Dec 3, 2010

34 Best Looking Motorcycles of India: My Top 10

My own Top 10 best looking motorcycles from India..

A properly styled bike in most cases guarantees that the sales numbers will keep on ticking. As they say it "Well begun is half done" Personally to me, styling is what makes a bike more emotional and closer to the heart. In fact to me, styling of your bike defines what kind of person you are.

Although styling is a matter of personal taste.. and in most cases lies in the eyes of the beholder. But one can't argue against the fact that a bike has to look good from "every possible angle" to be called as one of the best styled bikes.

Also a bike need not be always "sporty" to be called good looking. Beauty can definitely be found in simplicity as well.

Note: Bikes like the Ninja 250R has not been included since it is an import assembled in India. Bikes like the Honda CBR250R and KTM 200 Duke have not been launched in India yet, therefore they do not find a place in the (2010) list below.

Bikes like the TVS Apache RTR and Hero Honda Hunk do not make it to the list because in terms of styling they have just followed the leader, i.e. the Bajaj Pulsar and do not bring anything novel in terms of styling.

Posted below are my Top 10 Best Styled Bikes of India.. till date.

10. Hero Honda SplendorHero Honda Splendor Pro APDV

Styling of the Splendor has remained exactly the same (except the addition of alloy wheels and graphics changes) since 1994. This has actually helped the Splendor retain its simple/classic commuter looks. I like the styling of the Splendor. Kind of reminds me of the simpler days of my childhood.

09. Hero Honda Passion Pro APDVHero Honda Passion Pro APDV

The latest Hero Honda Passion Pro goes to how good graphics and intelligent use of color can make a bike which is essentially a commuter appear sporty and stylish. Once upon a time I used to loathe the Passion and used to call it just a bike with extra plastic. But the 2010 Passion Pro APDV is a decent job in styling.

08. Hero Honda Karizma R

Hero Honda Karizma R

The Karizma R was once the most desirable domestic motorcycle in India. Its fixed half fairing gave many deprived desi riders their first and nearest taste of riding a full faired sports bike. The “R” variant (2007) gave it new body stickers and a large belly pan which nearly makes the bike look like a full faired offering. Although the Karizma R is no longer as contemporary, it still is a decent looker.

07. Hero Honda CBZ (the original from 1998/99)

Hero Honda CBZ

Ahh, my first bike. The bike which started my love affair with bikes. Although discontinued long back, the CBZ would still look much better than some styling disasters from the house of Hero Honda itself.

06. Yamaha RD350Yamaha RD350

The simple clean lines of the Yamaha RD350 does not exactly give away the kind of monster it was on the road. The 1980’s design still appeals to my heart like a favorite old song.

05. Bajaj Pulsar 180 UG II (Fear the Black Edition)Bajaj Pulsar 180 UG II

This bike made the “all black” paint scheme (found on every bike in India these days) popular in India. This was also the bike from which I started to admire and respect the Pulsar brand.

04. Yamaha FZ-16Yamaha FZ-16

When shown in the 2008 New Delhi Auto Expo, I did not imagine that this could be a production model. With its beefy fat tyres and body panels appeared more like a show concept model which usually never makes it into reality. The Yamaha FZ 16 was a rude jolt (in a very good way) to motorcycle design in India. The FZ16 was two generations ahead of any motorcycle in India in terms of styling.

The only reason why I have put it at a lower position in this countdown is because of the side panels which looks like an expanse of plastic to me and which could have been styled better.

03. Yamaha FazerYamaha Fazer

As a concept, I do not approve of the Fazer as it is essentially the FZ-16 but with a 5 kg heavier half fairing. Performance wise the half fairing does nothing but cosmetically the Fazer does look very good.

