Radical and Rational - two purchasing behaviours that rule the motorcycle scene in India. And if you leave behind the last decade that introduced India to an array of performance motorcycles and the economic boom that made more and more people afford such life threatening machines, almost 9 buyers out of 10 were purely rational. They wanted every rupee they spent to be an investment, on a motorcycle that would be a part the family and will serve each and every member of the family in some way or the another. Not much has changed today though, the majority still wants to spend on a product that will withstand time, road conditions, mood swings and physical abuse from the neighbours' kids.
Here, we have tried to find the best possible buy around 50,000 INR and the reasons why it should or should not be given an entry in your house.
The feather in Bajaj's cap since its launch in 2004. The Discover is one the most common bikes to be seen on Indian roads that says it all for its success. The new age Discover has a more refined 125 cc engine that delivers 11.5 bhp of power and 10.8 Nm of torque. Electric start comes as a standard feature making it smooth as silk to ride in city traffic. Gas filled rear shockers and a disc brake on the front wheel give it a premium look and feel. 4 gears make the ride less tiresome for the ride to market for daily chores. Keeping in mind the Bajaj extensive network and the reliability this bike is known for. The design is new and makes its presence felt on the road, and increases the rider's comfort and confidence while riding ending up with the Discover standing with its head held high in front of the competitors. Explore more on Bajaj Discover 125
Bajaj Platina is not really a competitor here, but it was impossible to neglect it because of various reasons. The impeccable fuel efficiency has led to its immense popularity in the smart spender segment. Bajaj claims that the Platina will run for 75 kilometres for every litre of petrol. The 4 stroke, 100 cc engine is nothing phenomenal and delivers 8.2 bhp of power and 8.05 Nm of torque which is not comparable to others, but serves the purpose well. Both the suspensions are hydraulic and telescopic, and negotiate the normal roads just fine. Brakes are drum which don't give you enough confidence, but the bike is not to be ridden fast anyhow.Explore more on Bajaj Platina
The motorcycle that changed the face of the commuter segment and gave it a premium look and feel. The new-gen Hero Passion PRO comes with some of the coolest options and features that makes it stand apart from the competition. The power band remains similar across the segment, so it is unfair to call a motorcycle good or bad seeing the numbers. The power and torque are enough in all the bikes to do exactly what is told to them. Nothing more, nothing less. The Passion PRO here delivers a humble 7.8 bhp at the max and 8.05 Nm of torque. But, and it is a big one, it has standard front disc and electric start, and unlike any other player in its class, it lets you choose if you want a rear disc too. 4 speed gear box clubbed with multiple plate wet clutch and a double cradle frame make it butter smooth flickable. The usable fuel efficiency is somewhere 70 kmpl which is very good considering the fact that you are not compromising on anything anywhere else.Explore more on Hero Passion PRO
Here is a bike that helped Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India realise its dream of surpassing Bajaj Auto in order to be India's second largest two-wheeler manufacturer. From the time it was delivered to customers for the first time in 2006, it has been surging ahead like an unleashed horse who is plain unstoppable. Last week, it became India's and Honda's highest selling model when it crossed the 3 million mark. Blame it on the numbers that speak in its favour or the brilliant technology Honda is globally known for, the Shine does outshine every other motorcycle that tries to come close to it. The 125 cc engine delivers an impressive 10.12 bhp of power and 10.54 Nm of torque. The standard electric start, diamond frame, spring loaded hydraulic suspensions at both the ends, a 240 mm disc at the front and a 130 mm drum at the rear lets you use every bit of what this bike has to offer. Tubeless tyres let you leave your worries and extra money home. The 3d emblem on the tank, innovative graphics, air filter that doesn't need to be taken care of for 15,000 kms, maintenance free battery are some of the areas where Honda has paid special attention to make your experience truly grand. Explore more on Honda CB Shine
Hero Splendor can undoubtedly be called the poster boy of Indian motorcycles. There was surely a time when Hero Honda Splendor single-handedly outnumbered all other motorcycles on the road at a given point of time. Hero Honda kept on upgrading it with time in terms of looks, engine capacity, ergonomics and of course the price. After its split from Honda, Hero has been making the legendary Splendor with all its might. The latest Splendor is iSmart, the one that believes in looking astonishing, and is as tech-savvy as a teenager these days. The highly innovative Idle Start Stop System usually known as i3S, switches off the engine in the bike idles in neutral for more than 5 seconds hence saving fuel without your intervention. This is highly effective on a traffic light or in thick traffic. To switch the Splendor iSmart on again, just pull the clutch lever and the engine spring back to life. The engine is the usual 97.2 cc that produces 7.8 bhp of power and 8.04 Nm of torque, which is quiet and refined as expected, but nothing exceptional. But who did ever buy a Splendor to do something it is not meant to do? As far as the kms/litres figures go, it should practically deliver somewhere between 70-75 kms a litre with the i3S switched on. Explore more on Hero Splendor iSmart
Well, it will be unfair on our part to take a side and declare one of these a clear winner. Every motorcycles here has its respective pros and cons. Some, can be avoided and some, well, can't. But if I had to put my hard-earned money on any of these well mannered machines, I would have gone ahead with the Honda CB Shine. Not because the numbers speak for its brilliance, but simply because I respect the Japanese to be a little cynical and passionate about the motorcycles they make and the effort they put in behind every set of two wheels that rolls out of their factories