Best Premium Bikes In India - Vote For Your Favourite
From KTM 790 Duke to Ducati Panigale V4, these cream of the crop motorcycles might be expensive but are worth every penny you have to pay. And you can choose which one’s the best...
Welcome to the Auto Premier League - India’s only auto awards where you, the reader, have the power to choose the best premium bike of the year. As cliche as the saying goes, “Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul,” you can’t deny how true it is. Technology has come a long way in offering the highest amount of thrills in premium motorcycles, albeit with the safe blanket of sophisticated electronics. The premium end of the segment consists of a variety of motorcycles ranging from the KTM 790 Duke to litre-class track tamers like the new-gen BMW S 1000 RR and Ducati Panigale V4. Here are the choices:
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650:
Priced at a just Rs 2.64 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is by far the most affordable motorcycle in its segment, offering a proper, premium big bike experience. Thanks to the all-new parallel twin engine, the refinement levels are much better than on any other Royal Enfield bikes. More importantly, it has enough grunt to sustain triple digit speeds on the highway effortlessly. That’s something a lot of Royal Enfield enthusiasts craved for. It is also Royal Enfield’s first truly global bike, designed for both local and developed markets.
- A great touring-oriented bike
- Butter smooth engine with loads of torque
- Excellent value for money
- Suspension is set up a little too soft
- Lacks modern features
- Pillion seating posture is rather uncomfortable
Head here for more details regarding the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: https://bit.ly/2Ma4mTy
Before the Royal Enfield 650 twins stole the thunder, the Kawasaki Z650 was one of the most affordable middleweight motorcycles in the Indian market. This successor to the Kawasaki ER-6n featured a whole load of improvements over its predecessor, like a significantly lighter chassis among other things. And now in its 2020 iteration, Kawasaki has taken it up a notch with the introduction of a properly modern TFT instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity, LED headlamp and tail lamp, apart from the greener engine. What’s more, the BS6-compliant motor makes the same amount of power as before, and only a minor drop in torque output.
- Packed with features
- Claims to offer better mid-range torque than the BS4-compliant version
- Looks aggressive
- Low ground clearance
- No electronic aids
- Engine isn’t exactly known to be exciting
For more details, head here: https://bit.ly/2M4OL7M
The Honda CBR650F used to be a capable, no-nonsense inline-four 650cc sports tourer in the country. But the Japanese brand wanted it to be a little sportier and hence launched the new Honda CBR650R. It is the Japanese brand’s second most affordable CKD bike in the country after the Honda CB300R. The Honda CBR650R comes with a slightly more aggressive riding stance, thanks to the new clip-on handlebars. The bodywork is sportier too. Notable features include an all-LED lighting system, full LCD instrument cluster and traction control system.
- Sharp, sporty looks
- More powerful engine than its predecessor
- Is slightly lighter thanks to the new frame and components
- BS6-compliant version hasn’t been launched in India yet
- Even in its BS4 guise, it was one of the most expensive bikes in its segment
For more details about the Honda CBR650R, check this out: https://bit.ly/3cc3fxx
Kawasaki Ninja 650:
The previous Kawasaki Ninja 650 was one of the most popular sport touring machines in the Indian market. It was reasonably affordable, packed a refined engine and was comfortable enough to munch miles effortlessly. These aspects made it a favourite among tourers. And now Kawasaki has further improved the bike in its 2020 iteration, but these enhancements make it a little more expensive as well. The new-gen version gets slightly sharper bodywork like the Ninja 400, complete with LED headlamps. It also packs a modern TFT instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity and new Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres.
- BS6-compliant version does not lose out on power
- Features a modern TFT instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity
- Rolls on grippier Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres
- It has become expensive now
- Not-so-exciting engine
- Lacks sophisticated features like adjustable suspension, radial calipers and electronic aids
Head here for more details about this motorcycle: https://bit.ly/2AcXUc2
Ducati Panigale V4:
The Ducati Panigale V4 is no doubt one of the most beautiful looking supersports in the country. The best bit is that all that beauty is tempered with brawns too, thanks to the MotoGP-derived mechanicals and sophisticated electronic aids. The Ducati Panigale V4R takes madness to a whole new level with even lighter components, aerodynamic package and an explosive 220PS engine. This makes it the most powerful naturally aspirated production motorcycle in the world, hands down!
