Motorcycling gives a new canvas to dream. It is a mode of discovering new people and places. It all begins with your first bike, and buying it is not an easy task. After all, we have so many machines to choose from. Here is a list of the best premium beginners’ motorcycles which will help you become great riders in the future.
KTM RC 125: Your path to becoming a corner-carving god!
The KTM RC 125 has been a pleasant surprise for the Indian market. One of the most advanced beginner’s motorcycles in this list, the KTM RC 125 will let you have fun, some serious fun which will help you become a cornering legend by the time you hit your late 20s. Just like every motoring scribe who said the same in their review, I wish we had the KTM RC 125 when I was learning how to ride. And boy, the new orange/black livery looks fantabulous!
Suspension duties of the KTM RC 125 are administered by upside-down WP fork up front and a monoshock at the rear. The race-spec bike has rear-set foot pegs and track-focused riding position. Its silhouette pays tribute to KTM’s MotoGP bike RC 16. Powering the fully-faired 125 cc model is a 124.7 cc liquid-cooled, DOHC engine, which comes coupled to a 6-speed gearbox. This engine produces 14.5 PS of power and 12 Nm of torque.
Braking setup includes a 300 mm disc doing with a radially-mounted calliper at the front and a 230 mm rear disc at the rear. A single-channel ABS is standard. However, the high price tag of INR 1.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) is a major deterrent, especially if you consider the next option in our list.
Yamaha R15 v3.0: India’s go-to street-legal track bike
It was 2008 when Yamaha introduced the first iteration of the R15. In its third-generation, the R15 is the only bike in its class to get Variable Valve Actuation (VVA). This technology helps the bike produce ideal amounts of output across all engine speeds. There are two intake valve cams: one for low to mid-engine speeds and the other for higher revs. They switch between each other at the 7,400 rpm mark. Besides that, the bike gets a deltabox frame and dual-channel ABS.
Unlike the ASEAN-spec Yamaha R15 V3.0, the Indian-spec, Yamaha R15 v3.0 gets a conventional telescopic fork at the front. At the rear, there's the same monoshock unit. Featuring a Yamaha R1-inspired design, the Yamaha R1 is powered by a 155 cc liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve engine. Mated to a 6-speed transmission, this engine produces 19.3 PS of power and 14.7 Nm of torque. The bike is fitted with an assist and slipper clutch.
Brakes include a 282 mm disc up front and a 220 mm unit at the rear. The Yamaha R15 v3.0 has a kerb weight of 142 kg and a high seat height of 815 mm. Colour options include Thunder Grey, Racing Blue, Black and a limited edition MotoGP livery. The Yamaha R15 v3.0 has a starting price tag of INR 1.40 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Its chassis and handling abilities will help you improve as a rider. Besides that, the bike teaches you to learn the nuances of motorcycling faster.
Hero Xtreme 200R: Most accessible 200 cc bike in India
The folks at Hero MotoCorp are working hard to build a premium brand image for its motorcycles. However, unlike the competition, they did what they do best. Walking down the path of accessible performance, the Hero Xtreme 200R is agile yet forgiving. Features list of the Hero Xtreme 200R includes 130-section rear radial tyre, disc brakes at both ends and a single-channel ABS. Besides that, the bike gets a mix of digital-analogue instrumentation.
The suspension setup includes conventional 37 mm telescopic fork at the front and a 7-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. Also, the snazzy graphics and colour options are a major crowd puller. Powering the Hero Xtreme 200R is a 199.6 cc air-cooled, 2-valve, SOHC engine. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine can squeeze out 18.4 PS of power and 17.1 nm of torque.
The Hero Xtreme 200R has a seat height of 795 mm and a ground clearance of 165 mm. Also, the bike tips the scales at 148 kg. With a price tag of INR 91,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Hero Xtreme 200R makes a great entry-level 200 cc motorcycle. Add to that, the large number of touchpoints will keep you at ease for all service issues.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V: Naked Aggression
The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is all about providing accessible power at an affordable price tag. Derived from the Draken concept, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V has been developed by TVS Racing. Right from the chassis to the oil-cooled combustion chamber with ram-air assist which helps in reducing the engine heat map by 10 degrees.
The suspension setup includes conventional telescopic fork at the front and a race-tuned KYB monoshock at the rear. Optional Pirelli tyres further add to the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V’s handling abilities. Also, the digital instrumentation gets race diagnostic features like lap timer, 0 to 60 timer and a top speed recorder. At the heart of TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is a 197.75 cc engine which produces 20.1 PS of power and 18.1 nm of torque. Besides that, the 5-speed gearbox is mated with a slipper clutch.
Brakes include a 270 mm disc at the front and a 240 mm unit at the rear. A dual-channel ABS is on offer with rear lift-off protection. The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V has a kerb weight of 151 kg and a great ground clearance of 180 mm. It costs INR 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is perfect for beginner motorcyclists, as it offers great handling with its race-spec package and is also budget-friendly.
Suzuki Gixxer SF: Japanese everyday sporty ride
In a new avatar, the Suzuki Gixxer SF is back with a bang. One of our most favourite offerings in the 150-160 cc segment, the Gixxer SF gets an aerodynamically designed body. LED headlamp, fuel injection and clip-on handlebars are standard offerings.
The Suzuki Gixxer SF is fitted with a traditional telescopic fork at the front which has now been stiffened for improved cornering and an adjustable monoshock at the rear. Its instrumentation is a new LCD unit with clear legible readings. The engine is the same 155 cc air-cooled, SOHC unit. The gearbox is a 5-speed unit. Also, the powerplant produces 14.1 PS of power and 14 Nm of torque. Brakes include discs at both ends with a single-channel ABS in the front.
Besides that, the Suzuki Gixxer SF is offered with a black and silver colour option. A MotoGP edition is also on offer, bringing you ever closer to Alex Rins’ office for the weekends. Priced at INR 1.09 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Suzuki Gixxer SF is an ideal everyday city motorcycle. It zips through comfortably in traffic while also being economical.