Post GST the price of bikes and scooters have not seen much of an increase or decrease. High-end bikes, i.e. above 350-cc have seen a marginal rise of around Rs 1,500 – Rs 2,000, while those below the 350-cc mark have seen a marginal dip. This should not however, influence buyers much because there are several factors which decide a purchase and price may not be the whole of it. Much of it depends on the bike’s/scooter’s looks, mileage, maintenance cost, brand value, social image, after sales service, word of mouth, longevity, resale value, engine capacity and pulling power etc apart from the goodies that scooters especially come loaded with like body-coloured mirrors, mobile charger, external fuel cap etc. For bikes, mono-shock ups, ABS brakes, digital metres etc are looked for. There are also other decisive factors like the gender, height and build of the person who would be using the bike, the weight of the vehicle, the route to be used on, the frequency of use etc. There is not any one two-wheeler that fulfils all criteria at once, and it is hard to find the right balance. The more the number of options, greater is the dilemma for the buyer. Here is a list of possible choices you can zero on in. Let’s start with bikes.
1. TVS Apache
The Apache has not sold the way it should have, may be because of competition and plenty of options in the segment, and it could not repeat the success of TVS Star City, Victor or the iconic Scooty, but TVS is an old player in the market and its Apache series is a very competent and good-looking bike. If you thought the 160 and 180 cc versions were not good enough, now there is the Apache RTR 200 4V, which is a stunner. It will cost you around Rs 1.15 lakh on-road. It has a top whack of 130 kmph and for safety it has double disc brakes with ABS option.
2. Suzuki Gixxer
This 155-cc offering from Suzuki is a macho and aggressive looking bike. Costing around Rs 90,000 on-road, this futuristic bike is touted as among the best handlers in the segment and also promises a good average of 64 kmpl, which is quite decent for a 150-cc bike. The bike can notch a top speed of about 116 kmph.
3. Bajaj Pulsar RS 200
Pulsar is perhaps the most trusted name in the 150-200cc biking segment. The 200 RS is available for about Rs 1.30 lakh and boasts of a top speed of about 140kmph, though it is not safe to test those speeds. It sports a 6-speed gear box and returns fuel figures of about 35 kmpl, which is on par with the 200-cc specification. For those concerned with the economy and weight of the bike, which at 165 kg is on the higher side, can go for the 180 cc pulsar, which is also a great performer.
4. Honda CB Hornet
We cannot ignore a Honda when talking about bikes and the Hornet is a gem of an engine. The 162-cc mill gives a healthy mileage of 60 kmpl and reaches a top speed of 111 kmph. It produces a healthy torque of 15nm and measures a long 2041 mms. It is available for around Rs 90,000 on road and weighs 135 kgs.
5. Hero Splendor
We cannot give home grown Hero a miss. It has some beautiful products like the Hunk, CBZ and Karizma. But our pick is the splendour series. It has perhaps the sweetest engine and suspension from the Hero stable and comes to suit every budget, offering several models between 97 cc and 125-cc. The top model will cost around Rs 60,000. No wonder Hero has sold over 25 lakh pieces of this model, riding high on its easy-to-maintain and fuel-efficient credentials.
One of TVS’bestsellers in the higher (110 cc) segment after the lower-spec Scooty, Jupiter is a sober family scooter with adequate power to haul two and decent fuel figures of around 60 kmpl. Though it isn’t exciting to look at, it offers a host of features including external fuel refilling, mobile charger, LED tail light and bigger tyres for better grip. Ride and handling is excellent and it retails in the range of Rs 55,000 to Rs 62,000 on road.
2. TVS Wego
TVS has been the market leader in the scooter segment and is always spot on with the mechanicals and the ergonomics. Jupiter’s sleeker sibling Wego has almost all the bells & whistles the bulkier Jupiter carries but this one is an eye candy and more suitable in style for the college goer. It has same engine specifications and costs almost the same too.
3. Mahindra Gusto
This underrated product from the Mahindra stable is a heavy and large scooter, which has not got in its favour though. The scooter sports several first-in-class features like car-like remote flip keys, follow me lamps, guide lamps and height adjustable seat. It is also a tad cheaper than the competition in the 110 cc segment.
4. Hero Maestro
This Hero workhorse has been an instant hit and selling in dozens every day. The looks are attractive in this feature-rich product. It returns mileage figures of about 55 kmpl, while the top speed is in the 85 kmph range, which is on par with the segment. On road price would be less than Rs 60,000.
5. Suzuki Let’s
Suzuki does not want to be left out and has come up with a brilliant product in the Let’s. At just 98kgs, the scooter is the lightest in its category, making it suitable for girls and women and returns attractive fuel figures of 60 kmpl. It has a reliable and refined 112 cc engine and is very attractively priced at around Rs 55,000. The scooter is stable even at its top speed of 85kmph.
The vehicles have not been listed in any order of preference