The world’s second largest two-wheeler market relies solely on fuel efficient bikes – reason enough for a special report by Bunny Punia on the machines that go that extra mile in their respective categories
Aspi Bhathena, Executive Editor -BIKE India, performed the fuel efficiency tests by turning off the fuel supply and running the bike dry. Then a fuel test bottle is attached to the carburetor and filled with a stipulated amount of fuel every time. The bike is then run on a specified city route, which we take for every bike. Of course, there may be variations in fuel efficiency figures that our readers get but that is obvious, given the varied traffic conditions in different cities at various times. For fuel injected bikes though, apart from the Honda CBF Stunner FI, we have calculated the mileage from a tank full to tank full, running the bike on the same route numerous times.
BAJAJ PULSAR 220 – 220cc and above
The new Pulsar 220 DTS-i delivers impressive fuel efficiency for its size. The new 220 runs 42.5km in the city and close to 50km per litre on open highways. In the overall analysis, the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i wins in the 220cc and above segment, closely followed by the Hero Honda Karizma.
TVS APACHE RTR 160 FI – 150 to 220cc
Last year, the inclusion of a fuel injected variant of the 160cc RTR further made it a very potent bike, as the bike goes more than 50km to a litre when ridden sanely in city traffic conditions. This figure further gets bumped to more than 60km on open highways when speed is maintained around the 60-65km/h mark. The overall figure of 55kmpl is more than enough to make the TVS Apache RTR 160 FI the winner in the 160 to 220cc segment, far ahead of the runner-up, the Bajaj Pulsar 180.
HERO HONDA CBZ XTREME – 125 to 150cc
The CBZ Xtreme uses the same 150cc engine that is found in the Honda Unicorn. However, Hero Honda have extracted the best of both the world’s from the 149cc motor by making it give better performance figures and class leading fuel efficiency. 57km to a litre in the city and 70km on the highway are numbers that amaze us to no end. These figures are just shy of what the Discover 135 manages. The tall fifth gear of the CBZ also helps to draw out the best from the machine. Even at cruising speeds of 80-85km/h, this bike can manage over 50km to a litre on the highway.
HERO HONDA GLAMOUR FI – 100 to 125cc
Even in the 125cc segment, the Glamour has stood out for being a very efficient bike. And, when the fuel injected variant of the Glamour was introduced, even the efficient Honda Shine couldn’t match it. Ride the Glamour FI with a light right wrist and the bike will easily go more than 75km to a litre. On the highway, at speeds of around 45-50km/h, the engine hardly sips any fuel resulting in a figure of 92kmpl!
HERO HONDA SPLENDOR NXG
The NXG comes loaded with goodies for a 100cc bike and at the same time, looks attractive for this segment. The 97.2cc engine has been in the market for donkey’s years and from time to time, it has seen improvements that have made it one of the most reliable and smoothest powerplants in the country. Commuters we spoke to during the photo shoot are easily getting around 70km to a litre in the city, close to our test figures that stand at 74kmpl for the city and 86kmpl for the highway which are almost identical to its sibling, the CD Deluxe.
Small capacity bikes are not always the most fuel efficient. What matters is how efficiently the fuel is burnt in the engine. Having a fuel injection setup further helps as is evident in the case of the Glamour and the Apache RTR 160. In these bikes, the ECU and its sensors keep adjusting to varying throttle inputs as well as weather conditions and altitude to make sure that the fuel is utilized in the most efficient manner.
It is also quite simple to extract the best from your engine in terms of fuel economy. Correct tyre pressure, lubed chain, a light right wrist and sticking to 40-45km/h in the top gear during city runs will have drastic results. Try for yourself and let us know your feedback.