Head-to-Head: Top 5 Indian 150cc Bikes Mania: a Shootout

head to head 150cc

1982, India:

Empty streets, pedestrians loafing around and kids playing here and there. The Sarpunch of the village has a Bajaj Chetak scooter, the Mukhiya has a Hero Cycle. The sound of the scooter made people aware of the presence of their Sarpunch, and the bell of the cycle: the Mukhiya. If I had to go 20 kms, I would rather prefer walking my way than taking a town-bus.. The Indian streets were crying for some wear on them, they really wanted some tires running on them…and God listened to their Pray, and fulfilled their wish.

30 Years Later, 2012, India:

Streets & Highways: Brrrrrrrrrrrummmmmm……… Bruuuuuuummmmm… Brrrrrruuuuum……. Brrrrrrrrruuuuum…… Today, the streets cry that they once cried for something that makes them cry today… Everyone owns a 2-wheeler at-least.

Although there are Buses, Cars and Caars, but riding a bike on the Indian streets is a matter of Pride and Joy, which none other, but the Indians feel.. We want Best at the ‘Least’! And, surprisingly, with the ever-growing motor-cycle market in India, our wants seem to be coming true. The segment that satisfies us the most is the 150cc Segment: a perfect combination of Power, Fuel Efficiency, Style and Reliability. But Again, there are many bikes under this segment, and it obviously difficult to choose one from them. The Price tags make the condition worse. “Which one should I go for?”, “Which bike would suit me?” etc. etc. are the questions that often hit our mind while we think of buying a bike. Well, here comes a boy, who’ll try his best to help you out with THE bike for You.

Hello Guys, Myself Jitendra Behera, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. I am a College student, presently in Bhubaneswar. Here, in BikeAdvice over a few minutes from now, we shall discuss on the top 5 150cc bikes of the Indian sub-continent. But before going further, let me stand still and give a Grand Salute to BikeAdvice.in for their excellent site, which was frankly the prime source of help for me too, for buying my first 2-Wheeler king.  Thanks a Lot again! Then, let me assure you all that all the data given herein are absolutely 101% true, and are drawn from experiences and not any company sites. We’re a group of bike-crazy boys, who have ridden almost all the 150cc bikes in India and after using them for about a year or so(except the new Apache, which is just 4 months old) , we believe these are the best of the best. Now, let’s quickly see what we’ve got:

TVS Apache RTR 160 HyperEdge

tvs apache among top five

TVS Motors India is the only Indian Auto company that has put its Racing ergonomics into the mass. The TVS Apache, launched in mid 2007, after facing around 5 facelifts, has now come-up with a HyperEdge model, with an Indianised appeal and a Track ready machine.

Looks: The New 2012 Apache, though doesn’t look much better than its Predecessors, but who cares, TVS has launched it with a Beast-ialistic cosmetic upgrade, and Beasts are never beautiful, I guess. However, the new Apache comes upgraded with a hulk-over tank cowl, Bikini fairing, Engine Cowl and most importantly, Splashes of Carbon fiber, making the bike a Macho machine.

Performance: Must say, guys at TVS try to put their best in developing their products to the top-most. The new version bike has amazingly got reduced vibrations, and smoother gear-shifts. With the Technical specifications remaining the same, the 2012 version features a rev happy engine that makes you work your wrist on the accelerator each time you get out for a ride. It is an immortal joy to ride the Apache in traffic. The machine returns good fuel efficiency. And about the PickUp, the name Speaks the rest: it’s RTR: Racing Throttle Response.!

Comfort: Here’s where the TVS Engineers need to work a bit. Riding in city is comfortable, but after two hours of continuous riding or so, you get back pains. But, frankly speaking, after one gets addicted to the “Proper” sitting posture, you won’t have any complaints, whatsoever.

Handling: The TVS Apache never lacked in this field. The Clip on handle-bars take the ride like a dream, and the superb Braking system of the bike is worth mentioning.

Innovations: After having won the “Bike of the Year” for 2 continuous years, what more do you expect from this machine.? Well, if you expect something more, let me make you aware of the things that the bike wins on:

Best in-class Instrument Cluster with Blue back lit display & Countdown on Start-up. Ignition Sourced Day Time Running Pilot Lamps (First in any Indian bike)4 Dual-tone Vibrant color schemes, with Black being the base and Green, Red, Yellow and Grey being the variables, pre-installed Engine cowl.

  •   Pros:- Best in-class Handling and Pick-up; Innovations and Color Schemes
  •   Cons:- Comfort

Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler


The grown-up Honda Twister, better known as the CB Dazzler is really a hit product of Honda. Honda is especially known for its super smooth machines and ride quality, which are both put-together in the bike.

