The Honda CB Unicorn has ruled the roost in the 150cc commuter segment ever since its launch in 2005. Backed by a powerful 150cc engine and stellar reliability, it offered consumers a fast yet fuel-efficient way to commute every day, that too at an affordable price.
In 2010, Honda launched the CB Unicorn Dazzler in an attempt to cater to consumer demand for a stylish and more premium 150cc bike, and in the process fend away increasing competition from the likes of Hero's Hunk and Yamaha's FZ16. The Dazzler although competent, failed to capture the imagination of potential buyers, no thanks to a lacklustre design and a high price tag.
Enter the CB Trigger, Honda's latest product in the premium commuter segment and the Dazzler’s replacement. Can the CB Trigger achieve what the Dazzler couldn’t? Read our detailed road test review and find out!
The Honda CB Trigger is amongst the better-looking bikes in the premium 150cc segment. A smart headlamp cowl, muscular fuel tank, sculpted side panels and clean tail section impart the bike a sophisticated-yet-macho look that makes it stand out amongst its peers.
(Above) The Honda CB Trigger is a stylish bike; (Below, clockwise from the left) The bike is abound with a lot of nice little design touches such as the sculpted fuel tank , the headlamp cowl, and the faux air intakes.
The CB Trigger’s high handlebars and middle set foot pegs make for a relaxed seating posture for the rider. The seat although large, is a tad hard, making it difficult to spend long durations astride. Pillion ergonomics are comfortable, with a sizable grab rail and well-placed rear foot pegs.
While the bike feels solidly put together, the quality of the plastics used is a let-down. The switchgear is hard on the fingers and has a flimsy feel to it. Even more, the whole bike is abound with exposed welds that lack a quality finish. All these aspects are unwarranted on a premium bike such as the CB Trigger.
(Left to Right) Exposed welds look unsightly; Switchgear plastics feel hard and flimsily put together
Engine & Performance
The 149cc air-cooled single cylinder engine in the CB Trigger is the same unit that does duty in the CB Unicorn as well, and it is a sprightly performer. While the engine outputs a decent 14 bhp, it also produces a lot of torque below 6000rpm, where it would be used the most. This ensures strong acceleration from standstill, facilitates quick overtakes without downshifting, and allows for relaxed cruising at 75 kmph. As an added bonus, the engine is smooth, quiet and lacks vibrations. Honda claims an average mileage of 60 kmpl for the CB Trigger.
During our testing, we achieved a top speed of 110 kmph on the speedometer. Although the bike did seem to be capable of doing more, it feels stressed out at those speeds, and is best ridden under 85 kmph.
The 149cc single-cylinder engine (inset) is powerful and torquey unit, and helps the CB Trigger to accelerate quickly off the line.
Ride & Handling
The CB Trigger comes with conventional telescopic forks at the front, and an adjustable mono shock at the rear. The suspension has an intermediate setup, one that’s neither soft nor hard. This setup has its benefits and shortfalls. While it improves overall stability, ride quality is firm, and most road imperfections do filter through to the rider.
In terms of handling, the CB Trigger is a capable performer. It may not be as enthusiastic at cornering as the CBR 150R, but it is agile in traffic and can be hustled through corners at speed.
A telescopic front fork and adjustable rear mono shock (Right, top and bottom), impart a firm ride, but offer stable handling characteristics.
The highlight of the CB Trigger is its brakes. While the bike is equipped with a disc brake at the front and a drum brake at the rear as standard, it is also available with an optional rear disc brake and Combi Braking System (CBS). The system works by applying both the front and rear simultaneously when the rider presses only the rear brake pedal.
Our test bike came fitted with the CBS option, and we can safely say that this is one of the best braking systems on a bike in this class. It helps the CB Trigger decelerate quickly and safely without any dramatics. Even with all this braking power at hand, not once did the wheels lock up when we were testing. This can be attributed to the high levels of grip offered by the MRF Zapper tyres.
The Honda CB Trigger comes equipped with a neat fully-digital multi-function display console. It features the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, and fuel gauge, along with the neutral, high beam and turn signal indicator lights. The console displays all the information in an easy-to-read format, and is back-lit in a nice amber colour for improved visibility at night. Switch gear is standard Honda fare, with the exception of an engine kill switch.
At Rs 73,389 (on-road, Delhi) for the base variant, Rs 75,543 (on-road, Delhi) for the Deluxe variant, and Rs 82,377 (on-road, Delhi) for the CBS version, the Honda CB Trigger’s prices are on par with its closest competitors, the Hero Hunk, and the Yamaha FZ16. While the CBS variant may seem overpriced, considering the performance of the system, we feel that it is justified.
The Honda CB Trigger is by no means a perfect bike - the quality of plastics and finish need improvement, and the ride quality isn’t the best. On the brighter side though, it has a whole lot of positive aspects to look forward to – it looks stylish, is well built, has a powerful engine that delivers exceptional low-end and mid-range performance, handles very well, and also delivers a good mileage figure to boot. We recommend the Honda CB Trigger for current owners of 100cc & 125cc bikes who wish to upgrade for a more premium experience, and for first-time buyers who are looking for a good-looking, fast and practical bike for daily use.
Exceptional Braking Performance (CBS Variant)
Poor plastic quality and finish
Firm ride quality
Special thanks to Didar Honda, Chennai, who provided us the Honda CB Trigger for the review
Disclaimer: This review is purely based on the test conducted by "ChooseMyBike.in". All views expressed in this review are that of ChooseMyBike.in's, and not of the manufacturer's.
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|Engine||Air-cooled, 4-stroke single cylinder|
|Power||14 bhp @ 8500rpm|
|Torque||12.5 Nm @ 6500 rpm|
|Chassis Type||Advanced Design Diamond Frame|
|Brakes||Front:240 mm Disc
|Fuel Tank Capacity||12|