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Old 27th May 2014, 16:31   #16
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Default Re: Most Fun-to-Ride Bike under 2 lakh

Lots of choices we have in this price range now.

Standard bike: TVS RTR 180 ABS.

Vintage Standard bikes: Royal Enfield Classic 500, Standard 500, Continental GT (cafe racer).

Cruiser: Bajaj Avenger 220, Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500.

Sports bike: Yamaha R15, Honda CBR150.

Naked/Streetfighter: Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, KTM Duke 200, Duke 390.

Sports Tourer: Hero Karizma, Honda CBR250.

Dirt/Off-road: Sadly, none, bar the discontinued Impulse.

You should really narrow down the choices based on your priorities. Based on your requirements, I think your shortlist should be:

1) Pulsar 200NS

For: Linear and strong engine performance, well sorted chassis, good handling in traffic, plastic looks to be of good quality (to me), reasonable economy, utter VFM.
Against: Stock tyres don't help much in braking- an upgrade would work wonders, Polarizing styling, Bajaj service is inconsistent as far as I've seen.
On the fence (and a nitpicking point): Carburetor. 99% of the people are perfectly fine with it and tuning carbs oneself can be a rewarding exercise, but I prefer the convenience of fuel injection. However, I must emphasize that this is the most well tuned carb setups I've ever ridden. Puts the snatchy fuel injection system of the first gen RE Classic 500 to utter shame. This point is not really valid, as we shouldn't forget that the 200NS has one of the lowest asking prices in this group.
Verdict: Should fit your requirements best as a city slicker and being fun to ride without breaking the bank. Most bang for the buck under 200K.

2) TVS Apache 180 ABS

For: Brilliant handling- one word to describe it would be 'mountain goat', good chassis, ABS works great, VFM.
Against: Lack of outright grunt- especially when compared with Pulsar 200NS, Polarizing styling.
What I do not know: How long the plastics would last, TVS's A.S.S., pillion comfort (didn't ride shotgun).
Verdict: Great as a city slicker, loads of fun when going down a winding mountain road. A solid choice for a rider who values handling and safety before outright performance.

3) KTM Duke 200

For: Absurdly short geared maniac engine, great low end grunt, full of character, high quality plastic work, good instrumentation, adequate brakes, light and flickable handling, beautiful chassis, aggressive streetfighter looks, reasonably economical.
Against: Comfort could be a hit or miss- should be tried out extensively (I didn't have an issue with the hard seats, but I hated the tiny gearshift which is smaller than even my CBR's), Short gearing results in poor top speed (doesn't matter in pi** poor Kerala roads).
On the fence: Service costs and spare costs are on the higher side (when compared to my Honda), exhaust note (most people hate it, but I love it- adds to the character), some exposed wiring and parts (not a deal breaker to me, though).
What I do not know: KTM's service- an unknown quantity as I don't own a KTM. Sales advisers were very well informed and friendly, though.
Verdict: Big boy 390 isn't that much more expensive- especially when you are buying on a loan- and the Pulsar 200NS is available for much less and does 80% of what the Duke 200 does.
However, the Duke 200 is hands down the most involving and character filled city bike you can buy under 200K. I like the aggressive acceleration of the Duke 200 and it's little quirks like short gearing- it all adds to character without creating niggles. For me, that's worth the premium paid for over the Pulsar. I might have bought one if KTM had opened up in Cochin while I was shopping for a bike.

4) A used Impulse

Suggested purely because of your off-roading requirements. The 150cc mill from the Unicorn should be refined and adequately powered, but it must be the only weak link in this package just because of the lack of outright grunt. If I really needed the off-roading capability, I would wait for the Honda CRX250 to be launched. As of now, this niche is pretty much vacant in this price range.

