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Remembering The 1999 Hero Honda CBZ | Before The Pulsar Came

In the year 1999, a homegrown two-wheeler manufacturer Hero Honda gave the market first India made 150CC motorcycle. The Hero Honda CBZ was leaps and bound ahead of its competition and took the riding experience to a totally different level. Little did anyone knew that the CBZ will become a child’s dream from the 1990s. With that said, let’s have a sneak peek why Hero Honda CBZ became an iconic motorcycle in the Indian automotive market.

1999 Hero Honda CBZ
1999 Hero Honda CBZ

What made Hero Honda CBZ stand out?

The primary reason for a successful motorcycle was the aesthetic appeal. CBZ came with the typical CB design scheme from the Japanese manufacturer Honda. Hero Honda CBZ also featured a twin-pod instrument cluster with a dedicated speedo and a tachometer. This was something new to everyone in this segment. A fuel gauge was also something to note which the rivals of CBZ missed.

How was CBZ in terms of performance?

Well, along with head-turning aesthetics, CBZ also got a powerful gem of an engine. The motor was a 156.8cc with a SOHC setup. The engine was capable of producing 12.5hp@8000rpm and a peak torque of 12.4Nm@6,500rpm. Both of the figures were class-leading back in the 90s. The engine was combined to a yet again first in class 5-speed gearbox. This engine was the first engine to be Euro 1 emission norms compliant and the first to be a 4-stroke gasoline engine.

Is that all to the powertrain of CBZ? you may ask. No! the motorcycle came with a unique Keihin slide-type carburettor that delivered a more precise air-fuel mixture to the engine than its rivals. This entire package gave CBZ agility. More so that it was capable of achieving 60kmph in just 5 seconds and topped the charts with a top speed of 125 kmph which was indeed fast back then.

1999 Hero HondAa CBZ | Instrument Cluster
1999 Hero HondAa CBZ | Instrument Cluster

CBZ was indeed fuel-efficient

The heart of the Hero Honda CBZ was indeed refined and fuel-efficient too, and could easily travel a minimum of 600 kms from a single tank of fuel. Talking about the fuel tank, it was capable of holding 12.5-litre of fuel.

No hesitation while braking

When it comes to braking, yet again CBZ was the first motorcycle in the segment to feature a 240mm front disc brake with Nissin brake callipers and a 130mm rear drum. A combination of both gave the motorcycle a sense of confidence when braking.

Recomended Read: Hero Xtreme 160R vs Apache RTR 160 vs Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Hero Honda CBZ
Hero Honda CBZ

What ended the Hero Honda CBZ (A Legend)?

The motorcycle from Hero Honda was indeed a complete package. This was possible due to the gem powertrain and a slick gearbox. Both of which lend the motorcycle ultimate performance with class-leading fuel economy. Keeping that aside, little did Hero Honda knew that the crown was about to be snatched. In 2001, Bajaj launched its take over the young generation. Bajaj Pulsar was the motorcycle that took over the market of 150 CC motorcycles. Later the CBZ made another debut with a new name ‘Xtreme’ which didn’t have the oomph to take over the likes of Pulsar.

Do you remember? Hero Splendor History | The National Motorcycle of India

What do you think about the Hero Honda CBZ? If launched again will it last? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Utkarsh Bhardwajhttps://gomechanic.in/blog
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.

39 COMMENTS

  1. I was one of those lucky enough to ride this and she was phenomenal. You forgot to mention a class leading rear tyre with a tyre hugger. Then the unique kick proposition, where one has to lift the foot peg and then Kick. She had her own charm and charisma, but when the revised horrendous Xtreme version came out Hero as usual lost the plot. History repeated itself with the Karizma. Trust Hero to screw up a good product with Horrendous styling and always messing up the engine. You can’t trust these guys with motorcycle icons

    • Hi Anoop,
      Indeed it was a charming and elegant motorcycle for its time. Only a person who has ridden the original CBZ knows its appeal. Well, now better late than never Hero is getting back on the market with fairly good motorcycles. Stay Pinned.

  2. Yes definately, the Hero Honda CBZ was way ahead in terms of quality, had ridden a friends CBZ from Mumbai to Goa and the bike ran beautifully, the older gen bikes had something special in them

    • Hi Lakhvir,
      Sure the motorcycle was a fair deal back then. Yes! Hero has surely moved forward with time as they have launched some really great motorcycles. Stay Pined to get updates on the new launches.

  3. This CBZ xtreme is good in quality, best looks,power and fuel efficiency. But present CBZ xtreme is opposite to old bike.

  4. It was a legend in Motor bikes
    It had dual Acceleration
    I bought this bike in 1999.
    Still i don’t see much comfortable bikes than CBZ.

  5. I am using 2003 model CBZ its unique design give attraction than any other bikes i love so much really 90s kids favrt bike still lots of fans for these bike and friends too like these bike simply powerfull and fuel effitient but i dont like to use in urban areas and traffic jams leave from there and in highways and straight roads and other long riding condition it gives the mood to travel more ❤️

      • My friend had one in our college days.cbz was a class apart.i enjoyed riding it.New variants like Xtreme are no where near it.I own a karizma and still I’m looking for an old cbz.Decent looks and great riding comfort.way better than current 150 cc bikes

  6. Is there any chance to relaunch cbz or cbz star bcoz I am still waiting for that king , not only me may of cbz lover are waiting

  7. I have 2003 blue colour cbz and i love to ride always … ❤️
    And also have 2011 karizma that to in yellow colour
    Both are unique 🙂
    I don’t think this will come again …
    Anyways happy to maintain both beauty’s 👼

  8. Well hero have to modify something like ,more power in engine ,sleek design bcoz today youngsters like more powerful bikes nd new technology in which hero is faraway

  9. Indeed CBZ was ahead for its time in 1999. I have a 1999 model in excellent condition. Last week I got the FC done from 20yrs to 25yrs. HH has not even given a multi reflector head light when CBZ star was launched such was the ignorance given to this bike. Eventually sales dwindled due to high cost compared to fiero and pulsar. A unique feature TPFC for transient power fuel control activated by second cable in carburettor gives inrush of acceleration at 4.5k rpm when opening throttle from 4k rpm to 5k rpm. I am very much attached to CBZ and hence keeping it further.

  10. My parents gifted me one in 2000, when I was 20, I still maintain it and use for occasional long drives. Sure was a blockbuster then and offered much better quality than Pulsar, which was launched later. Bajaj had a lower price, better fuel economy and a youth friendly marketing campaign which made them market leaders in the segment later. I am still in love with my CBZ…

  11. My father owned this and so it’s still sitting in our home. I had an interest in this bike but never knew it was so iconic in India until reading this article. I guess it’s not wrong to call it the Toyota Supra of Indian motorcycle market. I will try to restore the one at our home now.

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