Petrol prices have reached an all-time high
and so here is a list of bikes that burn as little of it as possible. For the sake of this list, we will consider only the ARAI tested efficiency figures that are claimed by the manufacturers. So, while these numbers might not exactly match real world fuel efficiencies, they’re a good indication of which bikes are at the top of the game in getting the most kilometres to each litre of petrol.
1. Hero Splendor i3s
Claimed mileage: 102.5kpl
Engine: 97.2cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 51,911 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
With an almost unbelievably high fuel efficiency that goes into triple digits, was there any doubt that this bike was going to be at the top of our list? Hero MotoCorp basically took its bestselling product of all time, the Splendor, and put what it calls ‘i3s technology’, or idle Start Stop System. What this system does is switch off the engine every time you pull the bike to a halt and idle for more than a few seconds, and automatically restart it when you pull in the clutch once again. Switching off the motor during idle situations makes an already very efficient motor even more so.
2. Bajaj CT100
Claimed mileage: 99.1kpl
Engine: 99.2cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 31,802 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The original CT 100 was one of the more successful bikes in its segment and Bajaj brought the name back a few years ago to signify its resolve in taking on the competition in a class that is undoubtedly the largest chunk of the Indian two-wheeler space. It’s billed as the slightly less premium sibling to the Platina, but gets almost similar features such as the SNS rear suspension. However, the motor doesn’t get DTS-i technology and makes slightly lesser torque as compared to the Platina. The company also launched a variant called the CT 100 B that features a round headlight instead of a headlight cowl, which is over Rs 1,000 cheaper.
3. Bajaj Platina 100ES
Claimed mileage: 96.9kpl
Engine: 102cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 47,155 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Platina has always been one of Bajaj’s bestselling and highly efficient motorcycles. In its 2015 avatar, the Platina sports new styling along with an electric start as standard. The air-cooled motor features the company’s proprietary DTS-i twin-spark for improved combustion efficiency leading to the high mileage figure that the company claims. Now marketed with what the company calls “ComforTec”, the Platina features the company’s dual-spring SNS (spring-in-spring) rear suspension with a claimed 22 percent longer travel than its competition as well as claimed 28 percent longer front suspension (again, compared to its competition). This is supposed to make it one of the most comfortable bikes available, and just to drive that point home, it also gets what Bajaj claims to be the longest seat (21.9 inches) in the segment made from a unique foam structure for added softness. At 190mm, even the ground clearance is said to be the highest in class. So, tackling the worst of Indian roads shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
4. TVS Sport
Claimed mileage: 95kpl
Engine: 99.77cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 39,963 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The TVS Sport has been around for quite some time, but a few years ago, the Chennai-based company launched an updated version of this entry-level commuter motorcycle, which boasts an even higher fuel efficiency. Besides a bump in the mileage, TVS has equipped the motorcycle with a few more features. It now gets electric start as standard, aluminium grab rails, a chrome muffler guard and a new instrument cluster. The Sport is powered by TVS’ DuraLife Engine that reduces the friction in engine components and provides improved fuel efficiency. The company claims that this makes the bike “the most appealing economy motorcycle”. It’s also the only motorcycle in the 100cc class that features large 130mm drum brakes that facilitate better braking.
5. Hero Splendor range
Claimed mileage: 93.2kpl
Engine: 97.2cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting Price: Rs 48,520 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
When you think of fuel efficiency, no doubt the first name that comes to mind for most people is the Hero Splendor. This is pretty much the company’s bread and butter motorcycle, and has been on the top of sales charts for the better part of the last two decades. The 97.2cc sloper motor has remained fundamentally unchanged, but recently, with the introduction of the 'Pro' model, various internal bits were refined to provide improved power and torque figures – which currently sit at 8.36hp and 8.05Nm, respectively. The bike is also available in the Splendor+ i3s avatar, which tops this list.
