The Indian motorcycle market has evolved tremendously over the past six-seven years. Performance machines were opened to the mass market when Honda decided to launch the CBR250 R and Kawasaki launched the Ninja 250 R. While these were still considered expensive motorcycles back in the year they were launched but the slowly gave rise to the crop of a motorcyclist who was interested in performance more than fuel efficiency. Besides, Bajaj Pulsar had been mixing the go-faster in Indian motorcyclists for years.
It was after the launch of the CB250R and Ninja 250R, India started to get bikes with big engines but weren't Royal Enfield's single-pot torque-biased 350cc or 500cc engines. India had finally stepped into an era of lightweight quarter-litres and middle-weights. And today we stand in a market that has purpose-built motorcycles as well. There's something that suits different levels of rider experience or the depth of their pockets. So, if you happen to be looking for a motorcycle that is properly quick but is priced under Rs 2.5 lakh, we've put together just the list:
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is powered by a 648cc, parallel twin, liquid-cooled engine that produces 47 bhp and 52 Nm of torque and is paired with a six-speed transmission. The gearbox is linked to a slipper clutch and the engine has significantly lesser NVH levels compared to other Royal Enfield models.
The Interceptor 650 comes with a 320mm disc brake up front and a 240mm disc at the rear. A dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) is offered as standard. The suspension system comprises of conventional telescopic forks up front and gas charged twin spring shock absorbers at the rear. Price: Rs 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi)
KTM 390 Duke
KTM 390 Duke is powered by a 373.2 cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that produces 43.5 hp and 37 Nm of torque, and is paired to a six-speed transmission with slipper clutch and Ride-By-Wire throttle technology.
The 390 Duke comes with a 320 mm disc up front with a four-piston calliper and dual-channel Bosch ABS which can be switched off as well. Price Rs 2.44 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi)
KTM RC 390
KTM RC390 is powered by a 373cc single-cylinder engine that produces 43 bhp and 36 Nm and is paired with a six-speed transmission. The RC390 is the most track-focused motorcycles of this lot and is capable of speeds of up to 179 km/h. It is seriously quick off the line with a 0-100 km/h sprint time which is better than some sports cars at 5.7 seconds. Price: Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi)
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Honda CB300R is powered by a 286.01 cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, fuel-injected engine that produces 30 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 27.4 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. The CB300R is currently the lightest motorcycle in its segment - about 2 kilograms lighter than KTM 390 Duke at 147 kg and Honda also say that it has the best torque-two-weight ratio.
Up front, the Honda CB300R get a 296 mm disc with a four-pot calliper and comes with a dual-channel ABS (anti-lock braking system) as standard. For suspension, it gets upside down forks up front and monoshock at the rear with seven-step preload adjustment. Price: Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom, pan India)
TVS Apache RR 310
TVS Apache RR 310 is powered by a 312.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that puts out 33 bhp and 27.3 Nm of torque and is paired with a six-speed transmission. It gets a 300 mm disc up front and a 240 mm unit at the rear. The RR 310 is second most racetrack-oriented motorcycle on the list with full fairing and sporty design, along with features like a lap timer and top speed recorder.
The RR 310 is powered by the same engine that powered the BMW G310 twins and has been built in collaboration between TVS and BMW Motorrad. However, the ECU on the Apache is tuned differently and the engine tune is more suited for quicker acceleration and fueling. Price: Rs 2.23 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi)