SS Auto Analyst

An automobile engineer with wide experience in service of cars and bikes, teaching for diploma in automobile engineering, content working for car and bike websites. I believe in customer satisfaction as the key to success.

Yamaha Fascino- Fascinated by the beauty

In order to provide best of information and views that could be handy while choosing a car or a bike, I recently conducted an interview with a friend who bought a Yamaha Fascino recently.

Here is the conversation.

Me:  Congratulations !  on owning a new scooter.

Owner: Thank you

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

 

Me:  Having a background of owning a lot of two wheelers, can you share with us about your last used scooter.

Owner: The most recent two wheeler I used is an electric scooter i.e. Yo Spark.  It was a fantastic two wheeler and an electric vehicle. Though it had its own limitations such as  limited range of usage, it served us well with no need of frequent fueling as in conventional scooters, and virtually no breakdowns in two years of usage. I used it to travel from my home to work place covering a distance of 20km both ways included. These days my daily usage has mounted up and hence thought of going for new one.

Me: Would you recommend electric two wheelers for others?

Owner:  Electric vehicles does help you a lot in saving the money spent of petrol and more than that you can feel proud of saving fuel and hence contribute for national economy.  Considering cost of the vehicle, if you are using at an average of 20 to 25km per day then it is worth the money spent.  If usage is less than that, it’s not worth such investment and if usage is high then it won’t be a suitable companion as it needs frequent charging and range of distance per full charge is also less.

Me:  How is the condition of  Yo Spark and do you have  any plans of selling it?

Owner:  It is in very good condition. With entry of new scooter, it is going to stay idle in our garage for long time. Though we don’t have plans of selling it, we do have plans of donating it to deserving persons at our business center.

 

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

Me: How did you choose Yamaha Fascino?

Owner:  When I thought of going for new one, I did visit few dealers and took test ride of scooters like Honda Activa 3G , TVS Jupiter and others. When I visited Yamaha  show room, I was impressed with styling of this scooter.  As the specifications and price also matched my requirements, I opted for it instantly.

 

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

Me: How was the test ride and how was the experience with customer service?

Owner: First of all the dealer showroom was bit crowded as it was a general holiday. The sales  executives somehow could not arrange for the test ride.  However with past experiences of owning of scooters and being aware of quality of Yamaha scooters, I thought its ok not taking a test ride and straight away booked the vehicle.

Me:  How about color selection?

Owner: This vehicle is available in color options like Sassy Cyan, Rouge Red, Haute White, Cool Cobalt, Tuxedo Black. I found Cool Cobalt  to be bright and looks great. So I preferred the same.

 

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

Me: What was the on road price?

Owner:  It cost us around 67,000 Rs on road. It included few additional accessories like front guard, back guard, ladies foot rest.

Interviewer:  How about the features of this scooter?

Owner:  It has all basic features of scooters such as spacious  under seat storage, stylish instrument cluster and so on. I would have been more happy if it had features like unlocking seat without having to take out the key from ignition key slot.

 

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

Me: How is the ride quality of this scooter?

Owner: Though I booked it without taking test ride, I feel good with the experience so for. Its pick up is good and offers smooth riding without much noise from engine. Riding at road humps is also easy. So far not got any under frame hit at the unplanned road humps.  The ground clearance of  128mm does make way for easy riding.  As its still new and used for only 30 km from time of buying, it will be too early to say it’s the best.  However so for so good, it is giving us good service and I hope it continues to do so in future too.  As far as the styling is concerned, I have got good lot of  acknowledgment from my friends and relatives for choosing a stylish scooter.

Me: What is your suggestion for prospective customers of Yamaha Fascino?

Owner: It is a very stylish and truly updated scooter one can own and  does make  a difference in the crowd of scooters on road. Personal opinions differ and hence I recommend them to take a test ride before buying.

Yamaha Fascino
Yamaha Fascino

Conclusion:  This is an attempt to give our viewers the direct conversation with owners of vehicles  and opinion that could help to choose a scooter. I would be bringing you more such interviews with owners of cars and bikes. Comments from viewers would be helpful in this regard.

All New Honda CB Unicorn 160 – Test Ride Review

Honda Unicorn is well known for its highly reliable performance and decent styling.  With tough competition among 150 -160 cc segment bikes delivering almost equal power output in range of 14 to 14.5PS. Honda launched the latest version of Unicorn with the latest engine featuring Honda Eco technology.  Honda has set new standards with respect to mileage of 160cc bikes.

