Revving Up the Indian Roads – Hottest 400cc Segment Bikes of 2023

The Indian two-wheeler market has seen a spate of exciting new launches this year. They cater to a diverse range of riders and preferences.

They won’t break any land-speed records, but they sure are fun to ride. Check out these top-performing starter-class motorcycles. They’ll give you that adrenaline rush you crave.

1. Yamaha YZF-R3

The Yamaha YZF-R3 is the ultimate lightweight A2 license supersport. Its high-revving 321 cc EU5 engine delivers an outstanding combination of power and agility. Its compact chassis, race-inspired styling and class-leading quality deliver a truly outstanding performance on both road and track.

The YZF-R3’s new duo-tone Icon Blue colour scheme and the central M1-inspired air duct give it a pure, race-bred look. Its compact exhaust system improves airflow and helps keep the bike nimble and responsive. The inverted front fork and Monocross rear shock enhances handling with a balanced chassis, excellent rigidity and an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.

COMPACT CHASSIS

With a compact frame, reshaped fuel tank and repositioned handlebars, the R3 has an aggressively sporty silhouette. The YZF-R3’s short wheelbase and low seat height give it incredible agility, making the rider feel glued to the ground when carving up tight canyon corners or blasting down racetrack straightaways.

YZF-R3 ENGINE:

Developed using championship-winning technology, the YZF-R3’s liquid-cooled, inline 2-cylinder powerplant offers an exciting blend of high-rpm acceleration and wide spread of power. Its dual overhead cams and four-valve cylinder heads optimize power delivery while minimizing vibrations. The YZF-R3’s downdraft fuel injection and a lightweight, compact design help ensure optimal efficiency and reliability for consistent, responsive performance.

2. KTM 390 Adventure

The KTM 390 Adventure is a hard-to-beat ADV bike that already ticks a lot of boxes for adventure-hungry riders. For 2023, the firm has sprinkled some more ADV pixie dust on this venerable bike with a new spoke wheel variant that will appeal to even more buyers.

Powered by the same 373cc single-cylinder engine that powers most KTM’s bikes, including the popular RC 400 and Duke 300, this Adventure is a fun and agile off-roader that also has decent street abilities. Thanks to a sharply focused chassis and a surprisingly light kerb weight, it’s very maneuverable on twisty pavement.

On the dirt, it’s a whole different story, where its rugged looks are matched by real off-road capability. The reworked spoke wheels help to increase ground clearance to allow for bigger off-road tyres, and the suspension is tuned by WP APEX hardware for a mix of road and off-road riding.

For the rider, a full suite of electronic rider aids is on offer – from lean angle-aware traction control to street/off-road switchable ABS and a two-way quickshifter. The KTM’s 5in TFT display has a big clear speedo, trip info, tank range and more to keep you updated at all times, while Bluetooth integration lets you connect your phone for turn-by-turn navigation on the go.

3. Mahindra Mojo

Mahindra Mojo is a sturdily built and well-appointed motorcycle. The company didn’t go big on the marketing and instead wanted the bike to speak for itself. And it has indeed succeeded in attracting a dedicated following of riders who form the “Mojo tribe”. Many of these riders have covered more than 1 lakh km on their Mojos and have rode across India’s lowest to highest motorable roads in diverse climatic conditions. Some of them have even raced on the Mojo in one of the toughest rallies on earth – Raid de Himalaya.

The Mojo is a great motorcycle to ride as it has a refined engine and comfortable riding dynamics which make it perfect for long rides. It also gets a good amount of torque in the mid-range which makes it effortless to cruise and cover miles without getting tired. Its cruising speed of 110-120 kmph in the top gear is also pretty easy to achieve on empty four-lane highways.

Another impressive aspect about the Mojo is its brakes. It has a pair of disc brakes and is capable of tackling hard cornering at high speeds. It is also a very agile motorcycle that can easily change direction with ease. However, it can feel a bit under-powered in the higher gears but that is to be expected from a 400cc motorcycle.

4. QJ Motor SRK 400

There’s no doubt that China-based QJ Motor is making an active effort to make its presence felt in the European market. The company’s Benelli parent business has been introducing new models regularly and the SRK 400 is a prime example of this. A direct rival to the KTM 390 Duke, this nice looking streetfighter aims to attract the attention of younger riders who prefer fun over brand loyalty.

The QJ Motor SRK 400 draws power from a liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder engine that churns out 38 PS and 30 Nm. This powerplant is coupled to a six-speed transmission that sends the output to the rear wheel via a shaft drive. Tipping the scales at 186 kg, the SRK 400 feels rather heavy but it never makes you feel conscious about its weight when cruising through town or tackling highway traffic. An USD fork manages suspension duties up front while an offset monoshock handles the task at the back.

On the performance front, this motorcycle does a respectable job considering its budget. It does the 0-100kph run in 5.86s, which is marginally quicker than the KTM RC 390. However, the SRK 400’s peak power comes at 9,000 rpm and you really need to wring its gearbox to extract more than just passable performance. This is where its biggest shortcoming lies.

Author: sonal gupta

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