Just recently Hero MotoCorp started testing a sporty looking motorcycle, which was mistaken to be a ZMR upgrade. Close observation of the bike clearly reveals there is no full fairing. Instead, the on-test Hero machine uses a quarter fairing. If Hero wants to update the ZMR, the company will definitely throw the twin-shocks out and give its flagship motorcycle a monoshock rear suspension. Considering all these points, we can confidently say Hero is testing an updated Karizma R.
Hero MotoCorp hasn’t updated the Karizma since a long time now and the vehicle has only got colour changes since it was launched in 2003 (the R model arrived in 2007). Nowadays even 100cc motorcycles offer a digital speedometer, so Hero needs to up the game. The 2014 Hero Karizma R takes many parts from the ZMR, like the clip-on handle bars, headlight mounted rear view mirrors, clear lens indicators, LED brake lights, digital instrument cluster and rear disc brake which seems to be an option (as some test mules had it while others didn’t).
Other interesting changes to the Karizma R include alloy footrest, split seats, raised tail piece and wider tyres. The riding position looks aggressive too. What powers the updated Karizma R remains a mystery but we are certain it’s the same tried, tested and untouched 223cc, single-cylinder engine, which could get a slight bump in horsepower (maybe the ZMR’s fuel injection too). If Hero wants to take Bajaj Auto aggressively, the company could price the updated Karizma R bang against the Pulsar 220F.
Currently the Karizma R is priced at Rs. 94,500/-, while the Pulsar 220F retails for Rs. 91,000/- (all prices on-road, Mumbai). For the extra amount, you might not get additional performance but what you do get is an extremely reliable machine which has proven itself over the past ten years. The ZMR didn’t sell as much as Hero expected, so this move to push out a new Karizma R seems sensible. However, Hero is still far from matching Bajaj Auto’s pace in bringing in new technology like monoshock, perimeter frame, underbelly exhaust (helps the 200 NS in achieving 50:50 weight distribution), etc.
Spy Pictures Source – Autocar India