Although we have already borne witness to several iterations of the R1s, CBRs, and the Hayabusas, the concept of racing bikes is still in its infancy in India. A contributing factor to this is that, until recently, a large portion of prospective two-wheeler buyers believed that sport bikes were either out of their price range or that they simply weren’t up to the challenge of owning a high-octane motorcycle. However, with the introduction of cost-effective vehicles like the R15s and KTM RCs among many others, Indian consumers have evolved with the way they perceive sports bikes.
In this page, we will cover some of the best beginner sports bikes that are available right now. The bikes listed here are primarily between 200cc-500cc. So, do you think your favourite bike will make the cut? Read on to find out.
- KTM RC 390
Never has India been exposed to such raw speed and power on a sub-500 cc vehicle, until the introduction of the KTM RC 390, that is. Brought to the market courtesy of a Bajaj-KTM partnership, the RC 390 has seen spectacular sales since its release 3 years ago in 2013. This bike is powered by a 373.2 cc 4-stroke engine, which puts out a surprising good power of 43 hp and a torque of 39 nm. That’s not even its best attribute yet, as the 6-speed bike can clock a maximum speed of 179 kmph, which also happens to one of the best speed figures among its competitors. On the price front, the RC 390 is priced at a handsome Rs.2,14,000 ex-showroom, Delhi, making it a bike that’s worth every penny you spend.
- Kawasaki Ninja 300
For quite some time, the Kawasaki Ninja lineup has been a mainstay in the Indian sports-bike market. And at this point, even after a decade or so, this lineup is as relevant as it has ever been. Among the many Ninja versions Kawasaki has, we are here to talk about the 300 cc variant. To begin with, the Ninja 300 is powered by a 296 cc engine, provides a maximum power output of 38.5 bhp and a torque of 27 nm. Although, the Ninja 300 is a sub-300 cc vehicle, it can reach a maximum top speed of 182 kmph. Getting to the price part, the Ninja 300 is priced rather steeply at Rs.3,65,000 ex-showroom, which happens to be for the base non-ABS version. In case, you are looking to get your hands on the Ninja 300 ABS version, you might need to shell out a handsome ex-showroom price of Rs.3,90,000.
- Hyosung GT 250R
The GT 250R is one of the first Hyosung bikes to make it to the Indian shores courtesy of the Korean automakers’ partnership with DSK. Although, this bike is competing with the likes of the YZF-R3, CBR 250R, and the Ninja 300, it is still a rather dull in terms of its performance. It is powered by a 249 cc, which churns out a maximum power of 28 bhp and a torque of 22.04 nm. The standard version of a Hyosung GT 250R is marketed at a price of Rs.3,02,000 ex-showroom, Delhi.
- Yamaha YZF-R3
Up until YZF-R3’s launch in India, the R1 and the R15 were the only two Yamaha sports bikes available in the Indian market. This resulted in a massive gap in the Japanese pioneer automaker’s sports bike portfolio. However, the company is working towards rectifying that mistake and, as a first step, introduced the YZF-R3. This bike stays true to its R-series heritage with an uncanny resemblance to its big brother R1 and also racks up commendable performance figures. Powered by a 321 cc dual cylinder engine, the R3 offers a solid power output of 41.4 bhp and a torque of 29.6 nm. With performance such as this and a top speed of 188 kmph, this sub-500 cc vehicle is in direct contention with KTM RC 390 for the ‘best beginner sports bike in India’ tag. Coming to the price point, the R3 is priced at Rs.3,26,000 ex-showroom, Delhi, which although slightly expensive, sounds justifiable.
- KTM RC 200
The Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, KTM seems to know what makes Indian motorcyclists tick. With an entry-level sports bike that has looks, performance, and an affordable price tag, KTM has quite literally serenaded bike enthusiasts around the country through its RC 200 variant. Powered by a 199 cc engine, this track-oriented bike churns out a maximum power of 25 bhp and a torque of 19 nm. Add these attributes to a price tag that circles around Rs.1,86,000 ex-showroom, the RC 200 is simply the best-looking and best-performing bike in its segment. It competes with the likes of RS200, and the CBR 250R right now.
- Honda CBR 250R
Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Honda has long since been known as a reliable two-wheeler manufacturer. They are proving to cement this image yet again with the introduction of the Honda CBR 250R. To begin with, the CBR 250R is not the best looking bike in the segment, neither is it the fastest, but there’s no two questions to be asked regarding the bike’s offering. It is powered by a 249.6 cc engine and puts out a maximum power of 26.15 bhp, and a torque of 22.9 nm. Also, the CBR 250R is the safest vehicle among its competitors like the RC 200 and the Benelli TNT 25, as it offers dual-channel ABS as an option. On the price front, the CBR 250R is marketed at a tag of Rs.1,60,000 ex-showroom Delhi.
- Bajaj Pulsar RS 200
Although Pulsar RS 200 seems like an over-ambitious release by Bajaj Auto, it can still stake a claim among the best beginner motorcycles, thanks to its performance. The Bajaj Pulsar RS, as its manufacturer calls it, is powered by a 199.5 cc engine that offers a maximum power of 24.2 bhp and a torque of 18.6 nm, making it the most powerful vehicle in the 200cc segment. Priced at Rs.1,20,000 ex-showroom, the RS 200 stands tall above the rest of its competitors as the best offering in its engine size.
While 2016 is expected to play host to many other innovative and better-performing two-wheelers in India, there’s no denying that these are the top 7 beginner sports bikes that are ruling the market right now.
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