Here’s the list of motorcycles that are best suited for road trips and long-distance rides in India.
Gone are those days when we all were left with just a couple of small capacity 200-250 motorcycles or a Royal Enfield Bullet for long-distance touring. The Indian two-wheeler market has matured a lot in the last ten years, and in recent times, has seen a gradual shift towards an increase in interest in big capacity motorcycles, which offer a good blend of both performance and comfort.
Following is a list of ten such modern motorcycles which offer a perfect option when you are bitten by the bug of riding on open roads for long without breaking a sweat:
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird was one of the most comfortable small capacity motorcycles for long-distance road trips. The motorcycle was replaced by the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350, which apart from having a new BS6 compliant engine, also featured a host of visual tweaks over the Thunderbird.
With the Meteor 350, Royal Enfield introduced its new tripper navigation system for directional guidance via Bluetooth, which comes in handy for long-distance trips. Powering the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 cruiser is a single-cylinder air-cooled engine that makes 20.4 PS of maximum power and 27 Nm of maximum torque.
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Suzuki Gixxer SF 250
The full fairing bodywork, tucked-in riding position and small windscreen of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 give a proper big bike feel to the rider. This underrated motorcycle offers a lot of comforts and an ample amount of power on tap, thus making it a good companion for long distances.
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is an underrated motorcycle, which shares its single-cylinder, air-cooled, engine with its naked counterpart, the Gixxer 250. Coupled with a 6-speed gearbox, this engine produces 26.5 PS of maximum power and 22.5 Nm of maximum torque. The clip-on handlebars and rear-set footpegs make the riding posture sportier for a better high-speed riding experience.
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Royal Enfield Himalayan
As the name suggests, the Royal Enfield Himalayan has been created for some treacherous terrains and roads that make it one of the finest small capacity adventure tourers. The overall design looks raw and basic, but the Himalayan feels mechanically sorted well with its torquey engine, long-travel suspension and 21-inch front wheel.
During the BS6 transition, the Royal Enfield Himalayan got a slew of minor updates, including the addition of a Tripper navigation system from Meteor 350. The single-cylinder, air-cooled 411cc engine, however, remains the same, which now breathes out 24.3 PS of maximum power and 32 Nm of maximum torque.
BMW G 310 GS
The GS range of adventure tourers has gained a commendable reputation all over the world, with all of them having commanding tall stance, comfortable ride quality and smooth and torque engines being its highlights. The BMW G 310 GS is the smallest and range starting model of the entire GS range.
The BMW G 310 GS is designed on the lines of other bigger GS models like F 850 GS and R 1250 GS. The small capacity adventure tourer shares its single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 313cc engine with the G 310 R. This engine pumps out decent figures of 34 PS of maximum power and 28 Nm of maximum torque.
KTM 390 Adventure
One of the best single-cylinder adventure motorcycles money can buy in India, the KTM 390 Adventure has got its basics right – the Duke 390 derived chassis and powertrain already makes up for a fantastic base, to begin with. For the 390 Adventure, KTM made several changes to ergonomics, stance and tyres over the Duke 390, making it a perfect motorcycle suited for long-distance touring.
As said above, the 390 Adventure has the same single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 373.2cc engine as the Duke 390. Here, the engine has been mildly retuned and makes 43.5 PS of maximum power and 37 Nm of peak torque outputs.
Bajaj Dominar 400
For its price, there is nothing that comes closer to the Bajaj Dominar 400, when it comes to long-distance touring credentials. The low slung naked roadster from Bajaj Auto has been designed with hints of a cruiser motorcycle, which can be sensed in its slightly relaxed riding posture long-wheelbase over a conventional roadster.
One of the best value-for-money motorcycles available in India, the Bajaj Dominar 400 gets a detuned version of Duke 390’s single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 373.2cc engine. Here in the Dominar 400, the engine churns out 40 PS of power and 35 Nm of torque.
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
All the Royal Enfield motorcycles are known for their prowess in long-distance comfort, which is topped up by the flagship model Interceptor 650. When launched, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 dropped a lot of jaws with its package to price ratio, as its twin-cylinder engine configuration gives it a much more value over similarly priced single-cylinder motorcycles.
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 gets the biggest and most powerful engine Royal Enfield has ever produced – a parallel-twin, air-cooled, 648cc engine, which makes 47.6 PS of power and 52 Nm of torque.
Honda CB 500X
The more-than-expected pricing of the Honda CB500X must have come across as a disappointment for a lot of potential buyers and enthusiasts. But move over its unjustified price tag, and you will realize what a sweet machine the Honda CB500X is. This semi-faired long-distance tourer has got all the right ingredients – a tall stance, capable and supremely reliable engine and great riding ergonomics.
The Honda CB500X sources its power from an internationally acclaimed liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, 471.03cc engine, which puts up 47.5 PS of maximum power and 43.2 Nm of maximum torque.
Benelli TRK 502X
This is one motorcycle that gives you the most amount of motorcycle for the price it asks. The sheer size of the Benelli TRK 502X is very impressive for the entry-level middleweight motorcycle segment to which it belongs. The proper adventure tourer stance of a big bike gives it an unmistakable road presence.
The tall and beefy stance, huge windscreen, bigger tyres with spoke wheels are the factors that make the Benelli TRK 502X an out-and-out adventure tourer. The TRK 502X is armed with a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin 500cc engine, which produces 47.5 PS of maximum power and 46 Nm of maximum torque.
Kawasaki Ninja 650
The motorcycle which started the middleweight revolution in the Indian two-wheeler market, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 is a machine that has proven its mettle over the last decade continuously, making it an option one can’t go wrong within any sense. The Kawasaki Ninja 650 is a typical Japanese sports bike – nimble, refined and reliable.
The Kawasaki Ninja 650 has received a lot of changes in terms of its visual appeal and list of features in the last 10 years since it arrived in India. However, the mainstay of the Ninja 650 has remained more or less the same for most of the time – its sweet liquid-cooled, parallel-twin 649cc engine. The engine now makes maximum power and torque outputs of 68 PS and 64 Nm respectively.