India is a huge market for two-wheelers, mainly on the commuter segment. Performance motorcycles have recently been introduced here and the market has been growing ever since.
Many motorcycle manufacturers didn't hesitate to bring their flagship 1000 cc plus displacement motorcycles on to our shores, and surprisingly they are selling well.
So, are these 1000 cc, 180 plus horsepower motorcycles worth riding in our roads? Are they fun to ride or just keep the rider busy, who keeps trying to tame all that unuseable power?
Won't a good middle segment motorcycle give you a similar amount of fun? Well, the sensible answer is that the mid segment motorcycles have more usable power compared to a 1000 cc machine and are very nimble.
A good small displacement enduro motorcycle or even a small displacement street bike can be so much fun to ride. Even scooters can be a pleasure to own!
In this list, we are going to take a look at 10 motorcycles that would suit India well:
1. Honda CRF250L:
The Honda CRF250L has a 249.6 cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine. This dual-sport motorcycle has great off-road and on-road abilities. This is a very good machine for adventure seekers and and travellers.
2. Aprilia RSV4 125 Replica:
Even a little street bike such as the Aprilia RSV4 125 Replica packs a punch. This motorcycle is directly derived from the RSV4. This motorcycle has riding characteristics of a purebred race machine, but offers daily mobility.
Why not? When India has Splendours dressed as cafe racers, these Chinese mopeds are way more practical. This 125 cc or 49 cc single-cylinder moped has a stylish under seat exhaust, integrated fuel tank in its chassis and dual hydraulic brakes. It also comes with a manual four-speed gearbox! The only drawback is that it's a two-stroke.
4. Yamaha TMAX:
The Yamaha TMAX offers performance with ease of riding. A CVT gearbox and a liquid-cooled, parallel twin engine lets the rider have all the fun needed with everyday mobility. The TMAX will be a great touring machine as well since seating is comfortable and the 45 bhp produced by the engine is more powerful than any motorcycle made in India.
5. Yamaha YZF-R6:
Although a sport motorcycle, the power is way more useable than its older brother, the R1. Fast, nimble and a track-day enthusiast's favourite. Power comes from a 599 cc, inline, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine that makes 133 bhp. This is one for those who love performance.
6. Honda CBR 600 RR:
The CBR 600 RR (Race Replica) is Honda's answer to the R6. The motorcycle has lots of MotoGP technology under its skin. Power comes from a 599 cc, liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder engine that makes 99.61 horsepower.
7. MV Agusta F3:
Looking at mid-segment performance motorcycles, another one that Indians would love to have on our streets is the MV Agusta F3. A 798 cc, liquid-cooled, inline three-cylinder engine that churns out 148 horsepower and with a top speed of 167 mph, it is only beaten by its looks and detailing.
8. Kawasaki KLR650:
The KLR650 has been in production since 1987 and has proved that time and age has no effect when purpose is met and durability is set to the highest standard. This 651 cc, single-cylinder engine that delivers 36 bhp is a perfect touring machine as well as a good off-roader. The Himalayas would be a walk in the park.
9. KTM Duke 690:
This is something that would put the big displacement motorcycles to shame and send them crying back into their garages. The KTM 690 outperforms many bigger displacement motorcycles with its liquid-cooled, 690 cc, single-cylinder engine that produces 69.1 horsepower. The secrets—lightness and good handling. This is one motorcycle sensible Indians would love to have for our roads.
10. Royal Enfield Trials Bike:
Now this will surely be a debatable point. But for the few, or rather the many who grew up learning to ride on an Enfield and idolized them will surely be thinking why the export market is having all the fun!
Picture credit: Iain Crockart