Back in 2001, Kawasaki Bajaj became the first manufacturer to introduce India to cruiser style of motorcycling with the launch of its 175cc Eliminator, a motorcycle which got its inspiration from the mighty Harley Davidson motorcycles then. Since it carried the Kawasaki tag, it was not very pocket-friendly and the price tag attached then did not seem value for money. In 2005, Bajaj took a step forward, and introduced the Avenger 180, with a 180cc Pulsar Engine fused into the Elliminator’s chassis with a different state of tune. Since then the brand – Avenger has grown exponentially.
Over time, Bajaj upgraded the Avenger with powerful retuned pulsar engines and launched the Avenger 200 and the Avenger 220 in consecutive years. In 2015, Bajaj introduced the Avenger Street 150, the base model of Avenger Street 220. Along with this, Bajaj also introduced the Avenger Cruise, bifurcating the Avenger brand into Cruise and Street Models. Both had distinct looks and aspects to differentiate, though the overall design and styling remained unchanged.
13 years later, in 2018, Bajaj introduced to the world the 2018 Avenger Cruise 220 and Street 220 Models, which were the first actual styling and design upgrades for the Avengers. The Avenger Street and Cruise now look more distinct, with different styling and design aspects, making the difference between the two models. Bajaj gave no updates to the Street 150, which was more of a surprise for us, but now we know why!
Going by the Line – There is no replacement for DISPLACEMENT and understanding the changing needs of Indian Market, Bajaj has now pushed a notch up and upgraded the Base model of Avenger Street with a refined and reworked 180cc Pulsar Engine. This means, the Street 150 stands scrapped, making way for the New Street 180. Some say life has come a full circle for the Avenger Brand, but mind you, this is not the same 180 Avenger that Bajaj launched in 2005. This one’s way too refined and only 4k costlier than the Street 150, and a whopping 15k cheaper than the Intruder 150.
The Street 180 shares the same looks as the Street 220 recently launched by Bajaj. The Harley Davidson Street being the design inspiration is evident, especially from the front end. The new flat headlight design looks modern and very futuristic, rather the complete design aspect looks fresh, modern and futuristic. The forks still come covered with rubber hoses, the tank and complete body design is taken directly from the Street 220. The new tail lamp design gives the Street a Roadster kinda feel. The complete body elements are coated in Matte Black, specifically the Engine, Magwheels, Forks, Suspension, Chassis and Swing Arm.
The Street 180 will also sport a Backrest cum Grab Rail on the Rear, designed carefully to maintain the Roadster Look. The only factor differentiating the Street 180 from the Street 220 in terms of looks are the Color Options. The Street 220 is available in Matte White and Matte Black color, while the Street 180 will be available in Glossy Black and Glossy Red color options.
The New Avenger Street 180 comes equipped with a 2 Valve 180cc Engine, which is directly borrowed from the Pulsar Series, but is way more refined, retuned to deliver low and mid rev torque and power. The engine performs smoothly throughout the Rev Band, and vibrations are felt only when you attempt to redline, which is plus 100kmph. The new Engine performs amazingly well to deliver power where you need it the most in city travel, delivering good pickup and cruising speeds. The Avenger has a sweet spot of 80-90 kmph, where it can cruise without any stress or vibrations felt. This new heart delivers 15.5 bhp of power and 13.7 Nm of Torque, which allows the Street 180 to touch a top speed of 120kmph.
Fuel Supply is managed by a Carburetor setup, while the Engine is Air-cooled. Bajaj has skipped on the Oil cooler here, which we believe was done to keep the costs Low. Bajaj claims that the Street 180 will deliver a mileage of 42-45kmpl. The new Street 180 shares the same chassis as its elder sibling, having a wheelbase of 1480mm, saddle height of 725mm and an improved ground clearance of 169mm. From now, the complete Avenger series will get its rear shock absorber’s retrofitted with ones having 12% more travel. This was done to keep the ride smooth and comfortable for the rider even on bad and cratered roads. The new suspension setup performs amazingly well, delivering a plush ride, as we tested it across a few farm lands and mountain trails across Pune. The overall setup now feels more planted in corners, which was not the case with its preceding model, the Street 150.
The Street 180 shares the same magwheels and tyres as its elder sibling, with 90/90 – 17 Section and 130/90/15 Section Tubeless Zapper Tyres. Braking on the front is managed by a 260mm disk on the front, which delivers enough bite, while the rear still comes equipped with a 130mm drum brake. For those of you looking for disk brake option, don’t worry. As per the Govt. regulations, all 150cc plus bikes need to come equipped with ABS out of the factory from April 1st. The front rim already has the provisional mountings made for the ABS ring on the current model, which means Bajaj is just making use of the opportunity to reach out to the cost cautious customers before ABS becomes mandatory by law and the prices get hiked.
In terms of features, Bajaj has differentiated the Premium Elder 220cc models and the Entry Level Street180 clearly, with a Digital Instrument cluster on the 220CC models, while the Street 180 carries the same old instrument cluster from the 150, the analogue speedometer with a digital Odometer and Trip Meter. It also shares the same Tank Instrument cluster and fuel gauge as the earlier model. All this, to keep the cost low.
The headlight comes with a DRL below the headlight with a 35/40W bulb to manage the lightening, which we feel will prove inadequate for night rides, so those planning to buy a Street180 better upgrade your headlight’s bulbs.
Well, Bajaj has taken this bold step to actually upgrade something that was already selling like hotcakes for them. Bajaj feels that today’s commuter wants more power on hand to manage those daily overtakes and tight traffic situations. To take that short weekend highway ride, they put in a new refined power heart with crisp low and mid rev power into it. Then they felt the customer needs better suspensions and upgraded them. Something noteworthy was the inclusion of the Backrest cum grab rail designed to deliver customer demands and to not alter the Roadster DNA in the design. But the game killer has been the pricing. Priced at Rs.85,498 ex-factory Delhi, which is just 4k costlier than the Avenger Street 150 and a whopping 15k cheaper than the Intruder150, the new Street180 is a perfect replacement for a legendary Street150, which now becomes a part of Indian Motorcycling History.
Review – Suraj Sawant
Pics – Smruti Gaimukhe