Bajaj Auto achieved quite the hype with the V15 with the highly appreciative marketing campaign and the out-of-the-box styling. It also boasts of healthy power figures and a rather competitive price tag. In that case, Bajaj should have a winner in its hands, shouldn’t it? However, the commuter segment is massive, competitive and not something the Pune based bike maker has been too successful in. So, how does the V15 stack up against rivals which include best sellers like the Hero Glamour, Honda CB Shine SP and the recently re-launched Honda CB Unicorn 150. Read further to find out.
There is no doubt the Bajaj V15 is the most distinctive motorcycle in this comparison. The cruiser+café racer inspired styling works with the contoured fuel tank, rear seat cowl and curvy headlight cluster leaving a lasting impression. In comparison, the Honda CB Shine SP is the next best looking commuter here as it blends in easily and looks suave as well, appealing to the executive urban rider. Making a comeback to the market solely on popular demand, the Honda CB Unicorn 150 is a familiar face and its design plays little role in its success. It looks dated against the Shine SP and the V15, which is also the problem with the Hero Glamour 125, the oldest bike in this comparison. So, if you have a penchant for some different, the V15 cuts the deal very well.
Honda CB Shine SP
Honda CB Shine SP
The Honda Unicorn 150 leads the pack in terms of dimensions, measuring 2095mm in length, 756mm in width and 1100mm in height. Following closely is the Bajaj V15 that is considerably smaller in length and height at 2044mm and 1070mm respectively, but is wider at 780mm. In comparison, both the Hero Glamour and Honda CB Shine SP 125 are smaller in length and width, but the Shine SP is taller at 1085mm. While the Unicorn may be the biggest commuter here, it is also the heaviest with a kerb weight of 146 kg. The Bajaj V15 is marginally lighter at 135.5 kg, followed by the Hero Glamour weighing 129 kg. The lightest of all is the Honda CB Shine SP with a kerb weight of 124 kg.
Both the Honda CB Unicorn and Bajaj V15 use a 150cc engine, but perform differently. The Unicorn is the more powerful bike here producing 13.14bhp at 8500rpm and 12.84Nm of peak torque at 5500rpm which makes it more highway friendly, whereas the V15 makes 11.8bhp at 7500rpm and 13Nm of torque available at 5500rpm and is more city commute oriented. Both models come paired to a 5-speed gearbox, but the Unicorn’s transmission is a smooth shifter.
In contrast, the Honda CB Shine SP and Hero Glamour get a 125cc single-cylinder motor, which is essentially the same engine developed by Honda. On the Shine SP, the motor makes 10.57bhp at 7500rpm and 10.3Nm of torque at 5500rpm; while Hero has tuned the motor to produce 8.9bhp at 7000rpm and 10.35Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The Shine SP also gets upgraded to a 5-speed gearbox, as opposed to the 4-speed unit on the Glamour.
Honda CB Unicorn 150
Honda CB Unicorn 150 at the 2016 Auto Expo
One of the main deciding factors for any potential buyer, the pricing on each of these motorcycles can be termed as competitive. The Hero Glamour is clearly the most affordable here priced at 57,925, but also gets dated tech and design. The Honda CB Shine SP commands quite the premium priced at 64,400, and is around 3000 cheaper than the CB Unicorn 150 that is priced at 67,778. In comparison, Bajaj Auto has priced the V15 competitively at 61,999, putting it right in the middle of all models.
The Honda Unicorn 150 was the ideal 150cc commuter in the country for the longest time, which also explains why the bike maker chose to resurrect the model. However, the Bajaj V15 has some tricks up its sleeve including the good ride quality and city friendly engine. Moreover, the V15’s styling is hard to ignore, when compared to that of the Unicorn 150. Then, there is the price tag on the V15 which is cheaper than the Unicorn by around 5000, making it quite the value for money offering. So, if a tried and trusted product is your mantra, the Honda twins and the Hero Glamour make for an ideal buy. However, if you want something different and are feeling patriotic, the V15 is sure to please both those sentiments with ease.