02. Bajaj Pulsar 180 UG IV/200/220 (with bikini headlamp)Bajaj Pulsar 220

The most handsome Pulsars so far, that’s how I would rate them. The Pulsar 200 (now discontinued), the Pulsar 180 UG IV and the Pulsar 220 (with bikini headlamp) share the same chassis and nearly all body parts which makes them looking like identical triplets. In terms of proportion, these Pulsars are to me almost perfect and the styling has a timeless appeal to it.

Back in 2007, I might have thought the Karizma R to be a better looker than the Pulsar 200, but now in 2010 I would like to reverse my opinion.

01. Royal Enfield Classic 350/500
Royal Enfield Classic

Wow..!! That was my first reaction when I saw the Classic for the first time. Classic British single from the 1950’s, this is what Royal Enfield should be in its purest form. The new Unit Construction Engine (UCE) also adds to the retro appeal. The new engine loses the exposed oil lines of the old cast iron engines and is a clean and pleasing looking unit.

The Royal Enfield Classic has a waiting period of around 10 months, which is currently the highest in the two wheeler industry. Just goes on to show what wonders a good design can do for a product and for a brand.

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Anonymous said...

Very nice review just like all of yours :-) :-)
I think there is a typo on no. 9th as you have written about splendor but given details about passion...

In my opinion i would set no. 1 for Pulsar 220 Dts-Fi as it had rocked the 220 segment with it looks and many features all in one.

praveen said...

good article payeng dude, according to me pulsar 180 ug 1 is one of the best looking muscle beefy classic structure with its fatty rear tire (110/80)18 inch & muscular tank shrouds at that time......

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Saurabh, thanks for pointing out the typo.. have corrected it now. About the Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi model, well even if I own that model, I still feel that the half fairing on it is not a perfect job

@Praveen, yes the 18 ltrs tank on a bike in India was huge at that time. But I think that the Pulsar 180 UGI has a 100 section rear tyre and the Pulsar 150 UGI used to have a 3.00 x 18 tyre

Subhankar said...

From this list the CBZ still gives me the goosebumps. Whenever I (rarely) see a CBZ on road, I still keep staring at the machine as I used to do when I was in the 8th or 9th standard. By the way Payeng bro, is the above pic of the CBZ from your own album?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


No bro, my CBZ was a Silver colored one.. unfortunately I don't have a photo of that bike. Had sold it in 2002.

The photo of the above CBZ is from my collection of two wheeler photos.

Amana Lalendi said...

Sir i think there should b YZF
-R15 in the list Somewhere

Sankoobaba said...

twister and P-135 look better than passion/splendor

Sankoobaba said...

oh yes avenger and R-15 too missing

Anonymous said...

You got a really bad friend I must say this

Subhankar said...

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder my friend.

Faiz said...

Rightly said..

Nice post.more or less proper ranking.

Sharath.S.Kamath said...

@Payeng - 4 very good one's - 1.RD350 2.CBZ 3.P200
4.RE Classic...All 4 had great impact on design wise...but I feel two more addition is required i.e. R15 (first full fairing bike in India) deserves n may be Thunderbird too...anyways never ending discussion..."One man's like is other man's dislike".

akram said...

pulsar is not in my top 10 list it sucks ,for me karizma wins da race as in terms of looks,styling,engine,comfortability karizma is best almost in evrything

Anurag said...

Payeng, rightly said style is a matter of personal taste, i doubt you did forget to mention few names.
Kinetic Comet and Auquilla. Auquilla being the most beautiful cruiser in the country till date (Oh no! I am not comparing it with Mr. Harley Williams and Arthur Davidsons mean machines which are now available in India). I am not sure though, if they were imported as the CBUs and that is the reason you dint mention them.
Also, LML Adreno FX and Energy FX may not be the best looking bikes of all times but tp me, they were the most revolutionary bikes in terms of styling of their times. What say?

Few Other Stylish ones missing in list :
Kinetic GF 125
Yamaha RX100
Yezdi (yup! i loved it styling)
Honda CBF125 Stunner FI

But indeed Royal Enfield Classic is the most handsome machine on Indian roads :)

Happy Biking

Anonymous said...

the top 10 are really correct
and the top 5 are really amazin

Anonymous said...

