Comparison Test: Hero Achiever 150 Vs Bajaj V15

29 December 2016, 04:26 PM Omkar Thakur

Introduction

In the battle of the masses, what sells easily is Indian-ness. So when it comes to the premium 150cc commuters, both Hero and Bajaj have tried to build what they thought Indian-ness is. Luckily for us, the approaches are poles apart and we get a choice to make for the same definitions. The definitions here are – price, engine displacement and purpose. At just over Rs 62,000 you have the Hero Achiever 150 and the Bajaj V15 displacing 150cc and trying to be the premium commuter motorcycle that India wants and we find out which one of them does it better.

 

Looks and Styling

A good design has a single underlying purpose that defines the form and its function. The underlying thought for the Achiever is to build a commuter and the motorcycle does that with elan. Frankly, in a bunch of motorcycles parked together, the Achiever will not stand out. You might mistake it for a Honda Unicorn, though, from a distance, because of the triangular headlamp, sculpted tank and ‘Batman’ tail lamp. 

The Bajaj on the other hand has no underlying thought except standing out. The V15 tries hard to be a street fighter at the headlamp but by the time it reaches the tank it is leaning towards being a cruiser. When you reach the tail, you see that it certainly wanted to be a cruiser. The mix of everything will attract many with its flashy paint schemes, just like it did to everybody in our team.

While the Hero aims and manages to be the boy next door, the Bajaj V15 stands out with its unique design.

Hero Achiever: 5/10
 
Bajaj V15: 6/10
 

Ergonomics and Quality

Ergonomics is where both the motorcycles have a basic flaw. Neither of the two have been able to manage the seating triangle correctly. The handlebars in either case are further and lower than the ideal position for the seat and foot-pegs which makes you lean over to reach them. If you ride for a long time, you will feel the stress on your lower back. The Achiever’s cushy soft seat does feel nice to start with, but over time, it adds to the stress on the lower back, besides making the rider’s posterior hurt. The V15s seat is firmer and wider, and hence better over long hauls as well. 

In terms of quality, the Hero Achiever is certainly the better built of the two. The plastics are chosen to last rather than for their looks and the cycle parts are sturdy. Bajaj seems to have improved a lot in terms of quality of the plastics; they look premium and should last long. The overall build quality has certainly improved and it feels nice to see Bajaj up the game.

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Hero Achiever 150

Hero Achiever 150

  • Displacement149 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)13 bhp
  • Kerb Weight138 kg
  • ;

Last known Ex‑showroom price

 67,750

The Achiever and the V15 go neck-to-neck here. Both have a few things working for as well as against them.

Hero Achiever: 5.5/10
 
Bajaj V15: 5.5/10
 

Features and Technology

Bajaj has always prided itself for the list of features on its products but the V15 hardly gets any. Apart from the standard speedometer that the V15 gets, the Achiever gets a tachometer, trip meter and a side-stand warning light over the V15. Also, the analogue fuel gauge on the Achiever is much more legible than the green-lit digital gauge on the V15 in direct sunlight. 

The i3S start/stop technology gives the Achiever an upper hand in the tech battle. Hero has been able to fine-tune the technology across different engines and has been able to achieve seamless functionality.

The Hero wins this one by a margin over Bajaj and that is a surprise.

Hero Achiever: 6/10

Bajaj V15: 4/10

 

Engine and Performance

The Hero Achiever gets a 149cc single cylinder petrol engine that develops 13bhp of power and 13Nm of torque. The torque spread starts from as low as 2500rpm and peaks at 5000rpm. The power peaks at 8000rpm. The five-speed gearbox is butter smooth and allows you to find the right gear every time. It is quite easy to ride in traffic due to the torque and a breeze on the highway with its excellent NVH. You can cruise at about 80kmph above which he engine becomes vocal and vibrations begin to filter through the footpegs.

The Bajaj’s 149.5cc engine is vocal and with the few alterations in the engine design, the vibrations have reduced at the top end. At 11.8bhp, the lack of power is visible as the motorcycle almost refuses to go past the three-figure mark. The torque output, at 13 Nm, is good and with the lack of the tachometer we can only tell you that is does kick in from low rpm. While it feels a little out of breath on the highway, it works really well in the city despite the clunky gearbox that often slips into false neutrals. Also, the all-up shifting pattern will take a while to not shift into neutral every time you want to find first gear.

Hero Achiever: 6/10

Bajaj V15: 5/10

 

Ride, Handling and Braking

Dynamically, the Achiever and the V15 compete head-to-head. The ride on the Achiever is very comfortable and refined except the seat that is too soft. With its shorter wheelbase and better balance, it feels agile. The brakes are spongy but progressive and make sure that the motorcycle stops in time once you start trusting in them. The Achiever gets skinny tyres – 80/100 R18 both fore and aft. The Ceat Secura rubber is good and provides enough grip always but the Achiever takes a hit aesthetically, especially with that wide rear cowl.

