Honda CB150R is all the buzz. But is it coming to India?
The Honda CB150R ExMotion has been revealed in Thailand and it's become a motorcycle that's really caught everyone's imagination. And to be honest, it isn't hard to see why. After all the Honda CB150R looks stunning. And because the Honda CB150R is a 150cc motorcycle, it is something we all wonder will come to India or not. The background is encouraging to be sure with Honda India finally focused on the the premium market and the Honda CB150R ExMotion could just be the motorcycle the company needs for its Indian premium bike fortunes - already on the rise with the Honda Hornet CB160R - to finally turn around and look positive.
The Honda CB150R ExMotions is powered by 150cc water-cooled 4-valve engine which is EURO-6 compliant and comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox
We already took a detailed look at the Honda CB150R ExMotion. But to summarise the Honda CB150R ExMotion - a motorcycle for the Thailand market - comes with a single-cylinder 150cc DOHC 4-valve engine that has been designed and developed in the image of Honda's bigger nakeds. Power outputs are unknown but the engine is water-cooled and gets a molybdenum-coated piston and Honda's fuel injection technology. The motor is EURO-6 compliant and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. The motorcycle is based on the 150SS Racer concept from the Bangkok Show last March. Is this coming to India, though?
The front of the Honda CB150R ExMotion gets all LED lamps. The one-piece handlebar is chunky and maintains a flat profile
The reason why Honda should bring it to India is simple. The engine sounds like something that makes 17-19PS which should set up the CB150R ExMotion very nicely in the performance 150cc class. Currently there aren't too many motorcycles in that zone. Honda doesn't really focus on the CBR150R and Yamaha, busy with its commuters and scooters, has allowed the perennially popular YZF-R15 to fade to a steady sales position without any effort to help it. And Honda's CBR250R, another model that's faded into near obscurity is both expensive and now very old. In that sense, the CB150R fills a number of roles and gaps in the Honda line-up and it should be launched in India. We do believe there is a market for a premium, all bells and whistles 150 that sits a good way above the likes of the Suzuki Gixxer (which recently got small updates as well as an ABS model) in performance and specification. The classy retro styling will definitely help the Honda's case. In Thailand, the price is just under Rs 2 lakh, but most South East Asian markets do sell their motorcycles at comparatively higher prices than India as a rule.
The Honda CB150R ExMotion has a multi-info digital display for the instrumentation cluster
The reason why Honda wouldn't launch the motorcycle are even simpler. Honda has established the Hornet in India as its premium commuter and it's the first 150 in ages to have found significant and stable traction. Would it be prudent to upset an apple cart that's finally found some semblance of stability? There is also the question of price - the piston, for instance, is unlikely to be locally sourced and will have to imported which raises the price of the motorcycle.
The Honda CB150R ExMotion has a muscular tank that is sculpted to provide good anchorage when gripped by the knees
We believe that Honda may not launch the CB150R in the Thai specification in India, but that the styling package will host a slightly different, India-specific motorcycle. The power output will be slightly lower perhaps as well. But we would imagine that this motorcycle, if it launches, will come just before April or after that - the mandatory ABS rule plus the increasing spread of fuel injection to meet the ever-tighter emissions norms will make the jump up in price appear less and the motorcycle, as a result, more competitive.
At the front of the Honda CB150R ExMotion, beefy 41mm upside down forks and 296mm disc with radial caliper do duty. There's also ABS system with a G-sensor
Tell us what you think? Should Honda replace the current slow-selling CBR150R sportsbike with this cafe-racer style new motorcycle?
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