There are plenty of bikes that claim high power figures, but the power-to-weight ratios often tell a different story.
Enthusiasts know that it’s the power-to-weight ratio that tells a more detailed story when it comes to performance. That’s why we’ve decided to list out the top 10 bikes with the highest power-to-weight ratios and priced below the Rs 2 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) mark. All figures have been calculated using kerb weights.
The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V has many remarkable features like ride modes, a slipper clutch and a preload-adjustable fork, but that’s not what we are talking about here. It makes it to the list after having edged out the likes of the Yamaha FZ25, R-15 and MT-15, thanks to its peppy four-valve, single-cylinder engine that makes 20.8hp at 9,000rpm and 17.25Nm at 7,250rpm. This, combined with the 152kg kerb weight, translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 136.8hp/tonne and impressive real-world performance.
The RS 200 manages to balance its identity very well – the riding position is sporty, but far from extreme, and the handling is stable and enjoyable, but without being punishing over poor roads. With its full fairing and perimeter frame, the Pulsar NS weighs in at 166kg.
While that makes the RS200 10kg heavier than its naked counterpart, the NS200, it’s still among the top 10 with a power-to-weight ratio of 147.5hp/tonne. It achieves this thanks to its four-valve, single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that makes 24.5hp at 9,750rpm and 18.7Nm at 8,000rpm.
8) Bajaj Dominar 250 (27hp/180kg) – 150hp/tonne
A motorcycle you wouldn’t think would make it to this list is the Bajaj Dominar 250. That’s because it is essentially a less powerful version of the hefty Dominar 400. Despite its 180kg kerb weight, the Dominar 250 manages to make 150hp/tonne, thanks to its powerful 250cc engine. This engine is based on the KTM 250’s, but with big changes that includes a different cylinder head and compression ratio. The Dominar 250’s engine makes 27hp at 8,500rpm and 23.5Nm at 6,500rpm.
The Bajaj Pulsar NS200 is a motorcycle you may have seen coming. Being 10kg lighter than the RS200, at 156kg, gives it a big advantage when it comes to its power-to-weight ratio. It makes 157hp/tonne, thanks to the same four-valve, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that makes 24.5hp at 9,750rpm and 18.7Nm at 8,000rpm. We recently compared the NS200 to its rivals and it turned out to be the fastest accelerating motorcycle in its class, with a 0-100kph time of 10.98sec.
6) KTM 200 Duke (25hp/159kg) – 157.2hp/tonne
KTM’s 200 Duke would have been much higher up in the list, but its most recent version includes a major design update that has resulted in it becoming 11kg heavier than before. Its weight now stands at 159kg, which is slightly more than the NS200, but it balances the equation thanks to a 0.5hp advantage. With just 0.2hp/tonne separating the two, the real-world performance is expected to be quite close, however, the KTM’s closer stacked gear ratios should result in more exciting acceleration.
5) Jawa Forty Two (27.3hp/171kg) – 159.6hp/tonne
Not too long ago, Jawa launched an updated and sportier looking version of the Forty-Two. This version, internally known as the Forty Two 2.1, also weighs 1kg less than the regular Forty Two and the Jawa. This gives it a slightly higher power-to-weight ratio of 159.6hp/tonne. In comparison, the regular Forty Two and Jawa are capable of 158.7hp/tonne. All three bikes use the same 293cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that comes paired with a 6-speed gearbox.
4) Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 (26.5hp/161kg) – 164.5hp/tonne
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a motorcycle with a number of qualities. It does a lot really well and it leaves very little to complain about. Powering it is a 249cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine that makes 26.5hp at 9,300rpm and 22.2Nm at 7,300rpm. While these figures aren’t ground-breaking, it’s reasonably lightweight, at 161kg, especially when you consider that it’s a fully-faired quarter-litre machine. With 164.5hp/tonne, the Gixxer SF 250 takes position number four.
Coming in at number three is the Gixxer SF 250’s naked counterpart. Like we witnessed with the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 and NS200, shedding some bodywork goes a long way. Powering it is the exact same engine as the SF 250 and it makes identical power and torque numbers, but its 156kg weight figure gives it a higher power-to-weight ratio of 169.8hp/tonne.
2) Jawa Perak (30.6hp/175kg) – 174.8hp/tonne
The unique-looking Jawa Perak makes the most power on this list. It churns out 30.6hp and 32.7Nm of torque from its 334cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. The Perak would have taken first place, but it goes up against much lighter competition. That said, the Perak is still quite lightweight, at 175kg, given that it’s a bobber. Head here to read our review of the Jawa Perak.
With 180.7hp/tonne, the Swedish Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 are the motorcycles that offer the most bang for the buck. Thanks to the 249cc, liquid-cooled engine from the KTM 250 Duke, the Huskies make 30hp at 9,000rpm and 24Nm at 7,500rpm. The lightweight steel-trellis frame and minimal bodywork contribute to keeping the weight down to 166kg. If you’d like to know more about the performance and what we think of the Husqvarnas, head here.