Best premium everyday commuter motorcycles

These premium commuter motorcycles are the perfect stepping stones to bigger and faster multi-cylinder motorcycles

30th Sep 2019
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Commuting does not always have to be boring. After all, just look at the growing breed of 150-200 cc motorcycles in India. Not only they offer an ideal balance of efficiency and performance, but also have an accessible sticker price. In fact, they have managed to carve out a significant fan following without breaking the bank. Here are 5 performance commuter motorcycles priced under INR 1 lakh:


TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V


The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V gives you a taste of race track during your everyday commute. After all, the bike is said to be based on the 6-times Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship winning ride. Shaped on the lines of the RTR 200, the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V gets a mass forward design with a slim and sharp tail.


Powering the TVS apache RTR 160 4V is a 159.7 cc single cylinder, fuel-injected, oil-cooled mill. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 16.8 PS of power and 14.8 Nm of torque. The folks at TVS Racing have designed a special ram air assist for the powerplant which reduces the engine heat map by 10 degrees! Suspension includes standard telescopic unit in the front a monoshock tuned by Showa in the rear. Besides that, the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is fitted with optional Pirelli tyres. A carburetted engine is also on offer at present.


Other features include petal discs at both ends (rear optional), single channel ABS and an all-digital instrumentation. The latter can record your lap time, 0-60 kmph sprint time and top speed. The bike weighs 149 kg and has a 180 mm ground clearance. Yes, those lunar crates you experience on your way to office can be easily gobbled up by the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V.


The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V has a starting price of INR 91,351 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Colour options include RR Red, Racing Black and Racing Blue.


Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon

Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon


With the Pulsar 220F finally crossing the 1 lakh mark, Bajaj has reintroduced the Pulsar 180 in the 220’s skin. Why you ask? Well, the Pulsar 220 is the second largest product in the family and averages more than 6,000 units a month. That’s despite the slowdown. The few visual differences in the Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon include the obvious 180F badging on the tail and Neon stickering/badging.


At the heart of the Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon is the tried and tested 178.6 cc air-cooled DTS-i motor. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox the engine produces 17.02 PS of power and 14.22 Nm of torque. Suspension duties in the front include a conventional telescopic fork. However, unlike all the bikes in the list, the Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon continues to employ twin springs in the rear. Disc brakes are standard at both ends. The ABS is just a single channel unit but gets rear-lift off protection.


Besides that, apart from the familiar tank extension, the Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon retains the projector headlamp. The seats are split while the mix of analogue-digital display adds a classic touch. The bike weighs 146 kg and has a 165 mm ground clearance.


Colour options for the Bajaj Pulsar 180F Neon include Black Red and Neon Orange. Prices begin at INR 96,390 (ex-showroom, Delhi).


Yamaha FZ-S

Yamaha FZ-S FI


In its third iteration, the Yamaha FZ-S FI continues to rule the streets with over 15,000 units in August 2019. Yearly (fiscal) average till August was at more than 10,000 units a month. Over the course of more than a decade the familiar silhouette is largely unchanged. The muscular tank gets faux air vents with mesh covering. The vents are now even lined up with chrome while the neatly integrated tail with the pillion seat now being bigger and thicker for additional comfort.


The Yamaha FZ-S FI is powered by a 149 cc air-cooled, fuel injected engine. Mated to a butter smooth 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 13.2 PS of power and 12.8 Nm of torque. While these numbers may not seem to be great in front of the competition, the crisp throttle response and linear power delivery are a boon for everyday riding.


Features in the Yamaha FZ-S FI include LED headlamp, disc brakes at both ends, wide 140-section rear radial tyre and reverse backlit instrumentation. An Eco indicator has also been provided so that throttle happy folks can get more mileage if the need be. The Yamaha FZ-S FI tips the scales at 137kg and has a ground clearance of 165 mm. ABS though a single channel unit. Suspension duties are overseen by conventional telescopic fork in the front and a monoshock in the rear.


Colour options for the Yamaha FZ-S FI include Matte Black, Dark Matte Blue and Grey/Cyan Blue. Yamaha FZ-S FI starts at INR 98,180 (ex-showroom, Delhi).


Hero Xtreme 200S

Hero Xtreme 200S


The latest faired motorcycle from the house of Hero MotoCorp was a surprise addition. After all, Hero fans have been waiting for a new Karizma for years now. Hero Xtreme 200S is the most affordable fully faired motorcycle in India and focuses towards providing usable performance. It utilises the engine and setup of the naked Xtreme 200R and gains several interesting features.


Hero Xtreme 200S is powered by a 199.6 cc air-cooled, 2-valve, carburetted engine. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 18.4 PS of power and 17.1 Nm of torque. Suspension includes 37 mm telescopic fork in the front and a 7-step adjustable rear monoshock. Brakes are disc at both ends and the bike gets only a single channel ABS. Hero Xtreme 200S tips the scales at 149 kg and has a 165 mm ground clearance.


The bike gets the usual plethora of features including LED headlamp, rear radial tyre and digital instrumentation. However, this is where things get spicy for the Hero Xtreme 200S. The instrumentation boasts of smartphone connectivity with call/SMS alert and turn by turn navigation. The Xtreme 200s and the XPulse range are the only two Indian motorcycles to get this feature.


Hero Xtreme 200S starts at an affordable INR 99,400 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The bike is retailed in Sports Red, Panther Black and Brown colours.


Honda CB Hornet 160R

Honda CB Hornet 160R


The Honda CB Hornet 160R brought with it a lot of expectations. After all, it came with the legendary ‘CB’ family brand name and after the debacle called CB Unicorn 160. Honda CB Hornet 160R, when introduced, was the first BS-IV motorcycle in India. However, since then little has been changed in the motorcycle save for a few stickers.


At the heart of Honda CB Hornet 160R beats a 162.71 cc air-cooled, carburetted engine. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox the engine churns out 15.09 PS of power and 14.5 Nm torque. Just like the other bikes in the list, suspension includes a rear monoshock and right side down telescopic fork in the front. Brakes too are discs at both ends while the ABS is a single channel unit. Honda CB Hornet 160R weighs 141 kg and has a 164 mm ground clearance.


Features include an LED headlamp, low maintenance seal chain and a digital instrumentation (which sadly looks dated). Colour options for the Honda CB Hornet 160R include Striking Green, Mars Orange, Athletic Blue Metallic, Sports Red and Dazzle Yellow Metallic.


Honda CB Hornet 160R starts at INR 92,578 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

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