We recently got a chance to take the new UM Renegade Commando Classic, along with the UM Renegade Commando Mojave Edition, out for a spin in the picturesque region of Uttarakhand. To start with, the UM Renegade Commando Classic is not an all-new motorcycle. It’s based on UM’s Renegade Commando which was one of the two products – other being the Sport S – that was available in the Indian market before the launch of the new Renegade Commando Classic and Renegade Commando Mojave.
Sharing the same underpinnings as the Renegade Commando has enabled UM to price the motorcycles aggressively. The Classic sits o top of the product list for UM Motorcycles in India and yet priced competitively, below the INR 2 lakh mark. It looks like a true-blue American cruiser with its typical styling and loads of chrome all over. The amount of plastic is bare minimum and almost all the body panels are carved out of metal. It gets a typical cruiser fascia with a round headlight with chrome panel behind, chrome covers for the telescopic suspension, clear-screen front blinkers with chrome housings, and a big windscreen. The gloss painted front fender gets contrasting highlights.
The keyhole occupies the space behind the windscreen while the instrument console is placed on a neatly carved chrome panel that sits on the 18-litre fuel tank. On left side of the fuel tank placed panel is a USB port that gets a rubber cover to keep water and other elements out. You’d also get a small, faux leather storage on the fuel tank which can be used to keep your smartphone while charging it using the USB port on the fuel tank, or for storing motorcycle documents or your driving license. The faux leather cover, which also mounts the storage, runs across the length of the fuel tank. The compact instrument console displays an analogue speedometer, while a small digital screen shows the odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and a gear indicator. Telltale indicators are placed next to the digital display. The fuel filler cap is placed asymmetrically, on the right side of the instrument console.
A split saddle follows the setup with a big (and square-ish) pillion backrest. The rear features a USA flag with the letters “USA Originated”. Other elements at the rear include a tail light, clear-screen blinkers, reflectors and an LED illuminated numberplate. The motorcycle rides on wire-spoke wheels that adds to its typical cruiser persona. From the sides, the massive exhaust is hard to miss. The storage bag on the right comes as standard while buyers can opt for another through the accessories. The Commando Classic logo and Renegade 300 tag occupy the fuel tank and side panels respectively.
The overall build quality is not top notch but it is decent. The handlebar grips do feel budget but one can live with that. The switchgear quality is at par too but nothing to write home about. The instrument console kept fogging, thus making it difficult to read the information on the digital display. A LED tail-light and a rear disc brake would’ve been good additions too. The latter, as we were told, will soon be available, along with ABS. On the upside, the paint quality and chrome finish is good quality. If you find the Candy Mettallic Glossy Black (motorcycle in photographs) too subtle, try the Copper-White.
The Commando Classic uses the same engine that powers rest of the UM products. So you’d find the same 279.5cc, single cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel injected engine that is tuned to produce 25.15 PS of power at 8,500 RPM and 23Nm of peak torque at 7,000 RPM. The power is transferred to the rear wheel with a six-speed transmission.
The fuelling felt a little abrupt at low revs although, with the missing tachometer, we couldn’t record around what mark. The mid- and top end pack good amount of power and you’d have fun in the high revs. The initial two gears top out at 50 kmph and 70 kmph respectively. The third gear is good to shoot the odometer in three digits but on the lower side, you’d have to stay north of 40 kmph mark. Sixth gear can be used for highway cruising anywhere above the 90 kmph mark. We couldn’t record the top whack but we’re sure it can easily cross 130 kmph mark, even venture close to 140 kmph.
All figures mentioned above are speedometer indicated
The gearshifts were precise, with no false neutrals during our short ride. The engine feels refined, except for some negligible vibrations from the footrests, until you stay in the mid-revs. Once again, we cannot mention the exact revs due to the absence of the tachometer. However, as the revs build, some amount of vibrations creep in from the handlebar and seats.
UM claims that their engine offers better performance as compared to its rivals who completely rely on retro styling, and we have absolutely no apprehensions about their words. Thus, it came as a bit of surprise to me that the Renegade Commando Classic used a drum brake at the rear. The front offered a good bite while shedding speeds but the rear could’ve been far better. The folks at UM say that they’d soon upgrade the setup with a rear disc brake while ABS will also be added to the mix although that’d shoot up the prices by a fair bit.
The dual-cradle frame and suspension offer a perfect mix in the handling department. It changes directions easily for a cruiser, which helped us dodge the massive craters on the roads efficiently. We couldn’t find many corners during around ride but it felt fairly stable around whatever minor bends we came across. It also feels stable on straight lines, even in three digit speeds and while braking aggressively. The TVS sourced rubber works well too, offering good amount of grip on the tarmac.
The ergonomics are typical cruiser with front set footrests and but relatively high-set handlebar, giving an upright riding stance. The windscreen aids the comfort department with good wind protection. The overall ride quality is decent but the suspension does feel slightly on the stiffer side. We didn’t have much to complain about except for some discomfort towards the end of the ride. But in the motorcycle’s defence, the road was infested with potholes (some big enough to test the Mars Rover) and it should offer relatively comfortable ride on well-laid tarmac. More padding on the saddle would help too.
The overall experience was positive and if you exclude the missing rear disc brake, and some vibrations at the higher revs, there’s nothing to complain about. The small bits like the storage space on the fuel tank and the standard single sided bag are praiseworthy, adding more utility to the motorcycle. As a road tester, I did miss the tachometer but that should not be a major concern for everyday riders. At INR 1.89 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the UM Renegade Commando Classic is priced just perfectly.
|Renegade Commando Classic|
|Fuel Supply||Electronic Fuel Injection|
|Weight||179 Kg (with 90% fuel* oil)|
|Length & Width||2257mm & 780mm|
|Min Ground Clearance||200mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Liters)||18|
|Price (in INR)||INR 1.89 lakhs|