Is the Honda XBlade discontinued? It has been deleted from the website and the new SP160 could be its replacement in the segment…
Till now Honda had two different motorcycles in the 150-160cc segment – the utilitarian, basic Unicorn and the sportier X-Blade. I thought the new recently introduced Unicorn-based SP160 was to slot between these two. However, there is a twist to the story.
Honda has taken the X-Blade off its website, almost confirming that the robo-faced motorcycle will no more be on sale. The X-Blade hasn’t been in production for the last many months since the OBD-2 compliance came into effect from April this year. However, like other products, it was expected to make a comeback once Honda upgrades that engine.
But looks like, Honda has different plans and the SP160 is a replacement of the X-Blade and that also explains the slightly higher-than expected price tag it comes with.
Honda appears to have decided to walk what-works-focus-on-that approach. So, Unicorn works for them as well as the SP moniker (in the 125cc segment). The experimented brand name of X-Blade wasn’t doing well since the very start. So, Honda though it is better to get the relatively established SP brand into the 160cc segment and instead of the more powerful X-Blade’s tune, it went with the Unicorn’s – which is a mass seller for Honda.
This is the same strategy that it followed in the 125cc scooter segment very recently. The experimented name Grazia wasn’t getting it a lot of sales and hence, it ditched that and brought the very popular Dio name in the 125cc segment.
Generally the bottom-up approach ie pushing smaller-segment brand names to bigger segment models is, kind of, a gamble and not a very established way to mop up sales but this will be a very interesting case study and we are glued to the way end users respond…