My hunt for a new bike for 2024 - eNidhi India Travel Blog

My hunt for a new bike for 2024

I am currently hunting for my next motorbike. I have a 2014 TVS Apache RTR 160, which is an amazing bike

  • Have ridden over 65000 kms over 9+ years across Karnataka, TN, Pondy
  • Gives good 50 kmpl fuel economy and 100-110 kmph top speed
  • Had one accident with it [details], otherwise fairly reliable
  • Have done good maintenance from time to time replacing parts as needed.

As the bike enters its 10th year, I am feeling the need for an upgrade

  • Older bike models don’t have ABS
  • I am missing several modern day features like USB charging, side stand engine cut off, ABS, app based features, mono suspension, BS6 etc
  • As the old bike is aging, maybe it's better to sell off when some life is still left. 3-4 years later it may have to be sold for scrap value.

I’ve set myself below limits

  • Don’t want to go beyond 350 cc. Risky to go too fast, 3rd party insurance premium shoots up and high on maintenance, low on fuel economy
  • Will stick to a bike in 200-300 cc category within a budget of 2-2.5 lakhs. Maybe 50k more if it's really worth it.
  • Don’t want an off roader like Hero Xpulse 200 (off road usage is maybe once in 6 months), don’t want a cruiser like Avenger, don’t want racing bikes like R15. Normal highway bike is fine
  • Not a fan of bullets. I can’t lift them easily if I fall down, so RE models are out.

I considered the following bikes


Shortlisted Bike

On road



TVS Apache RTR 310 

3.6 L

On road price touching 3.5 lakhs, many features I may not need or use, low fuel economy, have to go to Mangalore for service


TVS Apache RTR 200 4V


Good bike but no upgrades since years. If TVS launches a refresh with few more features will consider


KTM 250 Adventure

3.25 L

Expensive and Maintenance heavy

Not a huge fan of KTM. Offroad/adventure usage is limited


Hero Xpulse 200 4V

2.1 L

Offroad/adventure usage is limited- maybe once in 6 months. Not good for highway usage


Hero Xtreme 200 S

1.9- 2 L

About 50-60k cheaper than Karizma XMR but misses on Dual channel ABS, oil cooled engine, LED indicators, 10cc/5PS power etc


Hero Karizma XMR

2.4 L

Looks good, liquid cooled engine, but delivery hasn’t started even after 3 months since launch


Honda CB300F

2.3 L

Recent price cut has made it tempting, comes with all standard features, slightly less power compared to XMR, light enough, refined engine, simple looks


Gixxer 250

2.75 L

Not very keen on Suzuki brand, didn’t evaluate


Yamaha FZ 25

2.2 L

Didn’t like it much


Honda & CB 200X

2.1 L

184cc, bit too large & heavy, good offroad ability but felt not suited for me


Hornet 2.0

1.8-1.9 L

Decent bike, but just matches what I have and will not give much of an upgrade feel, so didn’t consider


Dominar 250

Not seeing much Dominars on the street these days. Didn’t consider any Bajaj models

 On road prices are approx derived from their ex-showroom price (25-30% on top of ex-showroom price)- might vary a bit city to city and depending on variant.

Test drive:

I took a test drive of Karizma XMR, CB300F, CB300R. Xtreme 200S wasn’t available in Udupi. Eventually I’ve shortlisted Honda CB300F,

Karizma XMR vs CB300F

CB300F reviews suggested heavy vibrations after 90 kmph, which was a surprise. But I don’t get to cross 90kmph often, so wanted to check if this is something I can live with.

CB300R vs CB300F

As I visited the Honda Bigwing showroom to check CB300F, I could also check CB300R. CB300R gets a different engine, with liquid cooling, makes more power than 300F and costs 85k more on road. CB300R doesn’t have a key on the tank, USB charging and rear seat grab rails are small and difficult to use.300R gives less fuel economy than 300F and will cost more to maintain. While the CB300R looks unique, I wasn’t sure if I should spend 85k more on it.

TVS RTR 200 4V: I am content with this bike- costs less, has most of the features and serves my purpose fairly well. But TVS hasn’t updated this model since years. If I buy now, high chance that within few months a facelift will launch and I will feel guilty I should have waited.

The final steps:

I’ve almost finalized the CB300F. Will do some more research and will book by Jan 2024. I am still worried about the following

  • If my car is giving 15 kmpl, is it worth buying a bike that gives just 25kmpl?
  • If CB300F's top end performance is limited and there're vibration issues, why not simply stick with RTR200 4V, save some fuel money?
  • Why did Honda reduce CB300F's price so much? 

Let me know your thoughts.

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