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Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

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  • Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

    I am extremely happy to bring this review blog on an auriferous Honda Unicorn 150 CC, 2007 model that has run 1,23,00 plus Km and is still counting. Many bikes got released, they were in service for many years and later they become debris in the pages of history. But the legends like Honda Unicorn remain on the roads making its own space at your service, still gets sold in the market without any commercials due to its proven track records. This is a story of one such bike which is used by my friend in city, touring long distances in different climate and even on Leh-Ladakh like terrains.

    Click image for larger version

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Views:	1
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ID:	2004733


    I am a Biker and 4-wheeler rider who like to travel very long distances. I owned many bikes and gained a very good technical experience and expertise on bikes, where I was also well guided by Bike Guru’s like Late Shree Dilip Bam Sir. When I intercepted with this Bike & the Rider, I found this information is worth sharing to the motoring community. This blog narrates on the information on the Bike, the Rider, travel vlogs done on the Bike by the Rider, maintenance and the condition of the bike in pictures, post usage.


    First meet of the Bike & the Biker
    The Bike was purchased in November 2007 in Pune. The first owner used it for Leh-Ladakh as his first ride, his second trip was to UP from Mumbai and a 3rd trip was from Mumbai to Bengaluru. There were multiple short trips to Pune-Mumbai as well. The bike was run till 2009 and it was stalled for a year till end of 2010 at home because the rider had to move abroad. However, the bike was stored with utmost care at home by his father. My friend who then studying for graduation and had to travel long distance to college in 2011 wanted a bike for commuting to college, approached the owner’s parents and purchased the bike in 16th February 2011. The bike was in immaculate condition and had 24,000 Km on the Odometer. This was the first meet where bonding started between a Man and the Machine. The saga of journey of both has just begun.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	2004734


    The proud owner of this bike is my friend, Saiesh Rane often called as Rider Rane in friends circle. The first ride started with mixed emotions, but as he started cruising on NH-4, he started enjoying his first ride and enjoyed every moment of it. Everybody will have a strong bond towards our native places. He thought to ride to our native place, Karwar, which is called Kashmir of Karnataka. This was his first longest and solo ride in 2013, November, a Pune to Karwar round-trip, covering 1250 Km. His adrenaline rush towards biking and keen interests in photography/videography, embarked him to become a Moto-vlogger. He recorded his trips and posted on YouTube channel named as “Rider Rane”. With permission from Saiesh Rane, I will be referring the links of the rides in this blog as a proof of the Honda Unicorn’s performance, capability and the reliability in different climates.


    Modifications on Honda Unicorn for the rides
    Knuckle guards – 700 INR
    Additional array of LED lights for night rides fitted under the front number plate – 400 INR
    Fog-lamps with wiring kit – 1500 INR

    Wind shield from JDR – 700 INR
    Top Box from JDR – 7000 INR
    Installation with mounts – 3000 INR

    Below is the picture that projects the feasible modifications can be done for touring. A video link is posted at the end as well.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Modifications.jpg
Views:	1
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ID:	2004735


    Maintenance
    The maintenance is a conglomeration considered during the 1,23,000 Km. General servicing is done for every 3000 Km early as a safe measure, even though synthetic oil serves till 3500 Km.

    Service: 350 INR
    Motul oil, full synthetic 10W30: 700 INR / litre
    Total cost: 1050 INR

    Saga of Piston Rings:
    There was a turbulence happened due to some missed inspection. At 93,000 Kms in 2015 observed a white smoke from silencer. Only piston rings had to be replaced, piston & engine block remain untouched. The vehicle was needed another running in period due to new piston rings, and the new rings needed a proper bedding in the engine. The bike is running very well with the changed set of piston rings, where the piston and block remain the same.
    Total cost: 3500 INR

    Chain Sprocket:
    These were changed twice; one was due to open cover and the these were exposed while bike fell off the stand. The second one was changed at 95,000 Km due to wear and tear.
    Cost: 1250 INR / set

    Clutch plates and clutch cables:
    Clutch plates were changed at 27,000 Km. Cables were changed twice and this was done preferably for self-comfort for smooth gear change. There were no instances of cable cuts.

