Need advice: Which motorcycle for a novice rider on a 1.5-2L budget

Fuel efficiency and maintenance costs are not an issue as long as it is close to that of its competitors.

BHPian aravindb_0711 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My cousin has the need for a motorcycle to be used in and around his city. His requirements are:

  • Comfort (he will travel through a lot of broken roads)
  • Adequate power
  • Stability at highway speeds

The maximum distance that he might cover in a trip will be around 30-40km. His budget is 1.5 lakhs, ex showroom. He can stretch to a maximum of 2 lakhs, ex showroom. What are his best options?

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

The VStrom 250 SX seems like a good choice here, do check it out.

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

Does not get any better than the MT-15 by Yamaha or Duke 200 whichever fits the budget

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

  1. Can the FE or maintenance cost be quantifiable pls? Reason being, for 1.5L OTR we could suggest xPulse or even Splendour that can match the requirement
  2. Can the Adequate Power be quantified pls as xPulse & CB300F are powerful & so is MT03
  3. Can the budget be extended to about 20-30K more pls?
  4. How many years the motorcycle is to be retained?
  5. Nearest availability of ASC? Is that a factor to be considered to be a significant or least importance? (Eg. BigWings/Royal Enfield etc, hope you get the point)
  6. Most importantly, how much money has been set aside for maintenance?
  7. Vehicle ownership exclusivity to be considered or a mass market vehicle is OK?
  8. Scooters? Especially Suzuki Burgman/Yamaha RayZR/Aprilia SR 160 considered & discarded for any reason?

Alternative thought: Not necessarily Ather, but any EV?

Reason: For a distance of an average 35 Km a day & 5 days a week should be ~8500 Km a year. Even if the average FE hoovers around 40 Kmpl (considering the cost of vehicle segment), 8500/40 Kmpl is ~210 liters of Petrol should cost ~Rs 22000 a year excluding the maintenance. All put together should be about 25K a year; suggesting this as the budgeted cost is nearly the same as EV (Ather 450+ should cost about 1.55L OTR) & the running cost should not be over Rs 1300 for the same distance a year. Subscription? Yes, ~Rs 4300 a year which is way too less than running a petrol motorcycle; and with an added convenience of carrying additional luggage under the seat as well as at floor board & missing the visit to ASC, oil & air filter changes.

All put together running a EV scooter should cost no more than 6K a year compared to 25K a year of a Petrol motorcycle

BHPian aravindb_0711 replied:

  • He feels that FE and maintenance costs are not an issue as long as it is close to that of its competitors. He doesn't have the experience of owning bikes before, hence, he isn't clear with numbers in this area.
  • He mostly drives cars and hence was disappointed when their new car, an XL6, didn't have enough power. He wants to avoid that this time.
  • He can extend the budget by 30k.
  • The motorcycle will be retained till the end of its life. So, good reliability is also important.
  • Since all major brands have showrooms in his town, he is open to all of them. Though, small brands like Benelli and electric brands like Ather and Ola don't have showrooms in his town. Hence, they are not in consideration.
  • Exclusivity is a bonus!
  • He has not considered any scooter; he told me he needs a motorcycle

BHPian aargee had the following say:

  • Money, FE, Service cost - no barrier
  • Life - 15 years
  • Comfort - top priority
  • Power - must
  • Riding experience - Nil

So, for 2L OTR, all the middle weights cane be eliminated safely. Since reliability takes priority for longer duration, the Japs are to be more inclined towards; which leaves us with Honda, Yamaha & Suzuki (Kawasaki retails nothing in 2L OTR, atleast comfortably)

I would've suggested ADV KTM 250/390 or GS310(owing to comfort factor), however the ex showroom should be over 2.5L for all of them

Since money is no bar, would suggest CB300R (owing to 7 step rear suspension) or CB300F from Honda

Next choice is 250cc from Suzuki in the order of VStorm or Gixxer 250; the second choice is made because of some minor niggling issues reported here.

Last choice of mine would be Yamaha FZS 25; although the price, 154 Kg & adjustable suspensions sounds tempting, I'm not a fan of 5 gears (My 30+ year old Rx has 5 gears & this is 2022 a performance oriented motorcycle ought to have 6 gears)

Last but not the least, CB350 can be suggested as the concerned person is getting into riding & over 30; if he's young enough, then its strongly suggested taking the rides slow along with a very reliable helmet if the riding gears are ignored.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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