There are few things that bikers enjoy more than a long road trip. The adventure that is long-distance touring is one of the best ways to escape from the monotony and routine of daily life. And while India gets a lot of stick for its poor road quality, there is absolutely no shortage of amazing road trips one can take in the country. So if that is what you intend to do and you’re having difficulty selecting the right bike, then here are the top 10 Indian bikes for long rides that you should consider.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird
The quintessential Indian cruiser, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird (whether it’s the 350 or 500) is one of the most popular bikes for long road trips and for good reason. It is extremely comfortable, has a large fuel tank and even though it’s not fast, it just makes you feel like a boss when you’re astride it.
Bajaj Avenger Street
The Avenger has always come across the poor man’s Royal Enfield but the new Street variant is just fantastic. The Avenger Street looks refreshingly good, and it really should seeing as it has taken several (if not all) design cues from the Harley-Davidson Street 750 (they even copied the name). But ignoring that, it comes in variants with 150 cc and 220 cc engines and is ridiculously comfortable apart from having decent fuel economy and performance figures.
Comfort, class and cruising. If you want the perfect blend of these attributes, the Harley-Davidson SuperLow is your best bet. The SuperLow is fitted with a 883 cc engine that more power and torque than you’ll ever use. But that isn’t the real reason to go for this bike though; A smooth ride, comfortable cruising position and easy handling which make for the purest of cruising experiences is what makes the SuperLow one of the best bike for road trips.
Honda CBR 250R
If you’re not one for cruiser bikes and would prefer something faster which can tackle the curves of hill stations, then look no further than the Honda CBR 250R. It’s fast, has excellent handling and is unbelievably comfortable for a sports bike. This sports tourer’s engine also happens to be refined enough to handle long stretches at speeds of 100km/hr+ without undergoing any strain.
KTM Duke 390
Powerful, lightweight, and insanely fun to ride, the KTM Duke 390 is a brilliant option if you plan to go on a long road trip. It can hand’e a variety of terrains and its sublime engine will make sure that you always have enough power to keep going. The 2017 KTM Duke 390 happens to look absolutely amazing and also features variable riding modes and an updated ECU in addition to the slipper-clutch, ride-by-wire throttle and standard ABS from the previous model.
Kawasaki Versys 650
The Versys (an amalgamation of Versatile and System) is a bike that really lives up to its name. Once the Japanese company realised that there was a growing need for adventure/tourers in the market, they created the Versys. It is a perfect blend of tourer and adventurer which is powered by the same 650cc engine from the Ninja. In addition to that, it comes with dual ABS, adjustable suspension and the most comfortable riding position ever on a Kawasaki.
Triumph Tiger 800
One of the most well-known adventure bikes across the world, the Triumph Tiger is now making waves in the Indian market. There are 8 variants of the Tiger – 4 adventure focused and 4 touring focused. The Triumph Tiger carries the invulnerable tag of reliability which when coupled with features like traction control, switchable ABS, adjustable seat height and the legendary Triumph 800cc triple, makes for the ideal touring / adventure bike.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
The latest offering from India’s most revered bike manufacturer is a purpose-built adventure touring machine that is unlike anything else the company has ever made before. RE has always been the go-to choice for Indians looking to go on long road trips and while the Thunderbirds and Classics did the job, they could have been better. With the Himalayan, RE are hoping to capture the mass market of road trip enthusiasts who like difficult journeys but don’t have the money to splurge on a Kawasaki or Triumph. The Himalayan is the perfect low-maintenance, reliable and decently powerful bike that will appeal to anyone looking for an adventure without going broke.
The V-Strom is available in two variants – one with a 650 cc engine and the other with a 1000 cc engine. Both engines are extremely refined, as is expected from a Suzuki, and the bike is a very capable adventurer. Apart from that comical beak thing under the headlamp though, the V-Strom is a very good tourer and adventurer that can be ridden in rough terrain as easily as on a smooth highway.
Ducati Multistrada 1200
Leave it to the Italians to fit a superbike-spec engine in an adventure bike and that’s exactly what they’ve done with the newest Multistrada. Powered by a massive 1200 cc engine that produces a whopping 162 PS of power and 136 Nm of torque, the Multistrada is the best way to cover distances regardless of the road’s conditions. Add to that a ridiculously long list of best-in-class features and you have your dream bike for your next road trip, provided of course you can shell out the money that all Ducatis demand.
Which one of these top 10 Indian bikes for long rides will be your first choice. Let us know in the comments below.