If the 2019 Dominar 400 doesn't quite catch your fancy, you could have a look at some other offerings around the same price range
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 has been launched in India at Rs 1.73 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). Interestingly, for a premium of just under 11,000 (compared to the earlier Dominar), the bike comes equipped with premium upside-down forks, a new dual-barrel exhaust, new mirrors and forged aluminium mirror stalks. Aside from this, the bike also gets new colour options, hooks for bungee straps under the pillion seat and most importantly a power bump of 5PS over the outgoing models which made 35PS. All this while toning down some of the vibrations that the older model was plagued with. A remarkable improvement, if you ask us. However, if you still think the updated Dominar 400 isn’t the bike for you, there are a couple of options you could have a look at around the same price range. Starting off with..
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X ABS - 1.63 lakh
Granted it isn’t a sports tourer, but the Thunderbird 350X lets you roll in style with sufficient power on tap for a laid back ride. Besides, the well-cushioned seat, comfortable ergos and a massive 20-litre fuel-tank tick all the right boxes for a tourer. Dial in the bikes neo-retro looks and the quintessential RE thump and you have a fan following that’s second to none. Much like the Dominar 400, the bike comes equipped with dual-channel ABS as standard. That said, with a weight of 197kg (kerb), it’s a little over 10kg heavier than the Dominar 400, which might be a bit of a hassle for slim or short riders. Add the fact that it lacks features and premium mechanicals and the Dominar feels like a much better option.
Jawa ABS - Rs 1.72 lakh
Second in line would be the latest offering in the classic motorcycle segment, the Jawa. While it doesn’t stand a chance against the Dominar 400 in terms of power and features, it does bring something that’s very popular among the masses - its classic retro charm. And while its 293cc engine isn’t as powerful as the Dominar’s, it does manage to outdo Royal Enfield’s 350cc mill in terms of performance. And let’s not forget, it’s fairly refined as well. What you also get is a comfortable ride, a sweet-looking engine and the opportunity to join a massive cult following. You also have the option to choose from a single-channel or dual-channel ABS setup. We, on the other hand, would strongly recommend you to opt for the latter.
Royal Enfield Himalayan-FI: Starts at Rs 1.80 lakh
It’s the most affordable adventurer tourer in the market, well, at least until the Hero XPulse 200 comes along. The RE Himalayan kills two birds with one stone. It tackles off-road duties or touring on weekends and handles daily commutes on weekdays. And compared to the Dominar 400, the Himalayan gets long-travel suspension, 21-inch front and 17-inch rear spoke wheels with dual-purpose tyres, a tall windscreen, front beak and an upswept exhaust for better water wading capabilities. Additionally, dual-channel ABS and a sump guard come as standard. Throw in a set of panniers to the mix and you have one of the best tourers in the market that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Honda CBR250R ABS - 1.94 lakh
The Honda CBR250R maybe an old timer compared to its rivals, but still proves to be a pretty good option. For instance, you could easily mistake the CBR250R for a Ducati SuperSport from afar thanks to its new LED headlight setup. Apart from this, the bike gets features that include a full fairing, a semi-digital instrument console, clip-on handlebars and dual-channel ABS. Granted you’re not going to get the outright power of the Dominar, but you do get decent highway performance, a refined motor and a fairing that keeps windblast away from the rider at higher speeds. The unmatched reliability aspect from Honda and low maintenance costs also works in the bike’s favour.
KTM 250 Duke - Rs 1.94 lakh
If you’d like to hop onto the KTM bandwagon instead, the 250 Duke could be a really good option. It looks almost identical to the KTM 390 minus the overwhelming power from the motor, LED lights and the full-TFT display. But that doesn’t mean it lacks features. In fact, the 250 Duke features a full-digital instrument console with a host of information, LED DRLs up front and premium mechanicals and a trellis frame that gives the bike its razor-sharp handling dynamics. So if you’re an intermediate rider looking to hone your skills, the bike would fit right in. However, some riders may find the 250 Duke’s riding posture somewhat aggressive for touring. You won’t get the straight line performance of the new Dominar though. But the 250 Duke will make up for this with lower weight and a better handling package.