Sub-250cc bikes in India - Which One Should You Buy?

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Sub-250cc bikes offer a good balance between performance and everyday usability – you can ride them to work every day, or go on a joy-ride on weekends. They are quite fast, but are also friendly-enough for amateur riders. People seemed to have realized this, and are now buying them by the dozen.

There are 13 bikes in the 200cc – 250cc category, ranging from Rs 81,000 to Rs 3 lakhs. Check them out, and pick out your most favourite of them all!

 

  1. Bajaj Avenger 220

Bajaj advertises the Avenger with the tagline ‘Feel Like God’, and not without warrant. Thanks to a torquey engine and a laid-back riding posture, the cruiser lends itself to relaxed riding. It also looks quite fetching too. Not only does it offer a comfortable ride and stylish looks, the Avenger is also quite affordable, and is the only cruiser in the India that’s priced under Rs 1 lakh. 

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Bajaj Avenger 220

Type

Cruiser

Engine

219cc air-cooled single-cylinder

Power

19.03 bhp @ 8400 rpm

Price

Rs 81,596

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional weekend rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Avenger

 

  1. Hero Karizma R

In the early 2000’s, the Karizma R was one of the most powerful motorcycles available off-the-shelf in India. Today, its spec-sheet may seem dull when compared to its competitors, but that is not the whole story. The Karizma R was, and it still is, one of the most capable touring motorcycles available in the country. Its 223cc engine operates very smoothly, and offers enough power and torque to allow for relaxed cruising at highway speeds. It is also a sturdy and reliable motorcycle, ride with jolly impulsiveness, and it’ll soak up all the abuse without a complaint.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Hero Karizma R

Type

Sport Tourer

Engine

223cc air-cooled single-cylinder

Power

19.2 bhp @ 7500 rpm

Price

83,900

Best Suited For

City riding, as well as long road trips

Click here for full tech specs of the Karizma R

 

 

  1. Bajaj Pulsar 220

The Pulsar 220 was the motorcycle that took the Karizma R off the top spot in the power output stakes. It employs a powerful 220cc single-cylinder engine, which gives it the go to keep-up with bikes. Its half-fairing may give one the impression of a sport tourer, but the Pulsar 220’s character is more like that of a streetfighter. Although cornering isn’t one of its strongest points, it offers good straight line-stability. Combined with its tractable engine, it makes for a decent long-distance tourer too, one that can be used for occasional leisure rides, apart from the daily grind.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Bajaj Pulsar 220

Type

Sport Tourer

Engine

219cc air-cooled single-cylinder

Power

21 bhp @ 8500 rpm

Price

Rs 87,698

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional long rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Pulsar 220

 

 

  1. Bajaj Pulsar AS 200

Of Bajaj’s Pulsar 200 triplets, the AS 200 is the sport touring variant. It has all that’s necessary to make long-distance riding comfortable, such as a powerful, torque-loaded engine, an aerodynamic half-fairing, and a bright projector headlight for riding at night. It is quite adept at cornering too, so you can really enjoy riding it on twisty roads. The AS 200 is also quite nimble, and can also handle the daily grind without fuss.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Bajaj Pulsar AS 200

Type

Sport Tourer

Engine

199.5cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

23.3 bhp @ 9500 rpm

Price

Rs 91,550

Best Suited For

City riding, as well as long road trips

Click here for full tech specs of the Pulsar AS 200

 

 

  1. Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS

If you want a powerful street bike for just around Rs 1 lakh, the Pulsar 200 NS should cut it. Its liquid-cooled 200cc engine produces 23 bhp, which allows it to accelerate very quickly from standstill. It features a perimeter frame chassis, which lends it agility, and allows it to corner at high speeds with stability. Not only does the 200 NS ace its rivals on the performance front, it also looks very striking. 

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS

Type

Street Naked

Engine

199.5cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

23.2 bhp @ 9500 rpm

Price

Rs 91,553

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional weekend rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Pulsar 200 NS

 

 

  1. Hero Karizma ZMR

The Karizma ZMR is the R’s sportier brother. It gets a full-fairing, along with fuel-injection for the 223cc engine instead of a carburator. This makes it run smoother, and also releases an extra bhp from the engine. From the outset, the Karizma ZMR is primed for touring, but it can also be used for the daily commuting with ease.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Hero Karizma ZMR

Type

Sport Tourer

Engine

223cc air-cooled single-cylinder

Power

20 bhp @ 8000 rpm

Price

Rs 1,05,500

Best Suited For

City riding, as well as long road trips

Click here for full tech specs of the Karizma ZMR

 

 

  1. Bajaj Pulsar RS 200

The Pulsar RS 200 is Bajaj’s most powerful and fastest motorcycle yet. While it incorporates the same cycle parts are the AS200 and 200NS, Bajaj has swapped the carburator with fuel-injection. Also, the chassis has been tweaked for better dynamic response. The upshot is a bike that’s not only faster and smoother, but also a lot more committed towards cornering. It may be a sports bike, but its ergonomics are quite relaxed for one. These characters make the RS 200 a multi-faceted bike – you can take it to work every day, tour the country on it, or even take out on a track day. 

