Budget Rs. 5 lakh: Need a reliable & fun to ride bike for a 40 year old

Looking for a bike that is comfortable to sit and ride inside the city as well as occasional long rides for 500-600kms.

BHPian Livnletcarsliv recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I am in my late 30's. I am almost 6 ft tall. My current ride is a Honda Activa 125 (most of the time it is used by my wife).

I always wanted to buy a bike for many years now. I thought there is no better time than NOW. The following are my requirements and interests.

  • No sports bike (or) scooter even if it is a BMW BMW C 400 GT because it doesn't suit me (especially riding position due to my height). It is not comfortable for long rides. It doesn't age well.
  • Comfort - Looking for a bike that is comfortable to sit and ride inside the city as well as occasional long rides for 500-600kms. (My my work city and my home town is 500kms). Smooth tarmac as well as bad road (not off-roading though).
  • Quality - Even if its not the best build and best in quality (good if it is best), I neither don't want a bike with cheap plastics and switches just to save cost and weight.
  • Fun - Should be fun to ride (Not sporty though). Not interested in quick 0-100.
  • Occasional pillion rider.
  • Reliability - Should be highly reliable.
  • Maintenance and mileage - need not be the cheapest to maintain and highest in mileage. Decent to maintain and descent mileage is ok.
  • Should be able to do tripe digit speeds (around 100-110) with ease and sustenance. Occasional higher speed bursts (overtaking, etc.). While should also be doing city speeds and bumper to bumper to bumper traffic speeds.
  • Should really age well. Planning to keep this bike for as long as the government allows me to do.
  • Budget around 5lakhs (on-road) max.
  • Can wait a couple of months if there is anything upcoming.
  • Exclusivity is not what I looking at. I don't mind even if its a mass market one provided it meets all my other requirements.
  • Service network should be appropriate enough. Not something that is available only in the big-metros like Mumbai, Chennai, etc.

Considerations at the moment:

RE350 Classic, RE Interceptor, 390 Adv, Duke 390, Jawa 42, RE Himalayan, RE Meteor 350, Honda Highness, Dominor 400, Honda CB350, CFMoto 650NK and upcoming RE Meteor 650 or anything upcoming.

Please add if there is anything I missed.

What do you recommend?

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

From my personal experience:

I would skip the KTMs for being on the sporty side, excellent for outright performance but not very happy in the city. 390 Adv has quite a stiff suspension.

Dominar 400 feels heavy, a better city implementation of the KTMs, rear feels stiff at least relative to competition.

All the RE/Honda 350's need to be ridden back to back to see which suits you the best. Servicing Honda 350s will be limited to BigWing dealerships only is what I gather from the forum. Needs to be verified at the dealers end.

The Interceptor slots in perfectly for your highway use case but isn't very happy in bumper to bumper traffic, should be easier for your height though but keep the legs in front of the foot pegs to avoid scraping your shins. Also you'll feel the weight but overall its a good option if your primary usage isn't bumper to bumper traffic. The suspension is quite comfortable and the brakes surprisingly good.

And goes without saying if getting the Interceptor get the touring seat as well along with the sump guard and tall flyscreen. IMO the stock seat is only there for short folks like me to get a feeling that its manageable for our height during a TD.

Preferences and opinions are subjective so form yours too.

Update us post your TDs, check for any lucrative December offers but I doubt it.

Good luck.

Here's what BHPian WhiskeyTangoFox had to say on the matter:

The Suzuki Vstrom 250Sx and the RE Himalayan come to mind based on your requirements. Both can cruise at 100kmph and have very good comfort. The Himalayan gives decent mileage (26kmpl in heavy traffic, 30kmpl in moderate traffic, 35-40kmpl on the highway). Spares and mods are infinitely available for the Himmy or any other RE for that matter of fact. Working on the Himalayan is also pretty easy and you can do basic maintenance yourself without a hassle.

The Interceptor is also really good on this front and you get that sweet parallel twin which I fall in love with every time I ride it. The upcoming Himalayan 450 may also suit you. Then again, all the bikes you have shortlisted will fare well, and I will suggest that you test ride all of them. Only then will you find the bike that best suits you.

Here's what BHPian Jaggu had to say on the matter:

Himalayan or why not a KTM 390 Adv, for your needs and height I would any day take Adv Vs Duke. The baby GS is also a good option apart from the dealer network being limited.

Here's what BHPian VW2010 had to say on the matter:

Search in the used bike segment and pick a 650. The old Kawasaki 650 is not a bad option for your needs. The newly launched Meteor 650 is also a good buy. Get a twin for your budget.

5L is a good starting range to move to 650 and there is no replacement to displacement for comfortable cruising.

Here's what BHPian RT13 had to say on the matter:

I would definitely add the Honda CB300R to your list. At 3.5 on road in Bangalore, and less elsewhere, I think it’s a fantastic mixed use bike with a superb gearbox and power to weight ratio. However all these calculations go out of the window when you test ride a bike. I think you need to head out and do some test rides to figure out what sort of ergonomics you want and the kind of engine, gearbox and suspension you prefer. That process alone will knock a lot of options off your list. You should also probably list the places you live and commute to and from. Riding a bike in Bangalore is different from Madras (yes it will always be that to me ) and again different to say Cochin or Delhi or Nagpur. Traffic and road conditions can make a difference to the kind of bike one should pick.

Here's what BHPian Gaur had to say on the matter:

Would you want to consider the RE Hunter 350 and KTM/Dominar 250 and Gixxer SF 250 as well ?

Honda Highness/CB350 are good bikes but they really dont enjoy 100-110kmph cruising speeds, at best they are comfortable at 85-90kmph range.

Classic 350/Interceptor/KTM390/Dominar/Meteor are all decent bikes which match few of your requirements pretty well but also have their fair share of negatives, e.g Interceptor is a bit unfriendly in heavy traffic also gets heated up, pillion will hate the rear seat, KTM 390 poor low end torque, Dominar being too heavy and large turning radius.

Himalayan seems to be the best from what you have shortlisted until now.

As i have already recommended to have a look at KTM 250, i personally feel its a good Jack of all trades master of none type of bike which meets most of your criteria.

B.T.W i was/am still in the same conundrum as you are, just that i wanted to make a switch from my 16yr old Bajaj avenger 180 to something in the 250-350-650 range (read ktm/GS310/dominar/interceptor) but even after trying out all of these somehow none of them clicked, so decided to wait a bit more to actually figure out what suits me best, in the meanwhile got hold of a used,well maintained Honda CBR250R which for the time being meets most of my requirements, fairly comfortable, decently fuel efficient, no niggles (yet), good on highways (comfortable cruising at110-120kmph) and cities alike.

Take multiple test rides and see what clicks the best.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene