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Old 21st July 2019, 23:17   #1
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Default Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

I would like to have my cake and eat it too.

So far, I have been using my bike mostly for office commutes. My current ride is a Bajaj V15. (review thread here: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...ip-review.html (Bajaj V15 - Ownership Review) )

The bike is good for city commutes, but is really bad for highway cruises. The low end torque ensures a city fuel economy of 50 kmpl, great pickup in almost all gears and smooth (relatively) sailing till the 55kmph mark. Beyond this, after 65 kmph, the bike struggles. And the vibrations get very bad.

Now, my office has a group of riders, and often plan breakfast rides and a few weekend rides out of town. I took my bike for a breakfast ride, and decided against any more long rides on my machine. Hence, the search for a bike that is a decent commuter and a good weekend tourer.

My requirements:

1. City Kmpl of at least 40. My bike will be used mostly for city commutes. Hence city riding practicality is important. I am ready to ride something with a 40 kmpl average, but anything below that is going to be a deal breaker.

2. Comfortable cruising ability at 100 kmph. Enough to keep up with a bunch of RE 350s. Vibrations must be at a tolerable level.


The most obvious choices people bring up are REs. But I don't want an RE. All of them are too impractical for everyday commuting. Plus, I've heard too many negative stories about their servicing.

The 200 and 220 cc Pulsars are another option that keep coming up, but owning two Bajaj bikes has made me want to consider other brands.

My shortlist so far is the XPulse 200T and the Gixxer 250.

I TD'ed the XPulse 200T over a very short distance. The bike seems ok and fitting my needs, and reviews seem to suggest it will hold out on the highway. Even the mileage seems to be in the 40 kmpl range. Just a bit disappointed it does not have FI.

The Gixxer is not available in showrooms in Chennai so far. The 250 only seems to be coming in the fully faired version, though I would have preferred the naked. Again, no FI.

Any suggestions, BHPians?
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Old 23rd July 2019, 08:53   #2
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle Section!
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Old 23rd July 2019, 09:01   #3
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinnair View Post
I would like to have my cake and eat it too. But I don't want an RE. All of them are too impractical for everyday commuting. Plus, I've heard too many negative stories about their servicing. The 200 and 220 cc Pulsars are another option that keep coming up, but owning two Bajaj bikes has made me want to consider other brands.
Ah my friend, am going to be following this thread with great interest! Same boat you see. So far my solution has been to have 2 bikes, a Bullet for the highway rides and a Pulsar for the daily commute. But like you, after owning one of each of these brands, NEVER want to buy anything from either company again!

Still think 2 separate bikes is the way to go, mainly because most commuters will be low-powered for the highways and most good highway bikes will be impractical for Bangalore traffic. Also, nothing stresses a bike like the daily commute in traffic, so don't want to stress my highway ride, which I need to be 100% reliable, since I usually tour solo or with my wife as pillion.

Am considering the Xpulse or CB300 for highway rides and an Ather 450 for the commutes, maybe in a couple of years, after I sell off the Bullet and Pulsar. The BMW 310 looks very good as a single ride that does it all, but also seems too expensive for me. But let's see what else is in the pipeline.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 09:08   #4
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinnair View Post
I would like to have my cake and eat it too.

My requirements:

1. City Kmpl of at least 40. My bike will be used mostly for city commutes. Hence city riding practicality is important. I am ready to ride something with a 40 kmpl average, but anything below that is going to be a deal breaker.

2. Comfortable cruising ability at 100 kmph. Enough to keep up with a bunch of RE 350s. Vibrations must be at a tolerable level.
I am not a bike guy but if I were in your place I would have got a Honda CBR. Smooth engine, comfortable ride, low maintenance and did I mention those droll worthy looks. 1 bike for both city and highway rides.
Just my 2 cents. Ride safe
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Old 23rd July 2019, 09:24   #5
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinnair View Post
I would like to have my cake and eat it too...
Don't we all?

You haven't mentioned a budget, but evaluated both Xpulse and Gixxer 250. So, I will assume that anything between 1L - 2L is okay for you. In that case, please do check out TVS Apache 200 and Yamaha FZ25. If minimum 40 kmpl wasn't a criteria (which, IMO, would be a bit difficult to satisfy in the usual city gridlocks for any bike > 150cc), then Dominar would also have been a good contender.

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 23rd July 2019 at 09:32.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 09:59   #6
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Both the Xpulse 200 and the Gixxer 250 are very good options and I think you should also consider the Yamaha FZ 25 and the Jawa. Yes, the Jawa has a long waiting period but I think its worth it and since you ride with a bunch of RE 350s. Also the upcoming all new RE 350s should be serious contenders since I think RE would have left no stone unturned cause the market is getting more competent.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 10:41   #7
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

sachinnair, I feel your selection criteria seems to be too broad to narrow down to just one or two options. I would suggest you look at your future needs as well. If you go for these weekend rides, would it be likely that you would go for multi day rides eventually? In that case, your need for a more powerful motorcycle for those trips might make you reconsider your mileage constraints. TBHPian comfortablynumb has hit the nail on the head on this front. Evaluate your long term use case as well before making a decision.

