Motorcycles in the Rs 2-4 lakh space have been steadily increasing in number. While BS6 updates for existing models have brought better refinement and additional features, they’ve also pushed prices up. This has resulted in a larger number of bikes being available in this segment, as models from a lower range have become pricier. From a fully faired motorcycle to an adventure tourer, as well as a twin-cylinder motorcycle, the list has it all.
As usual, we've mentioned the ex-showroom (Delhi) price of each motorcycle, for the sake of consistency. Going in increasing order of price, we begin with the Bajaj Dominar 400.
Bajaj Dominar 400
The Bajaj used to be a whole lot more affordable, but stricter emissions and safety regulations, as well as a big mid-life update a couple of years ago, have pushed it over the Rs 2 lakh mark. It is still the most affordable motorcycle in this list, but it won't leave you feeling short-changed. In fact, the Bajaj Dominar 400's appeal lies in the unmatched price-to-performance ratio it offers.
The motorcycle is powered by a 373.3cc, liquid-cooled single that produces 39.9hp and 35Nm of torque, a lot more than some 250cc motorcycles that retail at a similar price point. The engine is paired to a 6-speed gearbox with a slip and assist clutch.
What also makes the Dominar 400 tick is its comfortable ergonomics, strong performance and ability to chew kilometres at triple-digit speeds with ease. Looking for a touring friendly motorcycle on an extremely tight budget? The Dominar 400 is worth considering.
Price: Rs 2.02 lakh
Power: 39.9hp at 8,650rpm
Torque: 35Nm at 7,000rpm
Also see: Rahul Bajaj: One of a kind
TVS Apache RR 310
The Apache RR 310 is TVS' flagship model and, as expected, the company has gone all out in kitting out the motorcycle.
To begin with, it is by far one of the best looking motorcycles on sale in India. The new black and grey colourway on the BS6 Apache RR 310 only enhances its appeal. But that's not all, because while complying with the new emission standards, TVS also addressed the engine vibrations issue, which was one of biggest peeves of the original RR 310.
The performance offered by the 312.2cc, single cylinder liquid-cooled engine is brisk, and the bike now offers ride modes (Rain, Urban, Sport and Track).
The RR 310 is also one of the most feature-packed motorcycles out there, with Michelin Road 5 tyres and a Bluetooth connectivity enabled colour TFT display. It shows turn by navigation, incoming call alerts and a lot more via the TVS smartphone app.
While this motorcycle shares the platform with the BMW G 310 R / GS, we still believe the Apache RR 310 is the best iteration when it comes to performance and value for money. Coupled with the everyday usability of the RR 310 and its capability as a touring or a track day machine, it is an all-rounder in every sense of the word.
All said, for similar money, you could also purchase the BMW G 310 R, which is essentially the same motorcycle when it comes to the chassis, brakes and engine. A good looking street naked, the G 310 R is also relatively comfier due to its upright seating position. But more importantly, it carries the brand value of a BMW, which makes it that much more appealing to the brand conscious. However, it is nowhere near as feature loaded as the TVS and its aftersales costs are higher.
Price: Rs 2.49 lakh
Power: 34hp at 9,700rpm
Torque: 25.8Nm at 7,600rpm
Also see: Updated TVS Apache RR 310 launch expected soon
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 was a game changer and has grown to be a much loved motorcycle since its launch in 2018. With the BS6 update and launch of new colours for 2021, Royal Enfield has not only improved the motorcycle but also enhanced its appeal and how.
The Interceptor 650 is a handsome motorcycle and Royal Enfield's Make it Yours programme offers a plethora of customisation options. However, the 648cc, parallel-twin engine and drivetrain is the jewel in this motorcycle's crown, offering a nice blend of performance and rideability. It also sounds sweet, with the twin exhausts dishing out pops and crackles on the overrun.
On the whole, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a motorcycle that packs in oodles of character while offering a fun and engaging experience. Not to mention the fact that you are buying into the vast community of passionate Royal Enfield owners, a draw for many.
This, along with the fact that it is the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycle on sale, makes it a proposition that is hard to look past. The fact that it is more comfortable and practical than its sibling, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, is why it's our pick of the two.
Price: Starting at Rs 2.69 lakh
Power: 47hp at 7,150rpm
Torque: 52Nm at 5,250rpm
Also see: BS6 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 review
BMW G 310 GS
The G 310 GS is the entry-level motorcycle in the Bavarian manufacturer's adventure motorcycle world. Even though it may not be as well-appointed as its bigger GS siblings, it has a lot going for it.
Firstly, the BS6-compliant G 310 GS is worlds apart from the BS4 motorcycle, when it comes to engine refinement. The harsh and unpleasant vibes in the seat or handlebar, especially at highway speeds, have been significantly reduced. The introduction of ride-by-wire has also taken care of the jerky throttle response and low RPM engine stalling issue.
While the performance is more or less the same as before, the significantly lower price tag of the BS6 model has made it a whole lot more desirable.
At Rs 2.90 lakh, you get a comfortable and capable road-biased touring machine that's also adept at handling the odd run down an off-road trail. BMW also introduced a bright and effective LED headlight and turn indicators that adds to a sense of premiumness. Pair that with the good quality levels, the easy to access performance or the prestige value of the BMW badge, and you can understand why there is an uptick in the sales figures of the G 310 GS.
Price: Rs 2.90 lakh
Power : 34hp at 9,250rpm
Torque: 28Nm at 7,500rpm
Also see: KTM 390 Adventure vs BMW G 310 GS
KTM 390 Adventure
The 390 Adventure is not an out and out off-road-biased adventure bike, but it’s a fantastic all-road/no road touring machine.
It shares the same engine and transmission with its naked sibling and there are no changes to the gearing either. Which means, you've got the same exciting performance and in a package that’s suited to our varying road conditions. This is courtesy of the extra suspension travel, 19-inch front wheel and block pattern tyres.
The spacious ergonomics are suited for all-day, long-distance rides, and speaking of which, KTM's vast service network adds a layer of peace-of-mind, while out touring.
The final clincher, though, is the price tag. With the kind of features that you get, such as traction control, quickshifter and cornering ABS, this is the adventure motorcycle that offers the best value below Rs 4 lakh.
Price: Rs 3.16 lakh
Power: 43.5hp at 9,000rpm
Torque: 37Nm at 7,000rpm
Also see: KTM 390 Adventure road test