 

Engine

Honda has introduced latest engine featuring Honda Eco Technology. The single cylinder 162.7 CC engine delivers power of 14.5 BHP at 8000 RPM and Torque of 14.61Nm at 6000RPM. The ARAI claimed mileage is 62 KMPL. This is in standard conditions. In city riding conditions one can expect around 55 to 60 kmpl for sure.

Styling

Honda has special reputation for their executive styled bikes getting appreciation from customers. The head light assembly and the front cowl though looks bit ordinary, the fuel tank design with 3D logo of Honda on it adds glamour to the bike boosting up the image. The seat design is made broad and smooth elevation given from center portion offering large space for the rider and pillion occupant.

Combination of alloy wheel and nicely designed silencer muffler covered with insulation gives decent looks from the side view. Tail lamp made in H design gets instant attention of the following commuters.  If Honda had  introduced clear lens for tail lamp, it would  have further enhanced the  looks.

Fully digital meter is introduced for giving accurate readings of speed, fuel level indication. Trip meter, digital clock adds to convenience. Broad display gets easy attention and pleasant feel of reading digital progress of speed and odometer readings. Tubeless tires with rating 80/100-17 used for front and 110/80-17 for rear black alloy wheels gives modern looks for the bike.

Honda Unicorn

Colour and price

Honda offers four colour options for the customers. Such as Imperial red metallic, Geny gray metallic, Perl Black, Sunbeam white. Among these Imperial Red could be the top of the selection one can make. The dashing bright colour can great image of owning a stylish bike.

Unicorn is available in two variants that of 160 STD and 160CBS. The ex showroom price at Bangalore ranges as Rs 75,559 for 160 STD and   Rs 80,999 for 160CBS. On road price amounts to Rs 92,085 and  Rs 98,244 respectively. Basic accessories offered include crash guard, engine guard, ladies handle, Saree guard, seat and grip cover, Teflon coating. Customers can choose optional accessories like Tank cover, Fork lock, body cover as per convenience.

Comparison

The main competition for Honda CB Unicorn is from TVS Apache 160. Apache has aggressive styling and offers  good power too. Wide spread service network for TVS  bikes is a added advantage for the same. With latest engine in use delivering best-in-class mileage and impressive styling giving executive looks to the rider, New Unicorn has slight edge over Apache 160.

Side View

Test Ride

With latest set of features and promising performance of engine along with best of mileage boosts up morals of customers like me. With press of button, engine starts quickly and operates smoothly. The riding   posture is made accurate with perfect design of seating position and wide handle bar. Smooth and quick acceleration propels the bike to cross 40 kmph mark within few seconds from the time of start.  Wide tyres with good thread design   assure perfect grip on road helping to take sharp turns. Braking safety and efficiency is got with front disc brakes featuring 240mm discs and rear drum brakes with size 130mm. With the powerful and high responsive engine one would feel exited in zooming it past 60kmph in quick acceleration. The effective braking system helps to bring the vehicle to a halt in bare minimum time.

In the test ride I took, I had taken to odd road conditions one can come across in city usage. The mono suspension is a great supporter for comfort of the rider and the tough design of body frame ensures the pillion rider weight is transferred to mono shocks provided.  Perfect balance and ride quality assure safe and sportive riding every time.

In the ride I took, within few seconds I could   easily   reach   speed of  80 to 90kmph. I could stop the bike at perfect timing with abrupt entry of pedestrians crossing the road. The perfect grip assured by tyres and highly efficient braking system encourage riders  for no compromise on desire of going at high speeds and bring to a halt to safely park the bike where it belongs.

Front Disc brake

Verdict

Honda Unicorn is not a new bike in the market, however the latest styling features, upgraded engine delivering excellent combination of power and mileage can certainly make a difference for the customer wishing to own a 160cc bike but had to think twice on the mileage figures one can get.  A bike with 14.5PS power and offering reliable mileage of 55 to 60kmpl can certainly bring smiles on the customers.

Yamaha Saluto: Test drive

Yamaha Saluto
Yamaha Saluto

 

Yamaha Saluto Test Ride

 Yamaha is well known for its stylish and superior technology bikes. With the latest trend of stylish bikes on-road that come with high price tag, there is rise in demand for bikes with blend of stylish features and offering equally good utility and mileage. The latest version of 125cc bike from Yamaha i.e. Saluto has gained good popularity with perfect blend of utility, mileage and styling features. I took a test ride of Saluto and here is the article about the same.

