Karizma ZMR Owners Report

Riding on Indian roads means that you need a very good suspension system. The Karizma ZMR features telescopic forks at the front and inverted gas charged suspension at the rear, which has 5-step adjustment. The adjustment is not so easy to do and we had it set on medium most of the time. Ride quality is very good and the ZMR absorbs most of the bumps on the road. Even after continuously riding on the worst of roads, one doesn’t feel the uneasiness caused by bumps and potholes. The split grab rails are easy to hold and the pillion always found the ride quality to be good. However the seat is a bit hard for our liking.

The strongest part of the Karizma ZMR is undoubtedly its engine. The 223cc single-cylinder Honda motor is very refined all throughout the revv range but redline comes pretty quick at just under 8500 RPM. But its not the high-end performance which one should admire about this bike, rather its the torquey nature throughout the revv range which is truly noteworthy. Slot the Karizma ZMR in any gear and at any speed and twist the throttle and it responds very utmost urgency. In-gear acceleration is very good and one does not need to downshift. Reaching 100 km/h takes around 14 seconds and the ZMR feels quick and sounds throaty when you floor her.

Karizma ZMR Riders View

The Karizma ZMR’s performance throughout the revv range is truly remarkable.

No matter how hard you ride the ZMR or for how long you ride it, the engine would never get stressed. It would always start with the same sound even after long rides and never did it over heat. Full marks to Honda then for the fantastic engine in the ZMR. Only if it had more power, it would quench the thirst of people looking for sporty performance. We took the Karizma ZMR occasionally to Lavasa and Lonavala, where we were able to gauge the high speed performance of the bike. Riding on Lavasa roads can be massive fun with the ZMR having ample grunt to maintain triple digit speeds. One can use fifth gear at speeds as low as 40 km/h and accelerate all the way to around 110 km/h without a hiccup.

Karizma ZMR vs Classic 500

While the engine is superb, it is not an outright sporty motor. Even with such high levels of refinement from the Honda motor, the ZMR suffers from vibrations at high revvs. Once past 7000 RPM, the footpegs start to vibrate and the vibrations are so prominent, even the pillion can feel it at the grab rails. The gearbox is smooth and clutch action is precise but the ZMR suffers from the neutral problem Karizma’s have been known for. Getting into neutral is a tedious task and we faced it even after 5 services and 5000 kms. The service center wasn’t able to rectify the issue and sometimes we got so frustrated we simply would leave her in first gear. The neutral gear always played with us, it wasn’t there when we needed it and when we didn’t need it, it would pop out of no where. On heavy acceleration and enthusiastic shifts, the ZMR would stop in neutral when you up-shift from 1st to 2nd. Clearly the ZMR is not for those who want outright performance. Neither it is for those who want the engine to behave like a hooligan. The ZMR is refined and relaxed, its adequately fast but doesn’t go about announcing its capabilities.

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