The V15 gets fatter rubber to further its style statement. It gets a 90/90 R18 tyre in the front and a cruiser-like 120/80 R16 in the back. The tyres work well and provide good grip. The front disc brake has more bite than the Achiever. The ride quality is good and a little stiffer than the Hero but it gives the Bajaj better dynamics around corners. For traffic-infested city riding, it is as agile as the Achiever and on the highway, the firmer seat makes sure your posterior will not call out for a break too often.

We have got another tie here. While the ride goes to the Achiever, handling goes to the V15.

Hero Achiever: 6/10

Bajaj V15: 6/10

 

Fuel Efficiency

The Bajaj V15 is aimed at the new-age budget premium commuter buyer while the Achiever targets old-school semi-urban and rural premium commuter buyers. For both, fuel economy matters a lot and Hero wins here after returning 58.7kmpl on our standardised fuel efficiency test as compared to the 56.73kmpl from the Bajaj V15.

Hero Achiever: 7.5/10

Bajaj V15: 7/10

 

Price and Warranty

The Hero Achiever will cost you Rs 63,030 ex-showroom, Delhi while the Bajaj V15 will cost you Rs 62,132 – Rs 900 less than the Hero. In terms of warranty, The Hero beats Bajaj hands down with the five years, 70,000km warranty as against the two years and 50,000km for the latter.

Hero Achiever: 8.5/10

Bajaj V15: 7.5/10

 

Desirability

As we have said before, the Hero is a focussed commuter and will not entice you with its looks and styling. It does everything well but does not have an USP. The Achiever is more of an understated workhorse that will do everything right and you will still not notice it.

 

The Bajaj has been built with a design brief to stand out. While the looks might not be to everyone’s taste, we all agree that it catches your attention. The colour schemes are nice and bright and the big wheels and wide tyres make it look premium and desirable.

Hero Achiever: 3/10

Bajaj V15: 4/10

 
 

Verdict

Rank 1: We have to hand it to the Hero Achiever. In spite of being a no-frills budget commuter, no corners have been cut in building this one. It does not stand out in the crowd but does almost everything right. With the right price tag, it also offers the right mix of warranty cover, service network and benefits from Hero’s quality image. It is the ideal motorcycle for the 30-year-olds or the 40-year olds who want a fuss-free commuter that packs a punch along with economy.

Rank 2: The Bajaj V15 tries to take things out of the box with its striking styling and the patriotism it wants to invoke through the INS Vikrant connection. It also does most things at par with the Achiever but loses out in terms of technology, features and overall ride and handling. For someone in their 20s, the Bajaj would be irresistible and unless Hero starts marketing the Achiever on a much larger scale, the sales numbers will favour the Bajaj.

Hero Achiever: 60.5/100

Bajaj V15: 56/100

Photography: Kapil Angane

 

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points  Hero Achiever 150 iSmart Bajaj V15
 Rank    2
 Looks & styling 10 5 6
 Ergonomics & Quality 10  5.5  5.5
 Features & Technology 10 6 4
 Engine & Gearbox 10 6 5
 Performance 10 6 5
 Ride quality 10  6.5 6
 Handling & Braking 10 6 6
 Fuel Efficiency 10 7.5 7
 Price & Warranty 10 8.5  7.5
 Desirablility 10 3  4
 Total  100  60  56
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)    Rs 63,030 ex-showroom, Delhi  Rs 62,132 ex-showroom, Delhi 

Specifications

 MAKE Hero  Bajaj 
 Model

Achiever 

V15 
 POWER TRAIN    
 Engine Type Air-cooled Air-cooled
 Capacity 149  149.5 
 Max Power 13 bhp   11.83
 Max Torque 13 Nm  13 Nm 
 Gearbox  5-Speed 4-Speed 
 CYCLE PARTS    
 Chassis  Steel diamond  Steel diamond
 Supension F  Telescopic Telescopic
 Suspension R   Spring loaded hydraulic   Spring loaded hydraulic
 Brakes F Disc  Disc 
 Brakes R Drum  Drum 
 Tyre F  80/100- R18 90/90- R18 
 Tyre R 80/100- R18 120/80- R18
 MEASURES    
 Fuel Tank  12 litres 12 litres 
 LxWxH  2040x760x1120mm 2044x780x1070mm 
 Wheelbase  1290mm  1315mm
 Kerb Weight 138kg  135.5kg 
 COST    
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)  Rs 63,030 ex-showroom, Delhi Rs 62,132 ex-showroom, Delhi 
 Warranty  5 years/70,000kms 2 years/50,000kms 

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