Emotional Sidenote: KTM Duke 390

For: Mad, mad, absolutely bonkers performance, soft compound Metzeler tyres (best I've experienced in terms of grip and stability), good ABS system, high quality plastic work, good instrumentation, adequate brakes, light and flickable handling, beautiful chassis, aggressive streetfighter looks, 6th cog was taller than the 200's- more relaxed at higher speeds, best performance for money in this range- a skilled rider can shame higher priced bikes from a segment above- especially on winding roads.
Against: Short range due to tiny fuel tank, Heats up in traffic more than my CBR- new radiator must have solved this- I test rode from the first run of 390's, the engine is not happy at low rpm's- begs to be flogged hard, not the best ride for our crowded streets, comfort could be a hit or miss- should be tried out extensively (I didn't have an issue with the hard seats, but I hated the tiny gearshift which is smaller than even my CBR's).
On the fence: Service costs and spare costs are on the higher side (when compared to my Honda), exhaust note (most people hate it, but I love it- adds to the character), some exposed wiring and parts (not a deal breaker to me, though), wind blast at high speeds- purely noticeable due to the sheer amount of poke this thing has. It's a drawback of all nakeds, however. A flyscreen could help- let actual owners comment.
What I do not know: KTM's service- an unknown quantity as I don't own a KTM. Sales advisers were very well informed and friendly, though.
Verdict: The fastest bike for slightly more than 200K. I seriously respect KTM for having the stones to bring out this thing on the streets at a highly affordable price. The competition does not have a direct answer at the moment. Better bikes and better performance easily costs a lakh or more than what the 390 does. This bike pulls at your heartstrings like no other at the moment.

So, between the 390 and the 200.. if it's only going to be used for the city, the 200 makes sense. Easier on the fuel bills, more range and a far easier to handle. However, the 390 is a better machine all the way. Even riding a CBR for almost 2 years have not made me sure if I can handle all the power the 390 has. If this thing goes so fast, I shudder to think what kind of a rabid beast the 690 would be with almost 72 horses.

Anyways, Happy shopping! Do test ride them all!

Last edited by evilmessiah : 27th May 2014 at 16:33.
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Old 27th May 2014, 16:45   #17
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Default Re: Most Fun-to-Ride Bike under 2 lakh

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Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
For just a couple of thousands you did have a complete motorcycle with you, I would still stick to my words and suggest you to go for 390 over 200. Over a period of time you will feel the need for more power and one does not change bikes very often. Go for a 390 and it still can be used for commuting although with some difficulties and if you have a RX100 at your disposal already you could use it for commuting and use 390 for the fun rides.
Best advice ever. Agree 100%. Couldn't have said it better.

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Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
I strongly disagree, just test the RTR180 on a open road and wide open throttle and you will know how it beats any other bike below 1 lakh (forget Unicorn) hands down. It has superior pickup and handling than Unicorn.
Very true. I had neglected the RTR180 earlier and only rode one recently and I was really surprised. Loved the handling and the braking. Would have been great for my brother, except that I'm sure he would have hated the styling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
... I would not say handling is far better than RTR180, its equal or personally I feel a bit less. But its a potent bike not to be neglected for budget below 1 lakh.
I suspect it's the tyres that are the culprit. Upgrading to better rubber like PSD-s would do more justice to the chassis.
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Old 27th May 2014, 18:51   #18
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Originally Posted by maverickrider00 View Post
I would strongly recommend the Duke 200 as it is the most exciting and reliable motorcycle that I have ridden and owned( its my 4th bike)
Thank you Bro!

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
Lots of choices we have in this price range now.

Standard bike: TVS RTR 180 ABS.

Vintage Standard bikes: Royal Enfield Classic 500, Standard 500, Continental GT (cafe racer).

Cruiser: Bajaj Avenger 220, Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500.

Sports bike: Yamaha R15, Honda CBR150.

Naked/Streetfighter: Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, KTM Duke 200, Duke 390.

Sports Tourer: Hero Karizma, Honda CBR250.

Dirt/Off-road: Sadly, none, bar the discontinued Impulse.

You should really narrow down the choices based on your priorities. Based on your requirements, I think your shortlist should be:
Wow, thanks a lot for taking time to make this detailed post.
Ruling out the Enfields as of now because I already have one and had a desert storm, ruling out R 15 and CBR twins coz I am not at all fond of faired bikes,
ruling out Avenger because I want a bike for daily commute, which can slice the traffic when needed and will be at home off the road also.
Karizma - did not TD it, but will it hold itself against Duke 200? I will TD this one for sure.

