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Old 3rd May 2010, 16:28   #1
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Red face Need a powerful commuter bike

Hello everyone,

I stay in Bangalore and travel quite a bit to work everyday (about 60 km/day). I have a Safari, but using it in peak hour traffic is a big pain. I have started using the bus of late, but then, time matters.

There have been a couple of instances, I have ridden my wife's Activa to work. Though it gave me a pain in the bottoms, I enjoyed the ride and it saved me at least 15-20 min one way.

On the car, I would take about one to one-hour-fifteen minutes, the bus (Volvo) would take upward of one-and-a-half hours, the scooter took me about 45 min to cover the distance of 30 km one way.

Hence me need of a good commuter bike. My budget is up to maybe 1-1.5 lakhs. Main needs are (roughly in the order of preference):

1. It needs to be powerful, should be able to pull cleanly and quickly from a traffic light and I do not want to be relegated to the left-most lane on the ring road that I use everyday.

2. Comfortable seating and good ergonomics. My wife accompanies me at times, so it will need to seat two comfortable.

3. Reliable, economical and easy to maintain and use everyday.

4. Usage: 90% city use, from congested narrow roads to wider ring roads and NICE road.

5. Would prefer a naked bike to a bike with fairings (last preference).

My experience to Bike riding is limited to the good old Yamaha RX100s and Suzuki Samurais. But I have ridden them extensively (all over south india) and I still have a soft spot in my heart for biking that I hope to rekindle with my new purchase. And I am willing to wait if there is speculation of a new launch before the end of this year.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!
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Old 3rd May 2010, 16:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
Hello everyone,

I stay in Bangalore and travel quite a bit to work everyday (about 60 km/day). I have a Safari, but using it in peak hour traffic is a big pain. I have started using the bus of late, but then, time matters.

There have been a couple of instances, I have ridden my wife's Activa to work. Though it gave me a pain in the bottoms, I enjoyed the ride and it saved me at least 15-20 min one way.

On the car, I would take about one to one-hour-fifteen minutes, the bus (Volvo) would take upward of one-and-a-half hours, the scooter took me about 45 min to cover the distance of 30 km one way.

Hence me need of a good commuter bike. My budget is up to maybe 1-1.5 lakhs. Main needs are (roughly in the order of preference):

1. It needs to be powerful, should be able to pull cleanly and quickly from a traffic light and I do not want to be relegated to the left-most lane on the ring road that I use everyday.

2. Comfortable seating and good ergonomics. My wife accompanies me at times, so it will need to seat two comfortable.

3. Reliable, economical and easy to maintain and use everyday.

4. Usage: 90% city use, from congested narrow roads to wider ring roads and NICE road.

5. Would prefer a naked bike to a bike with fairings (last preference).

My experience to Bike riding is limited to the good old Yamaha RX100s and Suzuki Samurais. But I have ridden them extensively (all over south india) and I still have a soft spot in my heart for biking that I hope to rekindle with my new purchase. And I am willing to wait if there is speculation of a new launch before the end of this year.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!
Try the Suzuki GSR150...

With the remaining money (from upper limit of Rs.1.5 Lacs from your budget) get your wife a good piece of jewellery. She would be happier than you ;-).

If you want something more powerful go for the P220S (my preference, but has looooong waiting periods) or RTR180 (logical for city riding, but has vibes after 70 kmph).
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:01   #3
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You need something which is very comfortable to the Spine. This is because you will travel 30 kms one way. You can go for Bajaj Avenger. Its powerful and also ergonomic.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:14   #4
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Go for a Pulsar 150 or 180. Ample power and decent mileage.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:14   #5
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Just try the Suzuki GS150R. I own one and i cannot express the smile in my face after a long commute to office, its not at all tiring and zero vibrations with the bike. PM me if you are interested to know more about the bike.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:21   #6
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You can also take a look at the RE classic or RE TBTS. They have their own character and charm, with drawbacks too ...
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:24   #7
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While I'm not a real Enfield fan (ducks and runs for cover :P) for those distances I would think a Thunderbird is your best bet.

Seriously, those distances every day, particularly for a pillion, not comfortable on one of the more sporty bikes..

Plus, the Thunderbird is pretty hassle free to maintain which is pretty important for a daily commuter.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:43   #8
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1) Any of the Pulsar brothers

2) Apache RTR Fi (Fi cos its the most fuel efficient and has comparable performance to RTR 180)

3) Yamaha FZ 16 , if you care more about looks and less about FE

4) Honda Unicorn

I wouldnt recommend the GSR150 as its more suited to the highways than the cities and the A.S.S is pretty bad.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 17:47   #9
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TBTS (great for longer rides - not really something you can rip but still - capable enough, very comfortable for ride AND pillion)

Unicorn - Reliable and has decent power.

Pulsar/Apache would be great for zipping in traffic but not too sure about the comfort for rider and pillion on both bikes.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:12   #10
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I will list down a few bikes & there cons & pros

Honda Unicorn - Comfortable for covering those distances, with no hassles. Slightly boring bike with no Gizmos

HH Hunk - Same as Unicorn, a bit stylish but the scoops might put you off. Big A.S.S. Support, one of the cheapest in 150 cc segment yet a good bike.

