As another eventful year draws to a close, we couldn’t help but wonder which was the fastest bike that we laid our hands on in 2018. This year saw many manufacturers update their bikes with various upgrades. Some, like Yamaha, even launched all-new versions of their popular motorcycles. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be quite a task selecting the right one as far as performance is concerned. Hence, we’ve compiled a list of five of the fastest bikes, all of which are priced under Rs 1.5 lakh (ex-showroom), we’ve tested this year.
No.5: Suzuki Gixxer SF Fi ABS
Price - Rs 97,007 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Suzuki’s Gixxer and Gixxer SF are two of the most popular motorcycles in the 160cc segment thanks to their sporty looks, refined engine and overall reliability. While both bikes received ABS this year, everything else is pretty much the same as last year’s versions. Both still pack the same 154.9cc single-cylinder engine (14.8PS/14Nm) that critics still rave about.
In our recent tests, the faired Gixxer SF Fi ABS sprinted from 0-60kmph in 5.21 seconds, while 0-100kmph was achieved in 17.56 seconds. However, considering the fact that some of the bikes on this list are more affordable while being much faster, it’s no surprise that the Gixxer SF Fi ABS takes the last place on our list.
No.4: TVS Apache RTR 160 4V
Price - Rs 91,810 (ex-showroom Delhi)
The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is one of the best motorcycles you can buy this year. Period. This is due to the fact that it can do a lot of things very well - commuting, corner carving or even munching miles on the highway.
Its updated 159.7cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine now churns out 16.8PS of power and 14.8Nm of torque at 6500rpm, giving it the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. This Apache sprints from 0-60kmph in 5.04 seconds while 0-100kmph is achieved in 15.36 seconds. While these numbers are impressive, it is surprisingly not the fastest 150cc motorcycle out there. To know which one’s the fastest, stay tuned!
No.3: Hero Xtreme 200R
Price - Rs 89,900 (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Hero Xtreme 200R, which was first showcased as a concept at the 2016 Auto Expo, was finally launched this year. While it may not be an outright performance machine, Hero's intention here was to make a usable 200cc machine targeted towards everyday use.
And the numbers agree with that sentiment. Its 199.6cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine churns out a humble 18.4PS of power and 17.1Nm of torque. While it may not be as powerful as the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 or the Apache RTR 200 4V, it still managed to cover 0-60kmph in 4.98 seconds, while 0-100kmph was achieved in 14.92 seconds. For the price Hero offers it at, the Xtreme 200R doesn’t seem like a bad buy, does it?
No.2: TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Edition Fi ABS
Price - Rs 1,10,805 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Along with its younger sibling, TVS also updated the Apache RTR 200 4V with cosmetic updates, optional dual-channel ABS and a slipper clutch. It still packs the same 197.75cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine that produces 20.5PS (Carb) and 21PS (Fi) of power, with a peak torque of 18.1Nm. In our review of the Fi variant, we found that you don't need to rev a lot to extract a healthy amount of performance from it.
Pull the throttle and the bike sprints from 0-60kmph in 4.67 seconds. However, it does run out of steam post 7000rpm. As a result, 0-100kmph is achieved in 13.47 seconds. But that's still not enough to finish first on our list. And not surprisingly, the crown goes to….
No.1: Yamaha R15 V3.0
Price - Rs 1,27,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
How can we not mention the Yamaha R15 V3.0 when talking about high-performance budget motorcycles? For 2018, Yamaha brought an extensive number of updates for the R15, including an improved engine, different ergonomics and more. Powering the bike is a 155cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. It’s also the only bike in the segment or price point to feature Variable Valve Timing (VVT). It now makes 19.3PS of power while the torque output remains similar to the R15 Version 2.0 at 15Nm.
So how do these numbers affect real world performance? Well, 0-60kmph is achieved in just 3.40 seconds while 0-100kmph takes 11.42 seconds. Not only does it make it the fastest in this list, it is also faster than the more expensive KTM 250 Duke and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300! No wonder then that the Yamaha R15 remains such a popular motorcycle among Indian bikers.