Bajaj V15, the latest commuter motorcycle from Bajaj is an homage to our country’s heritage and history. With the fuel tank made from the metal scrapped from the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the V15 is being marketed as a stylish and sturdy commuter motorcycle. By naming it after the carrier, Bajaj is trying to resonate with the patriotic populace which includes the armed forces and all those who respect the men in uniform. Bajaj V15, the first motorcycle under the new ‘V’ brand, tries to fill the gap between the Pulsar and the Discover series and targets the commuter riders.
Its design though inspired by the Avenger, lacks the classic cruiser charm since there are many other design elements which make it look like a blend of Discover and a little of Moto Guzzi. The rear is well proportioned and smart looking. The contrast color grab bars definitely stand out. The bike’s set of mirrors, control levers, smooth switches and palm grips are all very Bajaj. The instrument panel is legible and the fuel gauge changes color when the fuel level drops into reserve. The set of black wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear ones, along with the muscular tank and the rear seat cowl lend the bike a bold look. Though looks are subjective and the different elements might seem confusing, overall, the design is quite neat and appealing.
The 150cc single-cylinder engine of the Bajaj V15 is based on the Avenger’s DTSI engine. Mated to a 5-speed transmission, the engine delivers 12bhp @ 7500rpm which is lower than its Bajaj segment rivals. Its motor is fired by a twin-spark plug, fed by a carburetor and air cooled. The highlight of the engine is the 1.3 kgm torque which is delivered at 5500rpm enabling the V15 to be piloted around effortlessly in slow moving traffic The four-stroke engine with a button-start and smooth shifting 5-speed gearbox is all about being user friendly.
Though the smaller bumps are felt distinctly, the ride is still firm enough to deal with larger bumps and undulations on the road. The suspensions on the Bajaj V15 ensure a comfortable ride. However, the engine might start to feel a little strained once you cross 70-75 kmph. Essentially, the V15 is great when you are cruising around town between 40-70 kmph.
Given the ex-showroom price of Rs. 61, 999 (Delhi), which includes the rear seat cowl, a crash bar and an additional grab rail, Bajaj V15 is definitely within the budget of the target audience. Positioned in the middle of the 125-150cc segment, the V15 promises a ‘different’ commuter experience. However, whether it soon becomes the preferred commuter ride or remains a limited edition is yet to be seen.
The V15 has a smooth power plant and a good exhaust which translates into a respectable performance while confronted with the stop and go traffic conditions on Indian roads. It is definitely a good choice for commuter riders, even if you aren’t swayed by the patriotic marketing angle!