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Vote For The Best Performance Bike Of The Year Now


Can the KTMs fight off the Apaches and Ninjas?

 

Hello and welcome to the Auto Premier League, India’s only contest where you, the readers, get to choose your favourite bikes and cars in each segment. All you have to do is get on to our website, log in, and cast your vote. But first, you need to know what you’re voting for. In this article, we’re going to tell you about our Performance Bike Of The Year category.

The great thing about motorcycles is that for relatively small amounts of cash, you can buy yourself a hell of a lot of performance. For under Rs 2.6 lakh you can get yourself a 390 Duke that accelerates on par with an entry-level Porsche Cayman that retails for Rs 86 lakh. With so many people looking for performance motorcycles, quite a few manufacturers want to put their hat in the ring, as a result of which there are a fair few offerings in the segment. So now we’re allowing you, the reader, to vote for your favourite performance bike, as part of our upcoming Auto Premier League. You can read a little more about your choices below:

If you want to know more about The Auto Premier League, you can click here. Voting for Round 1 is already open, so head here to cast your vote.

KTM 390 Duke
Let’s start off with what we think is the king of the segment. The 390 Duke has always offered explosive performance at a very attractive price point, and it continues to do so even today. But while the earlier bikes felt a little rough around the edges, the modern-day 390 Duke has matured and feels like a well-rounded package. Sure, it’s price has gone up over the years, but it’s also gained quite a lot of premium features and a little bit of torque too.

Pros:

  • Electric acceleration
  • Sharp handling
  • Rich features list

Cons:

  • Suspension can feel stiff at times
  • Looks may not be to everyone’s liking

For more detailed information about the KTM 390 Duke, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/KTM/Duke-390

TVS Apache RR310
TVS’ first fully-faired sportbike might’ve gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, but the brand’s engineering and racing expertise is now coming through strongly in the 2020 model. Packed with a TFT display, ride-by-wire and 4 riding modes, and with the engine refinement issues now well and truly fixed, the RR has gotten rid of most of its negatives while retaining all of its positives.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous looks
  • Extremely friendly handling
  • Feature-rich

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as some of its competition
  • Price to performance ratio isn’t spectacular

For more detailed information about the Apache RR310, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/TVS/akula-310

Kawasaki Ninja 300
One of the first real sportbikes to make its way to India was the Kawasaki Ninja 250, which has today grown into the Ninja 300. While in the past it has come across as slightly pricey, thanks to localisation it is today one of the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles you can buy in India. Sure, it lacks the outright performance of some of its rivals but the engine layout offers smooth and linear power delivery along with excellent refinement, making it an attractive proposition for more broad-minded buyers.

Pros:

  • Well priced compared to other twins
  • Creamy smooth engine

Cons:

  • Could use more power and torque
  • Feels quite barren in terms of features

For more detailed information about the Kawasaki Ninja 300, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Kawasaki/ninja-300

Honda CB300R
For many years, the CBR250R was a capable flag-bearer for Honda in the small-capacity sportbike segment. Now, the little CBR has finally breathed its last and the CB300R is here as its spiritual successor. The neo-retro design theme borrowed from the CB1000R looks fantastic and the 286cc single-cylinder motor is no slouch either. To top things off, it surprisingly well-priced for a CKD motorcycle.

Honda CB300R Road Test Review

Pros:

  • Easy to live with and reliable
  • Attractive design
  • Not exorbitantly priced

Cons:

  • Not the smoothest of Hondas
  • Poor pillion comfort

For more detailed information about the Honda CB300R, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Honda/cb300r

Suzuki Gixxer 250
The success enjoyed by the 155cc Gixxer encouraged Suzuki to introduce its larger sibling, the Gixxer 250, and we’re quite glad that it did. It’s propelled by a decently powerful motor housed in a well-executed design and accompanied by traditional Suzuki refinement. It offers a great middle ground between the lacklustre FZ 25 and expensive 250 Duke.

Pros:

  • Comfortable in the city and on the highway
  • Big bike looks
  • Decent amount of features

Cons:

  • Brakes could be better
  • Headlight intensity is a little below average

For more detailed information about the Suzuki Gixxer 250, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Suzuki/gixxer250

Bajaj Dominar 250
While the Gixxer range was scaled up to create the Gixxer 250, Bajaj scaled down the Dominar 400 to bring us the Dominar 250. It shares the basics of its motor with KTM 250 Duke, which is a good thing, since this is a fairly relaxed and un-KTM like engine. Despite the smaller heart, you still get the macho Dominar design language, complete with an upside-down fork and twin barrel exhaust.

Pros:

  • Butch looks
  • Good price to power ratio
  • Beefy underpinnings

Cons:

  • Heaviest bike in its class

For more detailed information about the Bajaj Dominar 250, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Bajaj/dominar-250

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V
The TVS Apache range started off with 160cc and 180cc offerings, and then grew to accommodate the RTR 200 4V, which continues to be the biggest RTR even today. Just like all Apaches, TVS’ racing DNA is proudly on display here and the RTR 200 4V is a capable 200cc streetfighter. Thanks to KYB suspension components, handling is pretty sweet too.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

Pros:

  • Grunty and free-revving motor
  • Great exhaust note
  • Feature-rich

Cons:

  • Quick steering can be a problem for newbies
  • Slightly on the expensive side

For more detailed information about the Apache RTR 200, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/TVS/Apache-RTR-200

KTM 200 Duke
When the KTM 200 Duke first came to us back in 2012, it was unprecedented. A 200cc bike with liquid-cooling and DOHC 4-valve architecture, it was light years ahead of anything else. It wasn’t just the motor either, even the underpinnings were top-notch. Now, the 200 Duke has received its first major update since the launch in 2012, and it remains arguably the most prolific KTM in India.

Pros:

  • Looks sharp and aggressive
  • Still great performance for a 200cc bike even today
  • Now gets dual-channel ABS

Cons:

  • Quite expensive for a 200cc
  • Motor needs to be revved hard to extract the maximum

For more detailed information about the KTM 200 Duke, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/KTM/Duke-200

Royal Enfield Classic 350
The Classic 350 is Royal Enfield’s cash-cow - even though it isn’t the most affordable RE around, it’s still the best-selling. We didn’t think it would make it through the BS6 transition in its current form, but RE has surprised us and the Classic 350 is still here. Engine output has taken a slight hit but it still retains its all important thump.

Pros:

  • Big bike look and feel
  • Decent low-end torque

Cons:

  • Wheezy top-end power
  • Appalling refinement levels
  • Too expensive for what it offers

For more detailed information about the Classic 350, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Royal-Enfield/Classic-350

Jawa
The modern-day Jawa looks uncannily similar to its old two-stroke counterpart but when it comes to the riding experience, it feels thoroughly modern. The 300cc motor has been borrowed from the Mojo and slightly reworked, so the Jawa has more than enough poke to keep you entertained. Underpinnings are quite competent too, so the only thing ancient about the bike is its design.

Pros:

  • Extremely attractive appearance
  • Strong engine
  • Handles well and brakes feel sharp

Cons:

  • The engine is vibey and sounds harsh
  • Poor pillion comfort
  • Speedometer is unreadable on the move

For more detailed information about the Jawa, click here:
https://www.zigwheels.com/newbikes/Jawa-Motorcycles/jawa-300

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