Suzuki Intruder vs Bajaj Avenger Street 180: Comparison Review

29 May 2018, 03:43 PM Ranjan R. Bhat

Introduction

The Bajaj Avenger has been around, in some form or the other, for more than a decade. A favourite among those who want a comfortable and powerful commuter bike with low seat height, the Avenger has stayed in vogue over all these years, immune to the latest fads. And as a budget cruiser, it has hardly had any serious competition.

Until now. 

Earlier this year, Bajaj gave the entry-level Avenger a fresh lease of life with an 180cc powertrain and a bunch of visual upgrades. One of the reasons for this upgrade is the new kid on the block – the Suzuki Intruder. This bike sports a relatively higher price tag, but also promises all the perks and the bells and whistles of a modern streetfighter. One of our favourite streetfighters, for that matter – the Suzuki Gixxer. Clearly, the Bajaj Avenger Street 180 has its work cut out.

Looks

There is a stark difference in the approach towards styling. The Bajaj Avenger Street 180 gets a mix of retro and contemporary styling, although the overall profile has remained more or less the same over the past decade. The oblong headlamp, low-slung stance, teardrop tank, raked-out forks, alloy wheels and the blacked out components give it the sinister look of an urban cruiser. The Suzuki Intruder on the other hand, is purely contemporary. Along with the name, this bike has also inherited the muscular styling and street presence from the iconic Intruder M1800. Of course, it might not fit everyone’s taste, but there is no way you can ignore the Intruder.

But any sort of contemporary styling suffers from a big problem - a really short shelf life. Retro on the other hand, never goes out of style. The Intruder might not be in vogue a few years down the line, but the Avenger will continue to be. Both the motorcycles are on par in terms of paint quality. However, step closer and the Intruder feels like a better finished products.

Instrumentation and Seating

The single-pod instrument console, with an analogue speedometer and a tiny digital display, look oudated, but blends in perfectly with the Avenger’s character. There is a secondary display on the fuel tank, which shows the turn indicators and neutral light. The fully-digital display on the Intruder gets a bunch of additional features like a tachometer, gear-position indicator, clock and shift light. 

Suzuki Intruder 150

Suzuki Intruder 150

  • Displacement154.9 cc
  • Mileage - ARAI44 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)14.6 bhp
  • Kerb Weight148 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 1,03,440

At 725mm, the seat height of the Avenger is 15mm lower than the Intruder, which makes it more sensible for short riders. However, I kept hitting my knee on the handlebar while taking tight turns, which wasn’t the case with the Intruder. Apart from the handlebar height, this is also down to the footpeg placement. The Intruder footpegs are set further away, which also makes for a more relaxing seating position. 

Gripping the tank on the Avenger is a challenge because of the tear-drop shape. The Intruder has tank extensions which offer good leverage for your thighs. Both these bikes boast of firm contoured seats, and can be specified with pillion backrests, and are way more buttock-friendly than streetfighters. 

Performance and Handling

The Bajaj Avenger Street 180 has the bigger powertrain here; the 180cc DTS-i unit churns out 15.3bhp and 13.7Nm of torque. It is slightly more powerful than the Suzuki Intruder’s 14.6bhp 155cc engine, although the latter makes more torque - 14Nm. The Intruder makes up for the power deficit by being two kilograms lighter. Also the Intruder’s peak power and torque kick in at 8,000rpm and 6,000rpm respectively, which is 500rpm sooner than the Avenger. Nevertheless, the Avenger is quicker in the sprint to 60kmph, taking 5.08 seconds as compared to Intruder’s 5.26 seconds.

Keep the numbers aside, and it is a completely different ball game. True to its looks, the Avenger feels calm and laidback, and the power delivery is flat. The acceleration numbers show that it is no slowpoke, but there is hardly any excitement in the way it puts the power on the road. A buzz sets in at the footpegs and the tank at 50kmph in the fifth gear, which keeps keep intensifying as you gather speed. Although it will keep going until 110kmph, the Avenger feels out of breath and reluctant to push any further by the time you hit 90kmph.

