In its prime, the World War II-era British-built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, witnessed its fair share of high sea drama and warfare after being purchased by India in 1957. Capable of housing and launching legendary aircraft like the Sea Harrier and the anti-submarine Alize, the Vikrant was certainly seen as a force to be reckoned with. But as with all work horses, eventually, they must be put down, or in this case, scrapped. In stepped Bajaj and appropriated the metal of the Vikrant and used it as a seed for their upcoming commuter. So, how much of the INS Vikrant’s fighting spirit does the V15 possess? This commuter motorcycle has come all guns blazing with a 150cc engine and distinctive styling to tackle a class of me-too commuters. We put the V15 through the test regimen to see where it stands.
Where Bajaj seems to have done a spectacular job is with the chassis of the V15. Despite the motorcycle looking a bit on the bulkier side and having relatively fatter tyres than a regular commuter, the dual-cradle chassis on the V15 makes it rather nimble and easily flickable. Yet, its low overall stance and low centre of gravity result in a fair amount of stability in the bends.
The suspension feels pliant and grounded and handles both good and bad roads reasonably well. Oddly, while the suspension feels composed and comfortable over bumps and potholes, over the smaller imperfections, it feels a tad too stiff. And to top it off, the rear suspension is non-adjustable for preload, which might not help the bike’s case with heavier riders. The aforementioned fat tyres from Eurogrip provide excellent amounts of traction, a pleasant surprise as most commuters skimp on this aspect. And let’s not forget the 240mm front brake that offers a decently good amount of stopping power. A few more horses and the V15 could really go beyond its commuting duties.
Bajaj has clearly designed this motorcycle for commuting and that shows in our fuel efficiency figures; holding 60-70kph on a stretch of highway returned around 59kpl. The V15 is happiest being ridden at a leisurely pace. Crawling through heavy city traffic, the torquey engine was happy to just amble along, resulting in a figure of 56kpl.
Fuel efficiency comparison
Bajaj V15- 59kmpl
Bajaj Pulsar AS150- 42kmpl
Bajaj Discover 150F- 47.2kmpl