    Clutch plates cost: 800 INR during first change and 1150 INR during second change.
    Cable cost: 150 INR

    Brakes:
    Front brake pads were changed twice, the rear liners are changed on the need basis. The rear liners are much prone to hardening in rainy seasons or due to water, hence at an average they are changed approximately at an interval of 6000 to 7000 Km.
    Front Brake Pads: 300 INR
    Rear Liner: 220 INR

    Battery:
    The battery has been changed twice in the duration of 1,23,000 Km run. There is less load on the battery while starting. Early morning, the bike is started using a kick start, warmed up for few minutes before a ride. The current battery being used was replaced in September 2019, a new model from Exide with a warranty of 2 years.
    Price: 1600 INR

    Tyres:
    Tyres have been changed twice. After a thorough study of the bike’s handling, front tyre currently used is Michelin and the rear tyre is CEAT. No changes in the profile.
    Front tyre Michelin: 1500 INR
    Rear tyre CEAT: 2200 INR


    Riding Gear
    PGS Jacket, All Seasons
    Pro-Bikers Knee Guard & Gloves.


    Vlogging instruments
    The initial rides had a local workaround (Desi jugaad) type of a setup where a Point & Shoot camera mounted on a selfie stick and was tucked in a space present in the bottom left side of the Instrument Panel Cluster. Due to some shaky videos used in fast actions like higher speeds, an action camera is used later as 1080P, 60FPS using a SJCAM SJ6 Legend with an external Microphone.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Vlogging WA with Point & Shoot Camera.jpg
Views:	1
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ID:	2004736


    Miscellaneous parameters, Speed and Fuel Economy
    Parameters like tyre pressure, type of fuel, temperature, speed, weight, seasonal conditions and wind does matter a lot. Here, I am narrating few parameters that were considered during the rides.

    The tyre pressure was maintained for front at 30 PSI and rear at 40 PSI as per the sweet spot that were adapted and learnt during the seasonal rides. Usage of Nitrogen was a blessing in disguise for stability at high speeds that lead to more life for tyres and in the hot climate rides, the nitrogen being the only a single element unlike air helps to maintain tyre temperature well. The bike performed well in the temperatures ranging from 15 - 45 Degree Centigrade. No complaints whether it was road or no-roads. The bike is driven to most of the villages where there are no roads and it performed extremely well and, on the highways, where roads were made up of tar or cement.

    An external visor is used for wind blast, that is very useful in fatigue free long rides and it is also useful in getting a relatively streamlined flow of air. During long rides a break at every 150Km is taken, that will help the bike and the biker during daytime.

    The bike can hover at 100 Kmph with ease and a highest speed that bike can take is 122 Kmph. With pillion rider that bike cruises with 100+ Kmph even after 1,23,000 Km on ODO and performed extremely well in coastal rains and on Western Ghats.

    The range of the bike is phenomenal, goes up to 600 Km on one full tank filled with 14L of petrol. Reserve fuel of 2L which is enough to take you to the next petrol pump. The bike gives an average of 43Kmpl in city and 47 Kmpl on highway. Solo driving gives a fuel economy of 47 Kmpl and with a pillion and luggage gives a fuel economy of 43 Kmpl with 100+ Kmph speed.

    Below is the latest image of the bike after the 1,23,000 Km

    Click image for larger version

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Views:	1
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ID:	2004737


    Verdict and few words from the rider
    The bike has good looks, great on range and fuel economy, refinement of the engine is at top notch, overall reliability of the bike and price point reachability are the key factors to consider here. As the rider is 6 feet tall, the comfort level and the stance presented by the bike is divine.

