Generally, in the world of automobiles, when a car or a bike is updated it looks better and more in-tune with the times. A brilliant example would be the Honda City, has been around for more than a decade but looks better with each new version. Today, Hero have taken one more step in the opposite direction and made the already weird looking Karizma ZMR even more hard on the eyes.
I was a big fan of the first generation Karizma, it looked and still looks perfectly dazzling. I have seen many immaculately maintained Karizma R’s on the street and they can still give any Indian bike a tough competition in the beauty department. Then they came out with the ZMR and I was shocked. It was like they molded some plastic in a hurry and strapped it onto the body with some screws. The whole thing was like a Karizma R with a tumor upfront.
BUT, they didn’t stop there! Now that the Indian motorcycle industry is completely changing, with the introduction of iconic brands from all over the world, Hero has done it again. Take a look at the shot from the front, courtesy of Yasar Lakhani who sent it to MotorBeam.com.
As is immediately apparent, Hero has now finally changed their front headlight setup to mimic the oh-so-old design of a Pulsar 220. We love how the P220 looks, so we wouldn’t really have hated the same thing in another bike, but what’s with those indicators? All auto manufacturers aim to make the indicators as small as possible, mount them on mirrors, or make them with LEDs into one small strip. Hero goes crazy here too with these mammoth indicators that look totally out of place.
Now take a look at the side profile, courtesy of a photo sent by Karun Prakash to MotorBeam.com. The thing that catches your eye even in this shot is the turn indicator, look how huge it is! Then you take a look at the rest of the bike and it doesn’t look half as bad. The split seat reminds you of the CBZ but looks nice. The tail looks sporty too. But then you look at those ugly twin shock absorbers. Even 125cc bikes these days come with monoshocks, what were the people at Hero thinking? The ugliness continues with the clunky exhaust, which feels odd and outdated. The 110 spec rear tire disappoints as well.
There are rumors that the new ZMR will have more power and engine capacity, thanks to Hero’s partnership with Eric Buell racing. But if what Hero has done on the outside gives you any idea, you can’t be too hopeful about these rumors. This “update” to the Karizma is nothing short of a disaster, unless that fairing is hiding a 500cc mill somewhere in there. The people at Hero need to change their “commuter” mindset as quickly as possible, times are changing. And they definitely need to fire someone in the design department.
Images courtesy of MotorBeam.com.