Posted by : Nikhil Anand Friday, 28 June 2013

There were days when Indian roads were full of 100cc motorcycles. Hero Honda CD 100 DELUXE & SS models, Bajaj Boxer etc. were low powered, fuel efficient machines which happily met the needs of an average Indian commuter. The enthusiasts were limited to Royal Enfield, Yezdi or Yamaha RX100 or modified or imported bikes. The revolution in Indian biking scenario was unavoidable. Hero Honda, the then undisputed king of the motorcycle market, launched the CBZ which used the original Honda 156.8 cc engine, in 1999. CBZ was a scaled version of the famous Honda CB series. The over-square engine that met  Euro1 (European Emission Standard), was fed by a Keihin slide type carburettor with accelerator pump for better pick-up. In fact it was first Indian two-wheeler to meet this norm. It made use of a larger spring operated nozzle to provide a richer fuel air mixture into the engine for better acceleration. An air injection system injected fresh air into the exhaust port, to meet the emission norms. Overall, it was the best bike of the time, the only drawback being the fuel efficiency part of the bike. This bike was becoming a huge hit amongst the youngsters till 2000 end.
But this was a mere indicator of things yet to come. The engineering division of BAJAJ AUTO, in association with TOKYO R&D launched their revolutionary product PULSAR which came with a 150 cc air cooled, single-cylinder, petrol, spark-ignited four stroke engine which made 13 HP of maximum power. Hero Honda suddenly had a worthy competitor to its monopoly. And this competition was sure to breed innovation.
Pulsar became Bajaj’s flagship model and the new Indian heartthrob. The “Definitely Male” machine resonated with the Indian youth and the Pulsar became the supernova of Indian motorcycle mart. The success of Pulsar inspired other manufacturers like Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and TVS to invest in this segment. Today, in the 150cc segment only, we have a burgeoning list of motorcycles from almost every manufacturer. Here is the list of the current available models :









ACHIEVER (Electric Start).

HUNK (Front Disk & Rear Disk Models).

CBZ XTREME (Electric Start & Rear Disk Models).





CBR 150R (Standard & Deluxe Models).


GS 150R



FZ-16, FZ-S.(FZ)




APACHE RTR 160 (Can be included into 150 cc segments).

So from a single choice we were now spoilt by choice. And every bike enthusiast, if looking into this segment, asks the same question "which one of them is the best?". Each one of them has its own pros and cons, but in my opinion these are the top 5 150cc bikes available in the market (in that order). Touring was the most prominent aspect which I have taken into consideration while reviewing these machines.

1. Yamaha R15 2.0 Version

Yes, it stands at the top. Faster than any less than 200cc bikes in India. Also known as the baby R1, This bike has got everything except pillions seating comfort. I have followed Yamaha’s R&D over internet for a very long time, They listen to your feedbacks and rolls out a product/Upgrade depending on what we need. The result is here. The uplifted version of R15 2.0. The best got even better.  

2. Honda CBR 150R

It stands very close to R15 in terms of performance. Honda has done the best and rolled out an amazing product in the market. But there are areas where it lacks in competition to R15. Price, 15000 more and the mid range performance. Otherwise Honda has given it a very sporty look(Sportier than Honda CBR 250R) with keeping both riders and the pillions seating comfort in mind.

3. Yamaha FZ- Series  


The Yamaha FZ series changed the face of Indian biking scenario in recent times, the same way pulsar did in 2001. Also known as Baby FZ1, this bike has  nothing to complain about except the price as compared to other products in the same segment.  Rear disc and a rear wheel mud hugger will do justice to its price in my view. A little short for taller riders. Once again, Thumbs up to Yamaha.  

4. Honda CB Unicorn/Dazzler

Honda Unicorn had a very stiff competition with Pulsar 150, Hunk, And Apache 160. Comfortable seating posture, Reliable Honda Engine and a decent mileage of around 55 kmpl makes it an ideal machine for the commuters at decent price tag. To me Unicorn is the longest 150 cc bike under a smooth running Honda engine. The only area of improvement is the analog Speedometer. Outdated, Isn’t it?

