A competent cruiser

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Styled to look like a classic American cruiser, UM Renegade Commando Classic offers a good ride and has a road presence.

After the Commando and the Sport S, UM has launched the Renegade Commando Classic. Aimed at Royal Enfield cruiser bike buyers, the Renegade Commando Classic exploits the American cruiser theme to the hilt. As the name implies, the bike is styled to look like a classic American cruiser. And it does succeed in turning heads with its dual paint scheme and a fairly generous use of chrome. A large front windscreen comes as an accessory. Succeeding to look like a larger displacement cruiser, than it really is, the Renegade Commando Classic has an amount of road presence. 

If the substantial looking front forks in chrome create the classic American cruiser style, the 18-litre tear drop tank contributes with its dual colour scheme and the lone speedometer mounted on the top. To read it when riding is not the most convenient. A part of the speedometer pod is a small digital display. It indicates the gear, the amount of fuel in the tank and includes an odometer. Around the front portion of the tank is a plastic moulding, which drops down to cover a bit of the engine and the heat exchanger. The silver crankcase looks substantial and, along with the twin seats, adds to the cruiser style. The pillion rider gets a back rest. Completing the cruiser bike image is the heavy-set chrome silencer and a stubby tail lamp. The front wheel of the Renegade Commando Classic is of 16-inch dia, and the rear wheel is of 15-inch dia, and both the wheels have chrome rim and spokes. 

Good cruising speeds
The nice scooped-out seat, a ground clearance of 200mm despite the low stance, the easy access to the handlebar and the well-positioned foot pegs all contribute to the relaxed riding position. The pillion rider gets a seat that is well cushioned and comfortable. 

The 25.10bhp, 280cc single cylinder fuel-injected four valve liquid-cooled engine helps the bike to put out a good performance. The shorter first and second ratios aid progress whereas the third, fourth and fifth help to attain cruising speeds. Peak power and peak torque are made higher up the range at 8,500rpm and 7000rpm, respectively. This necessitates the need to work through the cogs to get the bike to deliver. If this is unlike a cruiser bike’s way to deliver power and torque, the gearbox of the Renegade Commando Classic is highly supportive with precise shifts. Shifts happen without a hiccup, and aid the bike to keep up with city traffic and clock good cruising speeds on an open road. 

Not great on rough roads
Feeling at home on the highway at speeds in the range of 75 to 90kmph, the bike, with the decibel killer removed (it is fitted to the silencer), puts out a loud exhaust note. An amount of vibe find its way through the handlebar and the seat at higher revs. Weighing 179 kg, the Renegade Commando Classic rides well, and exhibits good stability. The frame is of the dual cradle variety, and the suspension is made up of telescopic forks at front and twin hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear. On decent surfaces, the rear suspension does a fair job. But on rough surfaces, the shocks tend to get the back. 

The 280mm dia front disc and the 130mm dia rear brake exert good force to shed speed. The front brake has a good bite but is slightly devoid of feel. Averaging 30kmpl with a mix of city and highway riding, and at a price tag of Rs 1.9 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Renegade Commando Classic is competent.  

Pros: American cruiser style, decent ride and handling
Cons: Could be more refined

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