The Indian two-wheeler space has seen some really interesting additions over the last decade or so, with multiple options that can cater to various riding requirements, or experiences. While a lot of these new motorcycles carry more premium price tags, there are some that hold their own in the ‘affordable’ category. We’ve compiled a list of the top five bikes you can get today for under Rs 1 lakh. And even though the definition of ‘best’ can be rather subjective, for this list, we’ve considered motorcycles that offer something greater than some of the other humdrum options in the segment. This could be great bang for the buck, or just a tonne of personality.
Before we start, we’d like to admit that this ‘under Rs 1 lakh’ title is a bit of a misnomer. That is because we’re considering the best five motorcycles that have their ex-showroom (Delhi) prices under a lakh rupees. Some of which have their actual on-road prices a little over the mark.
Hero Xtreme 200S
A spot earlier occupied by the Hero Xtreme 200R has been taken over by the new Xtreme 200S considering the added features and tech it gets. The 200S shares it mechanicals with the 200R, it uses the same powertrain, gearbox and also the chassis setup with the 37mm telescopic fork and a seven-step pre-load adjustable monoshock.
At the launch, Hero had mentioned that despite what its styling suggests, the Xtreme 200S is targeted at riders looking for ‘character and comfort’ in their daily city ride. The 200S comes equipped with a full-LED headlight and tail-light. The instrument cluster on the motorcycle is also Bluetooth-enabled and displays information like navigation, gear position and more. The Xtreme 200S’ pricing also makes it one of the most affordable fully faired motorcycles in the country with more features, a better design and greater value than its direct rival, the Gixxer SF.
The second Hero motorcycle in the list also happens to be the newest motorcycle here. The Hero XPulse 200 uses the same powertrain as the Hero Xtreme 200R, but to aid its off-road purpose, it gets a larger rear sprocket (by one tooth). The XPulse 200 is the long-overdue replacement to the Impulse, and in a market where affordable off-road motorcycles are few and far between, this new model is certainly a welcome addition.
Compared to the Impulse, the XPulse boasts a more powerful engine, a lower seat height and added technology in the form of a single-channel ABS and a Bluetooth-compatible instrument cluster. Another impressive feature is the 21/18-inch wheel combo that's usually seen on more serious dirt bikes.
The XPulse 200 is available in two variants - a carburetted version that carries a price tag of Rs 97,000 and fits into this list, and a fuel-injected variant that costs Rs 1.05 lakh.
Honda CB Hornet 160R
The CB Hornet 160R was one of the first bikes in its segment to be equipped with ABS. The updated CB Hornet 160R was first showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo before it was launched in March last year with a few styling updates.
The styling of the 160R is sharp and bold, and the design highlight is the inclusion of an LED headlight and the all-digital console. Mechanically, the motorcycle is powered by a 162.7cc, air-cooled motor that develops 15.09hp and a peak torque of 14.5Nm. Transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed gearbox.
TVS Apache RTR 160 4V
The RTR 160 4V boasts the most powerful motor in its segment and can be had with two options – carburettor and fuel injection. It also gets four-valve technology, while most of its competitors employ a two-valve head. The 4V also uses a new frame, which has allowed TVS to use a monoshock instead of the dual shocks on the previous generation.
The RTR 160 has received consecutive cosmetic updates since it first launched over a decade ago, but it has never been thoroughly updated. The 4V changes that trend. With an overall styling heavily inspired from the RTR 200, it features a similar tank, headlight, tail-light, instrumentation and even turn-indicators. The RTR 160 also features a similar ‘shotgun’ exhaust design, a fully digital instrument console and an LED tail-light as the RTR 200. It does, however, feature a different centre body panel. If you are looking for a more commuter-friendly version of the RTR 200, the 160 4V is the bike for you.
The Suzuki Gixxer is the most recently updated model in this list. For 2019, the naked motorcycle features a new headlight that is shared with the Gixxer 250. This headlight is an LED unit and so is the new V-shaped tail-light. The bike also has a sharper tail and a new split-seat layout this time around. It also features a revised digital instrument cluster that gets a different layout and a new shift light. However, most of the mechanicals remain unchanged, with the bike using the same suspension, wheels, brakes and tyres as the previous-gen model. Powering it is the same engine as well, but this time around the power and torque figures have slightly reduced – a result of the changes made in order to get it BS6 ready. That said, what this bike delivers is hard to quantify on paper. It isn't the most powerful bike in its segment, nor is the epitome of frugality, but if there’s a bike that makes its case purely on its ‘X factor’, it has to be the Gixxer. One aspect that makes it so easily lovable is just how much fun it is to ride – a lot of which can be attributed to its fantastic handling package.
With a price tag of Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it has to be said that the Gixxer is not exactly ‘under Rs 1 lakh’, but it's very close and one that deserves to make it to this list.