Bike purchase: 10 cc less can save you 1000 rupees every year - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Bike purchase: 10 cc less can save you 1000 rupees every year

Most of us, while buying a bike look at on road price, power, torque and features offered in various models and select one that appeals to us. 

In premium motorcycle category, there are several models with engine capacity between 150 and 160 cc range.

Under 150 cc we have Bajaj Pulsar P150, Yamaha FZ-S,  Above 150cc we have Yamaha MT15, R15, TVS Apache RTR 160 2V & 4V, Hero xtreme 160 R, Pulsar N160 etc. All these bikes have minor differences in terms of engine power, torque, fuel economy and other parameters. So while you are free to pick any model that you like, one hidden factor can make a difference how much you spend every year.

The factor is 3rd party liability insurance or 3PL.

3rd party liability insurance premium is decided based on engine cc. 

Bike Engine CC

3rd party premium/year

Personal Accident Cover

GST (18%)



Up to 75 cc

538 ₹

350 ₹

160 ₹


75 to 150 cc

714 ₹

350 ₹



207 Rs extra per year


1366  ₹

350 ₹



800 Rs extra per year

350 cc & above

2804 ₹

350 ₹



1700 Rs extra per year

*Indicative pricing. There could be minor difference depending on insurance company. It is possible to skip Mandatory Personal Accident cover if you declare that you already have coverage.

So if you chose a 150cc bike as against a 155 or 160 cc bike, below is what you gain and lose


less than 150 cc

150 cc or more

Savings in 3rd party liability insurance premium

800 INR per year

Fuel expense

Little less

Little more

Own damage insurance

Few hundred rupees depending on IDV

Power, Torque & top speed

Little less

Little more

You may not feel this during initial years, because 5 years of 3rd party liability insurance premium is collected upfront while buying the bike. Even though ex-showroom price of a 150 cc and 160 cc bike could be some 5000-10000 Rs apart, on road price difference will be 2x. You will notice it only when 3rd party insurance comes up for renewal. So make a wise decision- if you are able to manage with a few BHP less power, you can cleverly select a sub 150cc bike instead of 155-160 cc bikes and save a lot. 

1000 INR per year is 10000-15000 INR during the life span of the bike. Of course, premium and tax will only go up over time. May not be huge amount to some of you but at least knowing this helps you make an informed decision.

When I bought my Apache RTR 160 back in 2014 I overlooked this aspect. Else I would have decided on Yamaha FZ-S. Yamaha has played smartly- gen 1 FZ-S had some 153 cc, causing higher 3rd party premium. They cleverly bought it down to 149 Gen 2 onwards. TVS could have done the same- instead of launching a 165cc Apache RTR with higher power, they could have launched a 150cc RTR with same or higher power. Power doesn’t matter for 3rd party insurance premium. My 1.2 liter naturally aspirating Venue S+ that generates only 83 BHP costs me more in insurance premium while more powerful 1 liter turbo engines cost less in terms of 3rd party liability insurance.

The same applies in 350-400 cc category- if you chose above 350cc, be ready to spend 1700-2000 INR more every year just in 3rd party insurance premium. Because of this, we see lots of options at 300-350 cc range (lots of RE models, Honda CB350, CB300 R and F, Apache 310RR,  and very few at 350-400 cc range (Dominar, KTM, Himalayan)

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