5. Suzuki GS 150R 

Suzuki was no way to rest behind and they launched it by late 2008, and the    product showed some good response from the customers. This bike had something new in store like,  balancer-driven gear fitted with a rubber damper to kill the vibrations, TPS (throttle positioning system). GS 150R too had a neck to neck competition with the Unicorn, but the difference being the Honda’s smooth run. 

Why Not Other Bikes?

Pulsar 150 – Very common and unreliable gear box.
Discover 150 – Stands nowhere in front of others.
Hero Bikes – Nothing New except Sticker mods. Hunk(6th) though is a handsome bike with good engine and tubeless tyres.
Apache RTR 160 – TVS really has ruined its looks in the recent upgrades. Absolute damage done to the bike’s appearance. 

The Verdict 

So here is the big question, which one should you go for? If you are more of a race enthusiast, want to cruise along the busy city traffic as well as weekend touring, The R15 and the CBR are the right choice for you. For daily city commuters looking for fuel efficiency and occasional touring then the CB Unicorn / Dazzler or the Suzuki GS150R is there for you. But if you need a combo of both minus the fuel efficiency, Yamaha FZ – Series is the best choice for you in this segment.

[Acknowledgements : Bike India, Wikipedia and Google ]

A detailed comparison of 150cc motorbikes in India
[ This blog post has been authored by Nikhil Anand, who is a motorcycle enthusiast, an avid reviewer and a lost rambler (as he calls himself). You can reach him at +Nikhil Anand ]

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{ 53 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I though feel the Apache RTR should have found a place above Suzuki GS. Apart from fuel efficiency, the Suzuki comes nowhere near the Apache in terms of ride comfort, pick up and speed. The Pulsar and the Apache is silk smooth even at 120kms/hr unlike the GS.

  2. Well said Rahul. I know pulsar and apache are pretty comfortable and are currently rocking Indian roads. But whatever i have written is totally my view of looking at it everyone's response to it is always accepted. I have rather tried to explained it in the why not section.

    Thanks a lot for reading it. Will come with more soon. Keep responding. Take care

  3. Thanks V For victory. Feedbacks are always welcome and do share if you liked it. Thanks again. Take care

  4. Blog looked technical but rejected apache on looks which did not sound fair :) Also no mention of some other usability feature like dazzler doesn't have a kick start. painful when you are taking your bike out after some time.
    Overall nice review, would love to see the comparison on bikes with ABS as I still am not sure if that is really helpful feature or just a publicity stunt.

  5. Thanks knight for spending your time reading this page. The technicality varies from bike to bike.Dazzler comes with 12 V - 5 Ah Maintanance Free battery. As far as i know it should not create any problem. But at times when you leave your bike unused for a long period of time say 10-15 days, the battery gets discharged and you need to recharge it. My pulsar 180 comes with 12V - 9 Ah MF battery, without kick. But the problem persists if you keep your bike idle for the same period of time.
    I will surely be writing on the ABS technology soon. Before buying my pulsar i was going for Apache 180 abs version but soon they re-launched it with a new beast inspired head lamp, Long tank cowl. overall ruining its looks(in my view). The bike is a champion in performance,but first thing that matters for most of the bikers today is the looks.

    Thanks again Knight for your time and valuable inputs.

  6. I want to buy a bike in 150cc series.i am confused which bike is best in this height is 5ft 5inc,which bikes shoots me.i want milege+sporty look+comfort+good service.
    I give some names of bikes plz help me to choss.
    1.yamaha fzs
    2.yamaha fazer 150
    3.apche rtr 160 cbr 150
    4.yamaha r15

    1. Hey Kaiser. First of all thanks for reading. I apologize for late reply to your query. Now i would suggest you to go for Yamaha. Reason being good service, superb performance, a bit less in mileage (33-38 kmpl) but a good value for money. You are 5'5" so you have three choices.

