If budget isn’t a constraint, you can buy anything from a 50 cc moped to an exquisite, hand-made Italian machine. However, sometimes there is a limiter on how much we can spend on the things we want or need. So you could be in the market for a performance motorcycle and all you want to part ways with is nothing more than a hundred and fifty thousand Indian rupees. Allow us to help you with the dilemma then, as we list the Top 5 performance motorcycles you can buy in India which cost under 1.5 lakh INR.
These machines are capable of reaching top speeds which are close to knocking off the last three zeroes in the 150,000 figure and some of them feature technology which you wouldn’t even find in motorcycles twice their price. For example, the Yamaha R15, which comes with a delta box frame and the Karizma ZMR, which boasts of vertically stacked twin headlamps (ahem!). If the only reason you wouldn’t buy the RC 390 is that it sports horizontally stacked twin projector headlamps. So if you are ready with the cash, here’s our list which goes in the descending order according to the price.
KTM Duke 200
If there is any motorcycle out there which fits the ‘Pocket Rocket’ tag, it has to be this mad machine. The 200 cc, fuel injected engine churns out 25 bhp, 19.2 NM of torque and all that power is transferred to the wheels via a 6-speed, close ratio gearbox. If the numbers don’t convince you, take a test ride and you will agree there is nothing else in the market which will thrill you more on the southern side of a lakh and a half rupees. The fun doesn’t stop here, the Duke 200 is lavishly equipped with front upside down forks, a trellis frame, disc brakes at the front and rear and premium MRF rubber, all coupled in a naked, compact package. If the orange shade doesn’t gel with your personality, the KTM 200 is also sold in an all black variant.
Honda CBR 150 R
So you love the colour orange, you love faired motorcycles, but all you want is a Honda. The Honda CBR 150 R is the motorcycle for you then and your ticket to the CBR club. Styled on similar lines as the CBR 250 R, the motorcycle pumps out 17.5 bhp at 10,500 rpm and 12.66 Nm of torque at 8500 rpm from its 4-valve, DOHC, liquid cooled, 149.4 cc motor, all transferred to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox. Brakes are disc units at the front, as well as the rear, while clip-on’s ensure a sporty riding position. The Honda CBR150R is ideal for those who want a good companion for city riding and a bike which can take some sports-touring in its stride. Being a Honda, expect the motorcycle to be reliable and the quality to be top notch.
Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0
When Yamaha first launched the R15, people went crazy. The fully faired motorcycle boasted of many firsts like a Deltabox frame, a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve 150 cc engine, disc brakes at both ends and specially developed sticky compound rubber. It came with a radiator for Christ’s sake, which was only seen on cars in India until that time. Various sensors, fuel-injection and the R1 inspired styling appealed to many, some even knocked off the ‘5’ from R15, added projector headlamps and for the not so keen eyed, it looked dangerously similar to the litre class bike. Why should you still buy it? It still is one of the sweetest handling motorcycles around corners, the revised styling still looks fresh and if you live anywhere close to a track, or a piece of tarmac which resembles one, this should be the weapon of choice amongst the motorcycles we have listed here.
Hero Karizma ZMR
No we haven’t gone crazy, we know for some, the design of this motorcycle is a little too outworldly, but then you’d add your name to the list of folks who judge a book by its cover if you manage to overlook the Karizma ZMR. This machine is still a tool to reckon with, if it is the call of the open road which you wait to answer all week long. The Air-cooled, 4-stroke, single cylinder OHC, fuel injected, 223 cc engine now features an oil cooler and develops 20 bhp at 8000 rpm and a peak torque figure of 19.7 Nm of at 6500 rpm. The ZMR can comfortably sing all day long at triple digit speeds on the highway, where the tall windscreen and a relaxed riding position will make you buy a map of India and learn all about the rich geography of our country, since you didn’t pay enough attention in school. This is the motorcycle to buy if you are someone who has attained a super awesome state of mind, where you don’t really care of what others think and talk about you, and anyways, if you think what the others will think about you, what will they think about on their own?
Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS
Surprisingly, the most expensive motorcycle in the list is also the cheapest. You might think we are acting crazy today, but we are not, seriously. The Pulsar 200 is essentially a saree clad, civilized cousin of the Duke 200. While the Duke 200 is that career oriented, focused woman, who doesn’t like the idea of living a family life, the Pulsar 200 NS is someone who is at ease juggling between meetings and just as comfortable helping the kids with their homework. You wish to go touring? It will nod its head. You want to commute? It will oblige. The 4 – stroke, SOHC, 4 Valve, liquid Cooled, single cylinder, 200 cc engine is identical to the one on the Duke 200 and Bajaj has added 3 spark plugs to ensure the Pulsar 200 NS stokes the two wheeled fire within you. It develops 23.5 bhp at 9500 rpm and 18.3 Nm of torque at 8000 rpm, figures which are almost identical to the Duke 200, available on a bike which costs half a lakh lesser than the KTM.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200
Price: Rs 1,39,400 – Standard / Rs 1,51,700 – ABS
You can also opt for a fully faired version of the Pulsar 200NS, the Pulsar RS200. But don’t mistake the fairing clad RS200 for just a faired 200NS. The RS200 receives a new engine that benefits from fuel injection and helps the motorcycle clock slightly better power output numbers than the 200NS. The RS200 delievers 24.2 bhp of power and 18.6 Nm of torque. Yes, you do have the option for bringing home a KTM RC200, which is a great piece of machinery for track, but is not very practical for everyday commute. Moreover, the hefty price tag puts it out of the budget limit that we have set for this article. The Bajaj Pulsar RS200, on the other hand, comes with a relatively high positioned handlebar than the KTM RC motorcycle which offers a commuter friendly riding posture. Moreover, the RS200 also receives an optional ABS which is about Rs 12,000 dearer than the standard model.
Bajaj Pulsar AS200
Price: Rs 1,04,675
Bajaj also kept the touring aficionados in its mind when it developed a long line up of its Pulsar motorcycles and introduced an ideal touring machine for people on tight budget, the Pulsar AS200. The AS200 is essentially a faired NS200 but with the addition of a touring friendly windscreen, a semi fairing for better aerodynamics and a factory fit projector headlight. Engine and most of the features remain identical but most importantly, it is the price of the AS200 that surprised us. Despite the addition of the semi fairing, windscreen and a factory fit projector headlight, the price of the AS200 stands at Rs 91,550, almost as much as the 200NS. Now can you find a better deal?
All the products mentioned here have a unique character. Some are manufactured to be focused at a few things, while some are made to be the jack of all trades. Decide on your motorbiking priorities and pick any one of these if you have one hundred and fifty thousand rupees to spend and a thrill machine is whats on your mind.
Note: All prices are on-road, Mumbai.