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Bajaj Avenger 150 Street First Ride Review

21 November 2015, 03:03 PM Sagar Bhanushali

What is it?

A new horse in the teeming 150cc segment of motorcycles in India. As the country’s first ever 150cc cruiser, the Bajaj Avenger 150 Street wears the hallowed Avenger badge and mixes bona fide cruiser DNA with the affordability and efficiency of a traditional 150cc commuter.

The Avenger, in general, is one motorcycle that put Bajaj on the cruiser map and it’s because of the original 180cc model and the subsequent 200 and 220cc versions that the brand has enjoyed quite a following in the last few years. With the smaller more affordable 150cc Street that you see here, Bajaj is only bound to widen the appeal of the new Avenger range that also includes the 220 Street. And while at a glance the two new versions may look identical, the differences are skin-deep and more importantly, fairly substantial.  

“The engine uses a new configuration of the 150cc Pulsar unit and utilises technology from the bigger 180 and 200cc units for lower NVH levels and better mid-range punch”, we were told right before hopping onto the saddle. More on that later... 

Coming back to the looks, the 150 Street is among the bad boys of the new Avenger range, replete with a menacing black treatment, a new lower and flatter handle bar and contoured saddle. In an attempt to modernise what is basically a mild refresh of the original Avenger’s design, Bajaj has added a few modern-day touches such as alloy wheels (12-spoke alloys for the front and 9-spoke for the rear), new foot pegs and a tiny LCD for odo/trip meter. The only design bit differentiating the 150 Street from the bigger 220cc version is the paint scheme – the former comes in a dark blue shade with glossy finish while the 220 Street features a matte black paintjob.

Bajaj Avenger Street 150 [2018]

Bajaj Avenger Street 150 [2018]

  • Displacement150 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported45 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)14.3 bhp
  • Kerb Weight148 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 82,192

All things considered, some might argue over the lack of substantial design upgrades or that it unashamedly resembles Harley-Davidson’s Street 750, but the undeniable fact remains that there’s nothing quite like the Avenger 150 Street in the 150cc segment. And for that reason alone, Bajaj should be able to draw in a lot more crowd than they ideally would have by introducing the 220 Street alone.

How does it ride?

Out on the road, the Avenger 150 Street behaves surprisingly well despite its fairly old underpinnings. Powering it is the familiar 150cc DTS-i engine that’s been around for years. Bajaj, however, has diligently updated this unit over time and this is probably the best it can get. This time around the brand has lessened overall NVH levels and it shows the moment you put life into the 150 Street’s engine. Be it idling rpm or city speeds, the 150 Street’s engine is noticeably smoother than the Pulsar 150’s older unit. 

With around 14bhp and 12.5Nm of torque, the Avenger 150 Street’s engine makes slightly more pulling power lower down the rev range compared to the lighter Pulsar 150 but the former’s weight disadvantage means both these models are evenly matched in real world conditions. Speaking of which, the Avenger 150 Street is more than likely to be used only for pottering around town with occasional long-distance trips thrown into the mix. While it feels at home zipping through the city streets, the 150 Street isn’t really potent enough to be a mile-munching highway cruiser. As a result, when overtaking at speeds north of 80kmph, it will accelerate the same if a heavy rider like me feeds in the throttle gently or twists it right open.     

Bajaj gearboxes and I have always had bit of a tiff and the one in the Avenger 150 Street is no different. Although vastly improved over the old 200 or 220cc Avenger’s unit, the 5-speed gearbox is a bit clunky and I did find a few false neutrals.  

If the 150 Street’s highway cruising doesn’t do it for you, its cornering abilities certainly will. Despite its long wheelbase and cruiser-like steering geometry, the Avenger is quite agile and changes direction with minimal effort. Sure, it’s no Pulsar RS200 but you will end up grinning in the corners nonetheless.

Traditionally cruisers are set up to offer a plush ride with their soft suspension setup and the 150 Street follows the trend. At the front there’s a 90-section 17-inch wheel while the rear is taken care of by a wider but smaller 130-section 15-inch wheel, both clad in MRF Zappers which offered good grip even on the dusty, uneven back roads of Pune. Overall, the ride quality is consistently plush, with the 150 Street remaining composed even across bad roads. The soft saddle further helps in easing off sharp bumps and undulations.    


Anything else I should know?

The Avenger range may have been thoroughly revitalised for 2015 but there’s no getting away from some of the old-school quirks. The basic switchgear, for instance, clearly doesn’t look like it belongs to this time, even though it functions with a decent feel. Secondly, the tank mounted tell-tale lights require you to get your eyes off the road although this is something which riders can get accustomed to with tme.

The Avenger 150 Street and the bigger 220 Street share a lot of components including the wheel/tyre size as well as the 14-litre fuel tank. 

The silver trim on the tail panel and on the heat shield for the exhaust look rather mediocre and out of place, especially in company of the all-black treatment for rest of the components.      

Should I buy one?

The Avenger 150 Street makes a lot of sense for those looking for a low-slung cruiser that can double up as an affordable daily runner with fuel efficiency on par with some of the existing 150cc motorcycles in the market. Strictly speaking, it’s an out-and-out street bike. The ergonomics are comfortable and the upright riding posture makes it a good urban tool for zipping through narrow streets. Add the proven 150cc motor in to the mix and the 150 Street makes for a fuel sipping commuter as well.

Where does it fit in?

As the only 150cc cruiser on sale at the moment, the Avenger 150 Street is probably heading on to create a new breed of affordable yet desirable small capacity cruisers. Until we get to see other major two-wheeler brands taking a similar route, the Avenger 150 Street can be considered as a formidable alternative to say the Yamaha Fazer or even the Suzuki Gixxer SF.



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