From a proper retro-modern big bike to a Japanese sports tourer, here’s what you can buy for the price of India’s first performance e-bike!
Bengaluru-based startup, Ultraviolette, has launched the F77, India’s first performance electric bike, with a targeted price of around Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.25 lakh (on-road Bengaluru). At this price point, the bike is pretty expensive. But since petrol vehicles haven’t become extinct yet, you still have the option to choose one from a variety of performance-packed, reasonably priced motorcycles instead of the F77. Here are your options:
KTM 390 Duke: Rs 3.2 lakh
The first option would definitely be the KTM 390 Duke as it offers the best performance in its segment, especially at its price point. At Rs 3.2 lakh, the 390 Duke costs as much as the F77 while offering more power (32kW against the F77’s 25kW). However, when it comes to torque, its 37Nm of pulling power is no match for the F77’s 90Nm at the motor.
Despite that, the KTM 390 Duke is faster than the F77. The Duke does the 0-60kmph sprint in 2.77 seconds, while 0-100kmph arrives in 5.98 seconds. This makes it faster than the F77 by 0.15 seconds and 1.05 seconds respectively.
The 390 Duke also offers a relatively more upright riding stance that should help cover long distances on the highway effortlessly. This motorcycle, along with the rest of the bikes in this list, also have the distinct advantage of negligible downtime to refuel. But with the F77, you’ll have to wait for about 50 minutes to reach 80 per cent charge with DC fast charging.
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: Rs 3 lakh
Royal Enfield has absolutely nailed it with the Interceptor 650’s pricing. At Rs 3 lakh, you get a nicely finished neo-retro motorcycle with the invigorating burble of a parallel twin motor. It is also the most affordable big bike in India, effectively giving the masses access to the world of premium biking. The 650cc motor’s torquey character makes it easy to get off the line with 80 per cent of its 52Nm torque available right from 2500rpm. Also, the 270-degree crank ensures the motor is butter-smooth at triple digit speeds. That’s something you normally don’t expect from a Royal Enfield!
While the Interceptor 650 offers excellent value for money, it does have small niggles like the oddly placed footpegs coming in the way of your feet. The seat is also not as comfortable as you’d like and will leave you craving for better cushioning, especially on longer rides.
Honda CB300R: Rs 2.82 lakh
If you want a neo-retro motorcycle with the precision of Japanese engineering, the Honda CB300R is the best bet. Priced at Rs 2.82 lakh, it undercuts the F77 by around Rs 18,000. Sure, the CB300R might not be as performance-packed as the KTM 390 Duke, but it is pretty fun to ride in the twisties.
What adds to the bike’s agility is its feather-light kerb weight of just 147kg, which makes the bike 3kg lighter than the F77! The only downside of this motorcycle is that the ride quality is a bit too firm. Also, the engine could’ve been a little more refined, especially considering it’s a Honda.
Kawasaki Ninja 300: Rs 3.45 lakh
The Ninja 300 is Kawasaki’s most affordable motorcycle in the country, priced at Rs 3.45 lakh. Sure, its price might be a bit on the higher side, but what it offers is a properly refined, rev-happy engine paired to a precise and smooth-shifting gearbox. It also has one of the best heat management in its segment with the motor barely getting uncomfortably hot in city traffic.
Moreover, it also offers comfortable riding ergonomics thanks to the raised clip-on handlebars. This coupled with the 17-litre fuel tank should help you munch miles effortlessly.
All said and done, this comparison will have to be taken with a pinch of salt. That’s because the F77’s deliveries will only commence from October 2020, and the bike will initially be available only in Bengaluru. By the time Ultraviolette starts deliveries of the bike, the prices of its petrol-powered counterparts will also go up considering the transition from BS4 to BS6 emission norms.
All prices on-road Bengaluru.