy can afford Harley’s. What about the common man, who lacked the Vitamin ‘M’ needed to purchase the Harley, and yet loved cruiser motorcycles? The Boffins over at Bajaj saw this need and came to the common man’s rescue way back in 2005, and the Bajaj Avenger has, since then been the favorite budget cruiser motorcycle for many, and I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that it has attained cult status over the years. The Bajaj Avenger has its own fan following and there are a few Avenger Biking groups scattered all over the country as well.
The Bajaj Avenger has been on-sale for the past 5 years in its 220cc guise, and to be honest, even though it was selling pretty well, it did seem like it was getting a bit too old, and to be fair, the design had not changed much in the last decade. Bajaj had just added more Chrome to the motorcycle, and it desperately needed a refresh. We’re glad that Bajaj too was thinking on similar lines.
A few months earlier, Bajaj revealed that it would be updating the Avenger, and the Internet was awash with rumors that it would be powered by an all-new engine, this all got the cruiser motorcycle enthusiasts excited for sure but Bajaj surprised us as usual, by launching the motorcycle with the same engine, or should I say motorcycles? Yes, the Biggest surprise was that Bajaj was launching 3 variants of the Avenger together, and the 3 variants were different not just in aesthetics, but also in some of the mechanical’s, and it all ended-up in sales figures increasing drastically. So, that is mission accomplished then for Bajaj.
What interests us most is the Bajaj Avenger Street 220, let me explain why. Cruiser motorcycles have been in existence for a long-time now, and all those cruiser motorcycles which created the cult were all immersed in chrome. Somehow, the word cruiser motorcycle has almost been a synonym for, Motorcycles with lots of chrome. Now, this whole hullabaloo behind the chrome treatment was never understood by me. For me, cruiser motorcycles are all about, low-slung motorcycles with comfortable seats, relaxed riding position, soft suspension and a decent engine, and I am pretty sure there are thousands of people out there with the same views about excessive chrome. Even Harley-Davidson, who started the whole chrome treatment trend made a few motorcycles such as the Street 750, the Iron 883, the V-Rod etc. with minimal usage of chrome, so why shouldn’t Bajaj?
Bajaj has employed a similar all-black approach in designing the Avenger Street 220. For starters, Bajaj did away with the Chrome Spoked Wheels and has made use of trendy all-black alloy wheels on the Street 220, and these wheels look suspiciously similar to that on some Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Even the names are close, making the Avenger feel dearer to the American motorcycle maker. The all-black treatment follows on most other parts of the motorcycle too, such as the fuel tank, the exhaust pipe, the rear shock absorbers, the engine block, the cylinder, the tank mounted instrument pod, the front disk brake calipers, and even the front suspension fork has a black dust cover on it to hide the chrome underneath. Almost all of the parts mentioned here were chromed on the earlier Avenger and also on the current Avenger Cruise 220. However, the dark theme now makes the new Street 220 a head-turner for its segment.
The Avenger Street 220 is powered by the same oil-cooled, 219.89cc, single-cylinder engine which powered the previous-gen Avenger and Bajaj has not made any changes to it, so the engine still produces a maximum power of 18.8 BHP @ 8,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 17.5 Nm @ 7,000 rpm and drive is sent to the rear wheel through a 5-speed gearbox. Other mechanical bits however, are not the same as the previous-gen Avenger or even the current gen Avenger Cruise 220. The Avenger Street 220 measures the same 2177mm as the Avenger Cruise 220 in length, but 5mm lesser in width, 70mm lesser in height and the Street 220 weighs 5 kilograms lesser than the Cruise 220.
Well, the Bajaj Avenger Street 220 sure looks like a winner to me already, and even from the perspective of the sales department at Bajaj, the Street 220 will bring in the desired numbers, especially with the festive season coming-up, and the Avenger will continue its monopoly as the least expensive Cruiser Motorcycle in the country for quite some time now, as the current competitors are way too expensive, and cheaper competition is still nowhere to be seen. The price gets clearly justified with its range of features.
Checkout more pictures and a couple of videos, after a jump.
Bike Courtesy: SUPREME MOTORS, JEPPU, MANGALORE
Ahmed Siddiq: +91 – 9845761864
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GALLERY: Bajaj Avenger Street 220