Honda Rebel 300 readies to take on Royal Enfield on its turf
Honda is preparing its cruiser, the Honda Rebel 300 for an India launch soon. Reports suggest that Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has recently patented the Honda Rebel in the country. With this, Honda's plan to compete in the 350-500cc cruiser motorcycle market of India moves a step forward. Honda might even showcase the Honda Rebel 300 and the larger Honda Rebel 500 around 2018 Auto Expo time. However, launch details of the Honda Rebel 300 remain scarce at the moment. But one thing is clear, Honda is gunning for the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 with the Rebel 300. Its larger Rebel 500 sibling will also make it to India at a later time. With the Thunderbird in its crosshairs, we can expect the Honda Rebel 300 to be priced in the region of Rs 2.2 - 2.5 lakh.
Earlier this year, CEO of Honda's global motorcycle business Noriaki Abe had announced that a mid-segment global motorcycle would be made in India. Later HMSI president and CEO Minoru Kato had said that the plan to bring the Royal Enfield-beater had been put on the backburner as costs had become a cause for concern. Now, however, with the patenting of the Rebel here, it does not seem like a stretch to see this motorcycle hitting the streets in a short time. The Honda Rebel 300 comes powered by the same 286cc single as the Honda CBR300R, which puts out 27.3PS / 27Nm.
With the Rebel 300, however, Honda can do more than just take on Royal Enfield. In the same segment as it are motorcycles including the 2017 KTM 390 Duke and KTM RC 390, as well as the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the recently launched TVS Apache RR 310. A new, BS-IV compliant Yamaha YZF-R3 is also expected soon. In the absence of a Honda CBR250R replacement in the Indian market, the Rebel 300 could also be the motorcycle to hold fort for the Japanese manufacturer in the 250cc to 500cc category, which is quickly gaining momentum.
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