With almost every serious motorcycle manufacturer investing a major part of its energy in the 150-160 cc ‘premium bike’ segment, how can Honda be far behind? The manufacturer with the winged logo continues to revel in the success of its Activa range of scooters while the CB Shine numbers make for the proverbial cherry on top.
However, on the other hand, its 150cc offering, the CB Trigger, a good package overall, has not done anything special for the company. The old Unicorn, now known as the CB Unicorn, still remains in everyone’s good books when one talks about the bike per se but it is far too commuter-centric.
Now, we did tell you last month about our one-o-one with Yadvinder Guleria, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Honda, in which he had confirmed that Honda’s new 160cc bike will come within this financial year (a delay from the officially promised September 2014!). He had also mentioned that it would NOT be based on any of the company’s current 150cc offerings and instead, will be a completely new motorcycle. So, a new Unicorn or Trigger or Dazzler should ideally be out of the picture.
An interesting report at Business Standard says that the Honda’s new 160cc, details of which are very scarce at this point, will be an upgraded Unicorn.
Of course, Honda may try to cash in on the goodwill attached to the Unicorn further by using its name, but the new bike should certainly not be just a ‘refreshed’ CB Unicorn. We are not saying that we would not mind a Unicorn facelift or, say, a 160 cc Unicorn; we are just saying that Honda will need a lot more than that to make an impact in a segment that already has two of the finest motorcycles ever to have gotten into a duel in this category (read ‘FZ and Gixxer’).
Therefore, an absolutely new motorcycle, as assured by Guleria, is a must. We all know that there won’t be any questions about its technical bits but Honda will have to think out of the box on the styling front. Something on the lines of the CX-01 concept in the images shared above would be great.
If that is too much to ask for, Honda can at least take a few cues from the market leaders to know what sells in the segment. Just look at what Suzuki did with its Gixxer – no one expected such a motorcycle from a company that only had the GS150R to prove its credentials in the segment…
We had come to believe that it would be nigh impossible for a motorcycle to topple the Yamaha FZ from its best-in-looks podium, but a bike suddenly popped up from nowhere and did that. It’s Honda’s turn now and it’s probably happening in the next two months… How about a mini CB300F then Honda ?