Bajaj V Test Ride

Karthick Annamalai

Ever since the launch of Pulsar, Bajaj always wants to be differentiator. Its not a regular motorcycling company. Its strategies and products are unique in their own strait. Catering to the growing love of cruisers among youth, Bajaj has derived a nice story with the ‘V’. We would love to call it as V15 as bajaj may launch more bikes on this platform. The story of a bike made from the legendary warship Vikrant is appealing. Its emotional isn’t it. Bajaj has bought the scrap steel of INS Vikrant warship and says V is made of INS Vikrant metal. The legendary warship was the key to success of India’s win over Pakistan during 1971 war. This invincible warship INS Vikrant performed its duty till 1997 which was preserved till 2012 and the ship got decommissioned during 2015.
Bajaj designers have made a new vehicle with the combination of a cafe racer and a commuter. At the first sight, it is possible to notice the ill favored trapezoidal headlamp with chrome treatments on edges and a small visor at the top. Even though the front trapezoidal lamp is fresh, it does not gel with the overall theme of the bike. How about a classic headlamp for V 2.0? Next to it, a chunky steel tank with the chrome fuel cap featuring signage of INS Vikrant text. A single piece of seat is attached to the fuel tank and flows towards a rear cowl nicely. However, the sexiest part of the motorcycle is its rear, an LED tail lamp and a sculpted mudguard gives even the mighty triumphs a run for its money.
A ten spoke matte black alloys with a fatter rear tyre, grey colored engine block and a black silencer with chrome treatments gives the muscular look for the V15. The chrome treatment on the motorcycle offers an attractive and premium look to the bike.
Instrument Panel
Nowadays, most of the newly launched vehicles, sports an all digital instrument cluster, but Bajaj’s V15 comes with an analogue meter and a digital fuel gauge turning red once the fuel goes into reserve. But all these features are barely visible in bright daylight and also it has no tachometer on the console which is big minus. It offers a decent switchgear finish with easily usable switches which is quite great. All these shows the price tag for the production team as they have gone overboard with their cost saving measures
Bajaj pitches V as a city cruiser and it has a wide handlebar, low seat height and neutrally positioned foot pegs for comfortable ergonomics. When it is talking about its seating, the bike gets a well cushioned single piece of seat with a height of 780mm which is quite suited even for long hours of riding. The legs could be kept comfortable with a proper position of the fuel tank. It has a removable pillion seat cowl which could be easily removed using an Allen key that is offered along with the bike key. There is a great doubt that if we removed the rear pillion seat cowl, where it would be kept is unknown.
Engine Performance
Bajaj V is quite suited for the person those who do not want to cruise at high speeds in highways, but requiring excellent performance for city riding. The V15 is powered by a 150cc, single cylinder, and two valve DTSi engine delivering high power of 11.8bhp at 7500rpm and high torque of 13Nm at 5000rpm which is paired with a unique all up five speed gearbox pattern. With this gear setup, it becomes very easy for a layman to understand, but for others, it would take some more time to adapt the pattern because we always used to 1 down 4 up gear shift pattern and we kept hitting neutral. This engine of V15 is very torquey in nature making the bike a great city performer. The lighter clutch and easier gear shifts are very useful for city riding. The throaty exhaust note is quite appealing and the motorcycle sounds the best at lower RPMs. The 135.5kgs weighed motorcycle delivers a 48 kmpl per litre during our test
Riding Dynamics
Riding the Bajaj V15 commuter is very comfortable even for long hours of travelling. It is easy to handle the vehicle even in bad road condition with the help of 33mm telescopic front fork suspension and twin spring loaded hydraulic rear suspension setup. The brakes are very powerful with the mix of disc brake at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Bajaj V15 sports a set of Euro Grips tyres – 90/90 18-inch at the front part and 120/80 -16 inch at the rear part. This combination of tires gives better grip on the road in both dry and wet conditions, but it is tricky to handle on loose gravel or sand. While cornering the vehicle, it is easy, but if we lean hardly, it is too risky. So, we should be very careful while cornering and it is to be noted that riding along with a pillion is not so boring, even it has plenty of grunt in order to keep moving even on inclined roads.
1. Exceptional design
2. Handling
3. Sensible Price tag
1) Unmatched front trapezoidal headlamp
2) Poor Handling
Bajaj V15 is totally different compared to its rivals, Its polarizing for sure. Even during our test ride, many fall in love with the design and few loathes it. Its one of a kind motorcycle we witness only once in a decade or so. We wished the bike to be more powerful, more sci-fi and cornerswiftly but its not. However, considering the Bajaj V15 price tag of Rs63,796 (ex-showroom, Jammu), we can’t be asking more from Bajaj.
Bajaj V is a best looker packed with punchy engine and smoother gearshift. It returns more km per litre too. You can’t be asking more from this war machine.
”V” has all the ingredient to be a success and this bike will keep the Vikrant warship flag flying high for years.