Best touring bikes in India under 5 lakhs : BMW, RE, Kawasaki

It makes me very happy to see smaller touring bikes making their way to India. And this year has been exceptionally good, BMW GS 310 is here, and likewise,  KTM has also announced the launch of the 390 adventure.

I feel that for a country like ours, such motorcycles are very much needed and I have two solid points to support what I think. The first being, India has ample of wilderness to explore on two wheels. And the second, majority of the Indian riders want a motorcycle on a budget.

Even if we keep the budget aside, small adventure bikes are undoubtedly perfect for a country like India. You can ride them every day to work and make a mockery of our potholes and unintended speed breakers.

As of now, there are only a few pure breeds of touring bikes for beginners,  so I am going to talk about the bikes which I think are the best touring bikes in India under 5 lakhs.

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Highway Flasher with 10 flash modes for motorcycles.

Which are the best touring bikes in India under 5 lakhs?

 

1) BMW G 310 GS.  

Price – 4,06,451  (On Road, Delhi)

Type – Adventure Tourer

BMW G 310 GS

Seems like BMW is interested in capturing the adventure bikes segment in India.  Last year, at the Auto Expo 2018, they launched the BMW F 750 GS with the F 850 GS and finally, we have the GS 310 adding to the galore of the of adventure bikes in India.

Engine.

It is powered by the same engine as on the BMW R 310 and Apache RR 310 and has been developed in partnership with TVS. The engine produces 34 bhp and can propel the motorcycle up to a top speed on 135 kph.

Design.

The design of the bike is very striking,  it looks like a middleweight adventure bike rather than a beginner in the segment. Also, BMW has equipped the bike with premium parts, and as a result, the overall build quality is surprisingly good.

Highlights.

Premium Equipments.

Dual Channel ABS.

Comfortable Seats.

Premium Equipment and Design.

Check out the full review of BMW 310 GS here.

 

2) Mahindra Mojo XT.

Price – 1,83,032 (On Road Delhi)

Type – Cruiser/Tourer

Mahindra Mojo

For some of you, Mahindra Mojo may be an off-putting motorcycle due to the way it looks. But if you let go of how it seems,  the Mojo is preferably a good bike for touring in India.

Due to the 21-liter fuel tank,  you can ride much more miles than you can on any other touring bikes in India under 5 lakhs.

Engine.

The engine on the Mojo is a 294.72 cc single cylinder engine which produces 26 BHP and 30 NM of torque @ 5500 RPM. This kind of an engine is excellent for touring long distances as it has ample of low-end grunt to pass over obstacles without too much exertion by the rider.

Design.

The Mojo doesn’t look as appealing if you watch it from the front, the headlights and the mask look dated and disproportional to the body. But Mahindra has done a fantastic job of equipping the Mojo with premium parts like Pirelli Tyres, Dual exhaust, USD forks which makes the package more appealing.

Highlights.

Big 21 liter fuel tank.

Low-end Torque in ample.

Premium Equipment (Pirelli Tyres, Dual can exhaust)

Six Speed Gearbox.

Check out the full review of Mahindra Mojo here.

 

3) Royal Enfield Himalayan.

Price – 1,91,980 (On Road Delhi)

Type – Adventure Tourer

Royal Enfield Himalayan

If I talk about affordable touring bikes in India and miss the Royal Enfield Himalayan, you will call me stupid. Himalayan is the most capable adventure touring bike ever built by an Indian manufacturer. Its off-roading capabilities are like none other touring bikes in India under 5 lakhs.

While people still complain about the low-quality parts of the Himalayan, the mettle of this motorcycle has undoubtedly been proven. Adventure riders in India love touring on the Himalayan and go far off places.  Royal Enfield is working to make things better for the Himalayan so that adventure riders in India don’t have to look for anything else in the market.

Update – Royal Enfield launched the ABS version of Himalayan on September 06, 2018  priced at Rs. 1,97,071

Engine.

Royal Enfield developed a 411 cc engine for the Himalayan which pumps out a mild 24 BHP of power and 32 NM of torque @ 4350 rpm which lets the Himalayan a comfortable bike to ride off the road.

Design.

The Himalayan is the best looking Enfield till date. First of all,  I love how handsome the bike look. The styling on the Himalayan is minimal and purposeful. As a result, you won’t worry about breaking things on this motorcycle in case you fall. The Himalayan earns a brownie point from me because of its aesthetic appeal.

