Opinion: What Happens to Hornet 160R & X-Blade in BS6?

Hornet 160 BS6 launch will definitely be on the cards but does Honda have some outrageous plans with it..? We discuss the possibilities…

Honda’s policy is to popularize one product in a segment and then build various different models around it. This has worked for them in scooters and the 125 cc motorcycle segment. It has been continuously trying to replicate the same success in the 150 cc motorcycle segment.

The Unicorn (which has now been updated to BS6 with a bigger 160cc engine) will definitely remain the focal point. But the question is what happens to the Hornet 160R and X-Blade – the two 150cc motorcycles which were introduced to broaden the lineup. After initial success, both the streetfighters have failed to garner lot of sales.

For reference, the Hornet has averaged under 2500 units a month whereas the X-Blade fares even worse at under 2000 units a month (numbers depicted here are average for the last nine months till February 2020). For the time being Honda has removed both the models from its lineup.

What Next?

So, the question is what next? Obviously Honda will not leave this segment without a product. And with it going to the fast selling Unicorn, we already know that the 160cc engine is BS6 compliant already.

The X-Blade which was launched after the Auto Expo 2018, is just two years old in the market. It was placed as a mid-alternate and Honda pushed the Hornet 160R ahead in the lineup. However, the X-Blade can simply be ditched! It does not make a lot of sense to continue running two similar products without a lot of combined sales – and the more popular Hornet brand appears to be the likely contender to continue in the range.

Hornet 160 BS6 launch
Considering the lackluster sales, Honda can discontinue the X-Blade from the lineup…

Hornet 160 BS6 Launch…

Now, let us bring in the CBF 190R that Honda has patented in India recently. You can read more about it in our exclusive story. Now, obviously as we have said earlier, patent does not necessarily mean that the company is bound to launch that product in the market.

Hornet 160 BS6 launch
Honda has recently patented the CBF 190R in India…

Small 190cc ADV – 2020 Honda CBF190X Launched in China

However, if Honda does have practical plans for the CBF 190R (for our domestic market), I am confident that it will not sport the same 184 cc engine (which it gets in China), simply because it is low on power and specs. It can not compete with the 200cc models of our world and the added burden of updating it to BS6 will add costs – which Honda will definitely will not want to spend when sales are expected to remain tepid in the months to come.

Cheaper, Locally Produced Honda CB300R Coming This Year

Which brings us to the most important part of this story – Is the next-generation Hornet 160 getting CBF 190R’s design or in other words – Will Honda launch the Chinese CBF 190R in India as the new Hornet, with the now-BS6 160cc engine?