New Hero Karizma XMR Face-off With The Old Model

New Hero Karizma XMR Face-off With The Old Model

Featured Stories by Team Drivio | 16 Sep 2023

More modern engine, trellis frame and a lot more, the new one has a lot to boast about! 

  • The new Karizma’s engine makes 25.5PS and 20.4Nm
  • While the older one sported bikini fairing, the new one has full fairing
  • That said, it still doesn’t get a USD fork at the front

The iconic Karizma name is back, now with the all-new Hero Karizma XMR. But what sets this bike apart from the original Karizma during the Hero Honda era? Here’s a quick lowdown onto the same: 

Visual Changes

Compared to the first Karizma, the new version has undergone a significant design transformation to align with the contemporary world. It boasts a sleeker design with a full fairing. In contrast, the Hero Honda Karizma's half-fairing seamlessly blended into the overall design, giving the bike a larger appearance than its actual size. 

The taillight is now slimmer, and the headlights are spread out towards the sides. It features a split-seat arrangement and a smaller, stubby exhaust, a departure from the OG Karizma's full-length chrome exhaust.

One notable innovation in the newly launched Karizma XMR is the introduction of a trellis frame, a first for Hero motorcycles. This is a significant move by Hero as it enhances the bike's sporty characteristics. In its era, the original Karizma's downtube frame performed admirably.

More Power And Torque! 

In today's automotive landscape, a 223cc engine producing 17.2PS and 18.33Nm might not turn many heads. However, back in the early 2000s, the Karizma was a trailblazer in its segment with one of the most potent engines, and enthusiasts cherished its free-revving performance. It was mated to a five-speed gearbox that effortlessly sustained highway speeds during its time.

The new Karizma XMR, while equipped with a smaller 210cc single-cylinder engine, takes a leap forward with DOHC (Double Overhead Camshaft) and 4-valve technology, as well as liquid-cooling. 

These advancements result in remarkable power figures of 25.5PS and 20.4Nm, surpassing even the KTM RC 200 and the Bajaj Pulsar RS200. It boasts a 6-speed gearbox and features a slipper and assist clutch, promising a comfortable touring experience. On paper, the Karizma XMR successfully upholds the original bike's reputation for power and highway-friendly performance.

Better Hardware

The Hero Honda Karizma has a longstanding reputation for its exceptional handling prowess. It tackled various road conditions adeptly, from pothole-ridden streets to winding roads, thanks to its telescopic fork and twin-shock absorber arrangement.

In the new Karizma XMR, the inclusion of a 6-step preload adjustable monoshock is a positive enhancement. However, the absence of an upside-down (USD) fork at the front is a noticeable omission. 

The original Karizma was renowned for its handling, and its front disc and rear drum brake setup were appropriate for its era. The new Karizma XMR, on the other hand, should theoretically deliver improved stopping power, thanks to the larger petal discs, which enhance heat dissipation compared to conventional discs. Moreover, the inclusion of dual-channel ABS enhances safety.

In terms of tyres, the Karizma XMR features a 100/80-17 (front) and 140/70-17 (rear) setup with MRF Zapper tyres. These tyres are wider than those on the OG Karizma and are sure to add excitement to weekend trips, especially in hilly areas. The design of the 17-inch alloy wheels complements the overall aesthetics of the bike.

For reference, the Hero Honda Karizma came with a 2.75 x 18 (front) and 100/90 x 18 (rear) wheel setup. Despite its larger wheel size and narrower tyres, it served the bike's requirements well during its time.

More Feature-rich

The new Hero Karizma XMR comes packed with an array of modern features, including all-LED lighting, a slipper and assist clutch, and an adjustable windshield. While it opts for an LCD instrument console instead of a TFT unit, it compensates with Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation, enhancing its tech-savvy appeal.

In contrast, during the early 2000s, the Hero Honda Karizma was considered well-equipped for its time. It featured conveniences such as an electric starter and a three-pod instrument console that included a digital fuel gauge, an analogue tachometer, and a speedometer. The evolution in features between the two generations of Karizma models reflects the advancements in motorcycle technology over the years.

More Money Too

The Hero Karizma XMR is now available at a price of Rs 1,82,900, with an introductory offer of Rs 1,72,900 (ex-showroom). This pricing strategy puts it in a competitive position, even undercutting the Yamaha R15 V4 in terms of cost. For a sporty 200-odd cc motorcycle, Hero has set a fitting price point.

Comparing this to the past, the original Hero Honda Karizma had a price of Rs 90,000 (on-road, Mumbai). Back then, it was considered relatively expensive. However, it was a wise choice due to the limited availability of reasonably priced, performance-oriented motorcycles in the market, offering great value for money.

With the Karizma XMR, Hero remains faithful to the segment the original Karizma targeted. It incorporates much-needed modern technological upgrades in nearly every aspect. This makes it a versatile motorcycle suitable for daily commuting and weekend touring. However, it's worth noting that the design has undergone significant changes from the original Karizma, and whether Karizma enthusiasts worldwide will embrace this new look remains to be seen.