Why is motorcycle so popular in India? Detail Analysis

Royal-Enfield motorcycle in India
Royal-Enfield motorcycle in India

India is the second-most populous country in the world. It has another thing whose population is also increasing day by day, two-wheeler vehicles. Now, it is the motorcycle, scooters, etc. After talking to some of my Indian friends and doing some extra research know about India. Here is what I found.

So, Why is a motorcycle so popular in India? The average income of most people is below $500/month. As, motorcycles are economical, provide better mileage, requires less maintenance, and are cheaper than cars. Thus, motorcycles are popular; used for the daily commute, in India.

Here are some factors for motorcycles being popular in India.


Crowd in front of Delhi Gate
Crowd in front of Delhi Gate

One of the most prominent reasons motorcycles are popular in India is its population. India ranks second in this list for the population in the world, although in short term India will be on top. India has 1,326,093,247 number of people on its land, and as you read this line thousand have already been born.

So, with this kind of population and having approximately 3 times smaller areas than the USA. India can’t afford to have cars for everyone. It will create a whole lot of issues for parking, traffic, etc.

Just imagine the kind of traffic would be if all the people in India got cars for work. The timing for the work for most of the people is nearly the same and all the cars will create a never-ending traffic jam on the road.

Total Land Area

Now, coming to another important problem in the area of India. To have a better picture let’s take china into this same picture. China and India both are the most populous countries in the world. China ranks first in the population but it has an area that is approximately 192% larger than India.

India having a very little area and being the second-most populous country in the world. It becomes unsuitable to have cars as a utilitarian vehicle.

Another problem in India is that most of the infrastructure facilities like residence, hospitals, malls, etc are closely packed (very less distance between them). There is not much empty area in between like the US. So, it will raise a lot of problems with parking.

Although one thing to note is Indians do buy cars and many of the people are buying cars but they do not use it as the utilitarian vehicle. It is more of a recreational one.

People’s income

Indian people on motorcycle
Indian people on motorcycle (Bikes Media)

In India average middle man income is around or under $500. Now, with this kind of low income, how anybody can think of buying a car that costs $6,7105 dollar or 5 lac and more?

Even the cheapest car in India starts from $5000 except nano. Nowadays, with increasing expenses it has become hard to live with a monthly salary of $600.

But, if we take a look on India famous cities then people do buy cars or we can say most of the people have cars in cities. But they do have motorcycle also to get to work or for some other work.

And Even if anyone buys a car in India then they would finance that with 5+ years of EMI. That’s why people prefer a motorcycle because it’s cheap, you get one around under $500 to $600.

Fuel efficiency

This is another big reason for being motorcycle popular in India. Most of the motorcycle provides better fuel-efficiency which results in saving the cost for distance cover. Most of the motorcycles and scooter in India provides an average mileage of 60 – 80km/l. Means with 1 liter of fuel (petrol/diesel) a motorcycle will cover or run 60km of distance. That’s why people choose motorcycles over cars.

Apart from this fuel costs are more likely to fluctuates in India. And a normal car gives a mileage of 25 km/l. So, the fuel-cost will be more in cars compared to a motorcycle. Thus, driving with cars also increase the overall expense.

That’s the reason most of the India prefer motorcycle over a car it’s cheap and consume less space.

Maintenance Cost

In India people spends way less on motorcycles. They don’t even change the tires until it not usable. Also, the maintenance cost in India costs very less compared to cars.

On average the service cost of a motorcycle costs around $54 yearly. It is important that every motorcycle should get serviced every 45 to 60 days. So, one service costs around $10 which most people in India can afford easily.

And, if we take a look on cars service then it cost $67 to $80 per 3 months or per 5000km, whichever comes first. So, its another reason for motorcycle being popular in India than cars.

Traffic in India

Delhi traffic in India
Delhi traffic in India

The traffic in big cities in India has become a problem. In the capital city of India, there is a rule of odd-even. That one day only odd number vehicles will run and in one day only even number vehicles will run. These measures have been taken to cut down the traffic as well as pollution

The big cities include Banglore, Mumbai, Pune, Surat where most people are work and go for daily jobs. So, there will be big congestion of vehicles if everybody gets cars in India. Even with a motorcycle, the traffic is not less because most of the people job timing is near about same. So, in a particular time the traffic increases too much.

That’s the reason people uses motorcycle to avoid traffic and get to their work easily and fast.

Weather Condition

Motorcycle in Rain with four passenger in India
Indian car in Rain

In India, there is no problem with snowfall or any harsh weather condition for a longer time. So, the motorcycle becomes a convenient option for transportation and going for a job.

The weather in India does consist of some harsh conditions like rainfall, flood, winter but Indian seems to not afraid of these things.

They will ride their motorcycle in any condition without any worry. Also, the motorcycle is not just a mode of transportation, it is a utilitarian vehicle. That’s why motorcycles are more popular in India.

Mentality of Indian People

In India, people just care about low-cost motorcycle and their fuel-efficiency. If you bought a motorcycle in India and tell anyone about that. The first question asked would be “Kitna deti hai” the standard dialogue in India which means “what’s the mileage”. If the motorcycle ranges between 50-60km/l then you have bought the right motorcycle otherwise it’s not good.

Indian family on motorcycle
Indian family on motorcycle

Even the lack of cars doesn’t make the Indians getting using the bus or public transport. A motorcycle works like a car in India. Although the motorcycle is good for most two-people in India you can see easily four to five people on a motorcycle.

In fact, Motorcycles are enough for Indian to carry their families, as you see above. It’s not less than car.

Indian seems to not care about themselves and the passenger and they ride with 3 to 4 people on 100- 150cc motorcycle without any worry in city highways. This is another reason the motorcycle is popular in India. 

Now, it’s could have become a long descriptions for every aspect. Let’s breakdown and cover everything in just points.

So, Why is motorcycle so popular in India?

  • The first reason is the average people’s incomes. The average incomes for most people in India get less than $600. That makes the motorcycle affordable more than cars in India.
  • Motorcycles in India are very cost-effective than cars. In India, you can get a new motorcycle at the low cost of $576 (43000rs).
  • The population density versus area is another main tissue which prevents people from using motorcycles in day to day life.
  • Motorcycles are lightweight, fuel-efficient, cost-effective, and easy to park. This thing makes the motorcycle popular in India than cars.
  • Mileage is another factor. In India, people are concerned more about mileage than the vehicle. And motorcycles are good at it. Most of the Indian motorcycle easily provides 50-60 km/l.
  • The motorcycle helps to get out of the traffic very easily because of its small, lightweight physical specification.
  • Apart from all this, the freedom of riding in the open air is another factor that motivates not only Indians but every rider to ride a motorcycle.


What is the most popular motorcycle in India?

Hero splendor and Royal-Enfield are the two most popular motorcycle in India. The Hero splendor is very affordable, light-weight, fuel-efficient that’s why it is the highest-selling motorcycle among the Indians. Royal Enfield holds a very important place in India, it is the oldest company. Those who own a Royal Enfield are known to be rich or at-least above the middle class. It is a class in India.

What is so special about Royal Enfield?

Royal-Enfield motorcycle in India
Royal-Enfield motorcycle in India

Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle brand in the world and it’s now famous for its old-world retro-style design. Royal Enfield is the most popular motorcycle in India because of its old retro style look, and the thumpy single-cylinder engine. Another reason that attracts people in India to it because of its old “dug-dug” exhaust sound, screaming its presence from far.

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