Honda has garnered a lot admiration and praise in the Indian market for their ingenious work in the scooter segment. Their Activa has outraced even the Hero Splendor in sales; not a day has passed when an Indian has not witnessed the scooter on the road. Add to this their respectable success with the Honda Dio, which has made them the strongest competitor in the scooter industry.
However, their journey in the premium 150cc commuter segment has seen a dry patch of late. The Bajaj Pulsar series has been ruling the market for over 7 years, while Yamaha has also performed exceedingly well with the FZ models. The company has always been aggressive and fierce in their sales and marketing but this has not reflected in the sales of all their premium 150cc bikes. Their first attempt at this segment, the Unicorn Dazzler, somehow did not strike a chord with the consumers here. Its successor, the CB Trigger, offered a much better package for the money, and hence became quite popular, but apparently not to the level that Honda must have expected it to achieve.
Now, the company seems to have realized where they were lacking, and are now looking to address those shortcomings. Honda has planned to introduce a 160cc bike that resonates with the needs and wants of the hard-to-please Indian consumer. We expect the bike to tail on the lines of the CX-01 Concept motorcycle that Honda displayed at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this year. The new bike will slot in between the CB Trigger and the CBR 150R. It will possess a powerful 160cc engine, sporty design and will come with strong emphasis on performance and efficiency.
The new 160cc bike could be based on the CX-01 Concept that Honda showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo earlier this year
This bike is scheduled to be revealed by September this year, and will look to provide some serious competition to the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSi, the new Yamaha FZ-Fi V2.0, the upcoming Suzuki Gixxer, and the refreshed Hero Xtreme. The new bike should inject some much needed fillip into Honda’s line-up, and help it gain a foot hold in the ultra-competitive 150 – 180cc premium commuter segment.