These days you will come across a glut of ‘value-for-money’ motorcycle lists across the web, but most of the times what qualifies as “value” won’t count for much for motorcycling enthusiasts. For this list however, we’ve chosen bikes that provide the most excitement and a fun-to-ride experience at a relative affordable price, for their class at least.
Since this is a cross-class list, these bikes can't be compared to each other as such. Just know that each of these offers a great riding experience in their own price bracket or class, and just having the most horsepower isn't what it's all about. But, just for good measure, we’re also including just how much you will have to shell out for these horses, should you decide to buy one from the list.
1. Suzuki Gixxer
Launched a couple of years back, the Gixxer completely changed the game in the 150cc segment in India, and totally raised our expectations about what a bike in this category can be all about. And funnily enough, Suzuki didn’t need to reinvent the wheel while doing so. Its 155cc single-cylinder air-cooled motor does not make very high peak horsepower, but instead, provides a very usable torque spread throughout its rev range. That lovely tractability combined with an extremely competent and communicative handling package makes for an extremely fun-to-ride experience. On top of that, you get a bike that looks pretty good as well. For those who prefer sport bike looks, Suzuki also offers the Gixxer in a full-faired avatar in the form of the SF, and both the faired and naked variants are now available with a rear disc brake option.
Price: Rs 77,650 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 14.8hp at 8,000rpm
Price to Power ratio: Rs 5,246 per hp
2. Bajaj Pulsar RS200
The RS200 is the most powerful Pulsar made to date. Bajaj has basically taken its highly successful Pulsar 200NS, made quite a few improvements all around, which include a switch to fuel injection for its 199.5cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, revised steering geometry, and optional single-channel ABS. Even the aesthetics have been completely revised and the RS200 sports a full fairing along with twin projector headlights. While the motor is not the most refined experience out there, it delivers plenty of punch. Mind you, it’s not a full-fledged sportbike, but rather a street bike with a full-fairing. But the street focused riding experience makes it highly enjoyable, whether you’re riding in the city, on the highway or through twisty mountain roads.
Price: Rs 1,32,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 24.5hp at 9,750rpm
Price to Power ratio: Rs 5,387 per hp
3. Bajaj Pulsar AS200
Okay, so why include the Bajaj AS200 when we've already got it's more high tech and faster sibling in this list? Well, while this ‘Adventure Sport’ (as it is known) variant of the Pulsar makes a little less horsepower as compared to the RS and might not share its handling prowess or refinement levels, there's no denying that thanks to some absolutely brilliant pricing, the AS200 offers incredible value in terms of giving you the most horsepower for your money's worth. This has been achieved by sharing a large number of its body panels with its naked sibling, the 200NS (which is not in production at the moment), and sticking to a carburettor setup instead of fuel injection (which the RS has). And yes, it doesn't offer ABS either. But that being said, the AS200 is still a fun motorcycle to ride and very easy to recommend to someone looking for a thrilling ride at an affordable price.
Price: Rs 94,049 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Price to power ratio: Rs 4,002 per hp
4. KTM 390 Duke
When talking about bikes that changed the game in the Indian market, the KTM 390 Duke absolutely deserves to be at the top of the list. With a rev-happy 373cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor making a spectacular 43.5hp and a dry weight of just 139kg, the 390 offers a remarkable power-to-weight figure in its class, giving it the ability to make the dash from zero to 100kph in a hair over five seconds. And armed with top-notch suspension components such as beefy upside down forks, excellent ABS-equipped brakes, and super-sticky Metzeler tyres, the Duke is quite the handler as well. You’re effectively looking at a bike that on real world roads has the ability to leave even bikes that are twice as powerful in its dust. Agreed that for all its performance prowess, it does sacrifice ride comfort, but pound for pound (and rupee for rupee as well), it’s probably the most fun-to-ride bike in this list.
