UM Motorcycles has launched two new models - the Renegade Classic and the Renegade Commando Mojave Edition in India. The launch of these two motorcycles was followed by a media ride where we got our hands on the UM Renegade Classic, and we got to ride the bike near Corbett National Park, in northern India. UM is a fairly new entrant in the Indian two-wheeler market, having set up their business four years ago, and has started selling bikes a little less than two years ago. Till now, UM has only cruiser motorcycles in its India portfolio and here is what we think of the UM Renegade Classic.
Also Read: UM Motorcycles Launches Renegade Classic And Renegade Mojave Edition In India
All UM Motorcycles in India are essentially the same. The Renegade Commando, the Renegade Sport S and now the Renegade Classic are bikes which have the exact same underpinnings and the engines. If there are something which differentiates all current UM motorcycles from one another, it is the colour schemes, and a few cosmetic changes. The Renegade Classic in particular, is perhaps the best-looking motorcycle in the UM range currently. Our test motorcycle had a lovely retro colour scheme of Cream and Brown with some chrome bits thrown in. The seat and the single saddlebag were done in tan leather, giving the bike a 'classic' cruiser look along with a small tank pouch as well. The good part is that all these bits are offered as standard fitment on the Renegade Classic. In case you want the saddlebag for the left side as well, you will have to shell out extra money. Oh! And you also have a USB port for charging your mobile phones, on the fuel tank. It is a standard feature.
The tall windshield adds to the Classic credentials as well. The instrument console is mounted on the fuel tank and is part digital and part analogue which is a good touch on the design part. Overall, the bike looks good, and a little 'different', so, to the untrained eye, people will definitely ask about it. So, no complaints at all on the design and looks department. The best part is that the quality of materials used and the overall fit and finish of the bike is more than good, something that was lacking when the UM bikes first came in to the market.
All UM Motorcycles in India have the same engine which is a 279 cc single-cylinder motor and is liquid-cooled. It pumps out 25 bhp at 8,500 rpm and churns out peak torque of 23 Nm at 7,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission. The engine itself is a strong performer but there were some fuelling issues. The bike almost felt as if it was gagging when it was ridden around 25-40 kmph in the second gear. Whether this was a case in particular with our test bike or in general, we do not know for sure. So, a full road test in future is in order.
The first gear was a little too long for our liking, and during our ride, the engine stalled on more than one occasion, when you dump the clutch in first. Till around 70-80 kmph, the bike pulls cleanly and without drama, but cross those speeds, and the vibrations begin to creep in from the palm grips and the footpegs which will leave you with tingly hands on a 100 km ride as we experienced. Also, the surge of torque in the lower revs, which is a pre-requisite of a cruiser bike, was found lagging. Having said that, the top end grunt did push the bike from 80 kmph to 120 kmph quite effortlessly. In all, a touch more refinement on the engine would have been welcome.
The Ride And Handling
If we were to sum the ride quality in two words, we would say - "slightly stiff". The Renegade Classic gets regular telescopic forks upfront and hydraulic spring shock absorbers at the rear. While the stiffly set up suspension definitely makes the bike a nimble handler, long rides and bad roads might not give you the best ride experience. As we said, the bike handles really well and even for a cruiser which has a decent rake up front, the bike made light work of weaving in and out of traffic and did not disappoint even on the twisty section we encountered during our ride. So, in all, the Renegade Classic does feel engaging to ride, which is the idea of a motorcycle anyway, at least for a 300 cc one or so; so full marks there.
If you are in the two-wheeler market, looking for a proper cruiser motorcycle within ₹ 2 lakh, the UM breed of 'Renegades' offer you that something 'different', something which makes your ride stand apart from the crop of increasingly popular small displacement cruisers, and retro-styled motorcycles in the market. At ₹ 1.89 lakh (ex-Delhi), the Renegade Classic fits the bill and ticks all the right boxes, and it certainly warrants a close look. It looks good, has decent performance and great pose value. It handles well too. And in case you are not fond of a classic looking cruiser and are looking for something more 'Renegade-ish', the Mojave Edition of the Renegade Commando is something you could look at too. Our first impressions are certainly positive, and we look forward to getting our hands on a Renegade for a longer time and a full test, to see how it fares as a daily ride as well.