Thursday, July 18, 2024

Top 5 Bikes for Touring South India Under 2.5 Lakh

Shivanand Dutta

Bikes you need to be looking at if you want to tour South India under 2.5 lakh rupees

Touring on your bike can be one of the best things to do to break away from the mundane. It is not just about the destination. It is about the journey, going through the scenic roads on hills or the beautiful coastal roads. Soaking in the scenery and tripping on the experience can make you forget all the tensions in your life. South India has some wonderful roads for this. Be it the beautiful hill station roads of Coorg or Kodaikanal or the scenic coastal roads of Dhanushkodi or Pondicherry, South India has got you covered with its beautiful hills, beaches, and forests that engross you in the lap of mother nature. Add to that the warm hospitality of the people of South India and the delicious cuisine. These trips will be some of the most memorable trips of your life. A capable and reliable bike is necessary to ensure your tours go well without any fatigue or hassles that the bike can throw at you. The bike should be able to effortlessly maintain highway speeds with an unstressed engine, so it does not stress you, the rider, much. It needs to be reliable and frugal so unforeseen circumstances do not occur often, keeping your ride focused on experiencing the beauty of South India, and it needs to have enough torque for the hilly sections. Here is a curated list of bikes that can be bought for under 2.5 lakh rupees and are worth every penny if touring is on your mind.

1. Triumph Speed 400

Triumph Motorcycles is the largest motorcycle manufacturer based in the UK. Their big bikes are renowned around the world for their performance, reliability, and good service. They keep the riders’ needs in mind while building their bikes. Riders had big expectations from the latest tie-up between Bajaj and Triumph, and Triumph wanted to venture into the competitive space of the affordable segment, and man did they deliver! The initial price announcement set the Indian biking community on fire. The bike itself is brilliant for its price. Its modern, retro styling has a lot of appeal among Indian riders. Add to that the neutral riding posture with a hint of forward lean, center-set footpegs, and comfortable seat. The bike will keep you comfortable on those highway stretches. The engine is beautiful, with 40 bhp and 37.5 nm of torque. It will cruise effortlessly at 110 mph on the highways. It is a very tractable motor, so you do not need constant downshifting, and it has enough grunt to take on the hilly sections of the roads. The suspension is beautifully set up for our roads with the Golden Upside Down forks and rear monoshock. They iron out the road imperfections very well. The bike will offer a very fatigue-free experience for the rider. It is a very good city bike as well, with light and agile handling. Bajaj and Triumph are rapidly expanding their dealer and service networks, so the riders do not need to worry. If you can stretch your budget a bit, it also has a scrambler version with increased ground clearance. But the Speed 400 is good enough as is, at 2.33 lakh ex-showroom. This bike is of incredible value for its capabilities and effortless demeanour, and it should be at the top of your list if touring is on your mind.

Specifications 

Power: 40 BHP

Torque: 37 Nm

City efficiency: 28 Kmpl 

Highway efficiency: 35 Kmpl

Engine: 398cc single cylinder 

Horizon Score: 4.5 out of 5

2. Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield is arguably the most popular leisure motorcycling brand in India, garnering crazy sales figures in the Indian market. Himalayan is their first dig at the Adventure tour segment. Even though the bike had a few niggles in its first few iterations, Royal Enfield has ironed them out and perfected it over time. With a neutral seating posture and accommodating seats for both the rider and the pillion, this bike will be a comfortable companion on your tours in South India. The large, long-stroke 411 cc engine feels unstressed and effortless while cruising at legal speeds of 100 kmph. The long travel suspension and high ground clearance make sure you can handle even the toughest of roads with ease. The Himalayan has a functional windscreen, so you will not get tired fighting the windblast at highway speeds. There is a Tripper Navigation pod in the instrument console that can be paired to the phone using Bluetooth to show navigation instructions on the go, making navigation a breeze. Royal Enfield has a widespread service network, so riders do not have to worry in case some issue crops up. They also have a lot of accessories and luggage options, like panniers and tail bags, for the Himalayan, so your luggage needs are taken care of. They have an incredible community of riders and conduct tours that often involve riders across India. Your trip will be very hassle-free if you opt for Himalayan. At 2.23 lakh ex-showroom, the Himalayan offers incredible value and is a brilliant option as your companion while touring South India.