Looks: The Bike looks good with its semi-flared body and compact design. The front headlamps give the bike an unmistakably cool look. Seeing the bike on the side stand makes people jealous.

Performance: I have already stated earlier that Honda is known for its engine. The bike performs Superbly and kicks back all other bikes of its segment in terms of fuel efficiency. The bike can overtake any bike of its segment on curves with an ease. Reaching 0-60 kmph in just 5.2 seconds, the bike accelerates like a dream. This compact machine can equally be maneuvered easily on the city roads.

Comfort: The bike scores good in comfort too. Both short riding and touring. One can complete a long ride easily without ending up with any back pains.

Handling: The dazzling dazzler is really fast on roads, and even faster on curves. Although it’s not a track ready bike, it can make other bikes eat dust in city traffic. Cornering is as smooth as butter and since the turning radius is less, maneuvering is worth experiencing.

Innovations: The bike has superbly refined smooth Engine and the futuristic compact dashboard that is unique. However, The Dazzler, as I think lacks on Paintjob (Although the present color schemes aren’t that bad, but they seem out of fashion).

  • Pros: Smooth Engine, Good Stability around the corners, Comfort, Fuel Efficiency.
  • Cons: Lack of top-end power.

HERO Motocorp Hunk


The first muscular machine from Hero Honda, now better known as the Hero Motocorp is ‘Hunk’. “Everybody follows the Hunk”, says the tagline, and why not.! It has got superb power added to its super-smooth Honda heart, which means one can rely on it without getting negatives.

Looks: Well, here is where the Hero guys need to work a bit. Hunk owners, don’t get disappointed, your bike still looks macho and muscular. The tank shrouds add a more of flesh onto the bike. The visor gives more of a 3D Aggression effect to the bike and it has now got refreshed graphics. A dual tone paint-job, is however, solely missed.

Performance: After having dominated the Indian roads for more than 25 years, this is, atleast the field where the company has excelled. There are no exceptions for the Hunk. With the super smooth Honda engine, the Hunk desperately awaits challenges in the traffic. Good pick-up (reaches 0-60 in about 5.1 secs), better cornering and even better road grip ensures its healthy performance anytime and every-time.

Comfort: The sitting position, too, is nice. The bike is good to go with short distance riding as-well as touring. The bike has, undoubtedly the best comfort for pillion. The riding stance is very similar to other hero bikes, which is, of course suited to Indian roads.

Handling: Not one of the very good fields of Hero. Still, the bike always remains under your control, even at speeds more than 90 kmph. Probably, this one was the only one out of all other 13 150cc bikes on which we managed to gain the top speed of 117 kmph, that too with a pillion. Cornering is pretty nimble and the brakes work well too. All-in-all, the bike offers decent handling capabilities.

Innovations: Not much to talk about. The only unique feature of this bike is as claimed by the company- the Anno-Digital instrument dashboard. However, the only digital scale on the dashboard is the Speedometer.

  • Pros: Feature rich, smooth engine, fuel efficiency
  • Cons: Looks

Yamaha FZ-S (and Fazer)

FZS Top bike in 2012

“Lord of the Streets” is the most muscular 150cc bike in the Indian market till date. With its naked styling {which is compromised with body fairing in the Fazer}, the bike looks appealing.

Looks: No prizes for saying- the bike outshines every of the rest 4 bikes in this department. The naked styling borrowed from the elder sibling the- FZ 8 is definitely a hit in the market, along with its clothed version- the Fazer. The headlamps on FZ S give it an undoubtedly aggressive look and the twin lamps on Fazer add a style to it. The midship muffler, also adds to the looks of the bike.

Performance: Both FZ-S and Fazer are performance oriented bikes. With the technical specifications remaining the same on the bikes, the torquey engine is the highlight in both of the bikes. The throttle response in quick & gear-shifts are smooth. However, the only drawback in both these bikes is: Fuel Efficiency. If you’re ready to rev up the engine, the bike is ever-ready to burn a hole in your pocket. Hard to believe but true: the bike returns an average of 30 kmpl in city and a better 34 kmpl on straight roads, which is not better than the 200cc Pulsar!

Comfort: The rider comfort is good, though, sometimes on applying front discs at higher speeds, you would feel pain in the delicate pats 😉 😀 ! Both the bikes are made for single riders and not for riders with pillion. However, the FZ-S offers better pillion comfort than the Fazer. The monocross suspension is way comfortable than any other in the segment.

