Riding a war hero

Riding a war hero

It is said that in a war, heroes always outnumber soldiers ten to one. For her exciting service full of wartime thrills and action, especially during...

Even when it's standing still, the V makes you grin silly. It's a trophy in your driveway, an Instagram magnet on the street, it’s part bike part war hero. With a price tag of ` 62,000 (ex-showroom), this is going to give a lot of commuters their daily dose of pride

It is said that in a war, heroes always outnumber soldiers ten to one. For her exciting service full of wartime thrills and action, especially during the 1971 war, INS Vikrant was awarded two Mahavir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras. INS Vikrant, the country’s first aircraft carrier.

The gigantic vessel with a displacement of 20,000 tonnes, was commissioned in the Indian Navy Feb 16, 1959. It saw action during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.And like a war veteran, after being decommissioned in 1997, INS Vikrant served as a museum and was patronised by thousands of curious people, especially youth and students, as she lay anchored off Mumbai Harbour. Maintenance and upkeep costs became overwhelming and after many hiccups and legal battles, she was finally sold as scrap for Rs.60 crore.

But then, everything changed, Bajaj Auto, has launched a bike made of steel wrenched out of the INS Vikrant. “We purchased the Vikrant metal and processed it to be a part of our new brand. For decades, the INS Vikrant has been celebrated as the pride of our country and is synonymous with Indian military capabilities and power projection. We are proud that Bajaj Auto is playing a role in keeping the legacy of India’s first aircraft carrier alive,” Eric Vas.

Interestingly, one of the company’s earlier vehicles was named after another battlefield icon—Chetak, the steed of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. The company has confirmed that all those customers who book by the 20 March 2016 are assured of owning a piece of history on 23 March, immortalised by a commemorative insignia on the fuel tank assembly.

Customers will also get a welcome kit containing an official certificate of ownership and a V memorabilia key chain. “The V has received an overwhelming initial response with more than 20,000 customers expressing interest in the “V” on the company’s website,” Vas added.

The bike falls into the category of commuter motorcycles, the more premium 150cc ones. Most Bajaj bikes top their segment in terms of power output, which is where the V15 differs. The engine unit is borrowed from the already successful twin spark 150cc from Discover 150 and the Pulsar 150. But this one is for third kind of people. It would thrill you or pamper you with oodles of power. You are given a slice of history, it’s better if you’d respect that.

True to its intent, the twin-valve V15 feels torque rich, an effortless motorcycle to pilot in slow speed traffic, with only a light twist-of-the-wrist enough to have you trot off from rest. There’s a wide powerband and flat torque curve, both evident on the V15 soon after revs rise past idle. Clutch feel is light, with just the right weight. The five-speed V15 gearbox shifts smoothly, whether working your way up or down through this transmission.

We didn't like the V's gearshift pattern, all-up and not the more universal 1-down, rest-up pattern, though it feels nitpicking.

Parameter: V15
Engine Type: Single cylinder, 4 stroke, SOHC 2 valve, Air cooled, DTS-i
Displacement(cc): 149.5
Max power(PS @ RPM): 12 @ 7500
Max torque(Nm @RPM): 13 @ 5500
Front: Telescopic
Front fork dia. (mm): 33
Rear: Twin-Spring loaded hydraulic type- with gas filled
Front: 240 dia disc
Rear: 130 dia drum
Front: 90/90 - 18 51P, tubeless
Rear: 120/80 -16 60P, tubeless
Fuel tank
Total litres: 13
Reserve: 1.7
System: 12 V,4 Ah VRLA
Headlamp: 55/60 W
Length(mm): 2044
Width(mm): 780
Height(mm): 1070
Ground clearance(mm): 165
Wheelbase(mm): 1315
Kerb weight(kg):135.5
Saddle height(mm) :780

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