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Which Is The Best Bike Under 200cc In India? You Decide!


From cruisers to nakeds to supersports, which one is your favourite bike in the class?

Welcome to the Auto Premier League where we give the power to you, the readers, to pick your favourite bikes in each segment. Pick the winners in each segment and you can win some exciting goodies from ZigWheels. Get all the information that you need on the Auto Premier League in this story. To vote for your favourite bikes, head here to the voting page.

The segment here, Executive Bikes upto 200cc, caters to those who demand good performance without sacrificing on other factors like fuel efficiency, practicality and style. Bajaj’s Pulsars and TVS's Apaches are the primary contenders in this segment, but new arrivals have made it that much more interesting. It remains one of the most hotly contested segments in the Indian two-wheeler industry and promises to remain so for the foreseeable future. Here’s a list of the top ten bikes in the segment:

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V blew us away with phenomenal performance and handling. It also surprised us with an unbelievably refined engine which makes it an equally capable commuter motorcycle, making it a great all rounder. In fact, TVS called upon suspension wizards, Showa to tune the units of the RTR 160 4V. We just wish it got better brakes.

Pros:

  • Most powerful 160cc motorcycle in the country.
  • Engine refinement is par excellence.
  • Suspension is brilliantly tuned for sport riding as well as commuting.

Cons:

  • Brakes lack bite.
  • Footpegs are a bit on the higher side; large riders may feel it is a bit cramped.

For more information on the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/TVS/Apache-RTR-160

Suzuki Gixxer

For years, the Suzuki Gixxer has been king of the 160cc segment of motorcycles and now fights a closely contested battle with the RTR 160 4V for top honours. The bike packs a punchy motor and possesses great handling characteristics. It is pretty frugal as well but the BS6 bike comes at a significant price premium over the old BS4 model.

Pros:

  • New Gixxer looks even more muscular.
  • Has brilliant handling characteristics.

Cons:

  • Ride quality is harsh.
  • It is pretty expensive now.

For more information on the Suzuki Gixxer, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Suzuki/Gixxer

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Bajaj shrunk the Pulsar NS200 and gave us the Pulsar NS160, its competitor to take on the likes of the Gixxers and Apaches. The feature list on the Pulsar is not exhaustive but it more than makes up for it with great performance. Its heft is one of its biggest drawbacks as it uses a chunky perimeter frame similar to larger Pulsars and Dominars.

Pros:

  • It packs a pretty powerful engine.
  • Shares the capable perimeter frame with larger Pulsars.
  • Stopping power is pretty good.

Cons:

  • Engine refinement could have been better.
  • It isn’t feature-rich like its segment rivals.
  • It is the heaviest 160cc motorcycle.

For more information on the Bajaj Pulsar NS160, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Bajaj/Pulsar-150NS

Hero Xtreme 200S

Hero MotoCorp took a slightly old school approach when it came to designing the Xtreme 200S. Even though its engine is larger than any of its competition here, it sports a relaxed tune, making its overall performance more in line with the 160s. The digital dash comes with smartphone connectivity, the only bike on this list to have this feature. This gives you call and SMS alerts as well as turn-by-turn navigation. But one of its key highlights is its design that reminds us of old-school superbikes.

Pros:

  • Is the most affordable full-faired motorcycle in the country.
  • It handles corners quite well.

Cons:

  • Engine runs out of breath fairly quickly.
  • Refinement levels could have been better.

For more information on the Hero Xtreme 200S, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Hero-Moto-Corp/xtreme

Bajaj Pulsar 180F

Bajaj reinvigorated its aged Pulsar 180 a year ago by giving it the same half-fairing as its elder sibling: the Pulsar 220F. The design is quite iconic and even though it hasn’t seen any change in over a decade, it still remains an aspiration for many diehard Pulsar fans. The engine is not the most advanced or refined, especially with new 160cc rivals outshining it in some regards.

Pros:

  • Looks exactly like the Pulsar 220F.
  • The ergos are accessible for riders of all heights.
  • Braking performance is brilliant.

Cons:

  • The console feels dated with essential data like range/distance to empty indicator and gear position indicator still missing.
  • Lacks modern features like LED headlights and slipper clutch.
  • Too expensive for a 180cc motorcycle.