Handling: The bikes have razor-sharp handling capabilities and grippy tyres. Wider rear tyres ensure good on-road stability, even at high (also very high) speeds. Ground clearance is well that can make small pebbles kiss the bike’s bottom in rural roads. Truly under control in any situation. However, rear discs are missed.

Innovations: Every part of the bike is of high quality and the Midship Muffler and Mono-cross Suspension are good additions to the bike. The fully digital trendy instrument cluster is the innovation that mark the bike successful.

  • Pros: Looks, Engine, Performance
  • Cons: Fuel Efficiency

Bajaj PULSAR 150 DTSi


The most popular 150cc bike in India, is of course, the Pulsar, can better be said the mass 150cc king. You can find a place with no hospitals, but you WON’T find a place without a Pulsar in India. I mean the bike is so damn common, and why not be! It fulfills demands of people with many features at a relatively less price tag.

Looks:  Though not mush fresh, the Looks of the bike are in trend and even after remaining in the market for more than 8 years, the muscular tank design of the pulsar is still a hit. This was the first motor-cycle that introduced Styling on headlamps by adding Triangular framed pilot lamps. The rear design looks edgy and sharp.

Performance: The bike performs well under every situation. The engine is refined and smooth and never gives up at high RPMs. But sadly, both the previous statements apply only to first 2 years after purchasing the bike. The bike starts making some noises and grunts after 16-18 months. But never mind, the bike can make other bikes eat dust in these first 16 months. Gear-box is hard, which gets smoother with each servicing.

Comfort: Well suited bike for people of heights between 5’5″ and 6’5″. The seat is very comfortable and the riding position is good. The front suspension is hard, though, perfect for commuting. The pillion seat is also good.

Handling: Handling is quite good and there is absolute grip on the road. The clip-ons do their job well and help in easy cornering. The bike’s handling is best on curve roads and there are absolutely no complaints against this bike in this department.

Innovations: A better decision by Bajaj was to borrow the Clip-On Handle bar and Angled tank shrouds from the P200. Paint schemes are simple, yet eye-catching. The instrument cluster is also one of the highlights of the bike.

  • Pros: Comfort, Handling, Looks
  • Cons: Quality of parts

So, now time to sum up. But before that, it is my duty to inform you that these bikes are NOT the best 5 in 150cc segment, rather, these are the best bikes in the 150cc segment in the mass-afforded price range, i.e.- 60,000 to 80,000 INR. If the price barrier is broken, here are the rank-wise top 10 150cc Indian bikes:

top 10 Indian bikes in 150 cc

As we see, Honda’s CBR 150R Rules the segment, followed by Yamaha’s R 15 version2 that has remained the darling of the segment, which is followed by TVS Beast: The Apache RTR 160. The next four are the serially ordered bikes in this article i.e. Honda CB Dazzler > Hero Motocorp Hunk > Yamaha FZ -S > Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSi. At the 8th place is the Suzuki GS 150R, followed by Bajaj Discover 150 at 9th place, followed by Yamaha SZ X at the 10th. Now, you might be wandering where did Hero Impulse & Hero CBZ go.. Both these bike are ranked at No.5 along with Hunk. A fierce competition, really! 🙂


Now time to make things easier.

  • Want performance, looks, and want no compromises; and have a fat wallet? Go for CBR 150 R or R15 v2; whichever you like.
  • Want performance and looks but can compromise with comfort? Go for the Apache RTR 160.
  • Want performance and comfort, but can compromise with looks? Go for the Hero Hunk (or CBZ or Impulse), or Bajaj Discover 150, or Suzuki GS 150R whichever suits your body built.
  • Want All-rounder with but have a low budget? Go for the Honda CB Dazzler.
  • Want Looks, performance and comfort, and can compromise with fuel efficiency? Go for Yamaha FZ -S or Yamaha SZ-X.
  • Want Performance, comfort and Looks, but can compromise with Quality? Go for Pulsar 150 DTSi.

I know all the readers won’t agree to these points, but this is to remind these views are tested and then brought in front of you. If you have any contradictions, a warm welcome for your comments.! I shall be ever-ready to entertain them.

Lastly, Important things. Choosing a bike completely depends on you because you aren’t buying it for me, or any other but for yourself. Do take test rides and then choose your bike.

Always wear a Helmet and Ride safe. Riding fast doesn’t mean YOU ARE FAST. Sometimes, a “Mr. Late” is Much better than “Late Mr.”

Ride sensibly. Live Safe.

With Regards,

Jitendra Behera