The new Bajaj Avenger Street 160 replaced the Street 180 in 2019. Bajaj doesn’t seem to believe in the no-replacement-for-displacement policy. We take it for a ride to see what’s new. The new 160 also features a fuel-injection system, making way for lower emissions and the new BS6 norms.
For the street
The Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is powered by a 160.4cc, single-cylinder engine from the NS 160 made by Bajaj Bikes. The cylinder head is new; it’s a 2-valve setup instead of a 4-valve. It doesn’t get an oil-cooler, and Bajaj Bikes have said that this has been done to allow the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 deliver the best performance possible. The engine develops 14bhp and 13.5Nm of torque. The engine isn’t particularly refined, but that soft beat gives it its own identity. If a cruiser is what you expect this bike to be, then you might be a bit disappointed. We managed getting up to 80kph and that’s that. If you push harder, the vibrations filter through; so much so that the mirrors start to shake at higher rpms. Getting past 100kph takes its own sweet time and vibrations only get worse. And this makes you more aware of the speeds you’ll be doing. Apart from the ‘180’ badging, the speed sensor and the ABS ring, nothing else looks different on this motorcycle. It still remains that laid-back motorcycle for those who like to be comfortable; there isn’t much chrome, it gets an elongated tank and the stepped seat is from the older models. The analogue speedometer is simple and a tachometer is absent. However, there is a fuel gauge that’s mounted atop the tank. We like the circular headlamp along with the stubby visor atop it. We remember the original Avenger to be a good looking machine, and although it has lost some of its simplicity, it still retains the original shape, which is no bad thing.
Getting on; riding off
The seats are comfy and the suspension do a swell job in absorbing the rough stuff. The chassis is the same, so that means it remains nimble, thanks to the long wheelbase as well. Even the brakes have been carried over, but you now get single-channel ABS; the front brakes seem to bite well. What makes it all the more rider-friendly is the 730mm seat height, allowing even short riders to sit with their feet perfectly on the road. For tall people, the handlebar is bound to rub your knees a bit, something you’re going find bothersome in traffic. Fit and finish is decent, but the switchgear could’ve been made of better stuff. On very deep ruts, the bike tends to bottom out and that unsettles you a bit because your feet are placed ahead of you. The ergonomics aren’t great although your feet are positioned like they would be on any cruiser; however, the handlebars seemed to have been designed keeping in mind the purpose of this bike being a street model.
Should you buy one?
The Indian brand has managed to sell a good number of Street 150s when it was on sale, something the 180 failed to accomplish. With the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 however, the company wants to plug the gap between the Avenger Street 150 and 220. The Street 160 makes almost the same amount of power as the bike it replaces, while offering a new safety feature and costing lesser. It makes this bike a pretty good deal, in our book.