Quote:
1) Pulsar 200NS

For: Linear and strong engine performance, well sorted chassis, good handling in traffic, plastic looks to be of good quality (to me), reasonable economy, utter VFM.
Against: Stock tyres don't help much in braking- an upgrade would work wonders, Polarizing styling, Bajaj service is inconsistent as far as I've seen.
On the fence (and a nitpicking point): Carburetor. 99% of the people are perfectly fine with it and tuning carbs oneself can be a rewarding exercise, but I prefer the convenience of fuel injection. However, I must emphasize that this is the most well tuned carb setups I've ever ridden. Puts the snatchy fuel injection system of the first gen RE Classic 500 to utter shame. This point is not really valid, as we shouldn't forget that the 200NS has one of the lowest asking prices in this group.
Verdict: Should fit your requirements best as a city slicker and being fun to ride without breaking the bank. Most bang for the buck under 200K.
Liked the bike, but have a little bit more plastic than I like (not a deal breaker though), a good handling and fun to ride bike if it is taken by its own, but pales when compared to Duke 200 ( This is the deal breaker).

Quote:
2) TVS Apache 180 ABS

For: Brilliant handling- one word to describe it would be 'mountain goat', good chassis, ABS works great, VFM.
Against: Lack of outright grunt- especially when compared with Pulsar 200NS, Polarizing styling.
What I do not know: How long the plastics would last, TVS's A.S.S., pillion comfort (didn't ride shotgun).
Verdict: Great as a city slicker, loads of fun when going down a winding mountain road. A solid choice for a rider who values handling and safety before outright performance.

I did TD this bike some time back and though the bike is a nimble handler, I personally felt my Unicorn does 70%-80% of what Apache does. Would have considered it as a fresh purchase, but not as an upgrade from unicorn.
Quote:
3) KTM Duke 200

For: Absurdly short geared maniac engine, great low end grunt, full of character, high quality plastic work, good instrumentation, adequate brakes, light and flickable handling, beautiful chassis, aggressive streetfighter looks, reasonably economical.
Against: Comfort could be a hit or miss- should be tried out extensively (I didn't have an issue with the hard seats, but I hated the tiny gearshift which is smaller than even my CBR's), Short gearing results in poor top speed (doesn't matter in pi** poor Kerala roads).
On the fence: Service costs and spare costs are on the higher side (when compared to my Honda), exhaust note (most people hate it, but I love it- adds to the character), some exposed wiring and parts (not a deal breaker to me, though).
What I do not know: KTM's service- an unknown quantity as I don't own a KTM. Sales advisers were very well informed and friendly, though.
Verdict: Big boy 390 isn't that much more expensive- especially when you are buying on a loan- and the Pulsar 200NS is available for much less and does 80% of what the Duke 200 does.
However, the Duke 200 is hands down the most involving and character filled city bike you can buy under 200K. I like the aggressive acceleration of the Duke 200 and it's little quirks like short gearing- it all adds to character without creating niggles. For me, that's worth the premium paid for over the Pulsar. I might have bought one if KTM had opened up in Cochin while I was shopping for a bike.
This bike fills almost all the tick box, and I personaly felt that it is a bargain at 1.5L. Spares are not that costly, and love the short gear box. I would have to go slow and careful when I take the bike off the road.
Quote:
4) A used Impulse

Suggested purely because of your off-roading requirements. The 150cc mill from the Unicorn should be refined and adequately powered, but it must be the only weak link in this package just because of the lack of outright grunt. If I really needed the off-roading capability, I would wait for the Honda CRX250 to be launched. As of now, this niche is pretty much vacant in this price range.
I would have picked up an Impulse even with teh 150 CC mill, if the bike was avilable from the showroom. I did see couple of used Impulses but they where abused and where not in a good condition.

