There are many few places in the world which can boast of an extensive coast line, a sandy desert, dense forests and some of the tallest mountain ranges, all encompassed within one nation. This rare diversity in India is peppered with people who speak different languages, within the span of a few kilometres. The abundant flora and fauna and such vistas are best experienced on nothing else, but a motorcycle.
We pick the top 5 motorcycles for touring, priced below INR 3 lakh, which according to us are best suited to shun the great indoors and explore the world outside. The list features the bikes in a descending order, according to their price. By no means is any product listed here superior or inferior to the other.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500
The all new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 comes fitted with a fuel injected 500 cc engine that puts out 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm. The motor produces 41.3 Nm of torque which makes it an effortless cruiser. The torquey machine makes climbing uphill a piece of cake, while the 20 litre tank ensures you have ample fuel at your disposal to leave civilization far behind. RE has added some modern bits to the bike in the form of a digital meter console, LED tail lamps and a rear disc brake. The relaxed riding position ensures you can attract as many bugs as you like on your helmet visor all day, while the projection type headlamp makes sure the fun doesn’t stop, even when the sun goes down.
Price: Rs. 1,84,900
Honda CBR 250
Some like reaching their destinations in a hurry, and in style. The Honda CBR 250 is the machine to buy, if you are short on leaves and intend to cover inter-state distances in a hurry. The liquid cooled, 4-stroke, 249 cc engine produces 26 bhp of power and 22.9 Nm of torque, that coupled with the aerodynamic styling, ensures fast highway cruising. Although the styling suggests an aggressive seating position, it is a comfortable place to be perched on, even for long distance cruising. Being a Honda, the bike scores high on refinement levels and reliability.
Price: Rs. 1,84,637
Royal Enfield Bullet 500
If you fancy travelling on a motorcycle that combines old world charm with a powerful modern new engine, the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 is the bike for you. While the Thunderbird 500 gets fuel injection, the engine on the Bullet 500 sips fuel through a conventional carburetor. The 499 cc engine pumps out 26.1 bhp at 5100 rpm and 40.9 Nm of torque at 3800 rpm. Fuel tank capacity stands at 13.5 litres and the rear tyre is not the thin 3.00 x 18 size found on other bullets, but a more suited 120/80 – 18 rear section. The motorcycle might not be japanese, but if anything goes wrong, most road side bike mechanics will know how to fix it.
Price: Rs. 1,60,671
Hero Karizma ZMR
The Karizma when introduced was an instant hit amongst the touring community. The 223 cc, smooth, torquey engine aided in effortless highway cruising, while the front screen offered good wind protection. Hero has launched the new Karizma ZMR, which has received mixed responses in terms of its styling. It still retains that old motor though, which is fuel injected and now produces 20 bhp at 8000 rpm and 19.7 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. Fuel tank capacity is 15.3 litres, which is amongst the highest here. Besides the controversial styling, the Karizma ZMR provides excellent value for money, if you want a fast, comfortable and reliable touring machine, without spending too much.
Price: Rs. 1,16,030
Bajaj Pulsar 220
The motorcycle that could once make you the fastest Indian across the country, is still the machine to choose, if your budget allows spending nothing more than a five figure amount. However, being a Bajaj, it offers tremendous value for money, as the 220 cc engine pumps out 20.8 bhp at 8500 rpm and 19.12 Nm of torque at 7000 rpm. The half-faired styling offers good wind protection, while braking is taken care by discs at both ends. The fuel tank can carry 15 litres of petrol, while the combination of a projector for the low and an ellipsodial lamp for the high beam ensures strong illumination in the dark. For those who wish for some more power, take a look at the 200 NS, if you don’t mind spending a little extra.
Price: Rs. 88,852
If you are strong willed though, any motorcycle you like can go anywhere you want. All the machine needs behind it is a person whose heart pumps out twice as many bhps as the bike.
Made your choice? To know what are the essentials that you should carry when touring, CLICK HERE!
Note: All prices are on-road, Mumbai.