Yamaha Saluto
Yamaha Saluto

 

Engine

Yamaha has replaced the earlier 125cc engine with the new one featuring ‘Yamaha’s New generation Engine Development Concept’ of Blue Core technology aimed at providing advanced engine with higher combustion efficiency making maximum out of every unit of fuel supplied. In specifications,it has 125cc single cylinder 4 stroke air cooled petrol engine delivering power of 8.3PS/7000RPM, torque of 10.1Nm/4500RPM. The engine is mated with constant mesh 4 speed gearbox.  There is change in gear shift mechanism as compared to earlier version such as SS125 and Gladiator. Unlike first gear down and higher gear up shift as in earlier bikes, here all gear up mechanism is used. It is technically a good development as one had to take special care while shifting gears in the earlier version. The beginners always found it difficult to bring  gear to nutural as compared to other make bikes.

Yamaha Saluto Engine Bay
Yamaha Saluto Engine Bay

 

Efficiency

The ARAI claimed mileage is 78KMPL. Mileage can vary depending upon traffic conditions, road conditions , riding habits, maintenance. In general, one can rely upon an average of 70kmpl.

Yamaha Saluto Speedometer
Yamaha Saluto Speedometer

 

Dimensional features

Saluto has excellent dimensional features.  Special focus is given for seat design. It is designed to provide perfect position for the rider with ample cushioning and support for the hip. Making way for comfortable long ride. Further, the pillion rider is also provided with extra space and offers comfortable seating for any person. Yamaha engineers have thought well of  what best can be provided for the common pillion riders in Indian scenario.  Ground clearance of 180mm does make ride easier in any road conditions.

Suspension and wheels

Saluto features telescopic fork suspension for front and swing arm suspension at the rear. The double swing arm suspension is positioned nicely to take up load of the rider and pillion rider. There is perfect balance with respect to dimensions of the bike and probable load distribution depending upon profile of rider and pillion rider. Instead of conventional tubes tyres as in earlier versions, here Tubeless tyres are fitted  with alloy wheels for better ride quality and longer life.  Saluto features drum brakes at front and rear. Disc brake version is available but there is waiting time for the same.

Yamaha Saluto Front View
Yamaha Saluto Front View

 

Styling

The major boosting factor about Saluto is its design. The design reminds Fazer series of bikes from Yamaha. The stylish fuel tank, positioning of the handle bar, seating position of rider makes one feel like riding a sports bike. New instrument cluster has eco mode feature with which rider is constantly reminded of best speed for getting maximum mileage. Clear lens front cowl with wind screen gives perfect modern look for the otherwise simple image of earlier versions.Halogen bulb used for the headlights gets best illumination during night time riding.

Special Features

Along with the regular kick start, there is electric start switch for quick and easy access to  ON/OFF of the engine. The pillion rider is provided with convenient grab bar for safety on the move and Saree guard and foot rest  assures safety and comfortable seating for women.

Variant and Price

Yamaha Saluto is available in only one variant with drum brakes at front and rear. The customers have options to choose from two colors Victory Red and Brave Black. Ex showroom price at Bangalore is Rs 54,600 and on-road price cost Rs 66,309.

Test Ride

In the test ride I took, I really enjoyed the seating and handle bar positioning. There is no  compromise in rider position and is in par with sports bikes . The click of the button starts the engine and there is kick start feature as well. The conventional gear change mechanism is an added advantage enabling for easy gear shifting. The engine is very responsive to acceleration inputs and I could easily reach speeds of 50 to 60KMPH.  As it was a brand new bike, there was no much provision for really testing hard to check the maximum speeds it can reach.  However one can be sure of crossing  90KMPH mark once the engine is set. The ground clearance of 180mm plays a significant role in coping with unplanned road humps and pits created due to rains.Braking efficiency is excellent in bringing the vehicle to a halt from high speed to stop in minimum time and distance. The rider position is perfect and assure comfort during long  rides.

Verdict

Yamaha Saluto has all that a normal family person opting  to own a bike with perfect blend of styling and utility. Yamaha has done a good job in introducing latest technology for the engine assuring superior quality of ride. There is ample space on seats for two persons (probably a kid in between if situation demands)to ride comfortably. In short, if you are a Yamaha bike enthusiast but thought the Yamaha bikes are meant for youngsters with racing attitude, taking a test ride would reveal its beauty. Maybe you could also win special prizes by sending test ride photos to Yamaha India!

TVS Phoenix 125 – Truly a Phoneix?

Phoenix 125
Phoenix 125 Front View

Introduction

The recent advertisements by TV S Motors with the Telugu Super Star Mahesh Babu endorsing  all new T V S Phoenix has successfully created brand image of a superb quality bike with latest trendy features.  To have a closer look and check the specialty of this bike, I made a visit to T V S Showroom in Bangalore. With the earlier model achieving considerable sales figures, T V S Motors has introduced loads of features in this model for making it even more stylish and feature rich bike among 125 cc bikes.