Quote:
Emotional Sidenote: KTM Duke 390

For: Mad, mad, absolutely bonkers performance, soft compound Metzeler tyres (best I've experienced in terms of grip and stability), good ABS system, high quality plastic work, good instrumentation, adequate brakes, light and flickable handling, beautiful chassis, aggressive streetfighter looks, 6th cog was taller than the 200's- more relaxed at higher speeds, best performance for money in this range- a skilled rider can shame higher priced bikes from a segment above- especially on winding roads.
Against: Short range due to tiny fuel tank, Heats up in traffic more than my CBR- new radiator must have solved this- I test rode from the first run of 390's, the engine is not happy at low rpm's- begs to be flogged hard, not the best ride for our crowded streets, comfort could be a hit or miss- should be tried out extensively (I didn't have an issue with the hard seats, but I hated the tiny gearshift which is smaller than even my CBR's).
On the fence: Service costs and spare costs are on the higher side (when compared to my Honda), exhaust note (most people hate it, but I love it- adds to the character), some exposed wiring and parts (not a deal breaker to me, though), wind blast at high speeds- purely noticeable due to the sheer amount of poke this thing has. It's a drawback of all nakeds, however. A flyscreen could help- let actual owners comment.
What I do not know: KTM's service- an unknown quantity as I don't own a KTM. Sales advisers were very well informed and friendly, though.
Verdict: The fastest bike for slightly more than 200K. I seriously respect KTM for having the stones to bring out this thing on the streets at a highly affordable price. The competition does not have a direct answer at the moment. Better bikes and better performance easily costs a lakh or more than what the 390 does. This bike pulls at your heartstrings like no other at the moment.

So, between the 390 and the 200.. if it's only going to be used for the city, the 200 makes sense. Easier on the fuel bills, more range and a far easier to handle. However, the 390 is a better machine all the way. Even riding a CBR for almost 2 years have not made me sure if I can handle all the power the 390 has. If this thing goes so fast, I shudder to think what kind of a rabid beast the 690 would be with almost 72 horses.

Anyways, Happy shopping! Do test ride them all!
Ah! how can I forget my first test ride of Duke 390 - the bike is mad and had me grinning like a fool teh whole time. But then as you said, it seems to be too much of a bike for my purpose - and I felt Duke 200 fared much better in stop go traffic. But yet, the 390 still pulls the strings of my heart.

--Anoop
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Old 27th May 2014, 19:23   #19
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Default Re: Most Fun-to-Ride Bike under 2 lakh

Well, I agree to most of the suggestions our bhpians have given but the comparisons dont go well.

1. There is no comparison between Unicorn and RTR 180, the later is leagues ahead in terms of handling, power and looks. Not that I dont link Unicorn, but its quite old now.

2. I completely admire 200NS but not in leagues of D200. Grab the seat, fire the engine and rev hard, you will see the difference, atleast I have seen and felt.

3. D390 is undoubtedly best of both worlds, but do you really need an overpowered machine for city rides where you cannot go beyond 50mph anyway. Or, unless you are among those who love their 2 wheels and can go to any extent like few of our mods. I have a P200 old gen and I love it, but cant go gaga over it. I give it all that it needs and on time, that's it. But that's me.

Now comes my choices in order of priority:

1. C500 - Only If your physique allows and goes well with the heavy build of the bike.
2. D200 - The best city and occasional highway ride available in Indian market after #1.
3. 200NS- Best from Bajaj as of date. VFM, powerful and tailor made for Indian market.
4. Yamaha Frazer : smooth, VFM and good looks.
5. CBR150 - Fine machine, dont get fooled by the CC, ride and feel it. Best in class 150 I feel.

Happy shopping
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Old 27th May 2014, 21:02   #20
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Default Re: Most Fun-to-Ride Bike under 2 lakh

It has to be the Duke200.



Off topic: For those who said the Impulse is discontinued, please fwd the links to that. ty. ( I might need to grab one soon, in that case )
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Old 27th May 2014, 22:36   #21
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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Wow, thanks a lot for taking time to make this detailed post.
And you've analysed your needs pretty nicely too.

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Ruling out the Enfields as of now because I already have one and had a desert storm...
How was your ownership experience with RE-s, especially the C5 DS? I'm curious, because I came really close to buying a C3 myself.

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
ruling out R 15 and CBR twins coz I am not at all fond of faired bikes,
ruling out Avenger because I want a bike for daily commute, which can slice the traffic when needed and will be at home off the road also.
Karizma - did not TD it, but will it hold itself against Duke 200? I will TD this one for sure.
The R15 & the CBR-s are neat machines, but I don't think they'll fit in your requirements. The R15 has an aggressive riding stance that could take a toll on your wrists and elbows in traffic. The CBR150 has a more relaxed seating posture, but it has an engine that is even more rev happy than the R15. I felt that it lacked low end grunt. The CBR250 is a great ride, but isn't really comfortable in traffic. Mainly because the first gear is too short, 2nd & 3rd is too tall and the bike is never really comfortable at lower speeds in crawl traffic. It's manageable enough, but it's happiest on the highway where its fantastic mid range shines through. Best affordable sports tourer in India for sure.