      1. Yamaha R15 (Best in its category).
      2. Yamaha FZ-S(Fazer looks extra bulky, Rs 8000 more for the fairing is too much), and
      3. Honda CBR 150R.(Not very common on Indian Roads, Great Looks, but pricier than any other bike in this category)

      Now go to the showrooms, test drive each one of them, and buy only what your heart says (among these three). Hope i was able to answer your query. You can reply for more queries if you have. Take care, Ride Safe.

    2. Thanx nikhil for reply.i want a comparision between yamah R15, honda Cbr 150r and yamaha Fzs in this category-
      2.comfort (long distance)

    3. Here it goes Kaiser:

      1. Mileage : Yamaha r15 gives around 34-38 kmpl as CBR will give you around 32-35 kmpl.

      2. Comfort : Here CBR has an upper hand as it has got better padding which is neither too hard nor too soft. But R15 has an aggressive seating style, Which is little harder than its competitor and less comfortable than CBR. On long routes CBR is definitely a good companion.

      3. Performance : To me performance wise both are neck to neck in competition. But still more marks to R15 for its mid-range performance.

      4. Handling : Thumbs Up to yamaha for this.

      5. Engine : Honda has a really sweet engine with a usable mid range and an amazing topend. A good frame which offers great handling and looks which resembles the CBR 250 R. The engine is fuel efficient yet fun to ride. It is miles more comfortable for both the rider and pillion than The R15 V2.0.

      Overall if you want to go for the best looking motorcycle in India go for Yamaha R15...Your choice depends on other factors as well... Make your choice and ride well...

  7. i am going to buy tvs apache hyper edge 160.... but i feel that i made a mistake.... i reallyy love this bike shall i go for it..?? Is it worth for money???

  8. Hey Gowri. First of all you said you love this bike. That means you are satisfieed with the new looks give in the recent upgrade. The performance of the bike is great. 160 hyperedge has been tvs's flagship model. Good value for money. But if you have not bought it or booked it, I would suggest you to try testdrive Yamaha Fz series. Muscle looks, Great Performance. Comfortable seating position. You will definitely love it.

    1. nikhil yes i accept yamaha is always ahead.... but my heart says apache.... will apache hyper edge be able to compete fz in performance wise

    2. When in doubt, go with your heart. Yamaha has always been pioneer in biking world with its world class engine and performance. Yamaha FZ is currently the leader in 150-160cc segment. But if you are still confused. Refer to the first sentence. :-)

    3. ok thanks nikhil..... i believe my apache will rock in performance and which is more imp for bikes than its look

  9. nikhil i want ur help..... many saying to buy old model of 160 or old model of 180 in wil u kindly post the pictures of 160 old and 180 old apache.... i am confused with old and new apache.. i attached u one photo kindly tel me whether that is new or old apache...

  10. Hey Gowri, as i told you earlier and also stated in this blog that TVS has ruined its looks in the recent upgrade. I will post the link for the comparison of looks. If you still like it. go for it and don't listen to others.

    similar is the change in looks for 180 as well.

    Hope it helps you... Cheers and ride safe.

  11. hey im vishal here .. i jst wanna yours help that plzz give me description of some good 150cc segment bikes nd wch one is best in yours way.... coz im here very confused so are some bikes on wch i want ur guidance-
    1.unicorn dazzler
    2.apache rtr 160 (new hyper edge)
    3.yamaha fz
    4.yamaha sz
    6.cbr 150
    ......................waiting 4 urs rply soon...

  12. per my above question plzz tell one thng also that wch one has fastest picup nd mileage

  13. Hey Vishal, Sorry for delayed reply. I have written about Dazzler, apache, yamaha fz and cbr. Out of the options you have given, CBR 150R undoubtedly has the best in class pickup, followed by Yamaha FZ and Apache RTR. Trigger (Replaced Dazzler recently), Hunk and Yamaha SZ will give you good mileage. If you want both you can go for Yamaha r15, fz, or go for Pulsar 180. (I own it and i am satisfied with its performance). Tell me if you need more help. Ride safe Ride hard.

