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Old 7th December 2014, 14:15   #1
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Default Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

My brother returned for good to India this year after 10 years in the US. He has an Innova and M800 with him and is now looking for a good office commute bike. Budget is upto 1.5 lacs. If needed, stretch to 2.5 if really worth investing.

Important Points :-
1) He will use the bike twice or thrice a week to office.

2) Commute is from Electric City Phase 2 to World Trade Center in Bangalore. Distance to and fro total is 67 kms. This includes 20 kms (both sides combined) of Elevated non stop expressway.

3) He is not concerned about mileage - 30 is ok.

4) Comfort and decent Riding position are preferred. Bike should not lead to back pain

5) Last bike he rode in Bangalore was Pulsar 150 in 2003-04 and last month my last Karizma R for sometime for "commute testing" and he was happy it!

6) Planning to buy in 2015 first quarter.

7) Since ride is 65+ kms daily, occasional bursts of "unstressed" 100+ is essential.

Bikes in the shortlist in descending order of preference currently (based on my test rides) -

1) NS200 - OTR 1,04,000

Pro - Price, best Bajaj bike ever. Decent handling and good for city.
Con - Little too high seat position. Bro is 5'6". Bajaj engine life after 30000 kms or 3 yrs of use. Grip issue with stock tyre (Is Bajaj offering TVS or MRF tyres now??). Suspension hard.

2) CBR 250 (or 300) ABS - OTR 2,16,000 to 2,40,000 (300)

Pro - Super refined. Good quality. Comfort is good. Only bike in the list with proper superbike feel, yeah due to full fairing and Honda quality.
Con - Little heavy to manoeuvre in B2B traffic. Price too high. I heard 250 is stopped and anytime 300 would come out.

3) Duke 200 - OTR 1,57,000
Pro - Awesome engine. Good for city.
Con - Sound not too pleasing. OTR Bangalore is now 1.57 lacs (whopping). Suspension hard.

4) Duke 390 - OTR 2,16,000
Pro - ABS, Sheer Power.
Con - So much power not required. 200 is good enough but only if it had ABS.

5) CBR 150 Deluxe - OTR 1,44,000
Pro - Suspension is good. Seating not as committed as R15.
Con - 2nd gear is bad, real bad for traffic. Since high revving, not too exciting in B2B traffic.

6) R15 - OTR 1,33,000
Pro - Looks amazing, handling and braking best in India.
Con - Too committed seating. Rear seat pillion on 10th floor. High revving engine not too exciting in B2B traffic.

7) FZ 16 - OTR 88,000
Pro - Awesome for city, peppy.
Con - Suspension bit too hard. Top end (above 80), too bad.

8) Bullet Classic 350 - OTR 1,40,000
Pro - So many people buying it The Bullet feel.
Con - Niggles? Service quality? Not sure how it handles in traffic. Waiting period.

9) ZMR - OTR 1,21,000
Pro - Although seating is slightly more committed than previous ZMR, still good. Suspension as always, out of the world.
Con - Hero brand. Lots of experts saying it is not worth its price ever since Hero started building it. I own a 2012 ZMR and was victim to a fuel pump failure (Link (Hero Karizma ZMR - Fuel pump failed. Rs. 12,000 to replace!))

10) R25 OTR 2-2.5 lacs
Pro - Unknown
Con - Unknown

Please let me know if my pro and con on each bike is right and also suggest the best for him. Do suggest issues or positives of each of the bike in the list above.

Last edited by GTO : 8th December 2014 at 15:07. Reason: Typos
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Old 7th December 2014, 15:08   #2
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

You missed the most worthy one, Inazuma. And this is what comes to my mind after reading his requirements.
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Old 7th December 2014, 15:37   #3
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

For a person who wants a motorbike for commute and that too within the confines of the city the most important things are:

1) Riding posture- Straight back, bend at the elbow, comfortable handle height and no rear-sets (foot pedal). A pure commuterish position needed.
2) Soft cushy suspension even if that means that it bottoms out on bad roads.
3) Super comfortable seat- lots of cushion but at the same time not so soft that it pinches your butt.
4) If bike is used to go to the office its preferable if we can fit a big dickey to it so that we need not carry any bags on our back.
5) Silky smooth engine ie. NVH should be minimum.
6) Light weight bike would be preferable for city use.
7) The engine should not let hot air onto our thighs and legs. A big No in city use.

Other goodies:
1) Spacious and not a cramped bike like apache,Fz etc to accomodate a pillion if needed.
2) Big and non- sloping pillion seat so that it can accomodate a pillion if necessary.

With the above points mentioned most of the bikes mentioned by you would be ruled out. As of now there is no perfect bike available in market with the above requirements.