Highlights

Long Travel Suspension (200 mm with 41mm Forks)

Minimal bodywork

Spoked Rims

Comfortable Ergonomics

Check out the full review of Royal Enfield Himalayan here

 

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4) Bajaj Dominar 400.

Price – 1,73,000 (On Road Delhi)

Type – Power Cruiser

Bajaj Dominar 400

Dominar by Bajaj is the most affordable touring bike in India which delivers excellent performance. It is not exactly a tourer, but If I were to choose one bike for touring in India on a budget, I’d definitely pick the Dominar. It has all the makings of a good touring motorcycle, except for the buzz that creeps in at higher RPMs. I feel that apart from the buzz, there very less to complain about the bike.

Engine.

A 373 cc engine resides at the heart of the Dominar which produces 35 BHP of power and 35 NM of torque at 6500 rpm.  It is a four stroke, single cylinder engine with Bajaj’s DTS-I technology.

Design.

On the design front, the Dominar is a stunning power cruiser which can be used as an adventure touring bike after some modifications. Likewise, the front headlight is stunning too and adds character to the beefy look of the Dominar. Not only does it look good, but it also performs very well in the dark.

Highlights

Dual Channel ABS.

Slipper clutch.

Powerful LED headlight setup.

Six Speed Gearbox.

Check out the full review of Bajaj Dominar here

 

5) Kawasaki Ninja 300

Price – 3,30,414 (On Road)

Type – Sports Tourer

Kawasaki Ninja 300 2018

If you love to reach places faster and don’t mind a slightly sportier motorcycle, Kawasaki Ninja 300 is what you need. It is the most potent sports touring bike in India under 5 lakhs, and guess what? Kawasaki has made it even cheaper by assembling it in India. Also, the Ninja 300 finally gets  ABS so you can stay safe while touring India on a motorcycle.

Engine

The Ninja 300 is equipped with a 296 cc engine that produces a staggering 39 BHP of power and 27 Nm of torque @ 10000 rpm. The engine is a parallel twin, and as a result, it is gratifying, riders have been using the Ninja as a bike for touring in India since it was launched in 2008.

Design

Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a very premium looking motorcycle. Not only does it seems aggressive, but it also borrows some characteristics from it’s elder brother Ninja 650, which is another excellent sport touring bike in India.

Highlights.

Dual Channel ABS.

Six Speed Gearbox.

Slipper Clutch

Check out the full review of Kawasaki Ninja 300 here

 

bolt touring charger

Bolt Motorcycle Charger for Touring.

6) Apache 310 RR

Price – Rs. 2,47,308 (On Road, Delhi)

Type – Sports Touring.

apache 310 red

Apache 310 is also one of the dynamic motorcycles which you can use for your touring duties. Equipped with the same engine as on the mini BMWs. the Apache’s stance is neutral, not too committed, not too upright. If you ride to Ladakh on a CBR, you can ride it on the Apache too. It has more power, more torque, and ABS.

Engine.

The same engine from the mini BMWs has been used in the Apache, but it produces the power and torque 200 RPMs earlier than the G 310 R. This is because the Apache is a sports bike first.

Design.

The Apache is a beautiful motorcycle, something which people will give a second look at. While touring, the motorcycle can be a good companion because it will save you from the windblast.

Highlights.

Dual Channel ABS.

Six Speed Gearbox.

Slipper Clutch

Check out Apache’s highway touring review here.

Conclusion

For me, these were the best touring bikes in India below 5 lakhs.  Some of you may be wondering why there’s no Kawasaki Versys 300 on the list, and likewise the Ninja 400. They didn’t make it to the list because they do not fall under the 5 lakh bracket (ON ROAD)

If you are having a tough time in figuring out which is the best touring bike in India under 5 lakhs for you, I’d say you think about what is your riding style.  Are you more inclined towards off-roading and taking the beaten path? Himalayan is the bike for you. Buy the Himalayan and spend some amount on getting in adventure-ready and you are good to go. For 2018, the Himalayan gets an ABS too. 

BMW seems to be promising too, but the alloy wheels at that price tag have put me off.  I’d instead suggest you wait for the KTM Duke 390 adventure.

And if you are somehow thinking about buying the Mojo,  you should go for the Dominar, it is a better deal overall. The only compromise you’ll have to make is of the 21-liter fuel tank. But that’s okay because Dominar outweighs the Mojo in every other aspect.

Ninja 300 has returned and with a price tag that is irresistible. If your tours are going to be short, and you need something to flaunt, the Ninja 300 and Apache 310 are the motorcycles you can consider.