Helpdesk: Which 200cc bike to buy?
Q: I am currently using an Apache RTR 160 but looking at upgrading to a 200cc motorcycle. The 200 Duke was my obvious choice, but with the RC 200 out in the market, I am confused. I ride about 1,000km a month including town commutes and touring. I've heard that the RC is a pure track tool and not the best for long rides. Does it make sense for touring? Should I consider other motorcycles from Royal Enfield, Honda, Hero and Bajaj? Also, when is TVS-BMW launching the 200-250cc motorcycle in India?
A: The TVS-BMW bikes will come later this year - that is all we know at this time. Both the KTMs are set-up stiffer, and while the RC is a tad stiffer than the Duke, the difference isn't night and day. We feel the ability to tour is a state of mind more than anything. Having said that, there isn't anything mechanical that stops either of the motorcycles from doing it. But we also suggest you to take a look at the Apache RTR 200 4V. You might like it a lot considering you are already a TVS user. It handles well and is powerful enough. The gearing and power delivery are well suited to urban use too. It will also not shy away from the odd bit of touring every now and then.
Q: I've owned a Pulsar 180 for the past eight years. I want to upgrade to the KTM 390 Duke but am concerned because I've heard that the motorcycle has a lot of niggles like coolant and oil leakage, cracked rims and engine stalling. Do these problems still exist in the 2015 model? Does it make sense to wait for the Pulsar 400 series and the Hero HX250R? My budget is around Rs 2 lakh.
A: We believe the issues have been rectified and the 390 should be trouble free. The Pulsar 400s as well as the HX250R should also come by the end of this year.
Q: I am considering buying a 250cc motorcycle. I am confused between the upcoming Yamaha YZF R25 and the Hyosung GT250R. Which one should I go for?
A: We don't know for sure if the Yamaha R25 is coming, but the R3 is already here. The Korean bike, on the other hand, is large, uncomfortable and not very fast. We do not recommend buying it. Between the R3 and the Ninja 300, the R3 is a better buy. It delivers more power and has way more torque all through the rev range. The only problem we've had with the R3 is with the MRF tyres, but that's rectifiable with stickier Pirelli rubber.
Q: I currently ride a Yamaha YZF-R15 but want to upgrade to a newer sportsbike. The following are my choices Honda CBR250R, Bajaj Pulsar RS200 and the Yamaha YZF-R15 V 2.0. Please let me know which motorcycle according to you comes on top?
A: The new Yamaha YZF-R15 is actually the same motorcycle as yours with minor tweaks. It's excellent but not an upgrade. The Honda CBR250R isn't a genuine sportsbike but is more like a sports tourer. The Honda is also a very old design that hasn't been updated yet. In that sense, we don't think it is an upgrade worth spending money on. The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 is a good upgrade, but be clear that you're going to keep it only for two-three years. It will age rapidly and the fairing will begin to rattle shortly. If you want a serious sportsbike, see if you can get the KTM RC 200 (small budget stretch) or the Yamaha YZF-R3 (big budget stretch). The best deal of all, however, is the KTM RC 390.
Q: I am looking to buy a motorcycle in the sub-200cc category. Which is the best option that's also currently available? I need one as soon as possible. Also, is Bajaj launching a fuel-injected version of the Pulsar 200NS anytime soon?
A: The 200NS FI rumours have been around for a while, but we're not sure if we can recommend waiting. The nearest thing to that is the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V which does have a fuel-injected version. However, I would say that you should wait for the ABS model to come in a few months' time and then buy that.
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