Watch our video review and listen to the engine of this impressive entry-level 'cafe racer'.
The 2017 Modenas V15 was introduced back in May together with the Modenas Pulsar RS200 sports bike and NS200 naked bike.
The retro-styled V15 offers something different and unique to the 150cc category in the Malaysian market.
The cafe racer inspired motorcycle offers great styling, impressive fuel mileage and affordable pricing which are all the things most people look for when wanting to purchase the perfect two-wheeler.
In our Malaysian market packed to the brim with small capacity mopeds, kapcais and scooters, most of them seem to look like they were produced out of the same mould over and over again with just minor changes and upgrades to keep things slightly more interesting. This is especially true when referring to motorcycles with 150cc capacity and below.
Sure they provide some differences in the overall package but at the end of the day, there are not a lot of variations to really make them stand out above the rest. That all changed when Modenas partnered up with India’s Bajaj Auto Limited to bring over three new exciting models into the country. For this particular writer, the 2017 Modenas V15 is certainly the most interesting model out of the three.
Based on the Bajaj V15, the bike has been rebadged and assembled by Modenas to offer Malaysians something that is unique in the 150cc category. Considered as one of the most popular bikes in India, the V15 injects the retro-styled two-wheeler with a dash of cafe racer-inspired styles and substance.
Judging by the looks, we can honestly say that it’s one of the muscular kinds of small capacity bikes that’s not really that small to begin with. In fact, it is just as big in terms of dimensions as its two bigger siblings, the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 and NS200.
With simplistic styling combined with reliable hardware, the V15 has been said to be a bike that’s no hassle to ride and requires minimum amount of maintenance to get it running smooth for a long time according to Bajaj. Sitting on the bike feels like you’re sitting on a cafe racer with a flat sitting position that goes across the fuel tank.
Powered by Bajaj’s 150cc DTS-i engine, the V15 comes with dual-spark technology that pumps out a good 11.8hp at 7,500rpm and 13Nm of torque at 5,500rpm. Weighing at just 136kg, the bike feels comfortable to ride especially around city streets. Although the bike wasn’t build to go fast, it can comfortably cruise at highway speeds easily but you’re not meant to go fast on the V15. You’re meant to cruise along to be noticed in the most hip areas in the country (although we did manage to hit 120km/h with great effort and high levels of vibration).
Going through the five-speed gearbox seemed a bit odd at first considering that all upshifts are performed by hooking the shift lever upwards and vice versa when downshifting. Similar to most kapcais, the V15 gains a lot more with that extra fifth gear to get the retro bike nicely settled at highway cruising speed.
Equipped with a telescopic front fork and twin rear shocks (despite the mix up of the spec sheet stating that it has a rear monoshock), they provide enough travel to absorb any minor bumps on the road with no issues. No complaints here.
The biggest aspect or selling point of the Modenas V15 has got to be the fuel mileage. Claimed by Bajaj that it can go up to 57km per litre of fuel, the bike in theory can travel up to 680km based on its 12-litre fuel tank capacity. We were very eager to test it in real life and as we have found out, the V15 can cover only half that distance when put through our heavy revving right hand. If the speed is maintained at around 80km/h, you can probably stretch it to over 400km but reaching 680km sounds a bit farfetched.
Being able to cover over 300km on just a single tank of fuel is already incredible enough for us. There are a few issues however when doing so. Two of them are that the seat and riding position tend to put some stress on the lower back so a few stops in between to stretch and rest is a very good idea. Anyone with a height over 170cm will have a cramped riding position as well.
The stock FKR tyres work great in the dry but not so much in the wet or through damp patches. This particular writer had a moment where the bike drifted ever so slightly on both wheels when hitting a damp spot early in a corner but the tyres quickly gained grip again after the damp patch. With that being said, the best thing to do after getting the stylish V15 is to change the tyres to be more wet-weather friendly especially when riding in Malaysia.
With a bike this size, style and performance, one would think that it’ll cost somewhere around the RM10,000 mark but Modenas surprised everyone as the official price for the V15 is only at RM5,989 (basic price with GST). That’s certainly a bargain for us considering the package it offers. Available in Black or White colourway (both with red accents), you can also add a bit more cafe racer appeal to the V15 by opting for the rear pillion seat cover as the one we have on our test bike.
Great looking bike, impressive fuel mileage and available at a very affordable price. The 2017 Modenas V15 is more than ready to take over the Malaysian market by storm together with its two slightly bigger siblings; the Pulsar RS200 and NS200. Stay tuned to Bikes Republic for more reviews.