Bajaj revamps the Avenger - Cruise and Street

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by JD666, Dec 8, 2015.

Share This Page

  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    Apparently in a bid to either revive sales or position the Avenger to a slightly lower segment, Bajaj has revamped (cosmetically mainly) the Avenger and introduced a lower 150cc engine variant as well.

    The Avenger, or as it was launched "Eliminator" is perhaps one of the smartest looking bikes to ever come from the Bajaj stable. Which is because it's a Kawasaki design, and not really an Indian one.

    I have fond memories of riding the Eliminator. A friend had gotten one, and man could that thing zip. I was over enthusiastic in riding it, and had my first spill/accident on it. I braked in broken gravel for a turn, and the front disc (which was super powerful) simply locked up and the long wheel base ensured I had a good spill.

    I burnt my left calf on the hot exhaust, a mark that I still bear to the day. So yeah, kind of bonded for life with the bike.

    Time and again I have flirted with the idea of buying one. I came pretty close to it, when I bought the KTM Duke 200, again because the bike (KTM) was available and the Avenger in the desired color (silver) was not.

    The Eliminator was launched at about 92-96,000 Rs, which at that time (1998-1999) was an extremely high price for a two wheeler. The engine was imported and the bike was assembled in India. One of the first machines to feature a 150mm profile rear tire, a huge 280 mm disc brake up front and suspension travel that would put most other bikes to shame.

    The rider's seat was a throne to be on, and the pillion's seat was right at the opposite end of the spectrum, super uncomfortable for anything beyond 20 kms.

    To reduce price, Bajaj re-tuned the Pulsar 180 cc engine (for better low end torque) and launched the first Avenger in 2001-2002. Sales did go up, but not as madly as the demand for the Pulsar 150/180 twins.

    A few years down the line when Bajaj introduced the Pulsar 200 and Pulsar 220, the Avenger also got corresponding engines, first the 200cc unit and eventually to compete with the Bullets, the 220cc engine.

    Later on an Oil-Cooler was fitted as well to improve cruising performance and engine durability.

    The first models (Eliminator onwards) lacked basic instrumentation like fuel gauge or trip meter. These were eventually added over time to make the bike user friendly.

    Yamaha did launch a 125cc model to compete with the Avenger, the Yamaha Enticer. But with a 125 cc engine that put out around 11 Bhp, it was no match for the 15.7-19 Bhp Avenger.

    I remember Vivek Oberoi proudly riding the Yamaha in one of his movies. probably the best bit about the Yamaha were the pedal type foot boards, that you could rest your entire foot on (a la Harley Davidson), versus the regular pegs on the Avenger.

    To accommodate shorter riders, Bajaj reduced the saddle height further, brought the front foot rests closer to the rider and reduced suspension travel as well. Whereas you felt like Batman riding his bike in the Eliminator, the Avenger had suitable positioning for the Indian rider. I preferred the old stance, but getting spares/parts would be a big hassle.

    Anyways, things have come a full circle, with Bajaj introducing a 150cc model of the Avenger and splitting the product into 3 models/2 lines.

    The two lines are Cruise and Street, with the Cruise comprising of the Avenger 220 only, and the Street, which comprises the 150cc and 220cc Avengers.

    First up the pics, and then comparisons will be made -

    The street -





    As you can view, Bajaj has gone with a HD (Harley Davidson) styling for the Street with 12 spoke alloy wheels, A Matt Black finish to the whole vehicle. Very little chrome, front fork covers and a black grab rail at the back complete the look.

    The Avenger Cruise -






    The Cruise is closer to the Avenger of yore with the chrome abound finish. What I don't really like is the exhaust design/shape. Too many heat guards, instead of one big one that used to come on the Avenger 220. The slashed exhaust was a nicer looking one as well compared to this one. Though it was prone to rusting, but then that's common across the line up for any of these models.

    I don't really like the Thunderbird like handlebars on the Cruise. The straight, flat handles of the Street, from the original Avenger are better suited to the overall design of the Avenger.

    When Kawasaki designed the original Eliminator, they made a good design. The handlebars of the Cruise and the grab rail (and that exhaust) of the Street are a testament to how good the original design was, and how little could be improved upon it.

    I like what they've done with the tank, with the fuel gauge and other tell-tale lights above the fuel filler.

    The 150cc Avenger street makes 14.54 PS, same as the 150cc Pulsar, though at a heady 9000 RPM, which is not really suitable if you're looking at lumbering around. Peak torque is 12.5 Nm at 6500 RPM.

    The 22occ Avengers make the same power, though the Cruise outweighs the Street 220 by 5 kilograms. The Avenger 150 weighs in at 148 kgs vs 150 and 155 for the Street 220 and the Cruise 220 respectively.

    Power for the 220cc engine is 19.03 PS at a lower 8400 RPM, and peak torque is 17.5 Nm at a high 7000 RPM.

    The Avenger 150 comes with a smaller 240mm front disc vs the 260mm disc in the 220s.

    But the difference shows up in the pricing, with the 150cc Avenger Street coming in at 74,000 Rs ex-showroom Delhi, and the 220cc twins both priced at 84,000 Rs. This is a marked reduction from the price of the 220cc Avenger, and I suspect the design changes and other internal tweaks are contributing factors to that.

    The 150cc Avengers comes in Midnight Blue (only it seems as per the website), while the 220cc Street comes in Matt Black only.

    The 220cc Cruise comes in a shade called Divine Black. Well you gotta Feel Like God right?

    Personally, I would buy the Cruise with the handlebars from the Street. Or get the existing model while stocks last. Bajaj has perhaps made the Avenger too mortal by giving it styling cues and finish and parts from their existing line ups. The Avenger always stood out in a niche of its own, but sadly no more.

    Another great bike, committed to history with a volume driven action.

Share This Page