Off-road Starter Bike
I am a long-time reader and love the work you do to keep us two-wheeler fans entertained and up to date. I am a complete off-road novice who is looking to learn the art of riding in the mud. I want a suitable bike that will be good to learn on and one that doesn’t cost too much. I will also be using it as my daily bike to go to office and for small errands around the city. I am five feet seven inches tall, so I want something on which I can reach my feet down properly. Since I am a novice, I want to make things as easy as possible. I want a light bike as well for this purpose. I am looking at the Hero Xpulse and Royal Enfield Himalayan. Is anything else available among the off-road bikes within this price range? What would be the best bike for me? Please advise me. Amit Lal, via social media
We are delighted to read that our magazine has been so well received by you over the years. It is great to know that you propose to explore the exciting world of off-roading and want a new set of wheels for that purpose. The KTM 390 Adventure is another viable option apart from the two you have shortlisted. In terms of seat height, the lowest option is the Royal Enfield Himalayan at 800 millimetres, followed by the Hero Xpulse 200 at 823 mm. The 390 Adventure has the highest perch at 855 mm. The Xpulse weighs 154 kilograms, the KTM 158 kg, and the Himalayan tips the scales at 199 kg. So, the Xpulse would be the best compromise in the weight and seat height departments. Since it is also the least powerful, you will be able to learn at your own pace without feeling overwhelmed by the grunt on offer. Please make sure you test-ride all three bikes, though, and make your choice based on what feels right for you. Also, remember to always wear full protective riding gear when you are out there off-roading in order to keep life and limb intact. Wish you the best and happy trails!