When people think of motorcycles, superbikes, and scooters, few think of Bajaj.
In particular, the Bajaj Avenger 220 is one of the unsung classics produced by a brand that none but the most seasoned auto-aficionados have ever even heard of.
A Foreign History
Although Bajaj might not be popular in the United States, it has quite a following in Asia and South America. Marketing itself as “the world’s favorite Indian,” Bajaj Auto has kept true to its roots in an attempt to better capitalize on its target markets.
First produced in 2005, the Avenger wasted no time. Due to the series’s success, new models began rolling off the assembly lines as early as 2007, with the Bajaj Avenger 220 hitting the asphalt in 2010.
The Bajaj Avenger 220’s design schematics included a frame with an aesthetic that was distinctly Indian. Everything from the slightly-angled front suspension system and handlebar mounts to the thin wheels with the thick seat echoes the hallmarks of Indian motorcycle culture.
The engine itself wasn’t what really made the 220 a 220. No, what makes the Avenger 220 a great motorcycle is way that the cheap, yet high-quality, materials have been designed to interplay with suspension and the engine to provide a high-quality cruiser at an affordable cost.
As of 2019, there have been three releases of various generations of the Bajaj Avenger 220, most of which only reaching noteworthy levels of success in India.
Bajaj Avenger 220 (2010-2014)
The first Bajaj Avenger sported a 219.9cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder, DTS-i, SOHC engine that was almost identical to those of other Avenger models.
Bajaj Avenger 220 (2015-2017)
In 2015, the Avenger models were outfitted with the same engines as before but with massively improved mid-range torque to provide for an even better high-way and city commute.
Bajaj Avenger 220 (2018-present)
As of 2019, the third generation of the Bajaj Avenger 220 isn’t much different than the second generation aside from minor cosmetic changes and the addition of a few electronic components and a better instrument cluster.
For a long time, fans of the Bajaj Avenger series have been hopeful for a trade deal that would see the 220 models imported into the United States. So far, there is only one American Bajaj importer: KTM North America Inc.
Not Much of a Pop Culture Presence
As with any model from a motorcycle series that is primarily only popular in foreign lands, the Bajaj Avenger 220 doesn’t have a very robust English-speaking social scene. Nonetheless, there is this one Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers.
The Bajaj Avenger – India’s Pride an Joy
Bajaj is one of the biggest names in motorcycles in the Indian markets, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see how their gem, the Avenger 220, is shining so brightly from year to year.