Feel the need for speed? We weigh in on the polarising discussion, ‘are two wheels better than four?’
words by gugu masuku
In our first issue we looked at a list of what the rand could get you as a first time buyer in the car market. This time we’ve done things a little differently — we’re looking at what your options are if you’re considering getting into the adrenaline filled world of two wheels if you’re a new rider or someone who doesn’t know their handlebars from the foot pegs. Here are some bikes that may be worth considering:
Not everyone has the aptitude for operating a geared motorbike and even for those who have mastered this art, whizzing through traffic without the burden of finessing a clutch lever and making sure you’re in the correct gear can be a breath of fresh air, and make the riding experience even more enjoyable. The BMW C 400 X may just be what you’re looking for to enhance that two wheeled commute. Unlike many other scooters, the C 400 X leans more towards the masculine side in its styling cues — now appealing to the guy who wouldn’t ordinarily peer into this genre of motorcycles. The BMW is a cut above the rest as it sits on the premium side of the spectrum, and so do its features.
A sizeable hi-res TFT display allows you to do everything, from checking on the bikes vital signs to connecting your mobile via the BMW Motorrad Connected App, giving you access to your music playlist as well as navigation. Standard heated grips really raise the bar with this scooter that goes for R124,700.
Here’s a Chinese alternative that’s affordable but does not look cheap. The Zontes ZT310-X is a modern and high-end looking package — a far cry from other options from the Asian country. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind the badge on your steed, the Zontes is an enticing proposition. With nicely sculptured fairings, this 300cc bike looks like it belongs in the 600cc bracket.
You get some decent features, like an electronically adjustable screen, meaning the Zontes will not only do the daily runabout but it’s also willing to take on the extended trips with efficiency. A USB port will aid in charging during those long distance travels in this R69,900 motorcycle.
Suzuki Gixxer (GSX150)
It’s a street bike, which means it’s the perfect companion for those inner city commutes. If your routine consists of doing short burst around town, the Suzuki Gixxer will make perfect sense for you. Powered by a 154cc engine and Suzuki’s Suzuki Eco Performance technology, the Gixxer will cost a pittance to run, and at R33,150 it prides itself in being one of the more affordable options on our list. Its small dimensions and lightweight make the Gixxer a fun and agile bike to ride. Suitable for beginners as well as those with a tad more experience below the belt.
KTM 390 Duke
KTM’s 390 Duke stands out in the looks department with the bright orange splashed with white, and its outlandish sharp edged design. You won’t only stand out with this option, but as do most products from KTM, the 390 Duke will give you more bang for your rand on the performance side. Many of these bikes now come with a top of the line TFT screen, but what makes the one worn by the 390 stand apart in a sea of tech filled displays is its ability to sense the surrounding light and adjust its backlight to light or dark for better visibility — much like your mobile phone. It comes in at R76,999.
Vespa Primavera 150
Of course, the classic guys and gals were not going to be left out of this one. The Vespa lineup is aimed directly at these individuals, but here we’re honing in on the Primavera 150. The compact Vespa is one of the smallest in the lineup but make no mistake — that 150cc motor has a sting to it, allowing for blissful commutes on and off the highway. You’ll still get the classic Vespa look in this little package, and what’s great about these Italian machines is their strong build quality — they’ll probably outlive you. So, consider all of the above when looking at the R95,000 price tag.