Best 150cc Bike for Long Ride
Going on a long ride is one kind of joy and freedom Because “Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.” Riding a motorcycle or going for a long ride in a motorcycle is a different feeling, we completely enjoy the raw and beautiful nature without even getting out of our vehicle. I have been riding a motorcycle for 5 years now. Never felt boring till now. No other transportations give such happiness. Your journey will be under your control if you ride a motorcycle, this thing doesn’t happen if you travel by car, bus, train or flight. Just imagine, you can take your bike anywhere, you can stop anywhere, you can wave hands to those kids in the car or a bus, you can enjoy those curves on the ghats, and more. You get all this joy and happiness when you travel on a motorcycle. So start riding, get a bike and be ready for a long ride.
150cc bikes were in huge demand for commuting till 2015 and for tourers, people used higher capacity biker and Adventure Tourers or Royal Enfield, but time has changed now. We see many young enthusiasts touring on lower capacity motorcycles. The main intention is to satisfy the hunger of riding a motorcycle. It really doesn’t matter how much CC is your bike is. Including me, there are 1000’s of riders traveling on a 150cc bike. I own Honda Hornet 160R since 2016 December. Still using it because for Indian roads 150cc is not a small bike. I can easily cruise at 90km/h to 100km/h which is definitely decent and safe for Indian roads. If you love to see my travelogs or my journeys on 150cc motorcycle then you must visit my YouTube channel (CalmRider) and also see my biggest ride “Riding 1000 km in a day on my Honda Hornet 150R AKA Airavata”.
My list of Best 150cc bike for long ride
- Honda Hornet 160R
- Suzuki GS150R
- Suzuki Gixxer SF
- Honda Unicorn 150
- Yamaha FAZER
- Bajaj Avenger 150
- Bajaj Pulsar NS160
- Suzuki Intruder
Also Read: Most comfortable bikes for back pain
Things to know before choosing the best 150cc touring bike
- Seating Position
- Engine and gears
- Wind protection
- Fuel efficiency
- Smooth Exhaust
- Good Tires
If your butt, lower back and back is not comfortable, then definitely 100 km ride would also turn out worst day for you. This is the most important thing for the whole ride. We all know the myth, If we tell someone “we are going for a long ride” then immediately they would reply like this “What! Long ride? Won’t you get back pain? Doesn’t your body pain? How can you sit for such long hours? And so on”. This is the most common replies we get if we talk about a long ride. Because they might not have experience of riding long distance or their seating position would not be good. Usually, any person can rider 20 to 25 km easily with or without good seating position, but that doesn’t happen for tourers like us. That is why a common man doesn’t know the logic for a comfortable ride.
How to ride with the comfortable seating position?
Simple, sit in the upright position and loosen your arms while riding. The upright position is resting your back and lower back to the butt in a straight position (Not perfectly though, we need to move to-and-fro also). Loosen your arms in the sense keeping or resting your hands to the handlebar without stiffness.
Note: Keeping your body and hands stiff would badly result in damages during the encounter of potholes or speed breakers. Hence keep your body and hands-free so that they can perform like a suspension.
In the above list, Honda Unicorn 150 and Bajaj Avenger has the best seating position. With my personal experience, I fell Honda Unicorn 150, Honda Hornet 160R and Bajaj Discover 150F has better and comfortable seating position. Honda hornet has a bit harder seat but after adding little cushion it became better.
What type of seat is good for a long ride?
Stock seats are good enough but for better comfort for hardcore tourers buying air cushioned seat is very good. Fego seat is one, you just need to fill the air and sit, you feel like floating.
Engine and gears
Well, we are talking about 150cc engines and everything listed here has a better performance. Some are more refined, some are smooth and some are a grunt. For long distance riding, we need to more focus on refined engines. As we are in 2019 we need to expect that in all engines. In the above list, Yamaha Fazer has the best-refined engine. It is my personal best as well. Meanwhile, I love Honda hornet as well. Honda Hornet 160R is also the refined engine, more than that I love the grunting sound at 85 km/h – 90 km/h which is musical while cruising on the highway. After 100 km/h Every engine shouts a bit which is weird but still as a young rider and boiling blood still enjoy that!
I need to mention about gears as well. Usually, 150cc comes with 5 gears which are more than enough for that power. Considering one more gear would definitely help a lot during long rides. Because more gears is equal to better fuel economy, but 150cc bikers are more focused for commuting hence no 6th gear for most of the 150cc bikes. But there is one bike in Suzuki which has 6 gears i.e. Suzuki GS150R. Yes, many people consider this bike as a mini tourer.
Guessing what would be the wind protection in 150cc? Well, if you are guessing 150cc street fighters doesn’t help in wind protection then you are right. But wait, we can modify a bit. Bikes like Yamaha Fazer and Bajaj Avenger comes with pre-installed windshields. Whereas others are purely commuters and Streetfighters, so you can’t expect much on those bikes, but as I said we can modify. You can install custom windshields for any bike.
I have installed Yamaha r15’s windshield on my Honda hornet 160R. It was performing quite good but I personally did not feel it was better as the complete wind from the lower body to the chest was directly hitting to my face which is really bad if you are considering for a long ride. The helmet used to wobble after 100 kmph. But from neck to the lower body was completely protected from wind blast. I would suggest you get a bigger windshield or a little bit smaller windshield which can increase performance and a little better in speed also. If you ask me Yamaha Fazer’s windshield and Bajaj pulsar 200 AS windshield is good. I have seen many Honda hornet 160R riders installed these windshields and telling that performance is better and also mileage & top speed increased.