- Physics defying performance
- Sophisticated electronic aids enhances rider confidence
- Features best-in-class Brembo brakes
- The BS6-compliant version will not be launched in India in 2020
Check out more details about this bike here: https://bit.ly/2ZK9bet
BMW S 1000 RR:
The BMW S 1000 RR was famous for its asymmetrical design and class-leading performance. In fact, it was often considered the benchmark for litre-class track tamers. The new-generation motorcycle seems to have lost its fangs but has become a much more well-rounded supersport that’s friendly for novice riders and yet versatile enough for pros under the right kind of electronics settings. It is also one of the lightest motorcycles in its segment and the first of its kind to feature carbon fibre rims.
- New engine offers impressive performance.
- The bike is a lot more versatile to ride thanks to the Shift Cam technology
- Packs sophisticated electronic aids
- Offers good value for money for a CBU litre-class supersport.
- Could do with better brake bike and feel
- Engine refinement isn’t on par with its Japanese in-line-four rivals
- Limited dealership reach in India
More details about this supersport this way: https://bit.ly/36OqqwV
Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L:
This capable adventure tourer got its name after Honda’s success in the world’s toughest endurance race, the Dakar Rally. It is loaded to the brim with Honda’s latest technologies, the most noteworthy one being the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). This makes the bike a lot more versatile, easily capable of catering to riders of different skill levels. The Africa Twin 1100 packs a bigger, more powerful motor, a more generous fuel tank capacity for superior range and is claimed to be more accessible as well. The one sold in the Indian market is available in both manual and DCT variants.
- Powerful engine
- Gets Apple CarPlay
- Both DCT and manual gearbox options available
- No electronically adjustable suspension
Here’s more information about this adventure tourer: https://bit.ly/3db5PFh
Triumph Tiger 900:
Undoubtedly, the Tiger range is the most popular amongst Triumph’s lineup in India. The Triumph Tiger 900 packs a bigger engine and its internals have been reworked to ensure it rides better both on and off the road. Triumph has also been generous with the equipment list thanks to bits like IMU-based electronic rider aids, sophisticated underpinnings, all-LED lighting system and even smartphone connectivity. The Tiger 900 Rally variant rolls on spoke wheels with tubeless tyres, which really enhance its prowess off the road.
- Better low and mid-range grunt, thanks to the new engine
- All the variants get adjustable suspension and cream-of-the-crop Brembo Stylema calipers
- Rally versions roll on spoke wheels with tubeless tyres
- The variant with the electronically adjustable suspension isn’t available in India
Here are the finer details about this motorcycle: https://bit.ly/2zuyG96
Triumph Street RS:
The Triumph Street Triple RS’ blistering performance, top-notch underpinnings and electronic package has made it the benchmark in the sub-1000cc naked category. The BS6-compliant 2020 iteration is a lot more wholesome to ride thanks to the engine that has been tweaked for superior mid-range grunt.
- Loaded to the brim with performance
- Gets sophisticated, top-end underpinnings
- No increase in price compared to the BS4 version
- Still one of the most expensive bikes in its segment
- No IMU-based electronic rider aids offered
Here are more details: https://bit.ly/2M8UklI
KTM 790 Duke:
KTM finally answered the enthusiast’s prayers for a more powerful orange hooligan by launching the 790 Duke. While it may not be all that impressive on paper, it more than makes up with its sheer visceral performance. It is also loaded with advanced electronics, making it friendly enough for even newbies in the world of big bikes.
- Mental performance
- Features tonnes of electronic aids
- Brakes are impressive
- No sophisticated underpinnings
- Looks similar to the KTM 390 Duke
- Price is a little on the higher side
Check out more details about the scalpel here: https://bit.ly/3c8qUyU
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