  14. hi nikhil,

    Enjoyed your article buddy, need your advice in selecting my new bike.I m a 6 footer and am looking for the following features in the order mentioned:

    1.Budget: 75-85K
    2.Comfort (1.considering my height & 2.i ride min 60kms/day)
    3.Reliability & Fuel Efficiency (considering the distance I cover daily)
    4.Ridding Stability & Grip
    5.Easy Availability of spares

    I have owned a P150 since 2006 & basically have run it out of breath. hate the reliability factor once the bike completes 2+ yrs of use, otherwise no complaints!!

    Thank You.

  15. oops & my names Abbas ;)

  16. nikhil yes i dont like tht also 2012 apache.... but what about 2011 model hyper edge??? it wont have the design like this but it will be good i hope please tell whether tht 2011 model hyper edge is nice in design

  17. thanks Nikhil, ive jst got ur advice nd i wanna to ask one more thing to u that New bike launched by bajaj named Pulsar 200ns is better than among all these options not????
    gimme some details about its pickup,mileage and driving.....

    1. Pulsar 200ns is the best among all the bikes discussed here in all specs. Be it handling, power or mileage. You can go for it if you feel like.

  18. w.r.t the query put in by abbas:

    Enjoyed your article buddy, need your advice in selecting my new bike.I m a 6 footer and am looking for the following features in the order mentioned:

    1.Budget: 75-85K
    2.Comfort (1.considering my height & 2.i ride min 60kms/day)
    3.Reliability & Fuel Efficiency (considering the distance I cover daily)
    4.Ridding Stability & Grip
    5.Easy Availability of spares

    I have owned a P150 since 2006 & basically have run it out of breath. hate the reliability factor once the bike completes 2+ yrs of use, otherwise no complaints!!

    Thank You.

    Hey Abbas. great to hear that u liked my blog. I am 6'1" and i too considered the same factors before buying my Pulsar 180 UG-4. yOU HAV FOLLOWING CHOICES TO GO WITH.

    1. Pulsar 200 NS - 97000 approx. Great performance with better handling and seating comfort.
    2. Pulsar 220 - Comes around 93000, Best in class except The mileage.
    3. Apache RTR 180 - 90000 approx - Good bike but again it will give you 35-38kmpl max.
    4. Pulsar 180 UG4 - 82000 approx- I am delighted with its performance and i am getting 41-43 kmpl after 9800 kms.
    5. Avenger 220 - 86000 approx - Great tourer machine. Not good for commuting (as per your requirements). Less mileage.
    6. Honda CB trigger - 78000 approx. good honda engine. good mileage.
    Yamaha FZ - Around 82000 - Great handling with mileage around 35-38 kmpl.
    7. Karizma R - around 92000 - Thumb up in all areas except the same old tecchnology and 30-35 kmpl.

    Out of the options given i would prefer you to go for P200, P180, CB Trigger (I have not drived it) and Yamaha fz. Now its on you how you go further about it.

  19. Hey Nikhil,

    Thanks a ton for your feedback.

    1.I am not a fan about the pulsar's reliability & quality.
    2.Apache gives me a serious back ache.
    3.Avenger & karizma are best viewed from a distance:)
    4.My personal shortlist reads as 1.Trigger, 2.FZ-16 & 3.GS150

    Trigger: Not a big fan of its silencer, looks ok but will have good FE.

    FZ-16: My fav of the lot but height & economy are deterrents.

    GS150: Mono Shock, Thin Tyres & poor availability of spares are deterrents. Height is a real plus, good FE and smooth engine.

    I always end up confused and feel i might as well custom build a GS150 with broader tyres, rear disc & monoshock or just forget abt a new bike.

    So the confusion continues......


    1. @Abbas - Go for Suzuki then. Its comkfartable and fuel efficient too. Test drive Fz too. :-)

    2. Hey Nikhil,

      Thanks a ton mate for your suggestion...

      Have TD the FZ & GS150, will do so again, and then lets see what end doing. Will try and let you no mate.

      Cheers & Happy Ridding!!


  20. Which one is best bike in all aspect
    1 . Suzuki Gs150r
    2. Tvs apache rtr 160
    3. Honda unicorn

    1. TVS Apache and no doubt about it if you are not concerned about its looks or if you like it. My preference would be
      1. TVS Apache
      2. Honda Unicorn/ Trigger.
      3. Suzuki GS 150R.