Price: Rs 1,95,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 43.5hp at 9,500rpm
Price to Power ratio: Rs 4,482 per hp
5. Aprilia SR150
Yes, we actually have a scooter in this list, but with an Aprilia badge on it, it’s hard not to include it. Actually, it’s not just about badge value with this one, as the order of the day at Piaggio was to create the fastest scooter in India. Sure it might have the tried-and-tested 150cc motor from the Vespa 150 which makes 11.54 hp of peak power, but that combined with the its lighter weight thanks to an underbone chassis and plastic panels, should give the SR150 the best power-to-weight ratio amongst all Indian scooters. With telescopic forks up front, 14-inch wheels at both ends and a 220mm disc brake as standard, this Aprilia is sure to add a lot of thrills to your commute without sacrificing any of the practicality of a scooter.
Price: Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 10.54hp at 7,000rpm
Price to Power ratio: Rs 6,167 per hp
6. Honda Navi
Who would've thought that the bike offering the best price-to-power ratio in this list would be the cute little Honda Navi? Well mostly it's because it packs the competent 109cc motor from the popular Activa that's good for 10.54hp, but more importantly, it's because of the bike's incredible price-tag of less than Rs 40,000. But power figures and price do not tell the whole story of the Navi. Even though it's based on the underpinnings of a scooter, this gregarious scooter is will have you believe you are riding a motorcycle because of its motorcycle-like riding position. It's not fast, but it weighs just a fraction over a hundred kilos, it's quite nippy and is quick and precise to steer around.
Power: 10.54hp at 7,000rpm
Price: Rs 39,648 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Price to power ratio: Rs 3762 per hp
7. Kawasaki Z800
When it comes to appeal, Kawasaki’s Z800 is a bit of the underdog when compared to motorcycles like Ducati’s Monster 821 or Triumph’s Street Triple. But, in the end this strong and silent type has made quite a mark. This Kawasaki offers the quintessential four-cylinder ‘big-bike’ sound and feel that Indian motorcyclists crave for. But, it backs it up with performance that will keep you hooked to this naked for time to come. The Z800 ability to deliver all kinds of motorcycling flavours fairly convincingly makes it a naked deserving of a lot of respect. And, there’s that small matter of price. Kawasaki has gone onto redefine value by cutting the price-tag of the Z800 when they could. The only downside, you can feel its weight at parking speeds.
Price: 8,13,000 Delhi
Price to power: Rs7194 per hp
8. Benelli TNT 600i
The TNT 600i is not exactly what you might call a full-on performance motorcycle, given that it makes 85hp but weighs in at a fairly portly 231kg. However, it is still the most affordable four-cylinder bike in the country and thanks to a well-tuned exhaust system, has the ability to make any commute feel like a blast. The motor is quite peaky as well, making its maximum horsepower at a stratospheric 11,500rpm. So while tractability might not the TNT’s strong suite, once you get going, it’s quite a quick motorcycle. To top it off, its striking design makes it quite the head-turner. For 2016, DSK-Benelli updated the TNT 600i with ABS, which has added a healthy dose of improved safety, making it better value than ever before.
Price: Rs 5,73,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 85.07hp at 11,500rpm
Power to Price ratio: Rs 6,735 per hp
9. Suzuki Hayabusa
The big daddy of speed, the Suzuki Hayabusa is one of the most evocative names in the motorcycle world. The fastest production bike in the world at one point, the ’Busa gained a stellar reputation thanks to its incredible performance as well as starring roles in popular Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Since Suzuki began to assemble the bike in India this year, its price has seen a significant drop and it has become the most affordable motorcycle in the country that can clock a bona fide 300kph top speed, even in its restricted form. The 1,340cc four-cylinder motor might not have seen any update in seven years, but it’s still capable of producing near-as-makes-no-difference 200hp. What makes it an even sweeter deal is the fact that it’s not a straight-line machine, but an uncannily good handler as well.
Price: Rs 13,57,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Power: 200hp at 10,100rpm
Power to Price ratio: Rs 6,785 per hp