For more information on the Bajaj Pulsar 180F, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Bajaj/pulsar-180f

TVS Apache RTR 180

Just like most of its other products, the TVS Apache RTR 180 has been developed on the racetrack and is one of the most fun to ride small capacity motorcycles. The Apache RTR 180 is also an aged 180cc warrior, like the Pulsar 180F, living in the era of sporty 160cc bikes. Recent updates have added extra convenience features, like Glide Through Traffic technology, to the old warhorse.

Pros:

  • It packs a peppy motor.
  • Braking performance is solid.
  • It is an able handler.

Cons:

  • Design is pretty old.
  • Now comes with single-channel ABS only.
  • It is a bit expensive for a 180cc bike.

For more information on the TVS Apache RTR 180, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/TVS/Apache-RTR-180

Yamaha FZ v3.0

From being an affordable performance naked to an econo-centric commuter, the Yamaha FZ has seen a lot of changes. It still looks muscular and chunky but no longer is it as competent as its 160cc rivals. The engine is tuned to deliver good fuel efficiency, which it does well. For daily duties, the riding stance is upright and relaxed with the suspension set up nicely to soak in bumps of almost all sizes.

Pros:

  • The engine is quite fuel efficient.
  • Upright ergos make for a good commuter motorcycle.

Cons:

  • Performance is not on par with class rivals.
  • Quality of plastics and switchgear is not what you would expect from Yamaha.
  • LED headlight offers little illumination.

For more information on the Yamaha FZ v3, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Yamaha/fz-s-fi-version-30

Yamaha MT-15

For years, enthusiasts have been crying out for a naked version of the R15 and while the wishes of those around the world came true, we had to wait until last year to finally get a taste of the MT-15. It is quite a contrast to the other 150cc Yamaha naked, as the MT-15 is fast and exciting to ride. But just like the FZ, the MT-15 is frugal, even managing to the better the FZ in our city efficiency tests. Even after a lot of cost saving measures like using a box-section steel swingarm instead of a cast aluminium unit, equipping it with single-channel ABS and no fairing, the MT-15 is only Rs 7,000 cheaper than the bike it is based on: the R15.

Pros:

  • Powerful and versatile 155cc engine
  • Lightweight and extremely compact
  • Looks sharp and attractive, especially in the white/red colour

Cons:

  • It is pricey; only Rs 7,000 less than the R15
  • Stiff ride quality
  • No dual-channel ABS

For more information on the Yamaha MT-15, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Yamaha/mt-15

Yamaha R15 v3.0
The Yamaha R15 brought in a wave of new enthusiasts who grew up wanting to own a sportbike but couldn’t fulfil them due to budgetary constraints. The latest version takes the game one step ahead. It keeps the ethos of the bike intact but is now a more well-rounded package thanks to the addition of VVA. The design is a lot more proportionate compared to earlier generations but we wished for a better pair of headlights as the current LED ones lack intensity.

Pros:

  • Perfect track tool for those who are beginning sport riding.
  • Variable Valve Actuation makes the R15 a lot more usable in everyday situations.
  • Rear radial tyre is standard and you get the option to fit grippy Metzeler rubber.

Cons:

  • Riding posture is on the committed side.
  • Build quality and fit and finish levels have dipped massively.
  • LED headlight fails to light up the road.

For more information on the Yamaha R15 v3, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Yamaha/yzf-r15-v3

KTM RC 125
The KTM RC 125 is the smallest supersport bike that the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer has ever built. It borrows the design and mechanical components from its elder sibling, the RC 200. Even though it is the most powerful 125cc bike in the country, it is also one of the heaviest in its class. The handling package is phenomenal and the easy going performance will ensure newer riders can hone in their skills without scaring themselves silly. However, the issue is that the motor is quite weedy and it’s easy for most new riders to outgrow the performance it offers quite rapidly.

Pros:

  • Razor sharp dynamics are great for corner carving.
  • Packs top-quality equipment like USD fork, radial calipers and radial tyres.

Cons:

  • Riding posture is too aggressive for daily usage.
  • More power is a must for such a great handling package.

For more information on the KTM RC 125, head here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/KTM/rc-125

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Video Review

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