    I asked a simple question to Rider Rane, “Which bike you will buy next?”
    He smilingly replied- “Will go for a Honda Unicorn with eyes closed

    Click image for larger version

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Views:	1
Size:	119.1 KB
ID:	2004738


    Rides done on the Honda Unicorn
    1. Pune to Karwar roundtrip, 1250 Km - First Longest and solo Ride in November 2015
    2. Pune to Ratnagiri, May 2016, 600 Km
    3. Pune to Alibaug roundtrip, Aug 2016, Mansoon 1 Day trip, 350 Km
    4. Pune - Murudeshwar - Karwar - Goa - Pune in January 2017, Winter & Night ride, 1864 Km
    5. Pune to Karwar via Amboli Ghat, Febraury 2017, 1100 Km
    6. Pune to Karwar Monsoon ride via Anshi Ghats, return via Amboli Ghats, July 2017, 1200 Km
    - Destination covered Ramnath Temple, Streets of Karwar, Mallikarjun Temple.
    7. Pune to Devkund round trip, Mansoon ride, July 2018, 240 Km
    8. Pune to Badami, September 2018, 1000 Km
    9. Pune to Jejuri, December 2018, 120 Km
    10. Pune to Goa, February 2019, 1000 Km
    11. Pune to Karwar, Night ride Solo, April 2019, 1250 Km
    12. Pune to Hampi, March 2020, 1300 Km


    Links of the video on bike modifications

    A video on modifications done for touring


    Links of the ride videos with the bike
    With the permission of Saiesh Rane “Rider Rane”, I have posted below links of the videos for your reference.

    Pune - Hampi
    Pune – Sadashivgad – Karwar - Kinner
    Shree Mallikarjun Temple, Cancona Goa
    Shree Ramnath Temple, Majali, Karwar


    Thank you so much



  • #2
    Re: Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

    Thread Approved and Moved

    Absolutely a fantastic tale.

    Cheers!
    VJ
    Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'
    The girl said, 'NO!'


    And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and watched sport on a big screen TV, went fishing and surfing, and played golf a lot, and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.


    THE END

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

      Lovely.
      I always enjoyed my original CB Unicorn.
      Good to see someone using one for so long.

      Now Showing: Kumaon Wanderings - Darma Valley
      Rolling Thread: Bangalore Backroads

      My Last few rides:
      2400Km of Solo Spiti Sauntering
      From the rains of Uttarakhand to the deserts of Ladakh

      Solo Autumn Ride through the Kumaon Hills - Triplog

      Other Rides: Riding Blog

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

        What an amazing story, it goes to show how reliable are our two wheelers if maintained and ridden well and of course the Unicorn being a gem of an engine. I too have one from 2007 in race orange colour but has run very less and used for running errands at home. I have hardly changed anything in the last 13 years other than service and consumables like brake pads, etc. Many of my friends have asked me to notify them if I ever think of selling it, but I don't think I will.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

          very nice review indeed, i also read you on teambhp glad to meet here :-P
          Originally posted by yogeshnaik View Post
          I am extremely happy to bring this review blog on an auriferous Honda Unicorn 150 CC, 2007 model that has run 1,23,00 plus Km and is still counting. Many bikes got released, they were in service for many years and later they become debris in the pages of history. But the legends like Honda Unicorn remain on the roads making its own space at your service, still gets sold in the market without any commercials due to its proven track records. This is a story of one such bike which is used by my friend in city, touring long distances in different climate and even on Leh-Ladakh like terrains.

          [ATTACH]255508[/ATTACH]


          I am a Biker and 4-wheeler rider who like to travel very long distances. I owned many bikes and gained a very good technical experience and expertise on bikes, where I was also well guided by Bike Guru’s like Late Shree Dilip Bam Sir. When I intercepted with this Bike & the Rider, I found this information is worth sharing to the motoring community. This blog narrates on the information on the Bike, the Rider, travel vlogs done on the Bike by the Rider, maintenance and the condition of the bike in pictures, post usage.


          First meet of the Bike & the Biker
          The Bike was purchased in November 2007 in Pune. The first owner used it for Leh-Ladakh as his first ride, his second trip was to UP from Mumbai and a 3rd trip was from Mumbai to Bengaluru. There were multiple short trips to Pune-Mumbai as well. The bike was run till 2009 and it was stalled for a year till end of 2010 at home because the rider had to move abroad. However, the bike was stored with utmost care at home by his father. My friend who then studying for graduation and had to travel long distance to college in 2011 wanted a bike for commuting to college, approached the owner’s parents and purchased the bike in 16th February 2011. The bike was in immaculate condition and had 24,000 Km on the Odometer. This was the first meet where bonding started between a Man and the Machine. The saga of journey of both has just begun.