But my choices out of available bikes would be (most probably in descending order):
1) Suzuki Inazuma.
2) Hero ZMA not ZMR (you know the reason why- fuel pump failure)/Pulsar 200NS.
3) Honda Unicorn.( New one coming up looks good with the riding posture and pillion seat)
4) Suzuki GS150R
5) Suzuki Gixxer. (Pillion seat not good)
6) Used Ninja??

Other bikes discarded because:
1) R15,CBR 150-250, Apache,FZ etc Riding position too bent forward and cramped.
2) Dukes- Bad seat and hard suspension and heat generated from engine.

Although I agree that there is a difference between R15 bent forward position versus CBR250 position. But both are forward biased riding position. Heck even ZMA also has a slight bentforward position.
No body beats the pure commuterish position of a Unicorn or a TVS Victor. Simply perfect seating position for comfort.

I have read Ninja's are not having perfect seating position but are quite upright and comfortable. Do check...

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 7th December 2014 at 15:38. Reason: Additional points added.
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Old 7th December 2014, 15:45   #4
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

From the thread title- I thought there were some special requirements, given the emphasis on 'American' returnee! I thought he would be interested in cruisers which are rare for this price segment.

Even I would suggest the Inazuma for these requirements, although the price is slightly on the higher side of your budget. Super smooth motor and has excellent mile munching capabilities.
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Old 7th December 2014, 16:19   #5
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
You missed the most worthy one, Inazuma. And this is what comes to my mind after reading his requirements.
Suzuki Inazuma to me,
Pro - Heavy bike - rock solid. Suzuki parallel twin refined engine. Mile muncher, yes.
Con - Too many. a) OTR Rs.2,48,000 way too high given its look and performance, b) 24bhp too low for the 183kg bike, c) newly launched bike, d) Since this is definitely not going to sell much, resale will be very bad after 4-5yrs. e) lack of ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
But my choices out of available bikes would be (most probably in descending order):
1) Suzuki Inazuma.
Response above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
2) Hero ZMA not ZMR (you know the reason why- fuel pump failure)/Pulsar 200NS.
Concern is how good Hero engines are now. NS200, seems like my rank 1 is your rank 2. Close enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
3) Honda Unicorn.( New one coming up looks good with the riding posture and pillion seat)
Always, one bike we can buy eyes closed. 160cc version, the looks are Triggerish, so need to wait and see. However, since my brother likes occassional 100+ bursts, that is the reason why we did not consider Unicorn. Even Fz was on the edge of rejection but included due to its peppy engine and city behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
4) Suzuki GS150R
Somehow this bike did not click right? My friend had this. It is heavy and with 6th gear is super smooth and returns nice mileage too. If any bike in this segment, I would always prefer the Unicorn CB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
5) Suzuki Gixxer. (Pillion seat not good)
New to the market. Power should be better than Fz though. Rear looks good, but side profile did not appeal much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
6) Used Ninja??
I had two bad experiences with 2 used bikes in the year 2014. My ZMA and ZMR. So no used bikes please

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
Other bikes discarded because:
1) R15,CBR 150-250, Apache,FZ etc Riding position too bent forward and cramped.
Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
2) Dukes- Bad seat and hard suspension and heat generated from engine.
Agree. Having similar engine, NS200, does it have too much heat generated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
From the thread title- I thought there were some special requirements, given the emphasis on 'American' returnee! I thought he would be interested in cruisers which are rare for this price segment.
I am begging him to take the HD. He is not wanting to spend so much.

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 7th December 2014 at 16:41.
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Old 7th December 2014, 16:58   #6
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

As said above:
1. Inazuma: 2.5L is a wonderful price for this machine.
2. CBR (but not many are available new, since most are waiting for new version).
3. ZMR
4. Unicorn/GS150R/CBZ xtreme

I wonder how come no one suggested bullet
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Old 7th December 2014, 17:02   #7
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

I don't want to preach but he might be better off in the car because of the pollution and traffic woes of this city.
Additionally, I would not recommend that anyone, but anyone, does 100+ for however short a burst of speed it may be. Things are way too unpredictable here.
Lastly, if I were to recommend something to him, he may like the whole Retro feel of the Bullet very much indeed.
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Old 7th December 2014, 17:10   #8
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I had very similar requirement and budget apart from 100 KMPH bursts.
I zeroed in to Gixxer. Have ridden it for 500 KMs. Fabulous unstressed ride, excellent city maneuverability. I never felt tired after riding close to 1 hour. The rider seat is very comfortable, excellent for a 5'6 guy IMO. But the pillion seat is narrow for long rides.
Even I was not impressed with side profile initially. But now, it looks great to me.

Con: Suzuki service and spare part support in Bangalore. I assume the network is thinly laid apart from Haryana/West UP.

High speeds are not tested but I don't think 100 Kmph should be an issue as I try very hard to keep it at 65 KMPH at 4500 rpm.

