This was perhaps the last month when Karizma fans could still buy their favourite motorcycle as now it seems that Hero MotoCorp has finally stopped the production of the Karizma R and the Karizma ZMR. Also, Hero dealers have not received the new stocks of these two models, which further bolsters this news.
Of course, the company will be launching the new Karizma R and ZMR models shortly which they had first showcased along with a dozen other two-wheelers in the last quarter of 2013. Hero had again showed the bikes at the Auto Expo this year with two other motorcycles - the HX 250 R and Hastur concepts. Though the latter had garnered praise from the majority of the biking populace, it was an entirely different story when it came to the new Karizma models. It's the styling of the bikes that certainly did not go down well with everyone.
The first Karizma came out in 2003 and was the first bike in India that was offered with a fixed, albeit half, fairing. The styling was an instant attention grabber and the bike's unstressed and reliable engine won many hearts too. In fact, that gem of a motor coupled with the bike's long wheelbase soon propelled it to become the first choice of tourers who wanted a fast and reliable machine for mile-munching. The bike sold handsomely for several years and the manufacturer added the fully-faired ZMR too, but it did not create the same magic as the 'Zma.
The new bikes for 2014 share the chassis of the older Karizmas; it's just that the skins have been redesigned. The same engines are carried in the new bikes too, though the state of tune has changed. So, while the older Karizma R produced 16.8 bhp, the new one will be good for 18.8 bhp. And the older ZMR engine, which used to produce 17.6 bhp, will now produce 20 bhp in the new ZMR.
Now, with the new Karizma models, Hero MotoCorp plans to re-enter a segment that it once ruled, however, the current market scenario is quite different with a host of talented competition waiting to eat the new Karizmas alive. Hero would launch the bikes next month and it would be very interesting to see how the new bikes fare in the face of the well-established competition.