If you are a budget traveler then definitely fuel economy is very important to you. Including me, there are several 150cc bike riders who go for a long ride things the same. This is the reason we are riding 150cc bikes which is very easy to maintain and also gives a better mileage compared to the higher capacity bikes. Usually, all 150cc bike gives an average of 45 kmpl on the highway if you ride between 70 to 80 kmph. The bikes listed here also will do the same.
If I plan for a 500 km ride then I keep at least 1200 rupees for fuel, normally it takes less than 1000 rupees but keeping some amount extra for fuel is always better. Recently I travel from Bangalore to Mangalore via Kuppali and Agumbe ghat, it was around 500 kms and I spent only 700 rupees petrol which is 12lts complete full tank petrol. Many people did not believe this, but it was true. The main reason for this fuel economy is, I rode the bike constantly between 60 to 70 kmph. Because it was state highway and mostly single lane road throughout the journey. Usually, if I ride 500 km in the highway I need at least 1000 rupees petrol because on the highway I will be riding in triple-digit speed i.e. 100kmph. If RPM is higher then fuel economy is low, also consider this – try to shift gear before 3500 – 4000 RPM which can provide a little bit hike in fuel economy.
Exhaust note also has an important role in a long ride. Usually when you consider a bike for a long ride then definitely your bike should be smooth and even exhaust note should also be quiet. When you are on a long ride you should listen to only the wind noise and the honks or horns coming from vehicles behind you. Apart from this even listening to music is also very bad and it’s not safe. You should know what’s happening around you, because you are riding a motorcycle, even a small mistake can cause you big damage.
All the above-mentioned bikes have a decent exhaust note and they are quite as well. when you are on the ride you definitely don’t feel the exhaust sound, more ever you can only listen to the engine sound.
Is loud exhaust note bad for a long ride?
Yes, it is too bad. I will explain you a small incident which happened with one of my close friend. He bought a Royal Enfield bullet 500 as he loves Royal Enfield a lot. He was very happy with the ride and exhaust note. Sometimes he was revving high to show how powerful the exhaust note is. After a few months, he took his bike to native which is 250 km from Bangalore. He enjoyed the first hour and for the next hour, he got irritated. After 2 hours of riding, he felt quite disturbed. Later he stopped every 20 km just to avoid the exhaust sound and enjoy the silence for a few minutes. Now he uses a bullet of for commuting and for a long ride, he uses his brother’s pulsar 220F.
Hope you understood why loud exhaust note will ruin your peace. It may be good for some time but not for too long.
Choosing good tires are very important as there just does not give you a good road grip also they can save your life. Nowadays most of the bikes come with tubeless tires which is very handy on long rides, even if the tires are punctured we can travel some distance and get repaired or if you have puncture kit you can repair yourselves. All the bikes listed above has tubeless tires because all these bikes belong to the newer generation. In fact, even Bajaj discover 150s had a tubeless tire which was my old bike, I bought that in 2015.
What type of tire you should choose for a long ride?
The first priority is to choose the tubeless tire and the next priority is to choose the fat tire which gives more road grip or choosing thin tire will increase your fuel economy but loses confidence on ghat section.
Why am I using a 150cc bike for a long ride? How was my long ride experience in 150cc?
Well, I am from a middle-class family and I don’t have much money to spend on traveling. More than traveling I had to take care of my family and I did not think much about heavy touring machines, it is still the dream though, more than that traveling is more important than the machine. Whichever the bike it is, somehow it will take to the destination, but waiting for a good machine is stupidity. We just have to use whatever the source we have.
My first bike was Bajaj discover 150S, I bought this bike in loan by paying down payment of 28,000 INR. This was my first bike ever and I also learned to ride in this bike only. First 10,000 km I used this bike only for computing. Latest slowly started riding nearby places which is around 70 km to 100 km. Initially, parents did not allow to ride this much km also, as they thought bikes are only used for commuting and mainly bikes are not safe for long distance.
My first long ride was 70 km to Devarayanadurga, Tumkur. I was very excited, It was fun and more comfortable to ride on open roads compared to the heavy Bangalore city traffic. And moreover, there was complete freedom in the travel. From that moment I decided to travel on bikes anywhere in India. This is how my long ride journey started. I did not feel anywhere that I would need a higher capacity bike to enjoy the travel. Because at that moment I believed four-wheelers can move the body but two-wheelers can move the soul.
Later I traveled as much as possible in Karnataka. Starting from 70 km and ended up to 847 km in Bajaj Discover 150S bike in a single day. I wanted to complete 1000 km in one day with my Bajaj Discover 150S but could not. I sold this bike after 1 year of usage.
Bajaj discover 150S had two major disadvantages
- Heavy vibration
- Very poor headlight (Dangerous to ride at night)
Honda Hornet 160R
After selling Discover I bought Honda Hornet 160R after doing a lot of researches and test rides. Alternatively, I was happy with Yamaha FZ v2 for its refined engine and Bajaj Pulsar AS200 for its touring friendly fairing. But many people said Pusalr AS200 had a lot of issues and also has vibrations in the fairing. Even I test rode it and got disappointed. Among all the bikes I felt Honda Hornet 160R was best. Got it on December 1st, 2016 after 40 days of booking.
After the run-in period, I took Hornet for the first long ride to Dattapeeta and Mulliyangiri which is in Chikmagalur. Really bike was very comfortable and smooth, I could easily push it to triple-digit speed. Its been almost 3 years now, I’m still loving this bike. Never made a choice of upgrading yet. And yes I completed 1000 km ride in a day, I have a video as well. Check out here.
The major advantage of riding a 150cc bike is – it is pocket-friendly for budget riders like me. I could literally travel 500 km in one full tank of petrol.
Choose your bike wisely, test ride before you buy it. Thank you for reading this article.
Let me know your longest traveled distance in your bike in the comment below. Thank You.