With car sales down, it has been quite a challenge that the automotive industry is facing. However, there is one part of it that is doing well and that is the motorcycle segment. Most of the concentration with regards to sales has been the 100-110cc commuter bike segment.
The segment has already registered over 6.2 million sales in the financial year of 2013-14. The success has been thanks to the concentration of the companies on mileage over power. Hero Motocorp over the years has had strong presence in this segment but bikes like Honda's Dream Neo has managed to give the likes of the Splendor tough competition.
TVS recently made the headlines by introducing the Star city+ and Yamaha too has announced plans to manufacture world's cheapest motorcycle costing ₹ 30000 in India to attempt and establish themselves in the commuter bike segment.
With more than 20 offerings in this segment we give you the top picks:
TVS Star City Plus
TVS is back with the launch of the Star City Plus which is the latest avatar from the Star bike family. The bike was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo and is a refreshed and premium variant aimed to attract young buyers who are now spoilt for choice in this continuously growing entry-level motorcycle segment. Since this is the most recent one to be launched we wait to see how the market reacts to it. But TVS has made it one competitive bike. (Read: Star City Plus Review)
Price: ₹ 44,000 (ex-Showroom, Delhi)
Claimed Mileage: 86 km/l
Now, there is a slight confusion over the number of Splendors in the market. There is the Splendor Plus, Splendor Pro, Splendor NXG and the latest of them all, the Splendor i-smart. With so many versions, it is easy to see how successful this bike has been for Hero. The easy to maintain 100cc engine, has made life easier for customers and with the i-smart the company is taking it to the next level. The i-smart has a new technology developed by the company called the i2S. This green technology helps the engine to shut automatically when idling and turns it on when needed thus increasing the fuel efficiency. So, a Start/ Stop function in a bike.
Price: ₹ 42,750-48,550
Engine: 98cc - 104cc
Mileage: 65-70 km/l
Honda Dream Neo
The Honda Dream Neo was the 2014 NDTV motorcycle of the year in the upto 110cc segment. It is the first commuter segment bike from HMSI to get HET or Honda Eco Technology. The styling and mature looking bike with an analogue speedometer and fuel-gauge was an instant hit. Value for money is the only way to describe this bike.
Price: ₹ 43,842-47,869 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Claim mileage: 72 km/l
Now some might say that this is an old bike and yes it has been in the market for a while now. The sharp looks and slightly raked rear shows that the target audience is the youth. With the 110 cc engine and the smooth gear box the Twister scores high on ride and handling as well.
Price: ₹ 47,691
Claim mileage: 74 km/l
Bajaj Discover 100M
Now, one cannot completely discount Bajaj from this competition and with the Discover line-up of bikes it caters to a different sub-section in the commuter bike segment. The entry level Discover model has defiantly eaten up a small slice from the big cake which is dominated by Hero MotoCorp.
Visually the 100M and 100T are no different as the bikes come with a muscular fuel tank and alloy wheels very much like the 125ST. The 100M misses out on a monoshock and the fuel switch on the side panel.
Rest all features are very similar to the Splendor pro series - Electric start, low maintenance battery,4 valve engine but Bajaj has managed to make its bike look better.
Price: ₹ 48,028
Claimed mileage: 82 km/l