Best Commuter Bike In India

  • May 30, 2022
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We couldn’t decide on one, so we brought you five instead

Commuter motorcycles are pretty much the lifeblood of the Indian two-wheeler space, comprising a massive chunk of monthly automotive sales in the country. And justifiably so… considering the mobility requirements for many Indians were low buying cost, low running costs and high reliability. And so it was that until just a few years ago, it was only the 100-110cc motorcycles that qualified as commuter bikes. Now though, that term has come to encompass 125cc motorcycles and even a few 150cc ones. With buyers so spoiled for choice, the question we get asked often is “Which is the best commuter bike in India?” We thought long and hard over this and then realised that there can’t be one single answer to this question. So here’s a list of five of what we believe to be the best commuter bikes in India.

Hero Splendor Plus

There’s a reason why the Splendor has been India’s highest sold motorcycle for decades now. It’s affordable, super reliable and very efficient as well. And while a lot of younger urban buyers might not like the fact that its design has barely changed since the original, a majority of Indians like how the Splendor plays things safe with tried and tested aesthetics. The current iteration of the Splendor gets fuel injection to comply with BS6 emissions norms as well as an idle start/stop system (which Hero calls i3S), making it even more fuel efficient than before. What might come as a  surprise to modern bikers is just how great the Splendor’s riding dynamics are even in this day and age.

Hero Splendor+ Price: Rs 69,380 to Rs 71,700 (ex-showroom Delhi)

TVS Radeon

Calling the TVS Radeon as a Splendor++ might sound a bit reductive, but that’ exactly what it is, and we mean it in the best possible way. The Radeon takes everything that the Splendor does, and does it a little bit better - be it equipment levels, handling, performance, comfort and not to forget fuel efficiency - Something that our colleague proved by extracting a mileage of over 100kmpl from our long term Radeon during his commute on multiple occasions. Not only does the Radeon look just that little bit more premium than the Splendor, but prices for the base model with similar equipment levels are actually Rs 10,000 lower.

TVS Radeon Price: Rs 59,925 to Rs 74,966 (ex-showroom Delhi) 

Honda Shine/SP125

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If any singular motorcycle was responsible for changing the expanding the category of commuter bikes in India to encompass 125cc as well, then that was the Honda Shine. It was the first and only 125cc motorcycle in the country to rack up over 1 lakh units in sales per month multiple times. At its heart, it’s still a very basic motorcycle that, like the Hero Splendor, offers high efficiency, reliability and practicality with a little more performance thanks to its 125cc engine. Its BS6 avatar comes with a 5-speed gearbox and a fuel injected motor. Of course, for those who want a Shine, but with a little more visual flair and some more features such as a fully digital instrument cluster and LED headlight can check out the SP125, as long as they’re willing to shell out some extra moolah for it.

Honda Shine Price: Rs 76,314 to Rs 80,314 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Honda SP125 Price: Rs 81,407 to Rs 85,407 (ex-showroom Delhi)  

TVS Raider

The Raider is TVS’ attempt at getting back into the 125cc segment and they’ve chosen to do so with quite a premium product - something to take on the likes of the Honda SP125 rather than the Shine. It might be the most expensive bike here, but then it offers a very youthful design and a whole host of features such as a colour reverse LCD all-digital instrument cluster which displays a gear indicator, distance to empty, average fuel efficiency, a tachometer, clock, among other things, a little bit of underseat storage for your knick knacks, two riding modes - Eco and Power as well as an automatic start-stop system. On top of that, it’s got the most powerful motor amongst all the 125cc commuters.

TVS Raider Price: Rs 84,573 to Rs 90,989 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Bajaj Platina 110

The Platina 110 is Bajaj’s answer to Hero’s venerable Splendor+. While the Platina does undercut the Splendor in terms of price, it’s not offering more features for its price. Instead, its focus is on delivering a significantly more comfortable riding experience. And for that, it comes with a much longer and plusher seat and dual spring gas-filled rear shocks. The other big trump card that the Platina 110 carries is a 5-speed gearbox, giving it much better highway performance and efficiency when compared to its 4-speed 110cc rivals.

Bajaj Platina 110 price: Rs 69,216 (ex-showroom Delhi)


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