The Battle of the Namesakes
Story: Rohit Paradkar
Photography: Eshan Shetty
For a moment, forget the time around 2003-04, when the newly launched Karizma’s sales took off since it was the first and only quarter-faired quarter-litre (well almost) sports motorcycle of India. Fast forward to 2007, when the Indian premium bike segment was heating up with better machinery and the Karizma’s sales still continued to amaze even though the bike itself hadn’t undergone significant upgrades. So why was it selling so well? Well, for one, even Amit’s dog will tell you that the Karizma was undoubtedly one of the best sport tourers in the country with enviable reliability. The Karizma also was ‘THE head-turner’ for our fairing hungry janata. When Hero Honda went on to add a belly pan and the ‘R’ moniker to the 2007 model, the poseur crowd was elated beyond the limit. So when the news started floating of a new Karizma for 2010, we were more than convinced that it would be another HH bike conceived in Adobe Photoshop™ than an engineering facility.
The ZMR looks much larger in profile than the Karizma R
But we were wrong. It was more than just a cosmetic upgrade, and the Photoshop job wasn’t carried out well! Ramakant, our furious designer vouched that he would do much better use of Photoshop. When the first scoop shots raised their head on the internet (which we featured in the first issue of Motoroids2 as well), we were horrified at what we saw. But we would rather blame it to the bad camera angles in the scoop shots; in reality the design looks much better. The bike does look disproportionate, but it depends on what angle you are looking at it from. As the pictures suggest, the ZMR is definitely larger in stance than the good ol’ R. The ZMR’s full fairing is bloated up along its width to gel proportionally with the high stance of the Karizma. But look at the bike from side profile and its looks as saggy as a woman in her late fifties. The Karizma R on the other hand looks more balanced and has sleek lines that highlight a youthful and sporty stance. Even without the inclusion of any LED taillights, the R’s tail still looks one of the best in the country. The ZMR’s tail on the other hand tries to replicate the design of the 2002 VFR800 Interceptor and somewhat fails at it. The taillight LEDs when lit, look like the mouth of a Sucker Fish sucking against aquarium!
The Karizma R’s taillight still looks one of the best in the business. ZMR’s unit is reminiscent of the CBZ Xtreme’s tail design