Conclusion : If you zero in to FZ or 200 NS, you might like a TD of Gixxer. Also by Q1'2015, Gixxer should be available with fairing. That should seal the deal IMO.
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Old 7th December 2014, 17:34   #9
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Pulsar 200 NS. Comfortable riding position.Adequate power. Decently priced.
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Old 7th December 2014, 19:41   #10
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
Please let me know if my pro and con on each bike is right and also suggest the best for him. Do suggest issues or positives of each of the bike in the list above.
I have been using a Karizma R since 2010. I have taken it for long drives couple of times, between Chennai and Bangalore covering 350 kms. I did it in 5 to 6 hours and it wasn't tiring at all (No dangerous driving involved). I like the ride quality, driving position and suspensions. However, it lacks a bigger rear tyre and ABS.

I have used a friend's bullet in Bangalore and I think its suspension is harder than Karizma and I didn't feel comfortable.

Also, please do consider the riders height as that has a small amount of impact on riding position and comfort. Since the usage is very less, 2 or 3 days a week, I suggest he take the bike that he feel more comfortable during the test drive.

Last edited by D C : 7th December 2014 at 19:45. Reason: Added more details
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Old 7th December 2014, 19:51   #11
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

I will say RE Thunderbird 500 (TBTS) looking at the requirements.

Looking at the distances he will cover during usage along with the commuting stretch, I feel the RE will do a good job in giving him a comfortable ride plus sedate cruising at 80-90 kmph with an average FE.

Anurag.
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Old 7th December 2014, 20:01   #12
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Below 1 L - Suzuki gixxer/FZ . I will go with the suzuki because it is new and brand reputation means I am willing to gamble on any potential niggles associated with a new bike .

Above 1 L - Royal enfield , they are very common so no longer unique but really fun to ride . Thunderbird specifically because commute is long , since budget is not strict get the 500cc.

Around/above 2L - duke 390 .

There is another bike with ABS on sale - tvs apache rtr 180 (or 200/220 not sure ) . Price should be around 1.5-1.7mark . Check it out , read good things about the ABS . No idea about reliability , sounds coarse like the KTMs .

Last edited by basuroy : 7th December 2014 at 20:04.
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Old 7th December 2014, 20:05   #13
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan
I don't want to preach but he might be better off in the car because of the pollution and traffic woes of this city.
And more importantly, Safety. A 67-kms city commute in India is no joke. More so when you have spent the last 10 years in the US. Riding in India is a different ball game altogether. My friends who have spent similar or more durations in the US don't even attempt to drive here today - riding is not even considered. And this is inspite of them having criss-crossed the city on their Splendours / Bullets / CD-100s long time ago.
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Old 7th December 2014, 20:55   #14
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Default re: Office commute bike for 1.5 - 2.5 Lakhs

Honestly my suggestion would be to drop the idea of a motorcycle. Specially for Bangalore environment. Plainly he is not used to the polluted drive with your shirt changing its color by the time you reach office. The strain and irritation might be just too much for him to shun the bike after a few rides.

Bangalore has already moved on from a fan less city. A/C is a must in cars. You will sweat inside the helmet. Also Bangalore rains are pretty much unpredictable most of the year. It will be shiny when you leave home and raining by evening for your return commute. Better to exchange the M800 and add the 2.5L to get a more comfortable small car. You will save at the most a 15-20mins time riding a motorcycle, but the stress wont be worth it.

Small car because of a smaller footprint and good turning radius for navigating our busy roads.

Here is a nice thread to help kick start the decision making process http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...atchbacks.html (Maruti Alto K10 vs other Rs. 3 lakh Hatchbacks)

Last edited by HillMan : 7th December 2014 at 21:16.
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Old 7th December 2014, 21:13   #15
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Hey Sam, my Dad bought his dream bike three months ago, that is the RE Classic 350. The bike suits your needs I see. It can cruise at 80 all day without breaking too much of a sweat. Fuel average is 33, in the city of course. On highways it will be a bit more. The Classic takes comfort to a whole new level.The cushioning and the suspension steup are just superb. We are not experiencing any niggles till now. The machine has done 2200<kms and is soon going to RE for her second service. The bike is easy to trundle around in the city, but of course with some experience and expertise. The Twinspark engine will delight your bro for miles ahead. But point to note is that it gets pretty hot in city traffic. Also, I would recommend him to TD the Thunderbird 350. It has a better seating position for Highway rides.
I would conclude by saying the following:
Classic 350: A pure Bullet with oodles of power and character. A godsend for real Bulleteers(like my Dad)
TBTS : A thoroughly contemporary RE with very good Highway capabilities.

Remember one thing, once a Bulleteer is always a Bulleteer.
Note:Ownership review coming up in a few days

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 7th December 2014 at 21:36. Reason: Had to say a line about comfort, which is just superb!
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