The Karizma has been one of the first fully faired performance oriented bikes in India. The latest ZMR iteration, however, failed to make a mark on the now highly competitive 200-250 cc segment. However, latest reports now suggest that Hero is developing a new 200 cc fully faired bike to complete its top end model lineup. Currently, Hero offers the Xtreme 200R as its only bike on the platform. The new bike will feature the same engine as found on the Xtreme 200R but the company could re-tune the output a bit according to how it wants to pitch the motorcycle.
The upcoming XPulse 200 and XPulse 200 T are other bikes that are based on the same platform. As of now, there are no specifics out on how the new bike will look. As the Karizma name carries a lot of value for the brand, it is expected that Hero will use it to get an initial edge. It will most probably be built on the diamond type frame and feature 37mm front telescopic forks along with preload adjustable rear monoshock. The Xtreme 200R’s single-cylinder, air-cooled 200 cc motor produces 18.4 PS of power and 17.1 Nm of torque. Since the new bike will be more of a performance oriented model, a slight bump in these figures is expected. Also, throttle response could be more sharper along with a better top end grunt.
Other mechanical components that the new bike could share with the Xtrme 200R can be the 276 mm front disc brakes, 220 mm rear disc brakes, single-channel ABS, 100/80-R17 front and 130/70-R17 rear tyres. an all digital instrument console, clip-on handlebars and LED headlamps among others. The bike could also trade in the single channel ABS system for a dual channel one, since the competition offers that. However, pricing will be the deciding factor as Hero has been known to price its bikes quite aggressively. Also, it is not yet fully confirmed that whether the bike will carry the Karizma moniker or not. However, the company would definitely want to cash in on the name as it still is fresh among most of the biking enthusiasts.
As for the competition, the new 200 cc bike from Hero will face the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 and the Yamaha YZF-R15 v3.0 as its main rivals. If Hero manages to price the bike around Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom), it will be a strong contender in the segment. The company could launch the new bike by the second half of 2019 or later. Indian buyers are slowly graduating from the 100-125 cc segment and going for more powerful 150 cc or even 250 cc bikes. Although the small displacement segment still brings in the most sales, recent studies shows a shift in buying trends.