A simple guide to find out India's best commuters, from among Bajaj CT 100, Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn, TVS Sport, Yamaha Crux and Mahindra Pantero T4.
Leading motorcycle manufacturers in India have been giving their best to offer a perfect 100cc commuter bike. Being the most demanding section, the major challenge remains to offer a complete 'value for money' package without compromising on looks and durability.
Bajaj with its recent unveiling of Bajaj CT 100 has stepped up the gas in this segment while other manufacturers also have their weapons ready for the masses. Apart from the all-new Bajaj CT 100, four other motorcycles fall under the Rs 40,000 price tag, making them the most affordable commuters in the country.
So, let's do a face-off of India's leading commuters, namely, Bajaj CT 100, Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn, TVS Sport, Yamaha Crux and Mahindra Pantero T4.
Appearance and design
Maintaining a good fuel economy and fulfilling everyday commuting needs are the main priorities of the 100cc class, hence they generally don't come with those stylish looks and eye-catching visuals.
More often, the bikes witness a utility-oriented design with a lightweight body to avail maximum output for buyers.
The new Bajaj CT 100 comes with a sleek body design and curvy dynamics. The bike was one of the best selling 100cc bikes in India. The company relaunched it keeping in mind its remarkable popularity among the masses. The sporty headlamp, SNS suspension and body coloured panels with attractive body graphics are the plus points of this bike. Bajaj CT 100 comes with alloy wheels as well, that further enhances its appeal.
The bike is available in two colours: Ebony Black and Electron Blue.
Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn comes with one of the most practical designs. It has a round headlamp that suites its commuter image well. The bike's fuel tank, front fender and side panels are painted in one colour while the rear panel goes matte black. To improve convenience, a steel rear grab rail with a luggage carrier has been provided.
The bike comes in five colour options: Candy Blazing Red, Black With Purple, Black With Red, Boon Silver Metallic and Classy Maroon Metallic.
TVS Sport can be said the most stylish player in this category. It comes with an angular headlamp and body coloured panels that give it an enhanced look. The instrument console looks the best in the 100cc category.
The bike further excels in the looks department by having engine, frame, suspension, wheels (alloys), painted in black giving it an enhanced premium look.
It comes in the following six attractive colour schemes: Flaming Red, Blaze Red, Electric Green, Mercury Grey, Dazzling White and Indigo Streak.
Yamaha Crux carries the most conventional design in this segment. The bike comes with a round headlamp and a metallic front fender that gives it a proper utility motorcycle image. It is further equipped with a straight seat, plain twin-pod instrument console and traditional spoke wheels.
The bike is available in two colours: Maroon and Black.
Mahindra Pantero T4 is another stylish motorcycle in this segment. The bike comes in four variants and the T4 variant is chosen for comparison here, which comes with spoke wheels and kick start.
The bike incorporates several features that add up to its style statement. A sporty headlamp with twin pilot lamps enhances the front profile of the bike. It also comes with an LED tail lamp and an all-black theme that makes it score over its other rivals.
Mahindra Pantero T4 is available in four colour schemes namely: Fiery, Sterling, Blazing and Cool.
Engine and performance
The bikes are equipped with a 100cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine that returns a good fuel economy along with fulfilling daily commuting needs impressively.
Bajaj CT 100 is powered by a 99.27cc motor that churns out maximum power of 8.1bhp at 7,500rpm and a peak torque of 8.05Nm at 5,000rpm. The engine is mated to four-speed transmission system and uses wet multiplate clutch assembly. The bike claims a mileage of 89.5kmpl.
Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn is propelled by a 97.2cc mill that delivers a peak power of 8.25bhp at 8,000rpm with a maximum torque of 8.05Nm at 5,000rpm. The horizontal engine is mated to a four-speed gearbox, which uses wet multi-plate clutch assembly and returns a decent fuel economy of 83kmpl.
The stylish TVS Sport gets its power from a 99.7cc, carbureted engine that mates with a four-speed transmission. The powermill develops a peak power of 7.37bhp at 7,500rpm with a maximum torque of 7.5Nm at 5,000rpm. TVS Sport employs wet multi-plate clutch set-up and returns a mileage of 87.7kmpl.
Propelling the Yamaha Crux is a 106cc engine that produces a maximum power of 7.5bhp at 7,500rpm with a peak torque of 7.5Nm at 6,000rpm. It comes mated to a four-speed gearbox and is fitted with wet multiplate clutch assembly. The bike claims to deliver a mileage of 78kmpl.
Last but not the least, Mahindra Pantero has a 106.7cc, microchip ignited engine that generates a peak power of 8.4bhp at 7,500rpm with a maximum torque of 8.5Nm at 5,500rpm.
The four-speed engine delivers a fuel economy of 79.4kmpl.
All fuel economy figures have been revealed by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) after testing the bikes.
Chassis and engineering
All motorcycles are bolted on a quite similar type of chassis with telescopic front and spring loaded hydraulic rear suspension. However, there are some slight modifications in the engineering of every model which is described below.
Bajaj CT 100 sits on a tubular single down tube with lower cradle frame. It employs telescopic forks at the front and a unique, coaxial Spring-in-Spring suspension (SNS) at the rear, to carry out shock absorbing duties effectively.
Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn is crafted on a tubular double cradle frame and comes with telescopic forks at the front and spring loaded hydraulic dampers at the rear.
The good-looking TVS Sport is held together by a single downtube frame. The bike employs telescopic front shock absorbers and five-step adjustable rear spring loaded dampers.
The chassis and engineering of Yamaha Crux and Mahindra Pantero is almost the same. Both bikes are built on a tubular double cradle frame and are equipped with telescopic front and spring loaded rear shock absorbers.
Braking and handling
Since the motorcycles in this category usually don't have to undergo strict and harsh braking, they generally come equipped with drum brakes at both ends. To ensure hassle-free daily commutes, the bikes usually come with 17" or 18" wheels and 2.5" to 3" tyres.
Bajaj CT 100 runs on 17", 5-spoke alloys (also available with spoke wheels), which comes with 2.75" wide front and 3.00" wide rear tyre. Bajaj CT 100 is fitted with 110mm drum brakes at both ends.
Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn is equipped with 18" spoke wheels with 2.75" wider tyres to perform daily runs smoothly. Its braking system includes 130mm drum brake at the front and 110mm drum brake at the rear.
TVS Sport comes with 17" spoke wheels at the front and rear with availability in black alloys as well. It comes with 2.75" tyres at the front and 3.00" tyres at the rear. The braking kit comes with 130mm drum brakes at the front and 110mm drum brakes at the rear.
Yamaha Crux runs on 18" spoke wheels, which come with 2.5" and 2.75" tyre on the front and the rear respectively. Both wheels have been equipped with drum type braking units.
Lastly, Mahindra Pantero moves on 18" alloy wheels with 2.75" tyres and comes fitted with 130mm and 110mm drum brakes at the front and rear respectively.
Prices of all the 5 motorcycles start under Rs 40,000 and increases according to the features.
All motorcycles are equally trustable in the country's 100cc line-up. However, if you want a stylish commuter at Rs 40,000, TVS Sport is the most preferred one.
Hero MotoCorp HF-Dawn scores well on the grounds of reliability and durability. The engine and performance department is led by Mahindra Pantero while the new Bajaj CT 100 stands top when it comes to mileage, features and price.