Bajaj Avenger Street 160 First Ride Review
The Bajaj Avenger Street 160 has replaced the 150 and 180 Street models in the range to keep things simple. Is it a better replacement? We find out.
It’s that time again when Bajaj Auto reshuffles their product’s individual portfolio and this time it’s the Avenger Street which got picked. If like us, you too wondered what’s the whole point of this exercise, we were invited to sample the Avenger Street 160 and parked that same question in their parking lot. They picked it, told us that Bajaj Auto is a company which is bold, likes taking risks, never stagnates, believes in evolution which makes things better for their customers and asked us to go sample just that.
Makes sense, considering the fact that the Avenger Street 160 (With ABS) is priced only INR 700 more than the now discontinued 150cc model (Without ABS) and about INR 6,000 less than the Street 180, which is no longer on sale either. The 160.4cc drops the axe on their necks as the new engine makes 0.5 PS and 1 NM more than the 150cc motor and only 0.5 PS and 0.2 Nm less, in comparison to the 180cc engine.
Unlike what many think, this 160cc engine is a 2-valve setup, is air-cooled and isn’t a straight lift from the NS160. Since styling is similar to the Avenger 180 cc Avenger Street, let’s talk about the new addition here, which is the engine.
How’s The New Engine?
Bajaj calls this Avenger a Street Cruiser, which will excel if you want an easy-riding, comfortable motorcycle for your daily commute. The 160.4cc engine develops 15hp at 8,500rpm, 13.5Nm at 7,000rpm and has been tuned to deliver its strengths in the low and mid-range, where it excels and also sounds a little characterful and healthy. The 5-speed gearbox is smooth to operate and the clutch pull is light and effortless. However, this isn’t an engine which likes heavy acceleration and high spinning speeds.
As long as the motor is asked to deliver in a mature manner, everything feels easy and relaxed. However, if you wring it, and when the speedometer crosses 70 km/h or so, vibrations do creep in at the handlebar, and the buzz then spreads to the forward set pegs and then to the tank if you keep at it. In terms of top speed, we managed to see the 117 km/h mark on the speedometer on a slight slope with a 77-kilo rider in the saddle.
But the Avenger 160 Street is happiest as long as you cruise at 80 km/h or keep it under that. If you want more, the Avenger 220 is what you should be looking at. In terms of efficiency, depending on your riding style, expect anything between 35 – 45 Km/l in everyday riding conditions, where the latter is what Bajaj claims for the bike too.
Tipping the scales at 150 kilos (kerb) and with low saddle height, the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is a breeze to ride and manageable for folks of all kinds of sizes. The rider’s seat cushioning is on the softer side, however, the bike on its own isn’t being positioned as a long-distance machine so that’s okay. The suspension at both ends has been wound up to soak everyday road conditions and keep the rider comfortable. That long wheelbase spells great stability, however, the bike is pretty flickable too and should allow for some fun filtering through traffic as long as you are aware of the length.
There is an analogue fuel gauge for the 12-litre tank and tell-tale lights for low battery, high beam, neutral and the trafficators. The speedometer console also gets a digital display for overall distance covered and a tripmeter which can be reset. Tyre size up front is 90/90 on a 17-inch wheel while the one at the rear is a 130 section on a 15 incher. Both ends get alloy wheels and tubeless rubber.
The 260 mm front disc brake is nicely calibrated at the lever and braking feels progressive and positive. However, the rear brake is a 130mm drum and there is no option for a disc brake. As a result, the Avenger Street 160 has to do with single-channel ABS. Build quality overall is par for the course and the bike is available in shades of Red and Black.
Summing It Up
At INR 82,000 (Ex-showroom, Delhi) the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is a stylish, old-school, yet, charming motorcycle for someone who needs a comfortable ride for urban conditions. At the price for which it is being offered, it is about INR 20,000 less than its immediate rival, the Suzuki Intruder, and that makes it a true Bajaj at heart, where all their products aim to be value-for-money champs in their respective segments.
If you want more ‘GO’, there’s always the 220 Street or the Cruise you can consider. But if you want to ride a cruiser-style motorcycle within the city, where speeds even on a good day rarely cross a seriously low threshold, the Avenger Street 160 builds a strong case for itself.