The Intruder on the other hand, is just as exciting to ride as the Gixxer. There is an addictive burst of torque at 4,000rpm and at 7,000rpm, which egg you to keep the engine on the boil. There are hardly any vibrations to speak off apart from a slight buzz on the footpegs, and it feels in its element even when cruising at 100kmph. And the excitement isn’t limited to the power delivery.

Of course, the Intruder designers were handed the chassis, but what they have done with it is impressive. The Intruder feels just as nimble and flickable as the streetfighter, and the light steering responds well to the smallest of inputs. It is hardly a matter of time before you start scraping the footpegs. The Avenger isn’t far behind either. The heavier steering and the pullback handlebar makes you work a little harder to get the best out of it. Get the hang of it, and the Avenger can be really fun around corners too. And this is achieved without compromising on the ride quality. While the Intruder feels a little stiff on rough patches, the Avenger soldiers on unperturbed.

At crawling speeds however, you can notice the difference a modern chassis makes. The Intruder feels well balanced and much easier to handle despite the footpegs being much further away. The Avenger can be a handful at slow speeds. 

On a cruiser, the rear wheel carries a substantial weight and the rear brake becomes more crucial to stop the bike. Surprisingly, the Avenger doesn’t even get a disc at the rear. The drum has decent stopping power, but it starts sliding if you are too reckless. The front 260mm disc has a great bite, but there is hardly any progression or feel. The MRFs break traction in no time if you aren’t careful.

The Intruder’s front 266mm disc offers good stopping power, although the initial bite and progression could have been better. The rear has a good stopping power and maintains traction as long as you don’t stomp on the pedal; then it will slide, for the ABS is a single-channel unit and works only for the front. 

The Avenger’s bigger powertrain takes a toll on the efficiency. It returned 44.7kmpl as compared to the Intruder’s 47.2kmpl on our standard test cycle.

Our Take

The Avenger 180 Street might be miles ahead of its predecessor, but it is no match for the Suzuki Intruder. Make no mistake, it is still a good buy for those who want a low-slung, good looking and hassle-free commuter bike. But, the Intruder is a lot more exciting to ride, a better product and the better choice. 

Photography by Kapil Angane

Final Scores

ParametersMax PointsSuzuki IntruderBajaj Avenger Street 180
Rank12
Looks & styling1087
Ergonomics & Quality1086
Features & Tech105.54
Engine & Gearbox1076
Performance1076.5
Ride Quality1077.5
Handling & Braking1076
Fuel Efficiency1066
Price & Warranty1046
Desirablility1065
Total10065.560.5

Specifications

MakeSuzukiBajaj
ModelIntruderAvenger Street 180
POWER TRAIN
Engine TypeAir-cooledAir-cooled
Capacity154.9cc180cc
Max Power14.6bhp at 8000rpm15.3bhp at 8500rpm
Max Torque14Nm at 6000rpm13.7Nm at 6500rpm
Gearbox5-speed5-speed
Fuel Efficiency47.2kmpl44.7kmpl
0-60kmph 5.2 secs 5.0 secs 
CYCLE PARTS
Supension FTelescopicTelescopic
Suspension RMonoshockDual spring
Brakes F266mm disc with ABS260mm disc
Brakes R220mm disc130mm drum
Tyre F100/80-17 (Tubeless)90/90-17 (Tubeless)
Tyre R140/60-17 (Radial)190/90-15 (Tubeless)
MEASURES
Fuel Tank11 litres13 litres
Wheelbase1405mm1480mm
L x W x H2130mm x 805mm x 1095mm2210mm x 806mm x 1070mm
Kerb Weight148 kilograms107 kg
COST
Price (on-road, Mumbai)Rs 1,21,019Rs 1,00,848

Gear Check

Helmet: HJC Rpha 10 - Rs 30,000

Jacket: Ixon Eager - Rs 12,500

Gloves: Ixon RS Pro - Rs 15,000

Pants: Café Racer Moto Kevlar Jeans - Rs 4,500

Boots: Forma Ice Pro - Rs 21,000

Helmet: Zeus ZS-811 Speedster - Rs 4,600

Jacket: Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0 - Rs 20,000

Gloves: Ixon Moto HP - Rs 9,500

Pants: Café Racer Moto Kevlar Jeans - Rs 4,500

Boots: Sidi B2 - Rs 17,000

Gallery

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