Specifications 

Power: 24 BHP

Torque: 32 Nm

City efficiency: 28 Kmpl 

Highway efficiency: 35 Kmpl

Engine: 411cc single cylinder 

Horizon Score: 4.5 out of 5

3. Bajaj Dominar 400

The KTM-Bajaj partnership has spawned many great bikes in the affordable segment, and the Dominar was one of them released under the Bajaj brand. The Dominar, first released in 2015, was a decent bike at the time. The 2019 Dominar UG update made it much better with a power bump up to 40 Bhp and a few updates like upside-down front forks and a revised suspension. The KTM-sourced engine was a scorcher of a performer in the Duke but had to be retuned for the application in the Dominar. Because of its resemblance to the Ducati Diavel, the biking community refers to it as the “Baby Diavel,” a power cruiser. Its ad went viral among the biking community for taking a dig at Royal Enfield with the tagline “haathi mat paalo”. The touring edition, which is 5000 rupees dearer, gets you all sorts of touring accessories like a windscreen, Pannier racks, and a phone mount. The bike itself is very effortless when touring thanks to its big engine, which develops effortless performance. The bike is heavy, making it very stable on highways, and the comfortable ergonomics have you covered, making it a very good riding experience. The seats are very accommodating for both the rider and the pillion. The bike is reliable, and the service is also very affordable with its widespread service network. At 2.3 lakh rupees ex-showroom, it is a wonderful buy and will take care of all your touring needs.

Specifications 

Power: 40 BHP

Torque: 35 Nm

City efficiency: 24 Kmpl 

Highway efficiency: 30 Kmpl

Engine: 373cc single cylinder 

Horizon Score: 4.2 out of 5

4. KTM 250 Adventure

The KTM 390 Adventure was an instant hit among the Indian biking community, but it was priced rather steeply, even compared to the Duke 390. Even though the bike is well worth it owing to all the gizmos it has on offer, people needed an affordable offering, so KTM plonked the Duke 250’s engine in the Adventure’s frame, and voila, there was the Adventure 250. The engine is a high-compression one, producing around 30 bhp. The bike has very good ergonomics and a windscreen for wind protection at highway speeds. It can maintain a comfortable cruise at 100 kmph all day long, and the seats are large and comfortable for both the rider and pillion. The bike is light and agile and can handle any road owing to its good ground clearance. It is truly an adventure tourer that can take on all the needs of your trip. The engine is for thrill-seekers. So it will also be wonderful if the rider is in the mood to ride it hard. Whether you are threading through city traffic, embarking on a road trip, or delving deep into off-road escapades, the KTM 250 Adventure will emerge as a spirited companion. At 2.47 lakh ex-showroom, it is priced a little ambitiously. But then again, it is a sophisticated machine with components like a Trellis frame, Upside Down forks from KYB, and a high-performance engine. It is well worth your money.

Specifications

Power: 30 BHP

Torque: 24 Nm

City efficiency: 27 Kmpl 

Highway efficiency: 34 Kmpl

Engine: 249cc single cylinder 

Horizon Score: 4.2 out of 5

5. Royal Enfield Meteor

It is not surprising that another Royal Enfield would make it onto this list. The brand enjoys a cult following unlike any other in India. Since its CEO, Siddhartha Lal, has implemented his plans for developing new-age products, Royal Enfield is making very capable motorcycles in the affordable segment. The new J-Series platform had a 350-cc engine that was dramatically improved over its previous iterations. With a counterbalancer and reworked internals, the traditional Royal Enfield vibrations were mostly ironed out. The Meteor is a quintessential Cruiser. The advantage is that the riding posture is brilliant. The front-set footpegs have your feet in a very comfortable, stretched-out position. The seat gives you a typical cruiser-like experience. It is as comfortable as the couch in your home. The bike looks like a piece of art. The retro headlamp, traditional cruiser silhouette, and a good dose of chrome make it pleasant to look at. Despite the modest power figures, the bike can cruise comfortably at 100 kmph because of its torque, which kicks in at low rpm. It has a good suspension setup for our Indian roads, and the big engine can handle highways and mountain roads with relative ease. Also, the instrument console consists of the Tripper Navigation pod for those important navigation instructions. It is suggested that you get the touring seat and windscreen from Royal Enfield to make the experience very luxurious. At 2.23 lakh for the Supernova variant, Meteor is a brilliant buy if you want to tour in utmost comfort.

Specifications

Power: 21 BHP

Torque: 27 Nm

City efficiency: 30 Kmpl 

Highway efficiency: 38 Kmpl

Engine: 349cc single cylinder 

Horizon Score: 4.2 out of 5

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