The Indian two-wheeler market, which is the largest in the world (in terms of volumes), is ruled by affordable bikes that offer good value for money.
India today has one of the most stringent emission norms, the Bharat Stage-VI. While this change is good for the environment, it has brought major price hikes. Motorcycles are no different and still have become 7-10% more expensive now. Below are the best bikes under 1 lakh in India:
Hero Splendor iSmart 110 (INR 67,100)
The Hero Splendor name needs no introduction. It is the largest selling motorcycle range in the country. The Hero Splendor iSmart has gained several new features and this has increased its price significantly. However, with a price tag of INR 67,100 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is still a very compelling product.
Hero now offers the Splendor iSmart with a new fuel-injected engine. The 113.2 cc air-cooled mill produces 9 PS of power and 9.89 Nm of torque. The BS6 engine offers 10% more torque and leads to an 88% reduction in NOx emissions. Other features include an Idle Stop and Start System (i3S), 18-inch alloy wheels, side stand indicator and a front disc brake. Besides that, the BS6 Hero Splendor iSmart 110 boasts 180 mm ground clearance, a 15 mm improvement over the discontinued model.
The new Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is retailed in three colour options: Techno Blue and Black, Sports Red and Black, and Force Silver and Heavy Grey.
Honda SP 125 (INR 73,452)
Honda has rebranded its premium commuter CB Shine SP 125 to SP 125. The company has tried to offer a sporty alternative in the executive commuter segment, with an accessible price tag of INR 73,452 for the drum brake variant and INR 77,652 for the disc brake variant (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
Powering the Honda SP 125 is a 124 cc fuel-injected mill which is coupled to a five-speed gearbox. This engine produces 10.88 PS of power and 10.9 Nm of torque. Honda says that thanks to Enhanced Smart Power (eSP) technology, the Honda SP 125 is 16% more fuel-efficient than its predecessor.
The Honda SP 125 is fitted with an ACG starter which helps in silent starts. Besides it gets an LED headlamp, digital instrumentation, low rolling resistance tyres, and a first in segment engine start-stop switch. Besides, Honda offers a six-year warranty with the SP 125 (three years standard and three years optional).
Customers can get the Honda SP 125 in four colour options: Striking Green, Imperial Red Metallic, Pearl Siren Blue, and Matte Axis Grey Metallic.
Bajaj Pulsar 150 Neon (INR 85,536)
Introduced first in 2001, the Bajaj Pulsar brand has been instrumental in changing the way India rides. The Pulsar 150 has over the years gained on the price tag front over the years. However, the company does offer a more affordable, funkier looking variant now, the Bajaj Pulsar 150 Neon, targeting the youth. At INR 85,536, (ex-showroom, Delhi) it is around INR 13,000 cheaper than the standard Pulsar 150 (discs at both ends).
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 Neon looks very similar to the standard Pulsar 150, save for the neon colouring on the badging, single-piece grabrail, tank extension and faux vent on the side panel. It is fitted with a halogen headlamp while the instrumentation is the familiar semi-digital unit with an analogue tachometer and digital speedometer.
At the heart of the Bajaj Pulsar 150 Neon is a 149.5 cc air-cooled, two-valve, twin-spark engine. Coupled to a five-speed gearbox, it can produce 14 PS of power and 13.4 Nm of torque.
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 Neon is retailed in three colours: Neon Red, Neon Green, and Neon Lime Green.
TVS Apache RTR 160 (INR 95,000)
The BS-VI transition has seen several motorcycle manufacturers axe their old products, but that’s not the case with the TVS Apache RTR 160. Positioned as a more affordable offering in the 150-160 cc segment as compared to its 4-valved cousin, the TVS Apache RTR 160 is priced at INR 95,000 for the drum brake variant and INR 98,000 for the disc brake variant (both prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).
Continuing with the same design philosophy, the TVS Apache RTR 160 is powered by a 159.7 cc air-cooled, two-valve mill. Coupled to a five-speed gearbox, the engine can dish out 15.53 PS of power and 13.9 Nm of torque. The bike's features list includes GTT (Glide Through Traffic), adjustable split clip styled handlebar, adaptable brake pedal and gear lever, split grabrail and semi-digital instrumentation.
While the motorcycle seems good on paper, with all desired features and specifications, there's one major gripe. The TVS Apache RTR 160’s powerplant is prone to producing vibrations at high engine speeds.
The TVS Apache RTR 160 is available in six colour options: Pearl White, Matte Blue, Gloss Red, Gloss Black, T Grey, and Matte Red.
Bajaj Avenger Street 160 (INR 94,893)
One of the most affordable cruiser motorcycles available in India is the Bajaj Avenger Street 160. Looking almost identical to the bigger, more expensive Street 220, the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is priced at INR 94,893 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The powertrain in the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is a 160 cc air-cooled, DTS-i mill which is capable of producing 15 PS of power and 13.7 Nm of torque. In terms of features, the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 gets alloy wheels, halogen headlamp with LED daytime running light, digital instrumentation and a 130 mm rear tyre which Bajaj for some weird reason calls ‘super wide’.
Colour options for the Bajaj Avenger Street 160 include Ebony Black and Spicy Red.