HH CBZ Xtreme - Slightly more sporty & less FE wrt to the Hunk. Looks are not to everyone's liking

Bajaj Pulsar - The 150 is good for the commute with good FE & Comfort, Spares are cheap. Some parts could be iffy but would get replaced in warranty if at all the need be(should not be an issue as 150 is the most reliable of all Pulsars)

RTR - While its a good bike with great pickup & handling, the riding posture isnt too comfy, so I wouldn't recommend this

FZ16 - A good bike to travel with decent power & comfort, seat for pillion is very small & could be an issue for traveling longer distances with pillion

Karizma - Best bike for Touring & traveling long distances in comfort(for both rider& pillion) even with pillion with enough power at tap. Spares are slightly expensive & mileage is just Ok

Bullets - This is a again good tourer but then again not everyone is comfortable with a bullet. It has its own issues as in you have to be very strict in following the running in. The newer engines are a lot better than the old ones but still not everyone likes the way power is delivered in a Bullet. If you like it then there are various models from which you can choose.

Not including P220 as its a faired Bike, included a Karizma as it fits the requirment quite well except for the fairing part.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:15   #11
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Pulsar 135 LS.

Light, cheap, enough power and looks better than the "generic" pulsar bunch.

If you got more money to spend FZ, period.

Even more money ? Fazer.

-My 2 square centimeters
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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:27   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
You need something which is very comfortable to the Spine. This is because you will travel 30 kms one way. You can go for Bajaj Avenger. Its powerful and also ergonomic.
Nah, forget the Avenger

I have some and used to drive it around Bangy. Its a pain coz of its length.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbdulRahmanM View Post
Just try the Suzuki GS150R. I own one and i cannot express the smile in my face after a long commute to office, its not at all tiring and zero vibrations with the bike. PM me if you are interested to know more about the bike.
Yet to ride this. I too have asked friends to check this coz its a Suzuki.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jingaboysr View Post
You can also take a look at the RE classic or RE TBTS. They have their own character and charm, with drawbacks too ...
Well, new RE with UCE engine; comfortable and pulls well. Price on the high side when you compare with the 150/135 bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
1) Any of the Pulsar brothers

2) Apache RTR Fi (Fi cos its the most fuel efficient and has comparable performance to RTR 180)

3) Yamaha FZ 16 , if you care more about looks and less about FE

4) Honda Unicorn

I wouldnt recommend the GSR150 as its more suited to the highways than the cities and the A.S.S is pretty bad.
Unicorn is a good highway bike. Isn't it a bit old to look at? Wont CBZ extreme or similar avatars be a better option?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhay View Post
TBTS (great for longer rides - not really something you can rip but still - capable enough, very comfortable for ride AND pillion)

Unicorn - Reliable and has decent power.

Pulsar/Apache would be great for zipping in traffic but not too sure about the comfort for rider and pillion on both bikes.
Apache;emm, space at rear wasn't what I liked. Brilliant bike though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
I will list down a few bikes & there cons & pros

Honda Unicorn - Comfortable for covering those distances, with no hassles. Slightly boring bike with no Gizmos

HH Hunk - Same as Unicorn, a bit stylish but the scoops might put you off. Big A.S.S. Support, one of the cheapest in 150 cc segment yet a good bike.

HH CBZ Xtreme - Slightly more sporty & less FE wrt to the Hunk. Looks are not to everyone's liking

Bajaj Pulsar - The 150 is good for the commute with good FE & Comfort, Spares are cheap. Some parts could be iffy but would get replaced in warranty if at all the need be(should not be an issue as 150 is the most reliable of all Pulsars)

RTR - While its a good bike with great pickup & handling, the riding posture isnt too comfy, so I wouldn't recommend this

FZ16 - A good bike to travel with decent power & comfort, seat for pillion is very small & could be an issue for traveling longer distances with pillion

Karizma - Best bike for Touring & traveling long distances in comfort(for both rider& pillion) even with pillion with enough power at tap. Spares are slightly expensive & mileage is just Ok

Bullets - This is a again good tourer but then again not everyone is comfortable with a bullet. It has its own issues as in you have to be very strict in following the running in. The newer engines are a lot better than the old ones but still not everyone likes the way power is delivered in a Bullet. If you like it then there are various models from which you can choose.

Not including P220 as its a faired Bike, included a Karizma as it fits the requirment quite well except for the fairing part.
Why not the new P220- the city version?
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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:33   #13
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Oh yes, I totally forgot about the P220 S, yes that's a good option too
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Old 3rd May 2010, 19:49   #14
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I'm 6ft tall, own a P220 dtsi. Comfort levels would surely matter while riding those distances. From personal experience I rate it this way:
- A P220 = Power + Comfort + Reasonable mileage (45kmpl)
- GS150R (150 segment ) = Smoother ride + Better mileage than the P220 but lesser power than the avenger and P220
- Bajaj Avenger = Power + Comfort (esp for pillion riding ) + Reasonable mileage

With your requirements a P220 suits best,and if your wife travels often with you, the avenger is the best buy outright!
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Old 3rd May 2010, 19:53   #15
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Powerful, easy on the spine - Pulsar 200/220. Since there's Venkat of AutoService in Bangalore, it'll get maintained well too.
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