Bajaj V15 is most unique offering in the entire market, leave alone the segment and has a dash of patriotism for good measure in its recipe
- One of a kind aesthetics and exhaust note
- Dynamic and comfortable
- Fuel efficient
- Value for money
- Daily dose of Patriotism
- Large tyres are an overkill
- Missing engine kill switch
- Begs for more power
Bajaj V15 needs no introduction. It has been some time that it has been in the market and it has taken a lot of honors back home. Sold over one lakh units in just 120 days. Acquired by Aamir Khan, the Bollywood celebrity and is currently the segment best in terms of sales. Bajaj gets the 150cc mantra right again and again and they have done this time in a unique way. A way where it stands so distinctly that everyone is confused whether to put it into which category.
The pricing of a 125, the styling of a cruiser, the engine is a 150cc and much more. Bajaj promises a unique riding experience than ever before offered and promises a lot of pride that comes with the motorcycle. As we know it is made of the Iconic battle ship INS Vikrant metal that has been used in the fuel tank. We take a quick spin on the motorcycle to tell you what it is like to ride and what it offers is unique or not.
Design Styling is the one of the major facts. The vehicle is a part motorcycle part cruiser. It sits somewhere in between a cruiser and a motorcycle when it comes to the height. The tank is very well sculpted and it has huge similarities from the Moto Guzzi V7 type of cruiser. The same tank decals along with the tail-lamps look quite similar to the Italian cruisers. The fuel filler cap has the INS Vikrant logo on it and says ‘Made from the Invincible metal of INS Vikrant’. The V logo on the tank and the V15 logo on the side panel is very premium indeed.
The side panels with the decals similar to the tank look good. The small but effective aluminium foot rest for the pillion is a good attention to detail and isn’t taken from the Bajaj parts bin. The exhaust is something never seen before as it looks a round barrel and has a large exhaust gas port as well to give the muscular look and stance. The seat is new and so is rear tail-piece. Overall a very muscular, modern, classic motorcycle from Bajaj, something that we saw a decade back with the original Pulsar.
Ergonomics and Practicality The Bajaj V15 has to be the ideal balance of comfort and sporty offering. The cruiser like stance gives it a comfortable riding position and the low seat height should help every one of all sizes and frames. Seat is supportive and large and aid in comfort for rider and pillion.
Mirrors are mounted well and give a good view of what’s behind. Footpegs are set somewhere in between and the help you perfect grip the tank and give confidence in corners. You also get a seat cowl as an optional accessory to make it into a single seater when alone and remove with the Allen key that is attached into the main key. Bajaj one of the few manufacturer who is now offering a 55W bulb in this segment, reserved for 200cc and above motorcycles till date.
Speedo and Switchgear: On the face of it there isn’t anything exciting with this part, but there is. The fuel gauge turns red when the fuel in the tank is on the lower side. The meter has two digital trip meters and a analogue odometer. You have your normal shift lights such as high beam, neutral and solitary turn indicators. Switchgear is revised, but the basics remain the same. The switch gear misses out on engine kill switch though for the first time from a Bajaj motorcycle.
Bajaj V15 Review, Engine
Powering the Bajaj V15 is the same 2-valve 150cc engine making 12 BHP of power and 13 Nm of torque. The engine is not the same as the company from the inside. The motor has been changed to deliver all its power in the low and mid range of the engine. The camshafts, valve train, the ignition timing and other changes have been done to make an extremely flexible engine. The shorter gearing as well allows you to make the best of the entire engine. There is a subtle amount of top-end power but the engine feels stressed at that point. NVH levels are good, but could be better. Exhaust does look and sound good as well. Very throaty, but as always a bit metallic thrum from Bajaj is also present. One of the few features that attracts prospective buyers and can be heard from a distance as well.
In city driveability is good enough and there is always enough pep from the motor to propel you ahead. Top-speed isn’t that high as it reaches 100 km/hr, but takes quite some time do so. Reason because is the larger tyre at the back which is an overkill for this segment. Overall, there is room for improvement and there can be bigger engine too. Considering the chassis and equipment on board that allows more power. Fuel efficiency in our test was 52.3 km/l which is pretty impressive considering this segment and what it offers.
This is where the V15 is spot on and there is little or no room to complain. The suspension is on the stiffer side on both ends, very stiff than any other motorcycle from Bajaj yet. Despite that, ride quality is supple enough and there are least jolts that transfer to the rider. Turn-in is quick enough and motorcycle darts into corner with enough agility. Odd combination of bigger wheel (18-inch) at the front and smaller at the rear (16-inch) keep daily riding in check and despite that it performs in the corners.
However, the agility could be more if the tyres weren’t that big, those are clearly segment overkill. Dual purpose tyres means you can do a bit off-road or go over our pot-holed filled roads in monsoon easily and quickly. Mid-corner balance can be shaken if going too fast, but it is poised most of the time. Highway stability is good enough and it is rock stable at high speeds.
Brakes continue to be a typical Bajaj affair with Endurance units on both ends (caliper and master cylinder). They have good bite and feedback then the units in the past and as always the progression post that are good enough. Drum brake at the rear continue to provide ample braking power as well. Overall, a great job and as we said before, the chassis deserve more power and a bigger engine.
Bajaj V15 Review, Verdict
We may be a bit late to review the motorcycle, but we can tell you this that the recent reports suggest that the motorcycle is already doing really well. The sales numbers are good and as always Bajaj is offering a value for money product which is cheap to buy run and keep up. All of this plus, this time, you get a lot of goosebumps and patriotism attached with the motorcycle.
An idea which can change the way things work in the market and even how Bajaj functions in the future. For now we can say that the masses are doing the right thing as they buy a piece of history and it is something that can be used on a daily basis. A masterstroke indeed.