      All the three are good for commuting as well as touring.

  21. Hii.. it was a very good article by you. I am planning for a 150cc bike & I love Hero Xtreme. Please suggest if it is better when I consider performance at higher speeds you know vibrations etc. mileage, engine, styling & handling & any other additional features if I am not considering any. If any other substitute in the same range.

    1. Go for Pulsar 200ns. Its the complete package. or else if you are looking for 150cc bikes then you can wait for the upcoming Suzuki Gixxer or You can try Hunk, Xtreme.

  22. The staffs are friendly and helpful; they let me test ride the bike, without forcing me to buy it. They are very informative, and passionate about their products. electric bikes nz

  23. Hey I just wanna ask why Yamaha fazer is less popular Dan Yamaha fz even though both have same engine.
    Moreover fazer is more stylish than fz.
    I wanna buy my 1st bike n m confused between Yamaha fz n Yamaha fazer

  24. Hey ,
    I juz wanna ask dat why Yamaha fz is more popular Dan Yamaha fazer even though they have same engine .
    Moreover fazer looks more stylish and sporty.
    I wanna buy my 1st bike and m confused between Yamaha fz n Yamaha fazer

  25. Hey Pratt Sukai, I apologize for the delay in replying your query. The front cowl in Fazer gives it a bulky look from the front. 9000 extra for the cowl increases the overall weight of the bike which makes no sense and also it results into drop in mileage too. FZ, having the same specification and power is more fuel efficient and has a muscle look. Hence is popular and more demanding than the fazer. Afterall the choice is your. you can go for either one of them . My suggestion would be FZ off course.

  26. Hi I this is Ravi from Pune am planning to purchase Suzuki GS150r. Can anyone share with me an experience riding this bike. Also I wanted to know specifically about the mileage, comfort for long tour -sitting posture & durability of engine.Few people on blog says it gives average 61 kmpl on highways (economy speed) & 45-50 kmpl in city. Is it really true? I would like like to purchase 1. Suzuki GS 150R 2.Unicorn 3. CBZ extrme. Which one best , plz advice. Recently Suzuki has raised bike price so is it worth to spent Rs.78,785 for suzuki gs150r in 150cc bike segment?

    1. Hi Ravi, nice to see you here. Suzuki GS150R is indeed a nice bike for commuting as well as touring. It gives around 50+ average mileage (city + Highway). You can also test ride CB Trigger. I have ridden Xtreme for about one year and it is also a good bike with around 50+ kmpl mileage. If you want to upgrade yourself on technology. Go for Yamaha FZ . But you will get around 35-40 kmpl. I would suggest you to go for Fz. But in the end its your call. Anyways GS150R is a good buy.

    2. Thanks for the quick response Nikhil. I rode Yamah fz bt it didnt appeal me in terms of mileage though pick up n looks are amazing. Now the f8 is still between hero extreme n suzuki gs 150r (excluded unicorn since getting more in suzuki ). Now it seems like extreme n gs150r both have good mileage n same prize. Who is more reliable?more comfortable n durable?....though suzuki gs150 is not so stylish compare to hero extreme it has muscular n manly body.Very rare on streets(5 out of 500 other bikes on streets) yet spottet well n distintive.Extreme cbz has rear n front disc break too adds advantage.My mind rests on both .I hv sleepless nights now since soon one of them will be chosen & as u knw.....finally no one wants to repent on decisions they make.plz help me out with this.This blog is educative n really helpful people out there.

    3. Really sorry for the late response.

      Hunk is a good buy. You can go for xtreme but i would still ask you to go for something new. Trigger, Suzuki Gixxer is on the way, StillMy vote goes for FZ. Hunk looks good. you can go for it. it comes in dual disc. tubeless tyres.

