A sports bike on a 3L rupee budget: What are my options?

Cruisers like the Honda CB350 look good, but I want something more performance oriented that the cruisers aren’t meant for.

BHPian bigolp recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I am looking for a budget superbike or a sports tourer which I can use for daily commute as well as on occasional long tours. Cruisers like the Honda CB350 look good, but I want something more performance oriented that the cruisers aren’t meant for.

It’s unlikely that I’ll face Bangalore-like traffic during daily commute. For tours, I don’t plan to cover areas like Ladakh, so too much off-roading or hills is unlikely except for occasional gravel roads and muddy puddles.

My budget is 2.5 lakhs (on road). I can stretch it to 3.

Suggest me a bike please. I don’t plan to buy a second hand bike.

Additional preferences:

  • Something that’s comfortable for hours of ride. 3-4 hours of continuous riding/driving shouldn’t be an issue. Pillion support isn’t mandatory.
  • Suspensions that allow running over potholes/bumps without too much of an issue. Take the Meteor 350 for example – you’ll fly off if you miss one (pothole/bump) .
  • Can lean confidently. Nothing insane, but leaning at 60s and 70s should be possible on moderately curved roads.
  • Non-naked bikes > Naked bikes. But I’m fine with naked bikes too if there aren’t many options.
  • Don’t suggest KTM.

Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Why donโ€™t you do some own research and draw up a shortlist of bikes which meet these pricing and performance criteria – because of the top of my head they donโ€™t match up. Once you have a shortlist, the forum can weigh in on which of these might suit your use case the most.

Personally Iโ€™m not aware of any meaningful options within the price range you have indicated. If there is some flexibility on the pricing front, I think the new Himalayan will be your best choice of general all rounder. Second to that Iโ€™d recommend the Speed / Scrambler as worthy contenders.

Here’s what BHPian ebonho had to say on the matter:

Buy the Triumph Speed 400. Or the Scrambler version with a slight budget stretch if you want a slightly larger bike and envisage pillion use.

Here’s what BHPian BleueNinja had to say on the matter:

I don’t think you can get a superbike that too a brand new one for the prescribed price by you. However, I have few options for you !

Since you mentioned that you would prefered a bike with fairing over a naked you can’t go wrong with these two options. Ninja 300 is a comfortable sports tourer but you will have to stretch a little, where as Gixxer falls within your budget.

  • Gixxer 250
  • Ninja 300

I didn’t recommend R15 because I don’t think it would be comfortable over long journeys as it has a very committed riding position.

Now if we take Naked bikes in consideration:

  • V-strom :- I think this is the best touring option if you can set aside your aesthetic preferences. Suzuki V-strom is a very good highway cruiser and commuter in your budget.
  • Dominar 400/250 :- If you can get dominar 400 then it can be a very good travelling companion. If you don’t want to stretch till 400 then 250 should be fine as well.
  • Speed 400 :- the newest kid on the block. Decent bike.
  • Fz-25 :- this old workhorse from Yamaha is fast, agile and comfortable on long distance rides. I personally have done many Hyderabad – Bangalore trips on this beauty.

Here’s what BHPian iamahunter had to say on the matter:

Ok, so a Faired bike + Comfortable Tourer + Plush suspension + Should lean – KTM.

What you are looking for is one bike to do it all under 3L. I guess, even if you add 20L more, its tough to to get a bike to do it all.

The closest bike I can think of is a Honda CBR250 which is sadly unavailable now.

Yamaha R1, but its possibly too committed for touring (depending on your age and body structure).

VStrom 250 – Possibly the one suited to your needs, but its not a looker from any angle, 19 inch front not too easy to lean as a regular 17 inch wheel.

RE Himalayan – Functional looking bike, don’t expect good cornering (depending on your riding skills)

So there are too many unknown factors, I suggest you go around riding bikes and shortlist what suites you the best, then go thru the forum to understand the advantages and shortcoming of those bikes. Post that, if you’re still in the confusion, we can discuss over here.

Here’s what BHPian Rajeevraj had to say on the matter:

The Suzuki V-Storm 250 seems the only one that will fit into the budget and kind of do all that you asked for.

The new TVS Apache RTR 310 can also be considered. Should fit into the stretched budget.

Triumph 400 will fit in the stretch budget. The Scrambler 400 will probably meet the requirements better, but will be above the stretched budget. Of course, they are not sport/adv kind of bikes.

Not sure of the reason to avoid KTM, but if it is just due to a perception issue, suggest to revisit and also look at the KTM ADV 250. I was also in the ‘no KTM’ mode for a long time till I realized that the ADV 390 was the bike for me.

Suggest you prepare a shortlist and do some test rides, there is no one bike that will be perfect, so it is a matter of which bike you feel most comfortable with and you connect with best.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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