          [ATTACH]255509[/ATTACH]


          The proud owner of this bike is my friend, Saiesh Rane often called as Rider Rane in friends circle. The first ride started with mixed emotions, but as he started cruising on NH-4, he started enjoying his first ride and enjoyed every moment of it. Everybody will have a strong bond towards our native places. He thought to ride to our native place, Karwar, which is called Kashmir of Karnataka. This was his first longest and solo ride in 2013, November, a Pune to Karwar round-trip, covering 1250 Km. His adrenaline rush towards biking and keen interests in photography/videography, embarked him to become a Moto-vlogger. He recorded his trips and posted on YouTube channel named as “Rider Rane”. With permission from Saiesh Rane, I will be referring the links of the rides in this blog as a proof of the Honda Unicorn’s performance, capability and the reliability in different climates.


          Modifications on Honda Unicorn for the rides
          Knuckle guards – 700 INR
          Additional array of LED lights for night rides fitted under the front number plate – 400 INR
          Fog-lamps with wiring kit – 1500 INR

          Wind shield from JDR – 700 INR
          Top Box from JDR – 7000 INR
          Installation with mounts – 3000 INR

          Below is the picture that projects the feasible modifications can be done for touring. A video link is posted at the end as well.

          [ATTACH]255510[/ATTACH]


          Maintenance
          The maintenance is a conglomeration considered during the 1,23,000 Km. General servicing is done for every 3000 Km early as a safe measure, even though synthetic oil serves till 3500 Km.

          Service: 350 INR
          Motul oil, full synthetic 10W30: 700 INR / litre
          Total cost: 1050 INR

          Saga of Piston Rings:
          There was a turbulence happened due to some missed inspection. At 93,000 Kms in 2015 observed a white smoke from silencer. Only piston rings had to be replaced, piston & engine block remain untouched. The vehicle was needed another running in period due to new piston rings, and the new rings needed a proper bedding in the engine. The bike is running very well with the changed set of piston rings, where the piston and block remain the same.
          Total cost: 3500 INR

          Chain Sprocket:
          These were changed twice; one was due to open cover and the these were exposed while bike fell off the stand. The second one was changed at 95,000 Km due to wear and tear.
          Cost: 1250 INR / set

          Clutch plates and clutch cables:
          Clutch plates were changed at 27,000 Km. Cables were changed twice and this was done preferably for self-comfort for smooth gear change. There were no instances of cable cuts.

          Clutch plates cost: 800 INR during first change and 1150 INR during second change.
          Cable cost: 150 INR

          Brakes:
          Front brake pads were changed twice, the rear liners are changed on the need basis. The rear liners are much prone to hardening in rainy seasons or due to water, hence at an average they are changed approximately at an interval of 6000 to 7000 Km.
          Front Brake Pads: 300 INR
          Rear Liner: 220 INR

          Battery:
          The battery has been changed twice in the duration of 1,23,000 Km run. There is less load on the battery while starting. Early morning, the bike is started using a kick start, warmed up for few minutes before a ride. The current battery being used was replaced in September 2019, a new model from Exide with a warranty of 2 years.
          Price: 1600 INR

          Tyres:
          Tyres have been changed twice. After a thorough study of the bike’s handling, front tyre currently used is Michelin and the rear tyre is CEAT. No changes in the profile.
          Front tyre Michelin: 1500 INR
          Rear tyre CEAT: 2200 INR


          Riding Gear
          PGS Jacket, All Seasons
          Pro-Bikers Knee Guard & Gloves.


          Vlogging instruments
          The initial rides had a local workaround (Desi jugaad) type of a setup where a Point & Shoot camera mounted on a selfie stick and was tucked in a space present in the bottom left side of the Instrument Panel Cluster. Due to some shaky videos used in fast actions like higher speeds, an action camera is used later as 1080P, 60FPS using a SJCAM SJ6 Legend with an external Microphone.