  27. Hey I am nanda I want to buy a bike of 150 cc with great mileage and stylish looking. and my height is 6ft. Plz suggest me what to take

    1. Thanks Nanda. Really sorry for late reply. As of now you will have to compromise on either looks or the mileage as the manufacturers are more aligned towards 200+ cc bikes. In order to sustain and be in the hunt higher cc bikes are fast replacing the 150 cc. I am too 6 ft. and i ride a Pulsar 180 UG4 . its a great bike and i am getting 43 kmpl average. You can go for p200 ns. Its a great machine. Else in 150 cc for mileage and looks:

      Yamaha sz-r, Xtreme, CB Trigger. Apache RTR are good options. Test drive all of them and shoot your questions if any. till then take care.

  28. Hi Nikhil,
    loved your blog. I have a question regarding comfort on a mono-suspension. I had Yamaha SS125 before which was the best in class in comfort as well as handling. Now after 5 yrs I sold it to upgrade myself to 150cc category to get CB Unicorn which had a fantastic engine. But the mono-suspension killed my back and neck joints on even JVLR and Express highway. So I sold it off in mere 4 months. Which bike do u suggest has the best suspension (soft) for a daily ride of about 30-35 km with great handling (cornering) abilities. My mileage expectation is atleast 40-45 kmpl. Some say FZ16 has good comfort but others say the opposite ! I need rider comfort - Pillion can take an auto for all I care! :) Thanks

    1. Thanks Nishant for your query. I apologize for the late response to your query. You have the following options :

      Fz is great for 100 km non stop ride. 36-40 Kmpl
      Pulsar 180/200 ns. 43/37 kmpl.
      Hero Karizma has the best available cushions on any sports bike. 30 kmpl.

      I would still suggest you to go for 200 ns. its a great value for money. Those who suspect fzs comfort should again test drive it. its a great bike.

  29. hi Nikhil......Loved ur Blog.
    Could u please tell about handling and braking of Hero Xtreme byke.
    I am Planning to buy this byke next month. Should I buy or not?
    what is the milege of this byke in city.

    1. Xtreme now comes with dual disc so its good in braking now. i have ridden ctreme for about one year and i did not had any problem except one puncture, provided you go for timely service and maintain it well. Also try hunk. you can buy one of the two.

  30. Hi nikhil...i'm planning 2 buy my first bike with a budget of 80,000(max).I'm 5'5 in height & want a bike with :
    1) gud luks
    2) mileage of at least 50kmpl
    3)easy to ride & handle
    4)less maintenance
    5)comfortable pillion rider seat
    Which bike would u suggest....m interested in dazzler but does it suits my needs???
    Also pls tell me if there r alternatives as i 'm new 2 biking & dn't know much about bike specs.

    1. Hi Rupinder, Looking on your needs, Suzuki GS gs 150r is a good package. Go and test ride CB Trigger. its also great. take one among the two. Trigger is better than dazzler in looks. :-)

  31. hey..!
    will cbr`s less torque create any problem while riding or any sort dissatisfactnz??

  32. Hi nikhil,
    tnx for such good blog u wrote.
    Plz help me as my requirements are
    1) Good mileage of more than 60 as my daily running exceeds 50-60 kms
    i did a lot of survey and discover "100 T" suits me, bcz being family guy i never opt for very aggressive bikes. further i don't ride fast, so comfort is my concern for pillion too. discover 100 T has got medium looks, better than most 125 cc bikes. 4 valve twin ignition system is capable to give more torque and power as most bikes in class.
    the only trouble i read in some blogs is its rubber, it has got hard composite so skid is frequent. kindly suggest if i can change the tyres with some same size good grip soft tyre, further as safety is my major concern so i start considering honda bikes too bcz of their tubeless tyres, but there look is not good as discover T class. further torque n power is less in resp segments. kindly suggest if u can wd some good look, mileage and torque/power option available in honda bikes upto 125 cc
    tnx and regards

  33. Hi nikhil I m reading your blog today first time, I feel that you can give me best choice out of these bikes , plz help me to choose one of these bikes.
    1. Yamha fzs/ 16
    2.yamha fezer apache 160.
    Plz help me to choose best bike in price and mileage.
    I read an article about yamha fzs that it drop it's speed in 5 gear, is that true. Plz tell me the truth about this.

  34. One more question that which one will the best bike in the city and village in mileage.


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