The MT-15 seems like a tempting option, but what else could you buy for around the same price?
The Yamaha MT-15 sure is an intriguing option but at a price tag of Rs 1.36 lakh, it’s positioned on the premium side of the 150cc segment. Not only this, it misses out on crucial features like an aluminium swingarm, upside-down forks, and those funky-coloured wheels that are offered on the Indonesian-spec model. Another big letdown is that the bike misses out on dual-channel ABS that’s available on its faired sibling, the R15 V3.0, and makes do with a single-channel setup instead. So if you feel your money is better spent elsewhere, there are a couple of options that make a pretty good argument for themselves by offering more power and features. Starting off with Yamaha’s own backyard...
Yamaha FZ25: Rs 1.33 lakh
Retailing for Rs 3000 less than the MT-15, it is nakedly apparent that the FZ25 makes a lot more sense. You get a muscular design, a relaxed and easygoing ride, dual-channel ABS as standard, and most importantly a suspension setup that’s tuned to glide over bumps and potholes. It uses a 249cc single-cylinder engine that generates 20.9PS at 8,000rpm and 20Nm at 6,000rpm. As a result, the FZ25 makes for a good city dweller as it makes most of its power in the low and mid-range, which helps during quick overtakes. We’ve also listed down the differences between the R15 V3.0 and the MT-15 here.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200 ABS: Rs 1.39 lakh
The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 costs slightly more than the MT-15 but it offers more performance per buck and a full fairing for better aero. It’s powered by a 199.5cc single-cylinder mill that makes 24.5PS at 9,750rpm and 18.6Nm at 8,000rpm. Essentially, its rev-happy motor produces more power on paper while its perimeter frame should offer similar handling dynamics if not better than the MT-15. To add to this, the RS200’s ergonomics allows you to tour as well are carve corners if need be. Furthermore, the use of a single-channel ABS unit puts it at the same standpoint as the MT-15. Overall, the Pulsar RS200 is a well-balanced bike with a powerful motor and a chassis that supports its sporty character.
KTM 125 Duke: Rs 1.18 lakh
If you’re graduating from a scooter, the KTM 125 Duke could be the perfect beginner’s bike for you. It isn’t intimidating like the rest of its siblings but offers similar handling dynamics. Plus, you get the satisfaction of owning a purebred KTM. To add to this, the bike offers a ton of kit for the price of Rs 1.18 lakh. It gets a feature-packed instrument console, premium upside-forks, an aluminium swingarm, single-channel ABS, radial tyres and radially mounted calipers.
Its 124.7cc motor is good to produce 14.5PS and 12Nm and comes mated to a 6-speed transmission. It’s rather light, weighing in at just 148kg; however, a saddle height of 818mm works against shorter riders. On the flipside, fast learners are likely to outgrow the bike pretty soon as the bike’s performance can soon prove to be just-not-enough.
Jawa Forty-Two: Rs 1.55 lakh
Of course, you could also opt for some classic motorcycles -- the Forty-Two maybe? Yes, the Jawa is around Rs 19,000 dearer than the MT-15. Plus, it won’t handle near as good as the naked sportster. However, what the Jawa Forty-Two has going for it is its neo-retro styling, a comfortable riding posture and an engine that offers bottom-end grunt that’s perfect for city traffic. Besides, the brand has a cult following that’s only second to Royal Enfield.
At its heart lies a 293cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produces 27.37PS and 28Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Single-channel ABS comes as standard and you could even opt for a dual-channel setup. If you’d like to tour in style, the Jawa Forty-Two would make for a great companion.
Royal Enfield Classic 350: Rs 1.53 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi)
On a similar note, you could also consider the RE Classic 350, the company's best-selling bike. Much like the Jawa Forty-Two, the Classic 350 isn’t an outright performer but its simple mechanicals are easier to repair, making it for a staple for enthusiasts travelling to Leh / Ladakh. Additionally, it gets a seat that’s as comfortable as your living room couch and an upright riding posture which goes easy on your back.
Not to mention its classic sentiment and the biggest fan following in the country. What more could you ask for? Dual-channel ABS? It gets that too! The bike draws power from a 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled mill that develops 20PS of power at 5,250rpm and 28Nm at 4,000rpm. It comes mated to a 5-speed transmission.
Clearly, there are plenty of options to choose from around the same price bracket. While we’ve listed down most of the possibilities, it all boils down to your taste and your intended use of the bike.