The deadline for complying with the safety norms is 1 April, 2020 and ahead of that the companies in India are updating their existing model line-up so that the bikes are cars comply with the upcoming rules. One of the top 2-wheeler manufacturers of the country Bajaj too is working on making their models compliant with the upcoming safety rules. In this chain of events, a few people recently saw the testing of the Cruise version of Avenger 220 in India.
The spy pics show no difference in the bike, only the addition of an ABS unit around the brake housings. Bajaj is planning on equipping the bike with a single-channel ABS unit in order to keep the costs low. While there have been reports on the internet stating that the new Avenger 220 ABS version could be priced at around Rs 1.02 lakh there has been no confirmation of the same. As of now Bajaj offers its Avenger 220 bikes in India in two variants, one being the Street 220 and other Cruise 220. These motorcycles come powered with a 220-cc oil cooled engine rated to produce a healthy 19 Bhp and 17.5 Nm in the cruiser styled bikes. The engine of the bikes are equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Based on the famed Yamaha Enticer line-up Bajaj has placed the Avenger as a more laid-back version of its Pulsar series as the two bikes do share the engines. Bajaj also offered the 150cc version of Avenger in the past, however, this was later discontinued and the company went ahead with 180cc and 220cc versions only.
Now there have been reports that after discontinuing the 150cc version of the cruiser bike, Bajaj is aiming to stop the production of Avenger 180 and instead replace the bike with a 160cc version of the Avenger. The new lighter version of the cruiser could come equipped with the engine already seen on the Pulsar NS160. The 4-valve engine of the NS160 is a cleaner option than the dual valve engine of the Avenger 180. This cleaner setup will come in handy once the BS-VI emission norms will come into force in 2019.
Bajaj currently offers its Avenger 180 only in the street version and there are expectations that the upcoming 160cc version of the cruiser could also be offered in the same version. The launch of a smaller displacement version is expected to have no difference on the price and the upcoming 160cc Avenger could be launched at the current price of Avenger 180.
While the current safety update in the Bajaj Avenger 220 Cruise is a minor update, one can expect a major update for the bike before the new BS-VI emission norms kick in. As of now Bajaj Avenger remains unchallenged in the market facing no real competition on the price band. The new update is sure to make the bike safer and help it consolidate the strong hold it has in the market.