The motorcycle market in India is gradually maturing and safety features are becoming a priority. Today, most of the premium 150 cc+ motorcycles are offered with a rear disc brake, at least as an option. However, a rear disc brake is still seen as a feature! Much of it has to do with the fact that disc brakes can lock up easily. Higher initial costs are also seen as a major deterrent.
Fewer visits to the mechanic and longer life negate the longer initial costs. Also, practising the use of a rear disc brake goes a long way towards reducing braking distance. So ready to buy your first bike with a rear disc brake? Here’s our list of five most affordable motorcycles with a rear disc brake.
Hero Xtreme Sports – the awkward ‘Sports’man
Being at the top of the motorcycling food chain (in terms of market share), Hero MotoCorp has learnt how to master the art of keeping things affordable. Priced at INR 82,850 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Hero Xtreme Sports is the cheapest motorcycle in India which gets a rear disc brake. Sadly, though, the motorcycle is also one of India’s least selling 150 cc motorcycle. It weighs just 147 kg and has a thin 110-section rear tyre.
Powering the bike is a 149.2 cc air-cooled, SOHC mill. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine is capable of producing 15.82 PS of power and 13.50 Nm of torque. The features list is nothing to write home about, but just like the rest of the Xtreme family, this bike brings home the bacon with its accessible price tag.
Colour options include Fiery Red, Panther Black, Pyro Orange, Mercuric Silver and Black & Red. Hero MotoCorp should have given more time in figuring out a different place for the ignition key instead of the awkward position near the right front indicator. Brakes include a 240 mm disc in the front and a 220 mm disc in the rear.
Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc – the king of misnomers
Wait, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the bike. But attaching the suffix ‘Twin Disc’ to a motorcycle’s name implies to the presence of two discs in the front wheel. That aside, the ‘manliest Pulsar 150’ mounts a 149.5 cc SOHC, 2-valve, twin spark DTS-i mill. Mated to a 5-speed unit, the engine produces 14 PS of power and 13.4 Nm of torque.
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc features fat 37 mm front forks and a DC headlamp. It tips the scales at 144 kg. Colour options include Black Blue and Black Red and Bajaj designers have done a commendable job in making the motorcycle look suave with minimum graphics. The price of this model is INR 88,339 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Braking performance in the Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc is taken care of by a 260 mm disc in the front and a 230 mm disc in the rear.
TVS Apache RTR 160 – affordable performance machine
It is only when you ride the TVS Apache RTR 160 that you get why TVS Racing is so successful. A stiff chassis and the super moto ABS developed by the company's racing team make up for the dated looks. Also, at INR 88,652 (ex-showroom, Delhi), it is a great buy, that is, if you ignore the vibes at high revs. The motorcycle is also ultra-light at just 139 kg.
The aerodynamic fuel tank extension claims a 10-degree Celsius reduction in engine temperature. Powering the bike is a 159.7 cc 2-valve, air-cooled mill. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 15.12 PS of power and 13.03 Nm of torque. The thin 110-section rear tyre though leaves you wanting for a wider tyre choice but the new Remoras are incrementally better in grip than the Eurogrips.
Colour options for the motorcycle include Pearl White, Matte Blue, Gloss Black, T Grey and Matte Red. Braking duties are carried out by a 270 mm petal unit up front and a 200 mm unit in the rear.
Hero Xtreme 200R – utilitarian motorcycling redefined
It is not every day that Hero MotoCorp decides to get out of its comfort zone and make a 200 cc motorcycle. But when they do, they get Virat Kohli to promote it. The company took the non-traditional approach when moving up the ladder in terms of engine capacity. Keeping a utilitarian approach, it offers this model with a 199.6 cc air-cooled, 2-valve mill which produces just 18.4 PS of power and 17.1 Nm of torque.
The masterstroke, however, is the price tag. At just INR 90,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi), Xtreme 200R lies in the price band of most premium 150-160 cc motorcycles. The result of this is clearly seen in sales volumes with the 200R outselling the company's entire range of 150 cc motorcycles. Key features include a light frame, 37 mm front fork and an LED tail lamp.
Braking duties in the Hero Xtreme 200R are overseen by a 276 mm disc upfront with a single channel ABS and 220 mm disc in the rear. The bike tips the scales at 148 kg and is one of the lightest products in its class. Colour options include Heavy Grey with Orange, Black with Sports Red, Sports Red, Panther Black with Force Silver and Techno Blue.
TVS Apache RTR 180 – India’s 1st ABS-fitted motorcycle
It was in March 2011 when TVS Apache RTR 180 became the first Indian motorcycle to get the safety net of ABS! At the heart of the Apache 180 is a 2-valve, air-cooled 177.4 cc engine. The engine is capable of producing 16.62 PS of power and 15.5 Nm of torque. The numbers may seem dated in 2019 but the power delivery packs a punch. The engine is coupled to a 5-speed gearbox.
Brakes include a 270 mm disc in the front and 200 mm unit in the rear (both petal). The discs are accompanied by a dual-channel ABS system with rear lift-off protection. The rest of the features are the same as those of the smaller capacity Apache. The bike weighs just 137 kg but the capability is slightly limited because of a thin 110-section rear tyre.
Colour options include White, Black and Matte Blue. TVS has priced the Apache 180 at INR 91,291 (ex-showroom, Delhi).