The ₹1-2 lakh segment is one of the fastest growing in the Indian market. This price bracket includes some of the most interesting, fun and relatively accessible motorcycles in the country. So, which one should you get your cheque book out for.
KTM 250 Duke
The new 250 Duke features styling cues from the new 390 and the bike is positioned at a somewhat affordable price point. This bike misses out on some top-end features like the TFT instrument panel and the split LED headlights. However, the 250 is one stunning-looking motorcycle from every angle. It’s not a slouch out on the road either. It might struggle a bit in its bottom-end, but it pulls hard from its mid-range. The one area where it could use a little bit of improvement is the brakes - bite is good, but overall stopping power feels lacking, especially considering how quick this bike can accelerate.
Power: 30hp at 9,000rpm
Torque: 24Nm at 7,500rpm
Price: ₹1.73 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Yamaha finally launched a quarter litre bike this year, with the introduction of its FZ25. The bike sports a squat, muscular stance and is quite pleasing to look at. The Yamaha is powered by a 249cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor, which isn’t exactly a shining example of power and performance, but its refined and power delivery is linear. The bike weighs 148kg and is among the lighter bikes in this class, which makes for quick acceleration. And with a claimed mileage of 43kpl, it certainly is one of the most efficient in this segment. This bike is a good handler, but it is not the best in class. This bike doesn’t come with ABS though, but it does come with an LED headlight as well as an all-LCD instrument cluster. Sure, this bike isn’t setting any benchmarks in this category, but with its practicality, comfort, refinement and charming design, it is certainly the easiest bike to like in this price range.
Power: 20.9hp at 8,000rpm
Torque: 20Nm at 6,000rpm
Price: ₹1.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Bajaj Dominar 400
The Dominar is India’s first locally produced power cruiser. Its low-slung, muscular stance make this bike look like the Ducati Diavel’s baby sibling. This bike features some interesting design elements – Bajaj mounted the tell-tale lights on the fuel tank in a secondary instrument dashboard rather than around the all-digital primary instrument console. This bike’s engine packs quite a punch, complementing its beefy looks. The motor is derived from the 373cc unit found in the KTM 390. However, it does lack a bit of the top-end performance of the KTM. But this is an engine specifically tuned for bottom-end performance - fuel efficiency is improved and a whopping 28Nm (of the total 35Nm) of torque comes in at just 3,000rpm. This means brisk low-speed acceleration; and the Dominar can also manage to cruise comfortably at speeds of 120-130kph. Its small fuel tank’s capacity of 13 litres and its stiff suspension are why this isn’t the ideal highway cruiser. This bike handles well though and with optional dual-channel ABS, stopping power isn’t an issue either. The Dominar delivers a very thrilling riding experience.
Power: 35hp at 8,000rpm
Torque: 35Nm at 6,500rpm
Price: ₹1.52 lakh (dual-channel ABS) (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Royal Enfield Himalayan
This bike kick started the affordable adventure touring segment in India, when the bike maker launched it at last year’s Auto Expo. This bike is meant to go off-road, there’s lots of suspension travel (200mm at the front, 180mm at the back) and a massive 220mm of ground clearance. Despite its massive ground clearance, seat height stays at a relatively short, 800mm. There’s a large, 21-inch front wheel, coupled with 17-inch rear wheel that come fitted with on-off road tyres. And since it’s a tourer, the bike has a very comfortable seating posture, and it comes with mounts for saddlebags at the back. It even has auxiliary tanks up front, where you can store either water or fuel. Its 410cc engine is no powerhouse, but there’s enough power to manage touring and off-road duties.
Power: 24.5hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 32Nm at 4,250rpm
Price: ₹1.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Yamaha YZF-R15 v2.0
The R15 was India’s first proper baby supersport bike and it still remains one of the best track machines you can buy at this range. Its 149cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor pumps out 17hp of peak power. Bear in mind the bike weighs only a scant 136kg. The R15’s handling can only be described as telepathic thanks to the way Yamaha engineers have managed to set it up. It’s extremely nimble through quick direction changes, and feels completely planted on long, sweeping corners. This is the perfect entry-level motorcycle for anyone looking to learn the art of riding a supersport bike before moving on to a bigger bike. It isn’t the most comfortable city commuter though, especially for pillions.
Power: 17hp at 8,500rpm
Torque: 15Nm at 7,500rpm
Price: ₹1.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)