Headlines in Indonesia read – Honda launches 2017 CBR150R and around the same time, Indian media reported discontinuation of the CBR150R (as well as CBR250R) from India. Both the motorcycles were already delisted from the official website – an official confirmation that both these motorcycles have been discontinued from the market. First, let us look at the reason and then we will talk about – what next…
CBR250R & CBR150R Discontinuation: The Reason
As we have been saying – transition to BS4, apart from bringing in good air to breathe, is also helping the market wipe off age-old models which manufacturers were dragging for years because they had no time to consider upgrading them. In this case, Honda was continuing with both these motorcycles just for the sake of their presence in these segments. And once the opportunity came to work on (upgrading) them (to BS4 emission norms), Honda thought it better to shelve them off from the lineup.
Remember the last two days of March 2017, when Honda was offering Navi free with both these models or in lieu of that, massive discounts?
Both the motorcycles were chugging along at snail’s pace without any meaningful mechanical update whatsoever during their complete lifespan! A few days back we did a story on R15 vs CBR150R and depicted how CBR150R, despite being a very potent product, could not be a threat to the Yamaha!
India was living with 2-generation old models of these CBRs and introduction of updated versions of these motorcycles in international markets was a salt on the wounds! Ten years back, this strategy could have worked but not anymore with massive competition from all spheres! This step leaves the Hornet as the most powerful motorcycle in Honda’s portfolio (apart from CKDs and CBUs).
New CBR250R/150R – Will They Come?
But the question is – what next? And the answer is difficult to comprehend at this point of time. The current motorcycles that were on sale in India are no more made by Honda and hence simple BS4 upgradation of only the engine does NOT look probable to me.
So will Honda take all the pains and bring in the international models to India? It will depend on a lot of factors like – how much will Honda want to take on its plate for this year? What are their targets? How much interested are they in anything over the regular commuters ie motorcycles which will not add to their tally much? etc.
So, while we await something official on this, I am a little less hopeful of the international-spec CBR250R/CBR300R or the CBR150R coming to us this year.