          [ATTACH]255511[/ATTACH]


          Miscellaneous parameters, Speed and Fuel Economy
          Parameters like tyre pressure, type of fuel, temperature, speed, weight, seasonal conditions and wind does matter a lot. Here, I am narrating few parameters that were considered during the rides.

          The tyre pressure was maintained for front at 30 PSI and rear at 40 PSI as per the sweet spot that were adapted and learnt during the seasonal rides. Usage of Nitrogen was a blessing in disguise for stability at high speeds that lead to more life for tyres and in the hot climate rides, the nitrogen being the only a single element unlike air helps to maintain tyre temperature well. The bike performed well in the temperatures ranging from 15 - 45 Degree Centigrade. No complaints whether it was road or no-roads. The bike is driven to most of the villages where there are no roads and it performed extremely well and, on the highways, where roads were made up of tar or cement.

          An external visor is used for wind blast, that is very useful in fatigue free long rides and it is also useful in getting a relatively streamlined flow of air. During long rides a break at every 150Km is taken, that will help the bike and the biker during daytime.

          The bike can hover at 100 Kmph with ease and a highest speed that bike can take is 122 Kmph. With pillion rider that bike cruises with 100+ Kmph even after 1,23,000 Km on ODO and performed extremely well in coastal rains and on Western Ghats.

          The range of the bike is phenomenal, goes up to 600 Km on one full tank filled with 14L of petrol. Reserve fuel of 2L which is enough to take you to the next petrol pump. The bike gives an average of 43Kmpl in city and 47 Kmpl on highway. Solo driving gives a fuel economy of 47 Kmpl and with a pillion and luggage gives a fuel economy of 43 Kmpl with 100+ Kmph speed.

          Below is the latest image of the bike after the 1,23,000 Km

          [ATTACH]255512[/ATTACH]


          Verdict and few words from the rider
          The bike has good looks, great on range and fuel economy, refinement of the engine is at top notch, overall reliability of the bike and price point reachability are the key factors to consider here. As the rider is 6 feet tall, the comfort level and the stance presented by the bike is divine.

          I asked a simple question to Rider Rane, “Which bike you will buy next?”
          He smilingly replied- “Will go for a Honda Unicorn with eyes closed

          [ATTACH]255513[/ATTACH]


          Rides done on the Honda Unicorn
          1. Pune to Karwar roundtrip, 1250 Km - First Longest and solo Ride in November 2015
          2. Pune to Ratnagiri, May 2016, 600 Km
          3. Pune to Alibaug roundtrip, Aug 2016, Mansoon 1 Day trip, 350 Km
          4. Pune - Murudeshwar - Karwar - Goa - Pune in January 2017, Winter & Night ride, 1864 Km
          5. Pune to Karwar via Amboli Ghat, Febraury 2017, 1100 Km
          6. Pune to Karwar Monsoon ride via Anshi Ghats, return via Amboli Ghats, July 2017, 1200 Km
          - Destination covered Ramnath Temple, Streets of Karwar, Mallikarjun Temple.
          7. Pune to Devkund round trip, Mansoon ride, July 2018, 240 Km
          8. Pune to Badami, September 2018, 1000 Km
          9. Pune to Jejuri, December 2018, 120 Km
          10. Pune to Goa, February 2019, 1000 Km
          11. Pune to Karwar, Night ride Solo, April 2019, 1250 Km
          12. Pune to Hampi, March 2020, 1300 Km


          Links of the video on bike modifications

          A video on modifications done for touring


          Links of the ride videos with the bike
          With the permission of Saiesh Rane “Rider Rane”, I have posted below links of the videos for your reference.

          Pune - Hampi
          Pune – Sadashivgad – Karwar - Kinner
          Shree Mallikarjun Temple, Cancona Goa
          Shree Ramnath Temple, Majali, Karwar


          Thank you so much


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Story of a Honda Unicorn – Review after 1,23,000 Km

            Nice review of that extremely tough bike. My friend here is actually looking to get a Honda Unicorn as next project bike, we'll just finish installing the suspension from 4Wheelonline onto his Jeep next week. The bike got 47k kilometers and might need a new set of clutch plate.

            Comment

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