Bajaj Avenger Street 160 review – autoX
An affordable cruiser, extremely frugal and reliable – that’s what pops into the head when you think of the Bajaj Avenger. Over the past couple of years, the Chakan-based automaker has been quite experimental with its affordable cruiser range. Back in 2015, Bajaj revamped the Avenger line-up by introducing the Street and Cruise 220s alongside the Street 150. Now, at the same time last year, Bajaj decided to shut down the Avenger Street 150 and replace it with the Avenger Street 180. For 2019, the company has decided to discontinue the Avenger Street 180 in favour of Avenger Street 160. As it’s a common motorhead jargon that there is no replacement for displacement, Bajaj has its own set of plans for the Avenger Street 160. We swung our leg over the Avenger Street 160 to find out if the smaller motor makes any difference. Our Bajaj Avenger Street 160 review further reveals…

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – that’s simply the case with the Avenger Street 160. Well, Bajaj could have at least opted for a mid-life makeover for the Avenger Street 160, which looks exactly similar to its predecessor, if not the same. Barring the ‘160’ insignia in place of ‘180’, a speed sensor at the rear wheel and an ABS ring, there’s absolutely nothing new with the updated Avenger. It continues to carry forward the same bubble-shaped halogen headlamp with an embedded LED daytime-running light, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, short windscreen and a stubby exhaust. This means that the Avenger continues to be a comfortable laid- back cruiser and the seat is interestingly very comfortable for long-distance rides.

But why a 160? Considering the initial sales of the 180 were reasonably adequate, the numbers dwindled with time. And with the Street 220 priced and positioned close to the 180, customers started opting for the bigger 220. With the introduction of 160, Bajaj wants to regain its market share and lure customers over the smaller Avenger. But isn’t the 160 lower than the 180? If you factor in the displacement, yes! But if you compare the spec sheets of the two, there isn’t any substantial difference in the power figures.

The 160.4cc engine has been borrowed from the Pulsar NS160 which is capable of producing 14.8bhp and 13.5Nm. The engine has the same bore and stroke as that of the NS160, but it borrows the 2-valve cylinder head configuration from the Avenger Street 180. Once on the move, there isn’t any noticeable difference from the 180. The mid-range is still the Avenger’s strongest asset. While the sweet mid-range is happy enough for city hangs, however, it isn’t a perfect companion out on the highway. The engine cruises happily under 80km/h mark, however, it starts to feel strained once the speedometer needle starts flirting north of it.

Nit-picking aside, we really appreciated the ride quality of the bike in our Avenger Street 160 review. With telescopic forks at the front and twin shocks at the rear, the suspension setup stagnates from the previous model, the ride quality also remains unchanged. Like its predecessor, the Avenger Street 160 has immaculate ride quality and it easily dismisses bad road undulations while cruising at city speeds. However, being a cruiser, riding fast over broken roads can really unsettle the motorcycle. As far as handling is concerned, the Avenger feels lithe in the city and it easily darts in and out of traffic at city speeds. To sum it up, the Avenger Street 160 rides very well and is a good city commuter, as it always has been. Take it out on the highway, and it starts to show its pitfalls. To read our full Bajaj Street Avenger 160 review, be sure to tune in to autoX.

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