The premium 150 cc segment has seen the torch being led by the Yamaha FZ. Suzuki’s new warrior, the Gixxer, has come out as a formidable opposition to the Yamaha but is still a long way from overtaking it. Honda meanwhile is also edging to pick up a fight in this territory with more muscle power (hopefully). So if the Gixxer carries a five cc advantage over the FZ-FI, Honda’s new motorcycle exercises a similar advantage (in theory) over the Suzuki. But there is a problem – the design of the new Honda!
The first spy shots of the CB Unicorn 160 were leaked last month and contrary to what we and most others had expected, the motorcycle design came as a bummer! Honda needed to have something really striking that would have held its ground in front of the great-lookers that both the Gixxer and FZ are. Yes, no doubt that being a Honda we can expect it to have the same usual level of refinement which made everyone love the Unicorn, but a complete lack of aggression style-wise sidetracks the battle which we had been expecting.
New spy shots have come up, thanks to Power Drift and BikeWale, which were probably clicked when the motorcycle was out for an ad-shoot. If that is the case, we can expect the launch to happen soon, say, by sometime next month. While the styling of the new bike has come as a disappointment, we just hope that the 160 cc carburetted motor (notice the choke and petcock knobs) has enough poke to stay ahead of Yamaha and Suzuki, at least on the roads if not in sales!
The possibility of the latter cannot be ruled out though if Honda prices it well (read ‘below the Gixxer’). Which is not impossible – the entry-level variant of the CB Trigger already retails at INR 73,057 in Delhi, so Honda can price the new bike a shade less than INR 79,809 (Gixxer’s on-road Delhi price). The expensive CB Trigger variant can remain there for fans of combi-brakes… The power and torque figures of the new Honda would most probably be between the Gixxer’s and RTR 160’s, while the fuel economy might see the one with winged logo waving past all others at the fuel stations.
Let’s see how Honda plays with this one…