Touring Tips: The Best Touring Bikes On A Budget
Modified On Jul 18, 2020 03:51 PM By Benjamin Noel Gracias
Want to get into the touring game? You will need a good tourer first
‘The only prerequisite to motorcycle travel is a set of two perfectly-aligned wheels and an engine that is capable of propulsion.’ These wise words by a wise colleague imply that you can tour on any bike if you want to. That said, there are some motorcycles that are more adept at touring than others. We pick up the best touring bikes for every budget upto Rs 3 lakh. Here are some fine examples:
Upto Rs 1 lakh: Bajaj Pulsar 125
While there are other good 125cc options like the Honda SP 125 out there, we feel the Bajaj Pulsar 125 Split Seat variant will be more suited for touring duties. For one, this top spec variant shares the same seat as the larger Pulsars and is wide and comfortable. The 125cc motor is a refined unit and offers a great balance between power and fuel efficiency. Other positives are a robust build, affordable spare parts that are easily available thanks to Bajaj’s vast service network, alloy wheels, tubeless tyres and a standard disc brake on the SS variant. The Bajaj Pulsar 125 Split Seat costs Rs 94,088 (on-road, Delhi).
Also read: Touring Tips: 5 Do’s And Don’ts
Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh: Bajaj Pulsar 220F
The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V might be a better all rounder motorcycle but we feel that the Bajaj Pulsar 220F is the better tourer. It has a more powerful motor that feels relaxed at highway speeds. The larger bodywork also offers more space for the rider, pillion and saddlebags. Other major highlights are the large and comfortable seats and a projector headlamp setup that offers brilliant illumination. The Bajaj Pulsar 220F is priced at 1,40,949 (on-road, Delhi).
Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh: Bajaj Dominar 250
Who would have thought that the Bajaj Dominar 250 would turn out to be a better tourer than the larger Dominar 400? The baby Dominar gets all the good bits from its larger sibling like an immensely powerful LED headlamp, a large bodywork that offers space for both rider and luggage and comfortable riding position. Its KTM 250 Duke derived motor offers fantastic refinement and feels unstressed at highway speeds. The 250cc motor is more adept for touring than the 373cc motor on the Dominar 400. It is a bike you can comfortably tour on all day long. The Dominar 250 costs Rs 1,85,144 (on-road Delhi).
Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh: Royal Enfield Himalayan
Easily the best adventure tourer you can buy this side of Rs 5 lakh, the Royal Enfield Himalayan has a lot going for it. Its utilitarian design and exposed tubing allow you to easily mount touring accessories such as saddlebags and an auxiliary fuel cans. Also, the minimal panels mean that it can take all forms of beatings and falls. The upright riding position and comfortable seat lets you spend hours riding the bike without a break. Its torquey motor feels at ease both riding down the highway and clearing off road obstacles. The only negative we could think of is the lack of tubeless tyres. It is a fantastic bike to ride all the way to Ladakh. The Himalayan’s prices start at Rs 2,21,410 and go up to Rs 2,26,438 (both on-road, Delhi).
Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh: KTM 390 Duke
There are not many good touring bikes in this price bracket so we would suggest stretching your budget slightly over Rs 3 lakh and going for the KTM 390 Duke. The Duke impresses with its strong performance, an upright riding position and a comfortable seat. Its exposed subframe also makes it easy to mount saddlebags. The KTM 390 Duke has been a popular choice for touring enthusiasts and as a result, there is a vast abundance of touring accessories for the bike. The main issue we found with the 390 Duke was its weak LED headlamp so you might have to splurge on a set of auxiliary lamps. The 390 Duke costs Rs 3,01,689 (on-road, Delhi).