Fortpoint Racing Hero Karizma R Review
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 93,110/- (Stock Bike) + Rs. 15,000/- (Modifications) + Rs. 7500/- (Paint Job)
The performance gains and dealer support both coming together is a great proposition
They say if you are into modifications, you really don’t know what you are doing with your motorcycle. Motorcycles mostly in India are enjoyed in stock form till the engine takes its last breath or the owner wants an upgrade. But most of us are young and we think that little change can make a lot of difference to our bikes. Modifications till now were limited to increasing fuel flow, putting an open air filter and bolting an exhaust which was available at your nearest shop, all this without calculating or knowing if it was meant for your motorcycle. This is not the case anymore. There are professional tuners and tuning stuff in the market which are available for bikes right from the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R to Bajaj Pulsar 150. However, the case here has become even more interesting.
When we buy our motorcycles from dealers, they see what kind of modifications we do to our motorcycles when we bring it to them for service. The business mind does not sit quite and hence one of the major dealerships in Mumbai has come up with their own racing department and started modifying motorcycles right from the dealer floor. The changes are so evident and the guys are so confident of their hard work, they handed over these motorcycles to us for testing so that we can tell you, the reader, what is the actual difference between a stock Karizma R and their in-house modified motorcycle. We strap our equipment on it to see what is what and will the changes make you go gaga?
When it comes to external styling, the ergonomics and everything remains the same and only thing they have added to the package is a tank pad for visual appeal. Fortpoint has also given the Karizma R a very cool looking white and red paint scheme which oozes quality and is a job well done. The new Karizmas are not Italian beauties in terms of design but with this colour, they have become more striking than before. What these folks have taken into serious consideration is lightness and have made simple changes to make the motorcycle more lighter. Hence this modified Karizma does not have a kick starter, pillion footpegs and the usual saree guard and with a lighter exhaust, the bike is a good 4 kgs lighter than the stock Karizma which makes it quite impressive for a motorcycle which falls in the quarter-litre segment.
Now when it comes to engine modifications, there is a new exhaust which has been specifically made for this bike so the back pressure has been calculated well and is not a picked up muffler from an auto shop. The exhaust sounds good but not excellent and is not loud enough which makes daily commuting a pleasurable experience. The bike also gets a race CDI which helps its rev up to 12,000 RPM. The internals of the engine remain the same and so does the carburettor but the main jet has been changed. Fortpoint has added NGK iridium spark plugs, a free flow air filter and you can get a custom sprocket to boost either low-end power or top-end power when you decide to get the bike. We had the bike with stock sprocket on.
Being almost four seconds faster on the top end just before it maxes out is a huge achievement
How does all that feel when we rode a stock Karizma and a modified one back to back? Both these engines are the same in terms of refinement but both have the same amount of vibrations at the pegs and handlebars. They feel smooth all the way till redline and the modified one revs up to 12,000 RPM without any hesitation which helps it to get 10 km/hr more in every single gear. So if second gear was doing 70 km/hr on stock, the modified R is doing 80 km/hr and same is the case for rest of the gears except the fifth gear where we saw a 5 km/hr top speed increase, while the stock bike stopped moving ahead after 130 km/hr (speedo indicated), the modified bike went to 135 km/hr but there is a wee bit of speedo error as you can see in the chart below.
Look at the chart above to see the real difference as mid-range difference is very evident. Being almost four seconds faster to 110 and 120 km/hr is a remarkable feat as we can see all that extra 2.5 BHP (approx. claim by the company) being put into action very well. The engine feel is the same but the modified Karizma R feels minutely more punchy and torquey but all of that minute difference translates into a lot of difference when it comes to numbers. Being almost a second faster to 100 km/hr is not bad at all with such minimum changes done to the internals and maximum changes on the outside.
When it comes chassis changes, nothing has been done to the springs or dampers. The Karizma already has fatter tyres to make things even better. The guys have made sure that the preload at the rear remains the stiffest for obvious reasons. Despite all that, the impressive ride quality of the Karizma remains good and the chassis is still capable of taking more power so it’s not frantic or uncontrollable to ride, one of the reasons why the folks at Fortpoint chose this machine in the first place. Braking is also adequate but they are also offering mechanical ABS which we know does not seem promising as the original unit but we haven’t heard anything particularly bad or good about it until now.
Now when you take the Hero Karizma out of the showroom and want to modify it after you complete the first service of the motorcycle, you will end up paying Rs. 15,000/- for everything except the paint scheme which costs an extra Rs. 7500/- with the lacquer job done, according to us it’s a fair deal. One second quicker of the line and 5 km/hr more top speed with a better mid-range on offer without compromising on fuel efficiency is a pretty good deal. We think it’s well worth it and after all your warranty doesn’t change and the only thing you will be doing is changing oil at 1500 kms instead of the 2000 kms interval. Obviously if you go for full or semi-synthetic oil, the oil change intervals help you clock double the kms. So if you are in Mumbai and are buying the new Karizma, test ride the modified bike and see for yourself how do you like it because we think it’s worth it. Fortpoint Racing’s Hero Karizma R can help you reach the peak of a “fort” even more quickly.
The modified Karizma R over the stock Karizma R at this price point makes a lot of sense for people seeking the qualities of a stock bike with a pinch of fun thrown in without loosing anything and gaining a bit more fun and performance.