Which is your choice from the 125cc bikes in India?
India is a big market for two-wheeler bikes segment. Ranked next only to china, Indian consumers are always on their look out for feature-packed bikes that give value for their money. To cash in on this ever growing sentiment and also the consumer behavior major bike making majors in India from Honda to Bajaj seem to have their focus set on designing, developing and launching models pitted against adversaries in the 125cc bike segment. The best thing about this segment is that the bike models that fall in this category guarantees the basic functionality of say speed, performance and also fuel efficiency at an affordable cost to those bike enthusiasts looking forward to buy a commuter bike for the first time.
In this segment Bajaj has incorporated a new technology in its engine. It is called DTS-Si Digital Twin Spark —Swirl Induction aiming for higher fuel efficiency for its customers-Bajaj Platina DTS-Si. Bajaj strategically focused on its R&D to launch newer models and upgrade already existent ones in this segment. This bikes performs effectively even in low RPMs. Bajaj Platina DTS-Si is best for city rides with soft suspension and drum brakes at both the front and rear ends. The bike is slim and short but it’s not as stunning as the Honda Stunner.
Then, there is Bajaj Discover 125cc. The bike model is quite trendy and stylish. It hit the market with electric start as well as a digital console. But the unique feature of 125 cc model is the digital twin spark ignition (DTS-i) technology. Bajaj Discover 125cc model guarantees better fuel efficiency than its competitors. One can enjoy good riding experience with the Bajaj 125 cc model; however amongst its adversaries in the 125cc segment, Bajaj Discover bike looks smaller.
Now leave the Discover and the Platina behind and get your hands on the new baby Pulsar; Bajaj Auto launched its Pulsar variant P135 LS on December 09, 2009 pitting it against the Honda Stunner. The styling looks good and the split seat and split grab rails with disc brakes in the front and the bikini faring of the headlight all make it quite a decent metal in the 125 cc segment. There are actually many uniques to Pulsar 135cc, and it certainly is a value for money from the looks (a Rs. 51,000 ex-showroom price in Delhi) and we will come out with a detailed review on the Pulsar 135 in the coming days.
Honda Stunner from the Honda stable has been an impressive bike in this segment wooing youth for sometime now. The bike’s engine generates 11 bhp at 8000 rpm and can accelerate to 60kmph in just 5.2 seconds. Now that makes the Honda Stunner the fastest bike in the 125cc segment. Besides stunner has killer looks with a stepped-up seat and fuel tank. The buzz with the Honda stunner is its gorgeous styling with also the extended cowl. Again, Honda stunner is better suited for rides on the city roads than cruising along the highways. Weight distribution in this bike is quite impressive. Stunner has been raved for its excellent brakes as well. This is the bike that oozes in style statement and definitely for the under-20 bike riders.
Another good blend of high-end sports bike and low-end bikes of the 100cc is the Hero Honda Glamour. Glamour is a 125cc. bike from Honda and the styling of this bike is quite unique with hood, and tweaked headlamp and tail lamp designs. It features 4-speed gear system and gives good riding experience to riders even at that high speeds.
The Honda bikes are great for the first-time bike enthusiasts and if you think of upgrading your bike in the later years, Hero Honda bikes also come with good resale value as the engines provide with great mileage even after that long-term use.
But if you are looking for a decent look and do not want to compromise on mileage Honda Shine is a sure good bet. It does not feature that sporty look thingy and appeal, but has an in-built comfort level that any office commuter would definitely like to enjoy on a day to day basis. At low speed one can enjoy excellent acceleration, however, you cannot expect a second glance as Honda Shine is not a bike with beauty; it’s the bike designed just for comfort. This bike is designed to cater to a different segment of population and college goers aren’t given a thought when it was designed and developed.
Then, from the TVS stable there is a new warhorse which is TVS Flame DS 125cc. The Flame DS 125 is a re-launch of already existent Flame; however it comes with new technology developed with TVS’ collaboration with Austria-based AVL. The 125cc engine with three valves is tweaked to give superior performance as well as improved fuel efficiency. TVS Flame DS125 is also the first and the only bike with 3-valve and the twin-spark plug technology (finally the legal feud between Bajaj and TVS ended and Flame DS125 is the first launch from TVS after that). The new TVS Flame DS 125 comes with a price tag of Rs. 49,200 and it just a little higher than the existent Flame. Available in the color options of red and black, this should be a deal for the money.
So, for the Indian roads, the 125cc segment is getting hotter and hotter with newer launches, upgrades and makeovers quite often. Grabbing the market share with innovative products has been the mantra adopted by most of the bike makers in India. However, the one that sells the most will depend on the particular population segment. If you are a college-goer and would love to sport a style it might be Honda Stunner, but if you are looking for a commuter bike that is a value for money you could probably settle in with the Bajaj bikes.