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Bajaj Pulsar RS 200

Type

Sportsbike

Engine

199.5cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

24.1 bhp @ 9750 rpm

Price

Rs 1,18,000

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional road trips, for corner-carving

Click here for full tech specs of the Pulsar RS200

 

 

  1. KTM Duke 200

The Duke 200 was the bike that turbocharged the performance bike revolution in India. It offered to the performance-starved Indian enthusiast an unprecedented level of power, dynamics, and quality, all at a very affordable price point. Sure, there are now lower-priced bikes that are just as fast, but the Duke 200 still manages to stand apart from them. It accelerates rapidly, capable of despatching 100kmph in under 10 seconds from standstill, and can change direction as quickly as a fly. The ultimate streetfighter for the urban jungle – just don’t forget to stand up on the peg when encountering a pothole or a speed bump, for the Duke rides really hard.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - KTM Duke 200

Type

Street Naked

Engine

199.5cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

25 bhp @ 10,000 rpm

Price

Rs 1,38,327

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional weekend rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Duke 200

 

 

  1. Honda CBR 250R

Think of the Honda CBR 250R as the spiritual successor to the Karizma R, an evolved version, and you will get an idea of what its capabilities are. The bike was tailor-made to conquer distances in a fast and fun manner. It has a broad spectrum of abilities – it goes very fast, handles really well, and offers a comfortable ride for two. The 250cc liquid-cooled and fuel-injected engine produces 26 bhp and 22Nm of torque, which helps the bike reach speeds over 140 kmph. The 6-speed gearbox has long-ratio gears, which helps in relaxed cruising at high speeds. You can also have it specified it with ABS, for that extra bit of safety. If you are looking for a bike exclusively for long-distance riding in the sub-Rs 2 lakh price bracket, look no further than the Honda CBR 250R.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Honda CBR 250R

Type

Sportsbike

Engine

249.6cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

25 bhp @ 8500 rpm

Price

Rs 1,58,632

Best Suited For

Long-distance touring

Click here for full tech specs of the CBR 250R

 

 

  1. KTM RC 200

The KTM RC 200 is one of the most exciting bikes to have been launched in the Indian market in recent times. It is essentially a Duke 200, but in a sportier avatar, replete with sharper dynamics. If you thought the Duke 200 handled well, wait till you ride the RC. It takes all the best bits its naked sibling, like the rorty 200cc engine, and the short-ratio gearbox, and endows it with a steeper steering rake, shorter wheelbase, shorter-travel front suspension, and a front-biased weight distribution. All these give the RC 200 exception agility, and the ability to tackle all types of corners with confidence. The most-focussed sports bike that one can buy in the sub-Rs 2 lakhs price bracket.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - KTM RC 200

Type

Sportsbike

Engine

199.5cc  liquid-cooled single-cylinder

Power

25 bhp @ 10,000 rpm

Price

Rs 1,66,738

Best Suited For

Corner-carving, on track or mountain roads

Click here for full tech specs of the RC 200

 

 

  1. Hyosung Aquila 250

If you are looking for a stylish cruiser for under Rs 3 lakhs, and the Royal Enfields don’t cut your mustard, then you should take a closer look at the Aquila 250 from Hyosung. In character, it is similar to the Avenger, as it too is powered by a high-strung performance bike motor. The bike shares its 26 bhp air-cooled V-twin engine with the GT 250R sports bike, which is tuned for better low-end power. The Aquila 250 is more of a boulevard cruiser, and so would be best for occasional weekend rides.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Hyosung Aquila 250

Type

Cruiser

Engine

249cc  air-cooled V-Twin

Power

26.21 bhp @ 9000 rpm

Price

Rs 2,69,000

Best Suited For

Occasional weekend rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Aquila 250

 

 

  1. Hyosung GT 250R

Aesthetically, the Hyosung GT 250R is a stunning piece of kit. It’s bulky and muscular design give it the impression of a 600cc sportsbike, rather than the 250cc V-twin powered machine that is actually is. It also sounds quite exciting too. While it impresses on the styling and theatricality front, it doesn’t set the performance charts on fire. The chief cause is the heavy kerb weight of the bike. The air-cooled V-Twin’s 28 bhp isn’t enough to provide this bike with the performance that its looks suggests. Nevertheless, if you have performance and dynamics low on your priority list, and styling right at the top, the Hyosung GT 250R will ensure you hit your daily target of heads turned without fail.

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Hyosung GT 250R

Type

Sportsbike

Engine

249cc  air-cooled V-Twin

Power

28 bhp @ 10,000 rpm

Price

Rs 2,75,000

Best Suited For

Occasional weekend rides

Click here for full tech specs of the GT 250R

 

 

  1. Kawasaki Z250

The Kawasaki Z250 is the scaled-down naked version of the Ninja 300. While it employs the chassis and a few body parts of the Ninja 300, it is powered by the erstwhile Ninja 250R’s parallel-twin engine. The engine has been tuned for more responsiveness at low rpms, for better urban usability. The upshot is a streetfighter with head-turning mean looks, along with performance and dynamics to make for exciting city rides. The 250cc engine is smooth and very flexible, so it can also be used for occasional long-distance rides as well. It may be expensive, but that’s what you pay for high-quality. 

Sub-250cc bikes in India - Kawasaki Z250

Type

Street Naked

Engine

249cc  liquid-cooled parallel-twin

Power

31.5 bhp @ 11,000 rpm

Price

Rs 2,99,000

Best Suited For

City riding, occasional long rides

Click here for full tech specs of the Z250

 

 

Jaichandran Jayapalan
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