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FIRST DRIVE

2013 Honda CB Trigger first ride

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06 Jun 2013  / 
Executive Editor
 

Here’s everything you need to know about the new Honda CB Trigger in one place.

What is it?

The Honda CB Trigger is a commuter motorcycle that looks a lot like the Indonesian CB150R Streetfire based on the Unicorn platform. It replaces the Dazzler which failed to find traction in India. Honda say it sees two kinds of customers come to their showroom looking for 150s. The slightly more mature and older customers want ‘decent’ styling and proven technology and opt for the Unicorn. The Dazzler was meant for the other customer, a younger chap looking for a stylish commuter 150, and that is the role the CB Trigger will take in in India.

2013 Honda CB Trigger

What happened to the Dazzler, then?

The Honda Dazzler is now out of production. Honda told us today that customers didn’t take to certain features like the toe-only gear changer or the open chain and these are two of the features that the Trigger has addressed. Other sources say that the Dazzler’s styling itself was one of the triggers. We like wide and substantial tanks in India and the Dazzler didn’t have one. This is one of the issues with South-East Asian designs versus the Indian design ethos – they have always preferred these skinny tanks and skinny-grippy tyres, while India is size-obsessed.

 

2013 Honda CB Trigger headlamp and tank

2013 Honda CB Trigger headlamp and tank

Is the engine new or updated?

No and no. Honda say the proven 150cc engine is invaluable in the segment and so it continues. It still makes 14PS just like the Unicorn and the CB Trigger is supposed to be able to hit 103kmph. On the other hand, it claims 67kmpl (ARAI) which means it should be a economic motorcycle to ride to work everyday. I rode it hard for a short 15km run that brought home the fact that it is exactly that same motor. Power delivery is smooth and torquey and the engine note is nicely gruff. There is a hint of vibration that intensifies at 3500-4000rpm but it isn’t something you’d complain about. The motorcycle accelerates quickly and offers a typically Honda neutral feel overall.

 

2013 Honda CB Trigger engine

2013 Honda CB Trigger engine

Is it comfortable?

Honda say comfort is one of the big pros of the Trigger. The seat is noticeably wide between the legs and should be good for short rides. Long rides are harder to call so we will comment on that later. Ride quality is good and again, in typical Honda fashion is well damped, almost plush without being wallowy or overtly soft. You will like it. Honda adds further that even with a pillion the CB Trigger is designed to be gentle on the bum and easy to ride.

 

It has ABS, right?

Nope. It isn’t ABS; it is CBS and that is only on the top model. The Combined Braking System (CBS) uses a delay valve to activate the centre piston of the front three-piston Nissin caliper when you press the rear brake. This is a good thing for novice riders in India, many of whom still believe that if they hit the front brake they will flip themselves over the handlebar. The front brake lever is not combined with anything. The system is a mechanical one and has no electronics. What that means is that the motorcycle’s delay setting has been tuned with software and road verification testing, but is not software-controlled. Consequently, it’s ability to react to road surfaces and offer ‘custom’ brake force distribution is zero. However, that does not mean it is ineffective or a gimmick. Honda is a cautious, thorough organisation when it comes to engineering, and you can be sure that the Honda R&D engineers tuned the CBS for positive results in almost all situations. That said, at Rs 9,000-odd more than the intermediate (twin disc) model, CBS is expensive and will form the smallest chunk of Trigger sales in our estimation.

 

2013 Honda CB Trigger front disc

Middle brake piston is connected to the rear brake pedal; other two are operated by the front brake lever

What is the price?

The CB Trigger prices in Mumbai are as follows:

 

CB Trigger STD

Ex-showroom: Rs 72432

On-road: Rs 79335

 

CB Trigger DLX

Ex-Showroom: Rs 75575

On-road: Rs 82733

 

CB Trigger CBS

Ex-Showroom: Rs 82386

On-road: Rs 90095

 

The base model is priced almost exactly square against the Pulsar 150, which is still the leading 150 on sale in India. At Rs 90,095 on-road Mumbai, despite the CBS, we believe the Trigger CBS is an expensive motorcycle.

 

Availability?

Honda has opened sales for the CB Trigger and you should be able to buy one from your dealer right now. Just remember to bring extra cash for the number plates. Strangely enough, they are not standard equipment.

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