Since you seem to have a very flexible budget I would suggest
1. Between Rs 1.5 L to Rs 2 L : The Bajaj Dominar and the Suzuki Gixxer 250 seem like good bets. Definitely they will be good options for your weekend riding needs. The Suzuki is unproven but based on their track record, I wouldnt worry about it. Also the Gixxer 250 comes with fuel injection. Test ride the Royal Enfield 350s as well before dismissing them.

2. Between Rs 1 L to Rs 1.5 L : The Hero Xpulse (which again, has a fuel injected version, if thats important), the Bajaj NS 200, the Yamaha FZ25 and the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V are all good options. Among these, I recommend the RTR 200 4V.

If however, you are less flexible on the mileage front and are looking for a 200cc motorcycle that is more 160 ish in nature and mileage, the Hero 200 triplets might be the answer. You have the naked Xtreme 200R, the fully faired Xtreme 200S and the above mentioned Xpulse 200 (which comes in a few variants).
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Old 23rd July 2019, 12:12   #8
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Two options -
1. Dominar - The best option IMO. Good geometry, power, subtle, well-kitted. Multiple bikes rolled into one.
2. KTM Duke 250 - The next best option. Not as edgy as the 390, but a fun bike which can cruise well on weekends.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 13:11   #9
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Only thing that comes to my mind that will satisfy following points together,

1. 40+ kmpl city commute regular comfortably.
2. Smoothness while cruising at 100kmph on week ends.

MT-15.

Only down side would be the wind blast at triple digit speeds due to the straight up seating position. But it's really comfortable.

Friend has got one & I can't stop enjoying this engine gearbox combination in street fighter version.

Thanks.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 13:44   #10
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

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Originally Posted by NaXal View Post
MT-15. Friend has got one & I can't stop enjoying this engine gearbox combination in street fighter version.
Saw one on the road recently, gorgeous bike! Would love a quick review from you, since you seem to have been using the bike recently. Thanks.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 14:23   #11
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

One word: Dominar. (I have no idea about FE).

City commuter during the week. Comprehensive mile muncher over weekends with good ergonomics for long hours in the saddle and an engine that's capable of munching miles at a good clip.

Good service coverage to boot.

The other option would be the Interceptor if your budget permits.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 14:54   #12
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Dominar 400 2019 returning around 28/30 kmpl within Kolkata office commuting. Mileage drops further if traffic is high or you push it beyond 4k RPM for shifts to enjoy the performance.

Low end has lag, lot of lag. Hurts in bumper to bumper traffic. Lot of clutch slippage needed.

This bike weights 184kgs & feels even heavier with it's longer wheel base in dense traffic.

Just around 8 ltr of usable fuel tank before low fuel blinks. Even in commuting, one needs to visit the pump often. Having said that, this engine is really super sensitive to fuel quality. Not that you need premium, runs fine with normal but if there is slight issue with quality, you can feel engine knocking.

Suffers from quality control issue. Upper nut connecting leg guard with chassis failed structurally within a month of usage. No accident no fall, just normal riding vibration. That too from a Bajaj product which is arguably the smoothest till date.

ASC has no clue how to get the broken part out from the socket. They already have 3 same complain from different owners.

Complain pending with Bajaj without any support or follow up.

No double stand or even no provision given. Pain to use chain spray. Don't even think of leaning it against single/side stand. Has a magnetic sensor which cuts the engine if stand is down. So if it's faulty in anyway, you can't ride.

Awesome bike for touring with occasional commuting. Eats up miles like butter. Dead stable in triple digit speeds. Awesome balance too. Ride quality too is just perfect for touring. Neither too soft nor too hard allowing those aggressive highway lane change or taking those long sweeping corners. Great braking, though I needed to bleed the rear brake lines 3/4 times before it's completely out of air. By the way, engine braking alone is enough for highway usage. I rarely find myself tapping the discs in highway.

At the end, after using MT-15 & D400 2019 back-to-back, I vote for MT-15 here based on the requirements given.


Below is the attached picture of the structural failure of leg guard nut for upper joint with chassis.

Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends-img_20190720_154722.jpg

Thanks.

Last edited by moralfibre : 23rd July 2019 at 16:08. Reason: As requested
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Old 23rd July 2019, 16:06   #13
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

I am surprised nobody has mentioned the Jawa or the 42. The bikes are light, plenty of low end pull, good ergonomics for commuting purposes and should be decently reliable too. Out on the highway, it supposedly loses grunt post though. If the OP is willing to wait for a couple of months, it makes sense to give them a shot. In the interim, most issues would have come to the fore.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 17:12   #14
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Why not the Extreme 200S? Should meet the criteria put here. Is a Hero, so quality is expected to be better than Bajaj. Should be economical to buy and run.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 19:55   #15
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? Commuter on weekdays, Cruiser on weekends

Would have suggested the erstwhile R-15S, but sad that YMIL didn't update it with ABS. Suggestions from my side-

1) Unfortunately the same old Pulsar 220/Pulsar 180F. They are torquier(in the low-end), relatively more fuel efficient in all conditions compared to the other bikes in the segment.
2) FZ-25. Can't think of many negatives apart from not having a 6th gear, fairing.
3) Unicorn 150.

Last edited by jetsetgo08 : 23rd July 2019 at 19:56.
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