Most people think of bikes as performance oriented machines that need to have outrageously powerful engines to ensure the rider reaches from point A to point B in a matter of seconds. However, the truth is, in India you will mostly use your bike for riding to work or occasionally to go touring; that is when comfort becomes paramount.
Here we take a look at the top five most comfortable motorcycles in India that are priced below Rs.2 lakh.
Bajaj Avenger 220
The Bajaj Avenger is the cheapest, most frugal and the most comfortable entry level cruiser you can buy in India. By virtue of being a cruiser it is very comfortable with a relaxed riding position, low slung saddle and wide seats. It is one of the best bikes you can use to commute if comfort is your priority.
The Avenger is powered by the same 219.89 cc motor that powers the Pulsar 220. This is a 4-stroke, single cylinder, DTS-i, air cooled (with oil-cooler) motor that makes 18.76 bhp of power at 8,400 rpm and 17.5 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. It comes with an electric start aiding convenience. It is reasonably powerful and smooth as well with enough power at the wheel to fulfill city commuting duties. However for long highway cruises the Avenger lacks top end power and the delivery of power too is not what you would want out on open roads.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350/500
The All new RE TBTS (Royal Enfield Thunderbird) was recently launched in both 350cc and 500cc avatars. The riding position on the TBTS is very comfortable and is ideal for long distance touring. The seats are wide and provide ample cushioning as well. In the city the TBTS has decent low end power and the bike just thumps away from red lights peacefully. It isn’t a very fast bike and you can’t really expect to zoom off from stop lights but once you are in the power band you can easily rev away till kingdom come.
The 350cc TBTS comes with a 346cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, Twinspark, air cooled motor that makes a healthy 19.8 bhp of power at 5,250 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. It comes with a self start as well, though the kick contrary to popular belief is just as easy to use. The 500cc avatar of the TBTS comes with a 499cc single cylinder, 4-stroke, Twinspark, air cooled motor that makes 27.2 bhp of power at 5,250 rpm and 41.3 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Both the bikes are very comfortable to ride and the road presence just adds to the joy of riding one.
Hero Honda Karizma ZMR
The Karizma ZMR is a low capacity sports bike which isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of comfort but when you compare it with other Indian bikes in the price band you realize that it is a very good option. If you aren’t the cruiser motorcycle type and want a comfortable bike the ZMR tops the list. Its riding position is sporty yet relaxed and you don’t sit in a crouched manner with your chest against the fuel tank.
It has a 223cc air cooled, 4-stroke single cylinder, OHC motor that makes 17 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 18.35 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. It reaches from 0-60 kmph in 3.7 seconds; which makes it ideal for those who want a blend of comfort and speed. If you are looking for an attractive looking bike that is fast and comfortable then the Karizma ZMR is a good option.
The Honda CBR250R like the Karizma is also a good option but it gives you better performance than the ZMR. If you want to compromise a bit more on the comfort to performance ratio then the CBR 250R is a very wise buy. It has split seats and the rider gets ample support, the thighs get support from the fuel tank and the position again is not too sporty.
The CBR250R comes with a 249.6cc, liquid cooled, 4-stroke motor that makes 25 bhp of power at 8,500 rpm and 22.9 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. It gets fuel injection and electric start as well. The CBR 250R gets a digital speedometer with an analog tachometer, it sports a 296mm disc up front and a 220mm disc at the rear. It is a comfortable bike to ride but you do need to get used to riding a fully faired bike if you haven’t before. Because of its size it isn’t the easiest bike to chuck into small spaces and requires more patience in traffic. Once you are on open roads however it’s a whole different story!
Royal Enfield Classic/Desert Storm
The RE Classic series and the Desert Storm are all comfortable bikes. The upright riding position may not be the most comfortable but if you take into account the saddle seats it enters a whole new area of comfort. The seat alone, thanks to the spring makes it very comfortable. Going over pot holes and speed breakers is that much less straining on this bike; better even than the TBTS. That’s because the spring seats along with the rear suspension ensure that very little of those bumps filters through. Your spine does not feel the bump like it would on a regular bike.
The handlebar position as many may argue isn’t all the great but one positive about the Enfield is that these aren’t clip-on handlebars and you can change them. In fact there are a lot of handlebars you can choose from in the market although not supplied but RE themselves. The engines one the Classic 350, Classic 500, Classic Chrome and the Desert Storm are the same as the two 350cc and 500cc motors on the TBTS. The power and torque specifications too remain the same.