The Indian two-wheeler space was at one point overrun with commuters and scooters. Now, thanks to an upwardly mobile population and growing purchasing power, the market has matured over the past five years. Now, there are a wide variety of motorcycles available to suit a multitude of preferences and budgets.
The sub-250cc performance motorcycle class has been one of the popular two-wheeler segments in India. Not only do they offer a heightened thrill of riding, but they are also largely affordable and efficient too.
How to select the right performance bike:
If you’re contemplating to purchase a performance bike, first, you should set a budget, and strictly adhere to it. Once planned and set, you may increase it by a thousand or two, but you must never increase it drastically; it could lead to bad financial consequences. If you don’t have riding gear, we suggest you also factor into your budget the cost of a good helmet, gloves, and a riding jacket, which should come to around Rs 20,000 in total. It might seem like a lot, but this investment will prove to be invaluable in case of an unforeseen mishap.
Decide what you are buying a performance bike for:
- For a faster and more exciting commute – Any sub-160cc bike will do the job of putting a smile on your face on those dreary Monday morning commutes
- For weekend leisure rides – Ideally, a powerful sub-160cc bike, or a 180cc bike, would provide sufficient weekend thrills
- To improve your riding skills – Sub-200cc bike that possess good dynamic characteristics would help you learn the finer nuances of riding, aiding you to become a better and safer rider.
- For touring the length and breadth of the country – Any bike would suffice for touring, but if you want to do it properly, and in comfort, bikes with an engine capacity exceeding 200cc will be your best bet.
This is one of the most important points to consider when purchasing any bike. Remember, one should always buy a bike that they can maintain within their income, not the most expensive one your budget allows. Buying a bike isn’t a one-time transaction. It needs fuel to run, and timely maintenance so that it performs without a hitch. Ensure that these costs fall within your financial reach. Sift through the internet for information on maintenance costs and ownership reviews of the bikes you have in mind.
Check out ChooseMyBike.in’s selection of six of the best sub-250cc motorcycle under Rs 1 lakh below:
1. Yamaha FZ16
Engine: 153cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 13.8 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 13.6 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Weight: 135 kg
Price: Rs 73,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The FZ16 is Yamaha’s best-selling motorcycle for good reason. Its popularity can be attributed mainly to its burly design, which gives it the appeal of a large-displacement motorcycle. Combined with a torque-laden engine, superb dynamic characteristics, and an affordable price tag, the FZ16 caught the attention of biking enthusiasts throughout India, and was catapulted to an iconic status. It was not only fun to ride in the city, but also on the open highways too, making it popular amongst tourers.
Engine: 155cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 14.6 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 14 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Weight: 135 kg
Price: Rs 74,800 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Gixxer is Suzuki’s direct rival to Yamaha’s mighty FZ16, and it is more than worthy contender. It employs a 155cc single-cylinder engine that’s not only powerful, but extremely smooth and refined too. It also gets a taut chassis and a balanced suspension set-up that makes it exciting to ride on twisty roads, yet comfortable to tackle the daily grind. Build quality is top-notch, and is responsible for giving the bike a premium vibe. Oh, and it also looks stunning to boot, and will turn heads wherever you go.
Engine: 149.5cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 17 bhp @ 9500 rpm
Torque: 13 Nm @ 7000 rpm
Weight: 143 kg
Price: Rs 79,000
The sub-160cc performance bike space might seem to be crowded with highly-competitive products, but the Pulsar AS 150 still manages to stand apart from the rest. ‘AS’ stands for Adventure Sport, hinting at the bike’s intent. Design-wise, we think it is one of the best-looking 150cc bikes out there. Powering it is a 4-valve iteration of the 150cc twin-spark motor, which churns out nearly 17 bhp, the making it one of the most powerful-bikes in the class. The bike utilises major chassis components derived from the 200 NS, such as the perimeter frame, and the gas-charged rear mono-shock, lending it excellent handling prowess. Furthermore, the AS 150 also comes with features such as projector headlights, an analog-digital combo instrument cluster, back-lit switchgear, and LED tail lights. All this for an ex-showroom (Delhi) price of Rs 79,000, makes the AS150 one of the best value-for-money deals out there.
More about this VFM performance bike from Bajaj here
Engine: 177.4cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 17 bhp @ 8500 rpm
Torque: 15.5 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Weight: 139 kg
Price: Rs 76,500
With TVS being a long-standing supporter of motorsports in India, it should come as no surprise that their flagship performance bike, the Apache RTR 180, was developed extensively on the race track. Menacing looks, sporty dynamics, and spirited performance are the hallmarks of this streetfighter. Its 180cc engine not only delivers exciting performance, but it also sounds boisterous at high revs. As is the case with TVS products, build quality is exceptional, and the bike is also loaded with interesting little touches, such as a top speed recorder, 0-60 timer, LED daytime-running lights, and LED tail lights. You can also spec it with ABS to complement the excellent twin-disc brake set-up. If you want a powerful and fun-to-ride streetfighter to take on city roads and the curves with equal gusto, the TVS Apache RTR 180 would be an excellent choice. Click here for more interesting info about the RTR 180
Engine: 223cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 19.2 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 19.35 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Weight: 154 kg
Price: Rs 83,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
If touring is the name of your game, then the Hero Karizma R should be the steed of your choice. It packs a gem of a 223cc engine, which is known to be extremely smooth and torquey. The Karizma R entertains you not with outright performance, but with an ability to munch miles effortlessly. The chassis is set up for excellent straight-line and cornering stability rather than lightning-quick reflexes, and the suspension is tuned for a comfortable ride. Best of all, this package is very simple and exceptionally reliable, so whatever terrain you throw at it, it won’t give up on you easily; even if it does, you can have it fixed with no sweat. If you are looking for a reliable and powerful bike under Rs 1 lakh for touring long-distances, the Karizma R is one bike you must certainly take a closer look at. Want to know more about the Karizma R? Click here!
Engine: 220cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Power: 20 bhp @ 8500 rpm
Torque: 19.12 Nm @ 7000 rpm
Weight: 150 kg
Price: Rs 86,700
The Pulsar 220F was once the fastest motorcycle in the sub-250cc space in India. It may have since been dethroned, but that doesn’t make the 220F any less of a motorcycle than it is. It was developed with a keen focus on performance, and boy does it deliver. Its 220cc twin-spark single cylinder engine develops 20 bhp and 19.12 Nm of torque; coupled with a well-spaced 5-speed gearbox, it allows the bike to accelerate from standstill to 100 kmph in a smidge under 11 seconds, all the way to a top whack of nearly 145 kmph! Not only that, it also comes loaded with goodies like a rear-disc brake, projector headlights, LED tail lights. It may not be as agile around the corners as say, the Apache RTR 180, but it more than makes up for that by offering excellent straight line stability, along with a rapid turn of speed. Buy this if you’d like to satiate your power-craving for under Rs 1 lakh.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re looking to buy a two wheeler insurance policy, visit our page.