Dude where is the yamaha YZF r15.........???????

Anil Anupam Mohanty said...

The chart of best looking bikes actually confused me !!
It looks like a set of mixture of 'contemporary', 'ever green' and 'classic' looking bikes.

From the list I would like to put
Fz,fazer and pulsar 180 new in 'contemporary' base
Karizma, splendor, pulsar 180 new in 'ever green' list
RD,cbz classic and enfield in 'classic' looking bikes

No way can you compare a RD with Fazer in terms of styling and position them!
Its like comparing 'Raj Kapoor' with 'Anurag Kasyap'. Who is a better director ? Well you can't compare.

Karizma looses points because it is no longer 'contemporary' while Enfield wins the trophy even if it is decade old. Any reason for this particular way of consideration ?

Pulsar 180 old version looked great when it was launched. Today it won't grab a 2nd look. Simple, it neither is the latest version nor the original. It certainly lies where in between.

Passion pro is a surprising inclusion in the list. Yes it looks decent but not as 'ever green' as splendor nor as 'stylish' as twister.

Other surprising omissions were avenger, apache RTR and RX100.

Anyway styling is a very subjective issue.
Opinions will remain widespread

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


the list is according to my personal favourites and you are right in stating that the bikes are comtemporary, classic and evergreen..

but it is also like the kind of music that I like: I like to hear Ghazal, Bollywood, Jaaz, Hard Rock and even Heavy Metal.

I have opted out RX100 as its elder brother the RD350 has already been considered.. the RTR has been opted out as it does not set the new trend in terms of styling and it is the Pulsars have always been there first

Anil Anupam Mohanty said...

As I said styling is a very subjective issue and we should be respecting each other's opinion since it is bit of an emotional thing.
Surely you can consider different versions of music in your choice of list. But how to compare them?
Bryan Adams with Jagjit Singh ?
Who is better?
Ofcourse you can include both the singers in your favorite list but you can't compare.. They are as different as chalk and cheese.
As far as RX100 is concerned , you only included two different upgrades of pulsars in the same list. So I felt RX 100 could have been included inspite of havimg RD in the list.

I just spoke my mind out here.
Please don't take it otherwise. :-)

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


none taken bro..

just that my taste happens to be quite "eclectic" :-)

Anonymous said...

Where is yammie r15...? Its da best lookin bik in india

Purush said...

Sad that Big n Beefy machine ZMR is not in the list

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


The ZMR is in my list of "Badly Styled" bike. Check out the next post. Don't take it personally if you like the ZMR.

Anonymous said...

ha ha i like your list and please update ur list because

K.S.RAJA said...

you missed pulsar bike can stand before its style and performance.....

Anonymous said...

well said man....
There is nothing to beat classic 500 !
I already booked classic chrome , the unique one and waiting time me just killing me

Anonymous said...

I Love the Bike(Devil), Which is in First Position..I Know there wont be any doubt in Choosing my Favourite RE Classic in 1st position.India Loves it...

Gulam said...

the selections for best looks r nyc..but not the best..(I think)
anyhow, the fazer looks odd coz of huge head lyts(everything is so huge :P ).
and also Yamaha SS125 looks gud in front of HH Splendor and Passion.
and also HH Karizma doesn't deserve tat position since it was one of the best model till date..
Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

i typed good looking bikes in india and this fucking bikes you call good looking aprt from pulsar n fz..i wish my eye would been blind before comin to this site.

bhanu said...

nice bullet

bhanu said...

supper bullet

arun nr said...

where is R15 AND RTR 180 WHITE?????

Viraj Madushanka said...

what is the size of the Yamaha fazer 125cc 2006 front brake disc

Edian Marak said...

Can I get Rx 350 yahama stickers from u

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