6. Hero HF range
Claimed mileage: 88.5kpl
Engine: 97.2cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting Price: Rs 37,400 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Hero MotoCorp has been known to make a huge number of products based on the same basic platform. So even right now, the company has about nine motorcycles based almost exactly on its ever so successful Splendor platform. And with a mileage figure of nearly 90kpl, it’s the HF series of bikes from this family that takes the number six spot in terms of the chart of the most fuel efficient bikes in the country. The HF series is billed as the more affordable take on the Splendor, with a few features left out to keep costs down. Currently, there are three bikes in this range starting with the most affordable HF Dawn, going on to the HF Deluxe and the HF Deluxe ECO, the last of which actually features low rolling resistance tyres for better mileage. Hero has also added a new model to the HF range, the HF Deluxe i3S, which features the start-stop technology from the Splendor i-Smart, so it’s even more efficient now. As for the engine, there is no real difference in specs between these bikes and the other Splendors.
7. Mahindra Centuro
Claimed mileage: 85.2kpl
Engine: 106.7cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 48,130 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Often, it’s hard for motorcycles to differentiate themselves in this cut-throat commuter motorcycle segment, but the Mahindra Centuro certainly does try its hardest. Apart from its distinctive styling, it gets a number of segment-first features such as a flip-key and find-me lamps which flash along with audio beeps at a press of a button on this key, to help locate the bike in a crowded parking lot. Then there are take-me-home lamps which stay on to light up your path once you’ve parked and locked your bike. And to top it off, the Centuro gets a tachometer, along with a digital instrument cluster. Mahindra also offers variants of this bike which get a 240mm disc brake at the front for enhanced braking performance. The Centuro packs a 106.7cc, single-cylinder motor, which comes with the company’s patented lubrication system for improving efficiency.
8. Yamaha Saluto RX
Claimed mileage: 82kpl
Engine: 110cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 53,898 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Saluto RX is the latest bike in this list, launched recently as part of Yamaha’s initiative to make headway into the commuter bike space. The company says that the target market for the bike is rural youngsters and that was part of the reason for bringing back the legendary RX name in a bid to have better brand recall. The Saluto RX’s 110cc motor is based on that of its larger capacity sibling, the Saluto 125, and also gets some mileage improving features such as the offset cylinder. There isn’t much to write home about in terms of specifications, with the motor churning out 7.5hp of peak power and 8.5Nm of torque. However, a kerb weight of just 98kg should make for a sprightly ride.
9. TVS Victor
Claimed mileage: 76kpl
Engine: 109.7cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 53,295 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
While the Victor brand name has its origins back in 2002, a few years ago TVS brought it back in a totally revamped avatar. The changes aren’t just limited to the visuals though. Pretty much everything else has been changed from the ground up as well. This new Victor packs the company’s 3-valve EcoThrust motor which can generate 9.6hp of peak power and 9.4Nm of peak torque, making this the most powerful bike in this lot. And there are a lot more features on offer as well, which really make this new Victor great value. The bike gets tubeless tyres as well as an optional petal disc brake at the front for added safety. Even fit and finish have really been taken to a higher level, making this a bike that leaves very little to fault with.
10. Suzuki Hayate EP
Claimed mileage: 76 kpl
Engine: 113cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled
Starting price: Rs 52,953 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
It’s true that the original Suzuki Hayate did not enjoy much success in the highly competitive arena of entry-level commuter motorcycles in India. However, in a bid to remedy that, the company launched a major update to this bike in the form of the Hayate EP. The 110cc single-cylinder motor now gets Suzuki’s Eco Performance (SEP) technology and makes 8.7hp of peak power and 9.3Nm of peak torque. According to the company, the motorcycle uses a ‘Super Sleek Piston’, high-ignition spark plug and low-friction cylinder and piston rings, which help in delivering improved combustion, a higher compression ratio, reduced friction and weight reduction. The Hayate EP also features a longer seat, a long wheelbase and a diamond frame. For convenience, the motorcycle comes with a maintenance-free battery, tubeless tyres and a five-step adjustable rear shock absorber.