“Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul”. And there are many companies in India that make sure their machines are capable enough to do so. The first-ever bike to reach our shores was the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 which was manufactured in the UK and assembled in Madras. Since then, the industry has grown bigger with many other companies joining the league. Here is the list of top 10 two-wheeler companies in India that have been putting excitement on the roads. The companies are being rated on the basis of performance, fuel efficiency, price and innovation. The scoring is on a five bikes scale with five bikes being the highest. The list is not in any particular order.
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The oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production is based out of Chennai, India. Royal Enfield is now a subsidiary of Eicher Motors. This company has been introducing cruiser motorcycles to the country. The first-ever bike in India was RE Bullet 350, which the government ordered for border patrolling and police requirements. Since then Enfield has introduced models such as Classic 350, Thunderbird, Interceptor, Continental GT and Himalayan. In terms of innovation, the company seems to have recently thought of introducing innovation in their bikes. Actually, the cult following of Royal Enfield is such that even without any major changes in design or looks, the company is able to sell the Bullet 350 easily. The Indians love REs due to the robust stance and powerful thumping engines. Recently, the company discontinued the 350cc series of engines as they were not able to comply with the BS6 emission norms.
TVS Motor Company
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Another indigenous two-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company is known to be ahead in innovation. The TVS racing established in 1982 has been upfront in making affordable yet powerful bikes for the Indian racers. What started as a company building mopeds such as TVS50 in 1972 is now known for bikes such as Apache RR310. The company was quick in adopting the upcoming BS6 norms and upgrade its offerings according to them. The bikes from TVS are fuel-efficient, low in price and really powerful which makes them one of the most sought after bikes in the Indian market. TVS Ntorq, a powerful scooter is also taking the market by storm due to the unmatched performance and styling it offers.
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A joint venture between Hero Cycles of India and Honda two-wheeler from Japan began in 1984 under the name Hero Honda. The company introduced many fuel-efficient 100cc bikes such as Splendor, Passion and CD100. The venture was terminated in 2010 after a long 26 years of running. Everyone thought Hero won’t be able to survive against the top automakers from around the world. And the rest is history. Hero Motocorp is not only the highest seller of two-wheelers in India but also renowned globally for the same. Hero Motocorp indulged all its R&D to make the best bikes and that too in the affordable range.
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The Japanese brand is known for one of the most famous scooters in India, the Honda Activa. Honda was the first two-wheeler company to adopt the BS6 emission norms which gave it a head start and a massive sales figure of over 5.5lakh BS6 units. The scooters and bikes from the company are known for their fuel efficiency though the buyers have to pay a little higher when compared to the rivals.
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I would have given the company 3 bikes in the innovation bar, but with their introduction of Intruder 150, they lost all the respect. That being said, the company has also introduced some good bikes such as Suzuki Gixxer. Suzuki Access 125 is the only prominent rival to the Honda Activa in the market in terms of sales. With adequate performance and fuel-efficiency, the company has made a good name in the country. Suzuki’s superbike Hayabusa is one of the favourites among Indian riders though it has been discontinued for now.
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The company which is known for the legendary Chetak is another totally Indian brand on the list. The most famous bike series from the company has been the Pulsar series which is popular among the youth of India. The bike came in 2001 and has been a heartthrob of Indian youth since then. Bajaj has also introduced some very fuel-efficient budget-friendly bike such as Boxer, Platina and CT100. The company has introduced the whole range of BS6-compliant vehicles recently. Have a look here. Bajaj also brought back the legendary Chetak in the electrified form for the Indian audience making sure that it is not left behind in the race towards EV future.
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KTM was introduced in India in collaboration with Bajaj Motorcycles. The company has introduced its range of sports bikes such as RC390, Duke 200, Duke 390, 390 Adventure and the 790 Duke. The Austria based motorcycle brand is known for its innovative and robust bikes. In India also, KTM has a huge fan following especially for the RC390 and Duke 200 bikes.
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The Japanese brand is known for superbikes such as R1 and MT-09. In India, Yamaha’s R15 has been a prominent player in the market since its inception. R15 has been a popular bike due to the highly efficient engine and the elegant stance. Other popular bikes from Yamaha are FZ25, MT15 and Fazer. Fascino has been also making a mark in the two-wheeled scooter segment. Yamaha has recently discontinued all its entry-level bikes and now will only keep the upper ranges for sales.
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The most famous brand from Kawasaki in India is the Ninja. It also offers bikes such as Vulcan and Versys in its offerings. Talking about Ninja, this bike has single-handily made the company a successful one. Ninja has been a prominent choice for the ones that want to drive thrill.
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The cruiser market was under the monopoly of Royal Enfield. This is when Mahindra decided to bring back the Jawa brand which was a famous one in the 1900s. The dual-exhausts were launched back in the Indian market recently with bikes such as Jawa and Jawa 42. These bikes are much better in performance as well as comfort when compared to the Royal Enfield contemporaries.
So this was the list of top 10 two-wheeler automobile companies in India. Did we miss any? Please let us know in the comment section below.