390 Duke or Interceptor 650: Best bike for casual riding under Rs 4 lakh?


Looking for advice on which new bike to purchase. Few things to note - Budget is INR 3-4 Lakhs. It will not be my primary mode of transport as I mostly use my car. The bike will be used 60-70 percent for Sunday morning rides, 10-20 percent touring and 10-20 percent maybe the odd office commute or coffee run. Prefer comfortable upright ergonomics. Do let me know if you need any further info from my end. Thanks in advance for your help!

Rahul Khurana, New Delhi

Autocar India says: You haven’t mentioned whether the bike you are looking for is meant to be sporty and exciting or calm and relaxed in nature, so we’ll share a few options at both ends of that spectrum. Since this is going to be a casual use motorcycle we’ll keep things like fuel efficiency as a low priority but all options mentioned here will have upright ergonomics.

At the sporty end, there’s no beating the new Gen 3 KTM 390 Duke which offers the strongest performance available at this price as well as outstanding handling and a rich feature set. If you’re not sold on the KTM’s looks, you could consider the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 which is based on the same platform as the KTM.

For something nearly as quick, but not as frenetic as the above two bikes, you could also look at the Triumph Speed 400 or the Honda CB300R. Both are very nice bikes that are quick, but easy to ride - although both machines are quite compact. They aren’t very cramped for taller riders but are small-feeling machines.

On the more relaxed end of the spectrum, the best choice is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 for its beautifully smooth and torquey twin cylinder engine. The only downside with the Enfield is its size and heft, but for an occasional use, feel-good bike, this makes for a great choice. 

Finally, if you want something torquey and mellow in the single cylinder class, but not as slow as the 350cc Royal Enfields, you could take a look at the Harley-Davidson X440

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