They comprise of a dash of sporty styling, without the hassles of a fully faired form. They don’t need to be as fuel efficient as your 100cc piddlers, but a real-world mileage of 40kmpl something is still a must. Price should still be well under Rs 1 lakh, OTR, and the performance should be head and shoulders above the 125-135cc machines. There should be a perceptible difference in performance as compared to the 150cc machines as well. Brisk acceleration, a meaty mid-range, comfortable ergonomics, and a solid air/oil cooled engine which won’t die down panting if you decided to take it out for that 500km+ trip on a single day is also a must. Top speed should be above 120, and with all of those wishes fulfilled, the motorcycle should also be built to last, with minimal service and spare costs. Phew! That seems to be quite a task for a bike manufacturer to accomplish. But guess what, the demanding Indian customer has managed to get just what they want from a whole bunch of Indian and international two-wheeler maker.
The 160cc motorcycle segment is differentiated from its 150cc counterpart with a more aspiration-driven positioning, slightly better performance, sportier styling and generally, better kit levels. So here we have it, all the 160cc motorcycles that you can buy here in India, with their pros and cons listed down for your convenience. Remember this list is just, well, a list and the order doesn’t represent the superiority or inferiority of any of those bikes over one another.
160cc Bikes In India:
- Bajaj Pulsar NS 160
- Suzuki Gixxer
- TVS Apache RTR 160 4V
- Honda X Blade
- Honda CB Hornet 160
1. Bajaj Pulsar NS 160
The new generation Pulsar which is trying its bit to carry forward the legacy of its legendary forebear, the Pulsar NS 160 is a worthy contender in the segment. Powered by a 160.3cc air / oil cooled engine, the 160NS has 15.5 PS of peak power and 14.6Nm of torque. Styled racily with a step seat, beautiful 5×2 spoke alloys and some nicely designed panels, the bike definitely scores high in the aesthetics department. The bike gets a 240mm front disc, although there is no ABS on offer. The NS 160 weighs in at 142 kg, which is reasonably good but not the lightest in its segment. It’s also quite fuel efficiency and the maintenance costs aren’t too high either.
- Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 Price: Rs 80.6K – 85.6K
- Pros: Good styling, efficiency, nice dynamics
- Cons: Not the most solid built
2. Suzuki Gixxer
The Gixxer has earned a reputation for being one of the nicest motorcycles in its segment. While there is also the fully faired Gixxer SF available, we will talk only about the bikini faired machine here to keep the discussion relevant, although an important point to be noted here is that the Gixxer SF is available with ABS and FI, which the other Gixxer isn’t. The Gixxer is powered by a 154.9-cc air-cooled engine, which is the smallest displacement for this class. Power output here is still a very respectable 14.8 PS with peak torque rated at 14 Nm. The Gixxer is also the lightest in this segment, with a kerb weight of only 135kg, making it easy to manoeuvre in city and flick around corners. It also boasts a good top speed, and is a very well-engineered product overall.
- Suzuki Gixxer Price: 82.8k – 89.5k (ex-Mumbai)
- Pros: Well-engineered, handling, compact
- Cons: Uncomfortable pillion seat
3. TVS Apache RTR 160 4V
Available in both carburetted and FI versions, the TVS Apache 1604V stands out in its segment for both its performance and styling. The engine powering the motorcycle is a 159.7-cc air-cooled unit. While the carburetted version of the motor delivers 16.5PS, the FI version is good for a class leading 16.8 PS of power. The torque output for both versions is 14.8 Nm. The engine and dynamics of the motorcycle have been designed with the learnings TVS has had at the racetrack. The suspension is tuned by Showa and the RTR is also one of the nicest handling motorcycles in its class. Carburetted version gets rear disc as an option, with the rear drum brake version getting narrower tyres. The FI version, however, gets rear disc as standard. With all its kit, a bigger engine and visually bigger size, the Apache 160 4V weighs in at 147 kg, which is slightly on the heavier side.
- TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Price: Rs 81.8k – 91.8k
- Pros: Class leading performance and handling, looks substantial
- Cons: Basic instrument console
4. Honda X Blade
We are leaving out the CB Unicorn 160 because it’s a lot more sedately styled as compared to its brethren mentioned here. However, if you don’t mind the simpler styling, the Unicorn is a fantastic choice too, and will save you a lot of money. The Honda X-Blade is the newer of the two motorcycles we are discussing here though and is powered by a 162.7cc engine with 14.12PS of power and 13.9 Nm of torque. The Honda X-Blade weigh 138 kg. Honda’s fantastic build quality, longevity and good pricing are the high points for this motorcycle.
- Honda X Blade Price: 80.9k
- Pros: Well engineered, well styled, built to last
- Cons: Performance isn’t very impressive
5. Honda CB Hornet 160
The CB Hornet 160 has the same engine as Honda X-Blade, although it’s tuned differently and produces a higher 15.9PS of peak power. The torque output is higher too at 14.76 Nm. The Honda CB Hornet 160 weigh 140 kg. The Hornet is also the only motorcycle here that can be had with CBS or ABS as an option.
- Honda CB Hornet 160 Price: 87k – 95k
- Pros: Well engineered, well styled, built to last, ABS option
- Cons: Performance isn’t very impressive