Remember the legendary Karizma which was launched in 2003? Yes, that is making a comeback in 2023 to compete with the likes of Suzuki Gixxer, KTM RC200, Yamaha R15 as well as Dominar 250, and of course Pulsar NS160 & NS200. It takes quite a lot of guts to do that and think you will be successful but it is not a new thing for Hero. After all, Karizma was the first sports bike ever sold in India. It is the grandfather to all the cool sports bikes you see on the road so let’s have a look at the details.
But Before that, let us understand why did the karizma fail in the first place. Originally, launched as a joint venture between Hero and Honda, Karizma debuted with a bang that included a commercial starring Hrithik Roshan and it was safe to say the bike became an instant hit. It came with a 223cc single-cylinder engine which produced 17hp and a top speed of 125 kmh with a 5-speed manual. When it was launched there was nothing that competed with it. But over time brands such as KTM entered and changed the landscape and Karizma was left behind. The revised models did come but with no engine change and generally heavy characteristics and narrow-section tires the legend was out of the market which it created. Potentially, the later styling of Karizma wasn’t that appealing to younger buyers too and there died the legend.
But as 2023 approached and Hero Motor Corp trying to rebuild its reputation in the market, they decided to re-launch Karizma. Currently, we know it is registered under the trademark of Hero Karizma XMR 210. This means it will have a 210 cc engine reportedly making 25hp which would be a task considering most 250cc bikes don’t even make that number. And also what we have are a few spy shots of Karizma at the moment.
Styling is subjective so we will move on from it and rather focus on what features as well as the price tag of the bike can be. Firstly, it is rumored that engine will be liquid-cooled. The bike will have Upside Down Forks Suspension rather than a Telescopic suspension. The engine will be mated to a 6-speed transmission. The bike will also have a perimeter frame which will help Karizma show its charisma in canyons. There are rumors of dual-channel ABS too which will help the bike be less twitchy than before.
Other than that, we only know currently its rumored price tag which will be from Rs. 1.5 Lakhs to 1.7 Lakhs. Expect on road to be a little bit more. But with this price tag and the competitive market we expect Karizma to punch well above its weight. Probably to do that, there may be some cost cutting which will be noticed so don’t strictly go by our version of the story. All we can say is keep your eyes peeled as Karizma may well be the silent assassin of the Indian Sport Bike Market. With whatever it is offering, we think it will probably dethrone Yamaha R15 as the default option and give KTM RC200 a run for its money. It will stack up well against Puslar NS160 and NS200 now that they are launched and Hero has a bit more time to finalize and revise their models.