Versa 150 - A Budget Sportbike Review.
Versa 150 adopts simple design which is particularly shown in its minimalist speedometer and the overall exterior. Versa 150 is is powered by a very similar engine used by its older sibling Honda New Mega Pro with addition in its fuel injection system.
The front wheel is completed with disc brake while rear wheel still applies drum brake.
It is released to Indonesian market in 17 January 2013 and the rumours also said that India will be another country where Versa will hit the roads.
It's available in two variants, spoke and cast wheels and offer 4 choices of colors : Sporty Red, Marine Blue, Masculine Black, and Tough Grey.
I've been riding Versa 150 for around 6 months and I'd like to share my views about it in this hub, including its plus and minus sides.
What is a sportsbike ?
A sportsbike or a sport bike is motorcycle which is created to fulfill some required performances mainly in cornering the street, acceleration and breaking, handling, and fuel economization (simply described as ratio between the power produced with its fuel consumption).
Besides those mentioned conditions, a sportsbike design has to consider ergonomics position and functions like the foot pegs and handlebar that must be in easy and comfortable control.
It is also made lightweight but strong to support responsive acceleration.
The Plus Points :
- Budget sport motorbike. Comparing to its peers in the same class like Honda New Megapro, Yamaha New Vixion, and Yamaha Byson, consumers can get Versa 150 for around US$ 1,500, making this motorbike a more affordable sport motorcycle with the price lower by US$ 450 compared to those competitors.
- Good quality and new technology. Despite the lower price, Honda as the manufacturer still pays attention to quality and new technology. Versa's body uses Diamond Steel body frame which is applied in many sport motorbikes. Some new technology are added and even become bargaining features for Versa 150 including Bank Angle Sensor, a tilting sensor protecting the rider from unwanted incident in the case the bike tilts more than 60º.
- Sprocket Chain Stopper is a new addition to secure the engine from blocking if the gear chain breaks.
- Trendy look and design. Body striping, headlamp, wheels, and footsteps which emphasize its sporty, masculine and modern look and design.
- Adjustable twin heavy duty suspensions which makes it possible to withstand various activities, regular rides, or as a carrier :)...
- This is the feature I like the best : powerful and very economical. Powered with 150 cc engine, air cooled, 4-stroke with PGMFI (Programed Fuel Injection), Versa 150 boasts to be able to reach maximum acceleration 110 km/hour in 11.5 seconds. PGMFI technology on Versa 150 makes it very thrifty in fuel consumption 1liter : 48-50 km. Engine with PGMFI and catalytic converter recommends the use of fuel with octane/RON 98 for optimum performance and power benefits.
The Riding Comfort and Handling :
Ergonomic position in riding a motorbike is essential especially when we use it for routine daily activities and long distance. I don't have any problem with riding comfort on Versa 150 although for riders who get used to automatic bikes surely need some time for adaptation. Thanks to its 90ο handlebar riding angle which enables me to ride with nimble maneuvers.
The moderately sloping seat also offers pleasant position for the back rider as well as when transporting goods on it. It will be easier to sit luggage and securely tied it on the back .
Due to the lack of RPM meter that we have to rely on feeling when we need to move the gears and the simplified speedometer also not enable me to know the position of running gear.
The engine gives quite responsive acceleration at lower rotation and copes with inclining street well. Another tester said that Versa gets harder to accelerate in high rotation, at around speed 80 km/h. This condition might be the character of this bike as it's prepared not purely for racing. (remember that the twin shocks this bike has is meant for other function as a carrier, right ?)
The twin shocks also give consequence for harder suspensions and sensitive riders might find this quite a torturing ride on bumpy roads.
There is no day without traffic congestion in my city, Bekasi, and this condition is one of the reasons why I decided to ride a motorbike to reach short-to-medium distance places in the city. I'm glad that Versa 150 is cooperative in facing heavy traffic with its ability in nimble maneuvers. I judge this quality from its good balance, 90ο riding handlebar rotation, and the bike's weight which I can handle (129.5 kg compared to its peers which weigh around 135 kg).
Riding comfort and handling will be useless without excellent brakes and Versa 150 has shown its breaking performance, the combination of drum and disc brakes in rear and front wheels, after being tested with several sudden pulls in the street (some are factual tests in avoiding other vehicles in the front from being hit !).
The Minuses :
*I know other sport bikes of the same class also consist of 5 levels of speed but I wish Versa had 6 for better speed.
* The Dynamic Airflow accessories are plainly attached on both lower sides of fuel tank look fragile and merely like minimalist ornaments.
* Another minimalist feature is on its speedometer which shows only speed meter, fuel meter, trip and odometer. There is no Tachometer or RPM meter which is useful in guiding the right time for gear changes.
* The twin heavy duty shocks result hard suspension and it causes less gripping on wet or graveled roads. This what I feel when riding it in such streets thus badly need more cautious maneuvers.
While the twin shocks support roles for heavy duty activities, they also reduce Versa's physical appearance as a genuine sport bike. I wish It would have only a mono shock to make it more masculine like other sport bikes do.
Versa 150 in numbers :
- Weight : 129 Kg
- Fore tyre size : 80/100 - 17 M/C 46P (Tubless)
- Rear tyre size :100/90 - 17 M/C 55P (Tubeless)
- Engine type : 4 stroke, SOHC, single cylinder.
- Engine volume : 149.2 cc
- Compression ratio : 9.5 : 1
- Maximum power : 9,72 kW (13,2 PS) / 8.500 rpm
- Maximum torque :12.7 Nm (1,29 kgf.m) at 6000 rpm
- Tank capacity : 12.2 l
- Transmission : 5 speed
- Gear steps : 1-N -2-3-4-5
I hope this review gives you some perspectives about this budget sportbike and help you make your mind if you plan to purchase it.