Specifications

TVS Motors has done thorough upgrade in all features of Phoenix starting from engine to instrument cluster and head lamps. The 125 cc engine i.e. 124.53 cc (to be exact) delivers power of 11 PS at 8000 RPM and Torque of 10.8 Nm at 5500 RPM. The latest ecothrust technology used for this engine has enhanced power from 10.9 PS as in earlier version   to 11 PS. It’s not only about power. There is clear improvement in smoothness and low noise operation of the engine. Even when compared to most of competitive 125 cc bikes delivering power around 10.5 PS power, TVS engineers have successfully set new bench mark with higher power on offer for the 125 cc bike.

Mileage

The ARAI claimed mileage for this bike is 67kmpl. With ever reliable engines from TVS delivering best of mileages, one can comfortably rely upon mileage crossing 60kmpl mark during normal running conditions.

Features

TVS has made it feature rich with introduction of all latest technology accessories in this model. Special features include  new ignition key set with vehicle locater switch. Pressing  the button gets blinking of indicator lamp. It’s a great feature that comes handy while taking out the bike from dark parking lot such as in a theater or a stadium parking lot.

Digital display instrument cluster with white backlight has intelligent features of digital speed indicator giving accurate reading of acceleration and deceleration, fuel level   indicator showing of exact fuel level.  Battery charge level indicator gives caution to get the service done as per   schedules to keep the bike in perfect condition. Hazard lamps provided at the indicator that   can be very handy when riding bike in foggy conditions. With the hazard light indicator   ON during riding in foggy conditions helps the opposite vehicle drivers to easily locate the bike and hence can be more cautious while passing-by. Tubeless tyres fitted as a mark of true upgrade assuring longer usage as compared to tube tyres in earlier version. The seat texture and design is also improved making it pleasant experience for the pillion rider. Body coloured grab bar serves purpose of safety.

Phoenix 125 Test Ride

 

Shock absorbers

Phoenix fitted comes with telescopic oil damped shock absorber at front and five step adjustable mono tube suspension at the rear. The height of suspension can be adjusted as convenient for the pillion rider. It’s made   strong to withstand varying load conditions during riding over irregular surfaces.

TVS
TVS Phoenix

Colours

TVS Motors offers wide range of color options for the customers. In black color itself three combinations are available as Crimson Black, Black Magic, Midnight Black. Two options in white i.e. Cherry white and White night. Most attractive among the colors offered is the Red Hot one. It really looks stunning with unique combination of colors. The one with Red Hot color is going to be the best and passionate option for the young customers looking for something different in their bike. The ex- showroom price of Phoenix with front disc and rear drum brake is Rs 57,515/- and on road price is Rs 69,300/-. On road price includes incidental charges and accessories like tank Cover, helmet Lock, engine guard, Saree guard, Teflon coating etc.

Test Ride

I took the test ride in the rush hour time of city traffic and in cross roads with provision for speeding. The design of handle bar gives perfect grip and makes the rider feel great.  Aerodynamic shape given for  fuel tank gets best of attention and also adds to the best posture of the rider. The new 3D logo of TVS and signature of Phoenix   is a sure shot feature getting public attention. Front suspension made of telescopic oil damped gets good cushioning to rider. Rear five step adjustable mono-tube inverted gas filled canister shocks with series springs gets perfect ride quality  for the pillion riders. Shocks absorbers made strong to withstand vibrations during riding over   road humps  and may be the off road riding during hectic traffic conditions. Four speed constant mesh gearbox provides best of torques and in  respective gear selection. When it comes to gear shifting, there is some kind of discomfort as it takes repeated operation of the pedal while shifting to back to lower gears. The ecothrust engine with enhanced power gets smooth pick up. Within few moments from idle condition one can reach speed of 30 to 40kmph. Once the engine set, it can cross 120kmph if the road condition permits. The promising mileage of 67KMPL and marvelous performance engine delivering best of power and torque makes it a great companion for long rides.  Tubeless tyre fitted on alloy wheels makes way for long gap between every refilling of air. Front disc brake and rear drum brakes has great grip and brings the bike to halt in very limited distance and time.

Verdict

The latest version of Phoenix 125cc is a great option for bike lovers looking for maximum features with economical price tag. Special features like digital instrument cluster, 3D Logo, LED pilot lamps in the head lamp cluster all gets the best of appreciation from the rider. It is   glamorous in styling and a great reliable bike for the mileage and performance enthusiasts.