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We go budget: CSR DT 150 tested

2014-12-01 09:12

BUDGET COMMIUTER: The CSR DT 150's agile handling is a comfortable city ride but be warned – it’s not suitable for highway riding. Image: Dries van der Walt


Small bikes in South Africa fall mainly into two categories: cheap but of questionable quality or higher quality but more expensive. What the market needs is a bike that's affordable but still of acceptable quality.

It is this shortcoming that the Cayenne Group is trying to address with its range of CSR bikes.

They're designed and manufactured by Piaggio, the Italian company behind well-known and respected brands Vespa and Gilera. Cayenne gave Wheels24 a CSR DT 150 for review.

The most important factor when considering a DT 150 is that it's a city bike and not suitable for sustained highway riding. Although legally allowed on roads designated as a motorway the bike's 100km/h top speed means that it is not practical.

As a commuter, however, the DT 150 is an economical and inexpensive daily ride. Although by no means fast, it's is quick enough to leave traffic behind in town and can still be used on urban roads with an 80km/h speed limit without leaving the rider feeling vulnerable.

Being light and slender, it can be weaved through traffic with ease and leaves riders on bigger machines in its dust. The brakes, while nowhere near big-bike territory, are perfectly adequate to bring the little guy to a standstill.

They lack initial bite but if you pull the front brake lever hard the DT has surprisingly good stopping power thanks to its from disk brake rather than the drum brakes more common on bikes in this price range.


The little CSR might be awkward for a large rider but if you are of average height it's comfortable enough. It also has nice touches, such as a gear-position indicator, fuel gauge and diode indicators, items you might not expect on a budget machine.

It also has a bit of attitude with its assertive naked-frame style. It also has higher-quality touches, such as powder coating instead of spray painting, chromed finishes and anodised bolts and nuts to deter corrosion.

The DT 150 features a progressive rear suspension, which means that, even two-up, it shouldhandle well - it has not real vices on the road. It handles well enough that you can confidently push it hard into corners and it's stable – something you might worry about when you first see the skinny rubber wit which it is shod.

My only real concern was that first gear was way too short; it will, however, happily pull off in second on a level road without slipping the clutch very much.
One thing I couldn't assess in the brief review period was its potential longevity, a major issue with cheaper bikes. Cayenne director Craig Langton assured me, however, that his company would not put its name behind a suspect bike.

Cayenne gives a two-year warranty so, in combination with the bike's price and its claimed 35-40km/litre fuel consumption, this could help to make it a success in the market.

Price: R16 900.
Make: CSR
Model: DT 150
Type: Single-cylinder, 4-stroke
Displacement: 149cc
Maximum Power: 8.7kW at 8000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 11Nm at 6000 rpm
Fuel supply system: Carburettor
Fuel type: Unleaded 93 octane RON
Fuel consumption: 2.9 litres/100km (claimed)
Type: Five-speed sequential
Final drive: Chain
Overall length x width x height (metres): 2m X 0.7m X 1m
Kerb weight: 117kg
Passengers: 2
Fuel tank: 18 litres
Front:  Single; disc
Rear: Drum
Tyre, front: 90/90
Tyre, rear: 110/80
PRICE: R16 900

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