The Indian rider has a prolonged love affair with cruiser style motorcycles, which is pretty much the reason why Harley-Davidson is considered the epitome of motorcycling heaven by many in our country, and also why Royal Enfield enjoys a cult status here. Over the years, Bajaj Avenger too rose to a lot of popularity since it offers typical cruiser styling, comfort and an overall package that’s good for daily commute and long-distance riding at a price tag much smaller than the Enfields and Harleys.
In fact, there hasn’t been any competition against the Avenger for a long time in the 150-220cc segment. There used to be the Enticer and Eliminator but they’ve long been discontinued. Now though, there is a challenger, Suzuki Intruder.
We’ve had queries on this subject from potential buyers considering between Avenger 180 and Intruder. So, besides the difference in engine displacement, how do the two compete and which one is a better pick? Here goes.
Design and styling
It is a well-known fact that Suzuki Intruder has very distinctive styling. Scaling down the humungous body work from the fully-grown Suzuki Intruder M1800 on a 150cc chassis is what gives the Intruder 150 its unique appeal. But it rather looks disproportionate.
Bajaj Avenger 180, on the other hand, is styled based on the tried and tested contemporary cruiser look of the Avenger 220. You don’t have to undergo any kind of shock or surprise when you first see the Avenger 180, it simply is what is expected from a cruiser. In today’s world, new is always better. In this case though, the age old cliché of ‘old is gold’ works.
We don't usually beat the drum over difference in power unless it is considerably wide. And there isn't much of a difference between the Avenger 180 and Intruder. Bajaj Avenger's 180cc engine makes 15.3 bhp and 13.7 Nm, and Suzuki Intruder gets a 154.9cc engine that makes 14.6 bhp. See, not that big a difference.
But all that bodywork on the Intruder makes it feel heavy while accelerating and handling. The Avenger’s throttle response is swifter and it doesn’t feel sluggish unlike its contender.
The Intruder clearly promises better engine refinement. While the Avenger has quite some vibrations and they tend to get worse at higher speeds when it also gets a bit wobbly, the Intruder’s engine remains calm and it also offers better stability at speeds above 80 km/h.
Bajaj Avenger 180 and Suzuki Intruder 150 deliver a similar fuel efficiency figure of about 45 kmpl. Considering that the Avenger 180 has a larger displacement engine, the figure is rather commendable.
Suzuki Intruder gets to be smug in this department as it comes with ABS (antilock braking system), which is rather an essential tool for heightened safety and it gets a digital instrument cluster. Bajaj Avenger 180 is missing both these things.
Another major difference between the two is the rear disc brake that comes fitted on a Suzuki Intruder. While the rear drum brakes is sufficiently effective on the Avenger 180, overall braking is more efficient on the Intruder as its front disc is more bitey.
So, it really boils down to weighing your options. On one side of the scale is a very new design that’s a bit difficult to assess, stability, ABS, disc brakes at both ends and a digital instrument cluster at a price of Rs 99,995 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the Suzuki Intruder. On the other side, there is the Avenger with its sensible styling, bigger engine, slightly more power, lightweight handling, and great fuel efficiency at about Rs 15,000 less than the Intruder.
Having spent considerable time on both the motorcycles, I think I can narrow it down to a simple fact that the Avenger 180 is lot more practical than Suzuki Intruder, even after a rear disc and ABS is sacrificed - in terms of power delivery, better handling, fuel efficiency that comes from a bigger engine and of course old school styling.