My brother rides an Avenger. While it's perfectly easy to ride it in traffic, the biggest problems you'll face would be the clunky gears, skid happy tires, and terrible brakes that lock up real fast. Off roading on this thing would be out of the question. Till now, it fails to inspire confidence even on tarmac. Great move by ruling it out.

The Karizma has more in common with the CBR250R than the Duke 200. Understressed engine, very forgiving riding posture and comfortable. Don't know how it'll fare off road, but, the Karizma engine is from the Honda CRF230F, which is an enduro/dirt bike. It's old though- a replacement would be out soon.

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
This bike fills almost all the tick box, and I personaly felt that it is a bargain at 1.5L. Spares are not that costly, and love the short gear box. I would have to go slow and careful when I take the bike off the road.
Don't know how it'll perform off road. I felt that the suspension of the Duke twins are on the stiffer side and are more suited for the street than for the road.

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
I would have picked up an Impulse even with teh 150 CC mill, if the bike was avilable from the showroom. I did see couple of used Impulses but they where abused and where not in a good condition.
There were rumors of Honda launching their CRF series here. If true, the CRF 250L could be the most likely launch. This would fit your requirements completely.
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Old 27th May 2014, 22:51   #22
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Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
D390 is undoubtedly best of both worlds, but do you really need an overpowered machine for city rides where you cannot go beyond 50mph anyway. Or, unless you are among those who love their 2 wheels and can go to any extent like few of our mods. I have a P200 old gen and I love it, but cant go gaga over it. I give it all that it needs and on time, that's it. But that's me.
We're alike it seems. I feel that novice riders should really dial in some real skill to completely exploit a bike like the D390. My first and present bike is the CBR250, but it was easy to get used to it as it is quite forgiving. Even that is too much for the roads in Kerala I ride in.
Even after properly riding it for almost 2 years frequently wasn't enough to prepare me for the experience the D390 gave me. Giving the CBR full throttle suddenly would just make it fly. Try that on the D390 in lower gears and if unprepared, one is sure to bite the dust. If the D390 is a rabid dog, the upcoming D690 must be a feral wolf with almost near twice the power- interesting times we're living in.

For a noob like me, it would take years to get used to that kind of power. I thought the RE Classic 500 was wild, but this takes the cake at present. Hats off to those riders who can fully exploit this machine.

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Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post

I completely admire 200NS but not in leagues of D200. Grab the seat, fire the engine and rev hard, you will see the difference, atleast I have seen and felt.
True. Performance wise, they're not that far apart, but when it comes to character, it's the Duke that comes out the winner. I think of the D200 as a modern day RX100.

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Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
CBR150 - Fine machine, dont get fooled by the CC, ride and feel it. Best in class 150 I feel.
I agree. This thing is even more rev happy than the R15 and IMHO, is more fitting of the CBR moniker than the CBR250 (which is more like a VFR). However, Honda should have been realistic in pricing it. I feel that it's not at all worth it at its current price point.
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Old 28th May 2014, 07:07   #23
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Lots of good advice from fellow bhipans. Anoop, you seem to have liked the D200 and hence any amount of comparisons will not shake away that feeling. But still as a recent owner of the D200 who has completed around 900kms in a month of ownership please find my view below:

I have never owned anything more powerful than 17bhp (RTR180) in my life ever. Of course there has been some short stints on friends SBK's but I was very careful and did not exploit them at all for the fear of dropping the bike. So that is not to be considered. So you know my perspective towards the D200.

D200 is a perfect machine for the city. During the first few 100 kms it will feel snatchy in low gears and gearbox feels clunky, you will feel like you are on a wrong gear at most times etc. As you get used to the bike and pile on some kms, it settles down. The first glaring difference between an RTR160-180/P180-220 is that there are absolutely no vibrations felt even when the bike is new with hardly any kms on the odo. Same thing on an RTR, you get grinder like vibes in the low RPM's and they tire you out pretty quick in heavy traffic.

