After showcasing the Renegade twins in 2014 Auto Expo, it took almost two years for United Motors (UM) to launch the models in India. It was the Renegade Commando 300 and Sport S twins with different aesthetics. However, UM decided to shift their gears in a fast pace to put a firm grip on the cruiser market of the country. Within two years from their debut, UM hit the limelight with another couple of Renegades in the form of Renegade Mojave and Renegade Classic. Both these motorcycles look entirely different in their formats, eventhough it these two underpins the same powerhouse and other mechanical variables.
Last week, we got an opportunity to test drive one among the two models launched here in India. I am talking about Renegade Classic.
The Design and Styling
Renegade Classic is placed as the flagship model of the brand with some premium styling features and outfits. From every aspect, it is the best looking UM motorcycles in India, eventhough it shares mammoth parts from its siblings. In order to enhance the premium feel, the motorcycle is decorated with loads of chromium from head to tail. Almost all the body parts are made from metal components. The engineers have deployed some of the iconic features of the American cruiser motorcycles. From the first glance, one doesn't feel it as a 300cc machine. The length and width of this motorcycle definitely match with higher capacity motorcycles.
Like Mojave, Commando Classic gets faux leather finished saddle bag on the right and a similar looking tank pouch on the fuel tank to keep mobile phone or wallet. Unlike Mojave's, this one looks neat and easy to clean. The 'Copper White' version, the one which we had test driven looks fascinating from all the angles. Interestingly, Classic features a brand new 'Commando' logo on their fuel tank. Other additional changes include a chromium panel behind the headlamp unit, large transparent windscreen and faux leather finished split seats. The USB charging port in the entire Renegade series can also seen in the Classic version along with the digital-analog instrument console unit.
Unlike Renegade Commando or Sport S, the handle grips of Commando Classic is decorated in brown rubber grips and it's black rear-view mirrors are replaced by chromium mirrors. The instrument console of Renegade Classic is just basic with minimal styling. It is a combination of digital and analog readouts displaying fuel gauge, gear position, speedometer, odometer and tripmeter. The fuel refilling cap is positioned adjacent to the console towards the right side of the fuel tank.
On moving to the rear side, the wide rear fender with large rear light steals the spot. Above the tail lamp, a badge bearing American flag is also placed to mark its American origin. The massive chrome exhaust and wire spoke wheel resemble its typical cruiser characters.
However, Renegade Classic too lacks the build quality in the switchgear and console unit, just like Renegade Commando 300.
The Engine and Performance
Renegade Commando underpins the same 279.5cc, single cylinder powertrain found in the entire Renegade clan. This liquid-cooled mill is mated to 6-speed gearbox delivering a maximum power of 24.8 bhp and 23 Nm of peak torque. Even though it rides same as that of Commando 300, I felt little more refinement from the engine side. It is easy to past 70 and 80 kph mark with the initial two gears. The addition of 6th gear is an advantage over the Enfield's 5-geared machines. Moreover, the gear upshifting and downshifting is precise and smooth at the same time. This makes Commando Classic as an easy to ride cruiser with a powerful engine. However, at higher revs, one could easily feel the vibrations from the engine and chassis at the handlebars. Even the windscreen seems to arouse few disturbances at higher speeds.
Suspension, Chassis and Brakes
It gets the same 41 mm hydraulic telescopic fork at the front and twin hydraulic shocks with springs at the rear as the suspension system. It does manage to provide a perfect balance between comfort and handling of the vehicle. I didn't face any difficulties to ride it through potholes or uneven bumps on the roads.The entire Renegade series is based on the dual-cradle frame, which happens to be the best feature of this motorcycle. The balance between suspension and chassis is so good that maneuverability and cornering are more easy with the Classic.
According to me, braking of the Renegade Classic was just 'okay'. It features 280 mm disc with 2-piston caliper at the front and 130 mm drum brake at the rear. The absence of rear disc brake has been a let-off from the brand and hope they will ponder back it in the near future.
After test riding the brand new Renegade Classic, I felt like riding a more matured motorcycle (even though the powertrain is same as that of Commando 300). Overall, it was an encouraging experience for our team to test ride this motorcycle. The additional storage spaces have also increased the utility of the Renegade Classic. However, the presence of tachometer and the rear disc would have benefitted the model to fortify tight competition from the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Altogether, Renegade Classic is a good call from the UM, for those who are looking for a retro-inspired cruiser bike in the domestic market available under the price tag of two lakhs.
Photos By: Jithin Johnson
Price and Specs of Renegade Commando Classic
Test Vehicle Provided By:
NH-17, Edapally North P.O
Kochi - 682024
Contact Numbers: +91-8113095550 , +91-8113034447