This is one of the first review of the series of reviews which I am going to do of various products available in India. This is on Motor Bikes. Gone were the days when people used to drive Bajaj Super and LML Vespa Now days almost everyone has shifted to motorcycles and only uncles drive Scooters now(as said by one of my friend!)
So you got your first pay cheque and want to buy a Motorcycle for yourself. Or your son is finding it inconvenient to go to college in public transport and auto-rickshaws and you want to present him with a bike. And, in India, you have a great choice. You can select many models as below from the manufacturers like: Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda, TVS, Suzuki, LML, Yamaha, Kinetic, Royal Enfield etc. How do you identify the best bike? Is the best bike in the market the right bike for you?
While no manufacturer produces a ‘bad bike’, it is generally a few bikes that get popular. The selection of bike is a very personal choice. Generally we go by the trend in the market. If a few of your friends bought a Pulsar or CBZ, you may buy a similar bike. Some people who want to be different, may buy a different model, just to be different from others.
If you want to decide the best bike yourself, you need to know how to read the specifications of the motorcycles and how to compare the same. First thing you need to decide is the price which you are willing to pay. Else, you will identify a best bike only to find that you can not afford it. How many of us like to ride a Hayabusa or the ones used in popular Bollywood movie Dhoom? Once you fix your budget, look for the bikes in that price range. Some times you notice that Self start bike make cost around Rs 3000 – Rs 4000 more than the kick start models and may cross your budget. It is purely, your choice to select Kick start or Self start.
The parameters you need to consider for comparing different bikes in the same price range are Horsepower/CC, Engine Type, Weight, Brakes, Average top speed, Tires and fuel consumption. And many people look for styling as well.
Horsepower is the unit of measurement to describe the strength of the Engine. More the horsepower an engine produces, the faster the motorcycle can go. Bikes with two stroke engine are cheaper. Four stroke engine bikes are a bit costlier and offer better stability and gives better fuel mileage. Larger tires provide increased stability and better ride comfort while smaller tires enable better acceleration and control. All the manufacturers now are offering drum brakes for better braking. It is also recommended to have a drum brake in the rear and a disc brake in the front.
If you like speed, check for the torque, pickup and acceleration parameters of the bikes. And, if you want a bike that is economical, look for fuel mileage.
One way to look at the ‘best bike’ is to do some survey yourself.
If you are looking for a Best Bike below Rs 50,000, you may consider Hero Honda’s Splendor & Passion. These two were classified as top two models in two wheeler category by ET Brand Equity Survey 2006. TNS Total Customer Satisfaction Award 2006 went to Splendor Plus (Executive) and CD Deluxe (Entry).
The NDTV Profit Car India & Bike India Awards 2006 in the 150cc category went to Achiever and 125cc award went to Glamour. Even NDTV Viewers' Choice Award went to Glamour. You may also look at Bajaj Platina, a 100cc which is warded Bike of the Year 2007 NDTV Profit Bike India, which costs around Rs. 39,000 or Bajaj CT 100 which topped the rating in Motorcycle Total Customer Satisfaction Study 2005 done by TNS Automotive. Bajaj Discover DTS-i is another excellent bike which is declared Bike of the Year 2005 during 2005 OVERDRIVE Awards 2005. This also won Indigenous Design of the Year 2005.
Hero Honda Achiever is a 5 gear 149.1 cc Bike with Air cooled 4 stroke Engine that produces 10 KW (13.4 bhp). The looks are excellent and the body is robust. The multi reflector headlight has some excellent safety features. The bike can reach a top speed of 101 KMPH. The bike is quick enough to reach 0-60 KMPH in 5 seconds. Engine noise is low and the mileage seems to be between 55-65 KM per liter. If you like the power and acceleration and not too conscious about petrol bill, go for Achiever. Price at Delhi (ex-showroom) was around Rs 48,200. (check the latest prices).
Hero Honda Splendor+ is a 4 gear 97.2 cc Bike powered by 4 - Stroke, air cooled Engine. Though it is claimed to give a maximum mileage of 85 kmph, it may be possible on highway at optimum speeding conditions. With in city you may get around 60-70 Km per liter. This bike is good for long distance rides. 10.5 liter tank may allow you to ride as far as 800 km without refilling the tank! Braking system is excellent even on wet roads. However, there may be some vibration at higher speeds. If you are looking for good mileage and wish to incur low petrol bills, you may select Spledor+. Price at Delhi (ex-showroom) was around Rs 40,579. ( check the latest prices)
Bajaj has come out with many bikes. But their Discover is a cut above the rest. Bajaj Discover has improved body styling. Powered by 4-Stroke, DTS-I, Natural Air Cooled engine with 124.52 cc is all fun to ride on. Microprocessor controlled Digital CDI Ignition system ensures smooth ride. It claims to give a mileage of 60-65 kmpl and has good pickup. The road grip is good, however, it was reported that there is some noise from the gear box at higher gears. If you are looking for good styling and not really worried about mileage, you may look at this bike.
Bajaj Platina with a single cylinder Natural Air-cooled 4 stroke engine is a good bike which is a value for money. Its 99.27 cc offers plenty. This has one of the huge fuel tank capacity of 13 Liters. While pickup seems to be not very high, the mileage of 70-80 kmpl seems to be attracting many buyers. The seat, which looks like a designer seat is often reported as not comfortable. But this award winning bike of 2007 is worth a buy.
Another interesting bike from Hero Honda is Honda Passion Plus. This 97.2 cc Single Cylinder 4-stroke Air - Cooled OHC Engine is a very comfortable bike with A 4 Speed Constant Mesh gear system Broad rear tyre, adjustable rear cushion and wide and spacious seat offer a comfortable ride. You can select the colors from any of the 11 colors. This has one of the bigger fuel tanks and can hold 12.8 liters. You may get a mileage of around 60-65 km/l. Price at Delhi (ex-showroom) was around Rs 41,885. ( check the latest prices).
As indicated earlier, the selection of is a personal choice. You are going to ride it and you can enjoy the ride only if it suits your personality. The bike reflects your personality. Select a bike which is right for you.
You can know a lot about available motorcycles in India as well as there specifications on IndiaMart's website. Do tell me your views and reviews about the bikes you are having or planning to buy.
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