A budget of Rs 2-4 lakh presents an interesting selection. This is where you start seeing the first multi-cylinder offerings and, while this segment was rather restricted a few years ago, of late, we’ve seen some fantastic offerings from a bevy of manufacturers. While this segment might still be considered a bit out of reach by many, there’s no denying that the motorcycles in this price bracket are exceptional and can even give those that cost a few lakh more a run for their money. And, as always, like with all our lists, we've considered only ex-showroom, Delhi, prices for consistency.
TVS Apache RR 310
With its high tail and sharp fairing, the RR 310 features an aggressive supersport-like design. However, the motorcycle is not an all-out supersport, especially in terms of riding position. It has a raised handlebar and reasonably rear-set foot pegs, which should make it comfortable on the street, as well. The RR 310 has ample room on offer and this is of as much help with being comfortable on a high-speed cruise as it is while you experiment with increasing degrees of lean angles. The low seat height also helps and should keep most riders comfortable. The RR 310 is happy on long, open highways but will also handle twisting roads with glee. TVS has equipped the fully-digital instrument cluster on the RR 310 to display average speed, 0-60kph timings and a lap timer mode that can be toggled on-the-move, by pressing the headlight pass switch. It also has segment-first features like a numeric engine temperature gauge and features a highly accurate fuel gauge. The motorcycle also features an upside-down front fork and all-LED lighting.
Price: Rs 2.23 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Power: 34hp at 9700rpm
Torque: 27.3Nm at 7700rpm
Also read: TVS Apache RR 310 review
KTM 390 Duke
The 390 Duke completely changed the way small(er) capacity performance motorcycles were perceived in India. And its 2017 avatar takes the game several notches higher. Powered by a 373cc, single-cylinder motor that makes a whopping 43.5hp and a massive 37Nm of torque, the 390 Duke can accelerate from zero to 100kph in a little over five seconds – that’s nearly as quick as bikes with almost twice the engine capacity! Chalk this down to an impressive power to weight ratio thanks to a featherweight dry mass of just 149kg. It stops extremely well too, as it now gets a bigger 320mm front disc with a radially mounted 4-pot caliper, which is supplemented by switchable dual-channel ABS as standard. With a separate function and beefy upside-down forks at the front, when it comes to handling, the KTM 390 Duke is pretty much unbeatable, with only its stablemate, the very sporty RC390, outdoing it in this segment. It’s absolutely loaded to the gills with equipment as well – a ride-by-wire throttle, adjustable levers and a full-colour TFT instrument panel that can be hooked up to your smartphone for controlling music and answering calls. For those of you looking for similar performance, but in a more focused and racy supersport avatar, KTM’s RC 390 is also available for about the same sum of money.
Price: Rs 2.42 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Power: 43.5hp at 9,000rpm
Torque: 37Nm at 7,000rpm
Also read: KTM 390 Duke review
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki has recently launched a heavily localised version of the Ninja 300 in India. By localising the components, the Japanese brand has reduced the price by a massive Rs 62,000. This makes the 2018 Ninja 300 among the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles on sale in India. Also, Kawasaki is offering free three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty for a limited period. The Ninja 300 houses a 296cc, four-stroke, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine. This fuel-injected motor generates 39hp of maximum power with a peak torque figure of 27Nm. The motor has dual-throttle valves similar to what you see on the company’s top-spec litre-class sports bike, the ZX-10R, and these deliver smooth throttle response throughout the rev range. The motor is peaky though, and one really needs to rev the nuts off it to get the most out of it. Its six-speed transmission gets a slip and assist clutch, which makes for a light lever feel, while the slipper clutch prevents rear-wheel hop under rapid downshifts. Braking components are made by Endurance and tyres are provided by MRF on the new Ninja 300. The baby Ninja also gets dual-channel ABS as standard.
Price: Rs 2.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Power: 39hp at 11,000rpm
Torque: 27Nm at 10,000rpm
Also read: 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs rivals: Specifications comparison
The R3 is probably the most direct rival to the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and can be described as Yamaha’s take on the quarter-litre (slightly higher) twin-cylinder sports bike. Its 321cc, parallel-twin motor gets four valves per cylinder and puts out a healthy 42hp of peak power, while peak torque is 29.6Nm. But, unlike the Ninja, this has been geared for great pull even at mid-range rpm and doesn’t need to be constantly revved high to make it really go. On top of that, the R3 hasn’t been designed to be an out-and-out track-attack machine like the KTM RC 390 and sports a comfortable seating position as well as a softer suspension. These factors make it a great bike, whether you’re riding in the city, cruising on the highway or even carving up some corners in the twisties. Yamaha recently launched its 2018 YZF-R3 in two colour options – Racing Blue and Magma Black. The biggest change on the bike is its Euro-IV (same as BS-IV) compliant engine. It also finally gets dual-channel ABS and Metzeler M5 tyres.
Price: Rs 3.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Power: 42hp at 10,750rpm
Torque: 29.6Nm at 9,000rpm
Also read: Yamaha YZF-R3 road test
BMW G 310 GS
The BMW G 310 GS is the adventure variant of the G 310 R developed by BMW Motorrad in Germany and built at the TVS plant in Hosur, India. It is the smallest-capacity GS and inherits its family's styling, including the stubby front beak, radiator shrouds, headlight cowl and tank design.
Like the TVS Apache RR 310, the G 310 GS comes with a reversed cylinder design that slopes towards the rear wheel, instead of the conventional engine layout. This engine is a 313cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder unit with four valves and a DOHC cylinder head. It churns out 34hp of power and 28Nm of torque and is paired to a six-speed gearbox. The bike gets a tubular steel frame, five-spoke alloy wheels and dual-channel ABS which can be disengaged (it can't be disengaged on its twin). The kerb weight for the G 310 GS stands at 169.5kg.
The GS gets an upside-down 41mm fork, just like the R. However, at 180mm, it has 40mm more travel than the R. While the front suspension is non-adjustable on both bikes, the monoshock does boast adjustable preload. The GS (being the adventure variant) gets a larger 19-inch front wheel and a standard-size 17-inch rear wheel with Metzeler tyres. The GS is certainly expensive, but at the moment, it has no immediate rivals – the RE Himalayan is much less powerful; and with the Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag, the Kawasaki Versys X-300 is simply priced out of contention. The BMW currently exists as the only adventure bike option available at this price range, which secures its spot on this list.
Price: Rs 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom, India)
Power: 34hp at 9,500rpm
Torque: 28Nm at 7,500rpm
Also read: BMW G 310 R, G 310 GS review
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