Second, I found the seating position of the Duke the most perfect of all the bikes on sale today barring the RE's which I never tried since I never took a fancy to them. So out of the Yamaha's, TVS, Bajaj, Honda, Hero's offerings the Duke felt the most perfect for my build and height (6'0 & 77kgs). There is no neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, low back pain after an almost bumper to bumper traffic ride of around 20 kms on the Duke. The same on the RTR would tire me out personally very soon in traffic. The seating ergo is almost perfected. And I really like the rear set foot pegs and upright body position in the Duke. I have been spoiled by the rear-sets of the RTR as a long term owner & its difficult to get used to conventionally placed foot pegs now. The downside is the heat which will certainly cook your legs in b2b traffic but if you dont switch off the bike and coolant levels are at optimum, the fan will take care of some of the heat to an extent and not make you feel very uncomfy.

Suspension is well tuned. Of course it feels stiff but its not uncomfortable on broken roads and the shocks dont get passed to your lower back. Also when in city the ride height is such that you can see ahead and on top of most cars and gauge where you want to be. Handling is brilliant and i find myself taking corners at least with twice more the confidence i used to have on the RTR.

The power is plenty enough for the city and also I felt i have a long learning curve to exploit the bikes power fully even when on highway rides. So the 25bhp on tap is sufficient for me to get used to the power and handling of this machine.

These are just a few points but like evilmessiah said, D200 is an involving motorcycle with lots of character and I too am one among the lot who love the exhaust note of the Duke.

PS: One mistake which I never did was to take a test ride of the D390 . I was pretty sure it would be a hoot and i would not be able to get over it. And frankly for me, it was just too much power and too soon. So stuck to D200. Our friendly doc ebonho was instrumental in helping me out with the inputs related to D200 so you may PM him for any queries you have with the bike & any doubts in your mind based on your usage.

Last edited by abhinav.s : 28th May 2014 at 07:09.
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Old 28th May 2014, 15:05   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
Well, I agree to most of the suggestions our bhpians have given but the comparisons dont go well.

1. There is no comparison between Unicorn and RTR 180, the later is leagues ahead in terms of handling, power and looks. Not that I dont link Unicorn, but its quite old now.

2. I completely admire 200NS but not in leagues of D200. Grab the seat, fire the engine and rev hard, you will see the difference, atleast I have seen and felt.

3. D390 is undoubtedly best of both worlds, but do you really need an overpowered machine for city rides where you cannot go beyond 50mph anyway. Or, unless you are among those who love their 2 wheels and can go to any extent like few of our mods. I have a P200 old gen and I love it, but cant go gaga over it. I give it all that it needs and on time, that's it. But that's me.

Now comes my choices in order of priority:

1. C500 - Only If your physique allows and goes well with the heavy build of the bike.
2. D200 - The best city and occasional highway ride available in Indian market after #1.
3. 200NS- Best from Bajaj as of date. VFM, powerful and tailor made for Indian market.
4. Yamaha Frazer : smooth, VFM and good looks.
5. CBR150 - Fine machine, dont get fooled by the CC, ride and feel it. Best in class 150 I feel.

Happy shopping
Hi Shiv, Thank you for the suggetions. As you pointed out, I dont really need D 390 for my use. I have never given any thought about CBR 150 and have never ridden it, but since I am keeping out the faired bikes out of my choice, I have to pass this bike too. If D 200 was not in picture, NS 200 would have made a stong candidate, but since I got myself a taste of duke twins, NS 200 do not seems so tempting

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Originally Posted by YaeJay View Post
It has to be the Duke200.



Off topic: For those who said the Impulse is discontinued, please fwd the links to that. ty. ( I might need to grab one soon, in that case )
YaeJay: I did not see any links, but here @ Bangalore, all the Hero Honda showrooms told me the same thing.

