The commuter segment is a highly contested space in the Indian two-wheeler market and something that Bajaj Auto has been struggling to find ground in for quite some time now. With the exception of the CT100 and Platina, the automaker was on the lookout for its next big commuter and that turned out to be the V15 that arrived with much fan fare and a tinge of patriotism (remember the INS Vikrant association) that seems to have worked up a hype for the bike. However, with the commuter segment full of established best sellers like the Hero Glamour, Honda CB Shine SP and the recently re-launched Honda CB Unicorn 150, does the Bajaj V have what it takes to make a mark in the segment? We do a quick spec comparison to find out.
Undoubtedly, the Bajaj V15 is the most distinctive motorcycle in this comparison. The cruiser+café racer inspired styling works with the contoured fuel tank, rear seat cowl and curvy headlight cluster leaving a lasting impression. In comparison, the Honda CB Shine SP is the next best looking commuter here as it blends easily and looks suave as well, appealing to the executive urban rider. Making a comeback to the market solely on popular demand, the Honda CB Unicorn 150 is a familiar face and its design plays little role in its success. It looks dated against the Shine SP and the V15, which is a bigger problem with the Hero Glamour 125, the oldest bike in this comparison. So, if you have a penchant for some different, the V15 cuts the deal very well.
The Honda Unicorn 150 was always intended to be the bigger bike and its dimensions are a big give away measuring 2095mm in length, 756mm in width and 1100mm in height. Following closely is the Bajaj V15 that is considerably smaller in length and height at 2044mm and 1070mm respectively, but is wider at 780mm. In comparison, both the Hero Glamour and Honda CB Shine SP 125 are smaller in length and width, but the Shine SP is taller at 1085mm. The Unicorn’s larger dimensions also make it the heaviest with a kerb weight of 146 kg. The Bajaj V15 is lighter at 135.5 kg, followed by the Hero Glamour weighing 129 kg. The lightest of all is the Honda CB Shine SP with a kerb weight of 124 kg.
Both the Honda CB Unicorn and Bajaj V15 draw power from 150cc engines, but are different in terms of output. The Unicorn is the more powerful bike here producing 13.14bhp at 8500rpm and 12.84Nm of peak torque at 5500rpm, which makes it more highway friendly, whereas the V15 makes 11.8bhp at 7500rpm and 13Nm of torque available at 5500rpm and is more commute oriented. Both models come paired to a 5-speed gearbox, but the Unicorn’s transmission is a smooth shifter.
In contrast, the Honda CB Shine SP and Hero Glamour get a 125cc single-cylinder motor, which, in effect, is the same engine developed by Honda. With the Shine SP, Honda updated the motor to churn out 10.57bhp at 7500rpm and 10.3Nm of torque at 5500rpm; while Hero has tuned the motor to produce 8.9bhp at 7000rpm and 10.35Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The Shine SP also gets a 5-speed gearbox, as opposed to the 4-speed unit on the Glamour.
The pricing plays an important role in the decision of a potential buyers and Bajaj as usual, continues to be competitive in this space. The Hero Glamour is easily the most affordable commuter in this comparison priced at 57,925, but also gets dated tech and design. In contrast, the Honda CB Shine SP is better styled and emerges as very premium, but while commanding a premium price tag of 64,400, which makes it more expensive than the V15 as well that is priced at 61,999. The CB Unicorn 150 is the most expensive of all at 67,778, but is also the most powerful commuter here.
In conclusion, we can say that the Bajaj V15 faces real threat from the Honda CB Unicorn 150 on paper at least, which is by far one of the most successful products in the commuter space. However, the V does bring in the novelty value with the interesting design, good ride quality and a city friendly power mill. Then, there is the price factor, which helps it undercut both the Honda Shine SP and Unicorn by good margins. The Hero Glamour, despite the lower price tag feels old and bare bones in comparison to the competition.
So, if a tried and trusted product is your mantra, the Honda twins and the Hero Glamour make for an ideal buy. However, if you want something different and are feeling patriotic, the V15 is sure to please both those sentiments with ease.[“source-auto.ndtv”]