The 350cc goalpost: Five high displacement bikes we look forward to riding
Royal Enfield Bullet 350
While the Duke appeals to those who enjoy edgy style and raw performance, the Royal Enfield (RE) is meant for people with a more, shall we say refined taste. Widely heralded as the Triumph of the APAC region, the RE is the company for a classic bike that is done right. Their iconic Bullet, is one of the oldest bikes still in production, being around since 1948. The 346cc engine did get some updates —such as fuel injection— over the years, and now makes around 19.1 bhp and 28 Nm of torque through a five-speed gearbox. As for other features, single-channel ABS is present for safety reasons, but everything else remains pretty much as it was seven decades ago. RE recently entered an agreement with the local Ifad Group, meaning if the cc limit is raised, this will be one of the bikes that will mark RE's official debut in Bangladesh.
KTM Duke 250
The bigger brother of the Duke 125 and a cut down version of the 370, the KTM Duke 250 was meant to be a middle of the pack option for people looking for a naked sportbike. And while the 370 remains out of our reach by 20cc, the speculative raised cc limited will make the 250 legal for the streets of Bangladesh, a significant upgrade over the 125 that everyone seems to obsessed over a year ago. Powering the bike is a single-cylinder 248.8cc liquid-cooled engine, making 29.6 bhp and 24 Nm of torque through a six-speed gearbox. Features include switchable ABS, all-around LED, and a non-TFT instrument cluster. KTM is set to make their official debut in the country this year —courtesy of Runner Automobiles—, meaning there is a good chance we will be able to officially buy this beast within a year or two.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R
While 125cc Ninja is quite a creature —watch this space for more info— the ZX-25R is another beast. The 249.8cc four-cylinder engine makes a bowel emptying 51 hp and 22.9 Nm of torque and revs up to an almighty 17,000 RPM. The six-speed gearbox is fitted with quickshifter and can reach 0-100 in just under six seconds. To keep the beast in check, Kawasaki has given the bike their propriety traction control and intelligent ABS and well as multiple different ride modes for the user to choose from. All in all, a fabulous machine for those who can control it and one that we hope we can ride on our roads soon.
TVS Apache RR 310
While the Pulsar deserves its reputation as a sporty commuter, the TVS's Apache series is one of the handfuls of Indian bikes that can claim actual racing provenance. The top-end model of the lineup, the Apache RR 310, is a beast both on track on road. The 312.2cc motor produces a refreshing 33 bhp and 27.3 Nm of torque and channels it to the rear wheel with a six-speed gearbox. The bike is also packed in terms of features, such as dual-channel ABS, all LED lighting, a full-color TFT display, mobile app connectivity, and most importantly, a ride-by-wire system. Which gives the RR four different ride modes: Urban, Sport, Rain, and Track. Overall, the RR will be the closest we can get to riding a full-on literbike, until the days the displacement ban is fully lifted for good.
Bajaj Dominar 250
Granted, we when think about Bajaj, the Pulsar immediately comes to mind. The affordable bike provides a nice balance between performance and everyday commuting, and arguably one of the few motorcycle nameplates in the country to have an actual cult following. What a lot of people don't know that the Pulsar has a bigger brother, the Dominar. Initially started as the Pulsar 400, Bajaj spin off the bike under its own nameplate in 2016. Although the original still remains us of our reach, the company has recently rolled out a cut down 248.8cc version that looks exactly like its bigger brother. The liquid-cooled motor is based on that of the Duke 250 and makes 26.63 bhp and 23.5 Nm of torque. Other bings and bongs include dual-channel ABS, digital odometer, all-around LED, etc. Overall, a fine upgrade over the NS160.