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
And you've analysed your needs pretty nicely too.
Quote:
How was your ownership experience with RE-s, especially the C5 DS? I'm curious, because I came really close to buying a C3 myself.
The bike was good, had lot of grunt and did not give any problems while I had her with me. The bike used to pull like a locomotive, and I was gung-ho about the pull, until I rode D 390. The bike is easy to live with, not much trouble in traffic, and lets you overtake easily if you open the throttle. But the inherent problems of Enfields where there - the vibrations, clunky gear shift, useless rear view mirror etc. I was happy with the machine, but if you ask me to pick between DS 500 and old CI 350, I will still choose CI 350.

Quote:
The R15 & the CBR-s are neat machines, but I don't think they'll fit in your requirements. The R15 has an aggressive riding stance that could take a toll on your wrists and elbows in traffic. The CBR150 has a more relaxed seating posture, but it has an engine that is even more rev happy than the R15. I felt that it lacked low end grunt. The CBR250 is a great ride, but isn't really comfortable in traffic. Mainly because the first gear is too short, 2nd & 3rd is too tall and the bike is never really comfortable at lower speeds in crawl traffic. It's manageable enough, but it's happiest on the highway where its fantastic mid range shines through. Best affordable sports tourer in India for sure.
Have never given any serious thought to CBR 150 - always thought it will be like a smaller brother of CBR 250. The folly of assumptions! But still, since I am striking out all the fully faired bikes, CBR 150 is also out of the list. I do agree with you about the CBR 250 - it is a very good bike for touring and if my main purpose was touring, this would have been my choice.

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My brother rides an Avenger. While it's perfectly easy to ride it in traffic, the biggest problems you'll face would be the clunky gears, skid happy tires, and terrible brakes that lock up real fast. Off roading on this thing would be out of the question. Till now, it fails to inspire confidence even on tarmac. Great move by ruling it out.
I was never much comfortable on an Avenger - unless it was on a straight road.

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The Karizma has more in common with the CBR250R than the Duke 200. Understressed engine, very forgiving riding posture and comfortable. Don't know how it'll fare off road, but, the Karizma engine is from the Honda CRF230F, which is an enduro/dirt bike. It's old though- a replacement would be out soon.

The Karizma (ZMA, not ZMR) was always a favourite - godo for long distance touring and good for city rides too. But the game have moved on and I am not sure how compelling a case the bike can make against D 200. But still, I will do a test ride before I strike out the ZMA. (Was never a fan of ZMR - too much plastics)

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Don't know how it'll perform off road. I felt that the suspension of the Duke twins are on the stiffer side and are more suited for the street than for the road.
Yes, that is a worry. I have to be more carefull but I think it will be manageable off the road.

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There were rumors of Honda launching their CRF series here. If true, the CRF 250L could be the most likely launch. This would fit your requirements completely.
Ah, if only they did launch it. There was rumors of Hero moto corp launching an Impulse with a bigger heart also - but it all seems to be just rumors.


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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
We're alike it seems. I feel that novice riders should really dial in some real skill to completely exploit a bike like the D390. My first and present bike is the CBR250, but it was easy to get used to it as it is quite forgiving. Even that is too much for the roads in Kerala I ride in.
Even after properly riding it for almost 2 years frequently wasn't enough to prepare me for the experience the D390 gave me. Giving the CBR full throttle suddenly would just make it fly. Try that on the D390 in lower gears and if unprepared, one is sure to bite the dust. If the D390 is a rabid dog, the upcoming D690 must be a feral wolf with almost near twice the power- interesting times we're living in.

For a noob like me, it would take years to get used to that kind of power. I thought the RE Classic 500 was wild, but this takes the cake at present. Hats off to those riders who can fully exploit this machine.
Ditto. While D 390 is just in another plane, I dont need that much power for my daily commute. I know more power is always fun but may be I will upgrade to D 390 or D 690 when I get bored with D 200. But honestly, I think D 200 will suffice as a fun commuter to work.

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True. Performance wise, they're not that far apart, but when it comes to character, it's the Duke that comes out the winner. I think of the D200 as a modern day RX100.
And I think D 200 is like a modern day RXZ.

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Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Lots of good advice from fellow bhipans. Anoop, you seem to have liked the D200 and hence any amount of comparisons will not shake away that feeling. But still as a recent owner of the D200 who has completed around 900kms in a month of ownership please find my view below:

I have never owned anything more powerful than 17bhp (RTR180) in my life ever. Of course there has been some short stints on friends SBK's but I was very careful and did not exploit them at all for the fear of dropping the bike. So that is not to be considered. So you know my perspective towards the D200.

