A budget is always a concern when we buy a new motorcycle. At least for the majority of us. With the improvement in technology as well as increase in prices, the affordable spectrum of fun-to-ride motorcycles is beyond means for most. However, there are few motorcycles which are still available for less than Rs 2 lakh and yet fun-to-ride. These motorcycles, at least some of them, were priced below Rs 1 lakh at one point of time. However, the rising input costs as well as the new safety norms have pushed their prices above this point. So, here is without any further ado, here are the motorcycles.
Bajaj Pulsar 220F
You may think that we are mad. However, this semi-faired Pulsar has always been the epitome of performance when most of us were growing up. It still remains one of the most value-for-money offerings that can be brought. While the P220 may be outclassed in performance by another fully faired motorcycle but with lower power (co-incidentally in this list), it still is fun. The stability is excellent and the 21hp engine is a hoot. Not to mention, the lower running costs associated with a Bajaj are present as well. This one also makes for an excellent tourer. It is priced at Rs 1.07 lakh, ex-showroom.
Yamaha R15 version 3.0
Right from the time Yamaha introduced the R15 in 2008, it has always been regarded as one of the best performance 150cc motorcycles. That status stays even today. The power has gone up significantly in the 2018 edition and Yamaha have also added more goodies too. Not only this, the motorcycle isn't as peaky as before and now even makes ample power lower down thanks to VVT. It looks more stylish as well now. The Yamaha R15 version 3.0 price in India starts from Rs 1.44 lakh, ex-showroom.
KTM 250 Duke
The KTM 250 Duke is an upgrade from the 200 but positioned below the even mental 390. While at one point of time, you could buy the 390 at the same price that the 250 retails, now its positioned much higher. The 250 Duke may not be as explosive as the 200 but promises more power as well as a level of maturity which many appreciate. The top draw hardware too is a big bonus. In the 250 Duke, there is a 30hp/24Nm, single cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed transmission. It retails for Rs 1.80 lakh, ex-showroom.
Suzuki Gixxer SF250
Suzuki did a masterstroke of getting its new 250cc engine with a fully faired engine. We, Indian love fully faired machines as these give the impression of value for money. Couple that to a 26.5PS/22.9Nm powerful engine and 6-speed transmission, things make sense. The SF250 looks sporty and isn't down on performance either. It also could make for a good tourer motorcycle as sustained 100kmph speeds aren't cumbersome. Suzuki has priced the Gixxer SF250 at Rs 1.70 lakh, ex-showroom.
Bajaj Dominar 400
The Dominar 400 is considered as the best value for money motorcycle in its segment. It is also the most powerful of this lot and can sustain extended 120kmph runs. The 40PS/35Nm, DOHC, 375cc engine is now a bit more refined whereas the slipper-clutch enabled transmission is smooth too. Bajaj has also ensured that the suspension is a bit more softer as well. All this and more for only Rs 1.80 lakh, ex-showroom.
Other motorcycles that one can also consider in this fun-to-ride equation are the Royal Enfield Himalayan, Hero Xpulse 200 as well as the Bajaj RS200. We haven't added them to this list because the Himalayan has a few reported reliability issues whereas the Xpulse still feels underpowered. The RS200 in the meanwhile has got longevity issues with rattles from its fairing reported. Except for the Himalayan, the other two have single channel ABS on offer.