UM Renegade Commando looks quite attractive at first glance

first_imgUs Indians have a fetish for cruisers! Looking at this syndrome, American brand UM Motorcycles showcased and launched two new motorcycles in India at the last Auto Expo. At the show both bikes looked inviting and after a rather substantial wait, we got our hands on one of them; the Renegade Commando to be precise. The company’s vision here is to offers an ‘affordable yet premium American product’ in India. So have they been successful?ALSO READ:Ducati Monster 821 is a bike that one needs and has to haveThe companys vision here is to offer an affordable yet premium American product in India. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The Renegade Commando is pretty much a looker. It comes in the matte military type green shade and looks quite attractive at first glance. The large fenders both up front and back hide the meaty 110/90 16-inch tyre up front and the massive 140/90 15-inch tyre at the back. The 41mm front forks house the headlamp which has a cover behind which announces the name of the bike. The handlebar design gels well with the overall theme and at the same time the switchgear felt nice and crisp to operate.The instrument panel sits atop the 18-litre fuel tank. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The large 18-litre fuel tank also houses the instrument panel which comprises of a large speedo and a digital display for other tell tales. Beside this console there is also a USB slot provided which can be used to charge mobile devices. Quite a good feature to have these days.advertisementSwitchgear works well. But lacks finish. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The seat height is also kept low which should be comfortable for most Indian frames. The rear seat too offers decent amount of space and the backrest too provides comfort to the pillion. There is also a small storage space under the rear seat and it does come handy.Switchgear works well. But lacks finish. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: Honda Hornett vs Suzuki Gixxer vs TVS Apache 160 vs Yamaha FZIt all seems well as of now! But look closely and you will start noticing certain issues. First and foremost the finish of various things are not up to the mark. The mudguards are not properly rounded at the edges and the quality of rubber parts are a doubt as well. While most of the bikes we get come with fancy decaling we appreciate the bare basic tone of the Commando.Engine offers good tug. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) But the decal on the tank felt like it will peel off sooner than later. And before I forget, our bike also had the issue of a leaky fuel tank cap! While we understand that the UM Commando is built to a price but we sincerely hope that UM Motorcycles look into the matter and production bikes are better finished than the one we got. It is mandatory!Neatly set radiator. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The key fob sits atop the handlebar T. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The Commando is powered by a 279.5cc, 4-stroke single which churns out 24.8bhp and 21.8Nm of torque. Considering all this the Commando will face stiff competition from the Mahindra Mojo and the Royal Enfield Himalayan. That’s quite a task in itself. The engine starts up on a meaty note and that I like. The gears shifted with a bit of notchiness and the Commando took off with quite a bit of grunt. The accompanying rorty note from the engine along with the exhaust adds to the overall aura of gaining momentum. The tug from the engine continues till one hits the 100kmph mark after which it starts feeling stressed.280mm discs up front offer good bite. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: The Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is a smart commuterHowever we did see the speedo go by 130kmph and that is a respectable figure and comparable to the competition. But at this speed vibrations creep up which does not feel right. However if you are one of those who are happy to cruise around at 80 to 90kmph all day long, the Commando will keep you rather happy. But the only cause of concern is the fact that this engine is not exactly an all-American one! It is actually one sourced from China and this also means that reliability has to be proved in India.There is little to doubt the fact that the Renegade Commando is quite a looker. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)UM has loaded the Commando with features. One of them is the USB charging slot mounted on the instrument panel. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) Now moving onto the ride and handling department. The Commando comes with a relatively long wheelbase. It also sports 41mm telescopic forks up front and a conventional twin shock set up at the back. On the move the suspension did a good job of soaking up the bumps and especially those nasty potholes which monsoon throws up. However dug deeper the suspension does stick it up your spine. Being a cruiser the Commando demonstrates good straight line abilities. But in true American spirit, it does not like corners much.Large tail lamps mounted on a big fender adds to the visual. The big mudguards also work well to keep water away. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Last but not the least, the Command does stop rather well. The front 280mm discs work well and offers ample bite. This is also aided by the 130mm drums at the back. However in absence of ABS, the rear tyre locks up rather quickly. advertisementIt also has a lot of street presence. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:Honda CB Shine tested in peak trafficVerdictThe Renegade Commando will be made in India. The Commando looks the part and on paper it is very competitive as well. The engine offers good performance and at the same time the bike is priced competitively.  However what we did not like much is the fact that attention to detail is missing. The quality of plastics and rubber parts need to improve soon to ensure that these bikes are competitive in the market.last_img

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