PS: One mistake which I never did was to take a test ride of the D390 . I was pretty sure it would be a hoot and i would not be able to get over it. And frankly for me, it was just too much power and too soon. So stuck to D200. Our friendly doc ebonho was instrumental in helping me out with the inputs related to D200 so you may PM him for any queries you have with the bike & any doubts in your mind based on your usage.
Thank you for the inputs, Abhinav. Yes, as of now, I am leaning towards D 200 but will be doing a TD of Karizma also, before I decide. The mistake I did was to take the TD of D 390 before I had a taste of D 200 - and once you taste D 390, rest every thing feels bland, including D 200
DOCs thread was instrumental in making me short-list D 200 - we have to thank him for making his Duke 200 thread THE duke 200 thread at Team BHP.

--Anoop
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Old 29th May 2014, 11:39   #25
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I love Impulse, but since Hero have stopped production, there is no way to get my hands on a new one.
I did not know this. Then again, I don't think an Impulse will be an upgrade.

I feel the Duke 200 will be more suited to mug plugging and whatever other off road running you want to do. It is geared shorter and this is what you need.

On fun factor, you can't go wrong with either of the Duke's. I can't think of any other motorcycle that offers so much value.

I am not sure if its worth trying this out, might end up losing a lot of money. Source a Karizma engine (an FI would be great) and plonk it on a Impulse.
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Old 29th May 2014, 19:00   #26
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Just go for a Duke 390 without further thoughts. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
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Old 1st June 2014, 20:20   #27
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Why not look at a used Ninja 250? You can easily get one for around 1L and is a darn good bike to ride. Makes a great tourer as well and that twin is a sheer delight on the highway!

If you want to go for new ones then the D390, the upcoming Karizmas are great choices. Wont go wrong with either.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 18:38   #28
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I did not know this. Then again, I don't think an Impulse will be an upgrade.

I feel the Duke 200 will be more suited to mug plugging and whatever other off road running you want to do. It is geared shorter and this is what you need.

On fun factor, you can't go wrong with either of the Duke's. I can't think of any other motorcycle that offers so much value.

I am not sure if its worth trying this out, might end up losing a lot of money. Source a Karizma engine (an FI would be great) and plonk it on a Impulse.
Yes, Duke 200 it is!

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Just go for a Duke 390 without further thoughts. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Agree that 390 is a lot more fun than 200, but after weighing in about a lot of factors, have decided to go for D 200

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Originally Posted by coolmel View Post
Why not look at a used Ninja 250? You can easily get one for around 1L and is a darn good bike to ride. Makes a great tourer as well and that twin is a sheer delight on the highway!

If you want to go for new ones then the D390, the upcoming Karizmas are great choices. Wont go wrong with either.
No fully faired bikes for me, bro. The way I ride them, I will make the plastics rattle within a month of use.

I did a TD of ZMA also, and while the bike is a good mile cruncher, the game have definitely moved on. I will be booking the D 200 this week - most probably from the BTM showroom. Do you think there is any chance of bargaining to get any kind of deal on the bike?

Thank you all for the different point of views. It really helped me to make my decision. Will update the thread once I book the bike.
--Anoop
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Old 2nd June 2014, 23:57   #29
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I will be booking the D 200 this week - most probably from the BTM showroom. Do you think there is any chance of bargaining to get any kind of deal on the bike?
Congrats Anoop! From a recent buyer, no point in asking for any deals as they wont offer you anything. What color are you planning on?
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Old 3rd June 2014, 11:10   #30
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Agree that 390 is a lot more fun than 200
No its not. Its a lot more bike. But that for bikers has never automatically translated to a lot more fun.

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Originally Posted by coolmel View Post
Why not look at a used Ninja 250? You can easily get one for around 1L and is a darn good bike to ride.
Please PM me if you know of any 250 going for 1 lac. The lowest I have seen is 1.4, some in the 1.6s, and many in the 1.7-1.8s.

Last edited by mobike008 : 3rd June 2014 at 15:32. Reason: Back to Back posts. Please use EDIT button if your next post is within 30 minutes to add content to same post. Cheers
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