Future commuters from Honda will look like this.
One of the largest motorcycle manufacturer, Honda, is firing on all pistons and doing tremendously well in pioneering many great technology and features onto the world streets. Now, they are getting busy in a run to stay as the world leaders by introducing newer models to their line-up and getting a fresh breed of motorcycles for us to grin about.
The latest one is the Honda CB 150R street motorcycle that the company launched in the Thailand market. It showcases an entirely new design language from Honda for the small capacity commuter motorcycles that will roll out of its plants in the near future.
Cleveland CycleWerks is going to set up shop in India by the end of the year.
In a country that is price conscious, it was a gamble played by motorcycle manufacturers when they decided to bring in their higher segment motorbikes. If statistics are to be believed, India is in the highest rankings in terms of growing economy. People started investing in premium motorcycles that were lauded in the performance and engineering arena. More and more players started entering the Indian subcontinent to showcase their entry level performance machines. And the gamble has paid off.
Now, not only well-established fully grown contenders are making their way into the country, but also ones that have just been fertilised on the planet. One of them is Cleveland CycleWerks and they are coming to India to taste what it is like to operate in the current biggest market for two-wheelers in the world.
Feature – List of 15 bikes which got discontinued due to BS-III shutdown.
As you all know, starting from April 1st, 2017, the Supreme Court has ordered all manufacturers to stop registering and selling vehicles still running on BS-III engines. To clear them before the deadline all dealers who had stock started levying massive discounts on their products, and some even lost money in this process. The industry took a ₹ 600 crore hit due to the three-day discount fest.
Then there were few motorcycles that just did not sell despite the discounts. This was the cue for the manufacturers to take them off the shelves completely and get a new replacement machine for the same ones. While some of them have been replaced, few others just could not manage to burn the midnight oil and live up to expectation. They were just phased out of the assembly lines. Here is a list of those who couldn’t make it to the party this year:-
2017 Honda CD 110 Dream DX
After achieving humongous success with its range of 110cc scooters, especially the flag carrier Activa, Honda tried to make it large and replicate the same amount of success in the entry-level 110cc category of commuters. With this intention, the Japanese manufacturer launched a series of motorcycles under the ‘Dream’ nameplate, with the Dream Yuga being the first model to initiate the things.
Though the Dream Yuga and Dream Neo started churning out decent volumes from day one, they were still not enough to pip out the segment leader Hero in terms of volumes, with the latter leading the segment with its range of Splendors, Passion and CD Deluxe. Honda realised that it needed one more basic entry level model to multiply its volumes, as a result of which the CD 110 Dream was added to the range.
To start with, the CD 110 Dream was introduced as a bare bones model which was too utilitarian for the way it was presented. To freshen up its appeal, Honda recently gave a midlife facelift to the motorcycle, which has seen the addition of a couple of new features and a minor revision in overall performance. Let’s find out what all changes Honda carried out for the new CD 110 Dream, which is now termed as CD 110 Dream DX:-
2017 Honda Dream Neo
With its ‘Dream’ range of 110cc commuters, Honda has tried everything to dethrone the likes of Splendor and Passion from Hero MotoCorp in the segment of entry-level premium 100-110cc commuters. The range, which made its debut with the premium 110cc commuter Dream Yuga, went off with a flying start with excellent sales, surpassing other rivals, but not the Splendor. Sooner than later, Honda realised that only Dream Yuga is not enough to fulfil its aspiration of becoming the segment leader, a segment which churns out the maximum number of sales for every manufacturer in the country offering in this category. Thus, the more economic in comparison Dream Neo came into the picture.
In comparison to the more stylish Dream Yuga, the Dream Neo was more basic and utilitarian, which was designed keeping in mind the audience of Tier II and Tier III cities. But since the growth rate of these cities is also on a higher side, the Dream Neo soon began to seem a bit pale and expensive for what it offered, considering that the rivals offered more.
Hence Honda, to make the Dream Neo a bit more serious player, gave the motorcycle a mild update, both cosmetically and mechanically, which has made the motorcycle much more appealing than before. So let’s have a look on the all new Dream Neo:-
2017 Hero Glamour FI
When it comes to the commuter segment of motorcycles in the Indian market, the technology of fuel injection is seen as a rather premium feature, which is limited to only a handful of them. It all started with Hero/Hero Honda launching the Glamour PGM-FI back in 2006, which was followed by the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-FI and Honda Stunner PGM-FI. And then came a slew of entry-level performance motorcycles, all of which came with this feature as standard.
Talking about the inception of fuel injection in commuters, the Glamour FI was the first motorcycle to incorporate this feature. And given the fact that Hero seldom discontinues its motorcycles, the Glamour FI is still on sale, thus being the most affordable fuel injected motorcycle on sale in the Indian two wheeler market.
For 2017, the Glamour has been completely revamped with the new model officially available on the shelf and Hero has launched the fuel injected version of the same. The Glamour FI, obviously, is completely based on the new standard carbureted Glamour, except for a few changes. Here’s a quick look at the latest iteration of the Hero Glamour FI:-
2017 Hero Super Splendor i3S
It’s no surprise that the brand ‘Splendor’ is responsible for the Hero MotoCorp fame and success stories one would find in its record books. The Splendor has seen several iterations in the 100cc segment, ranging from the conventional commuter to a café racer. Hero did intend to cash in this popularity of Splendor even in the segment of 125cc commuters, courtesy the Super Splendor.
Launched as a more premium and powerful version of the 100cc Splendor Plus, the Super Splendor looks like a perfect evolution of the latter. It was with the Super Splendor that Hero MotoCorp made its foray into a more premium segment of commuters, 125cc motorcycles to be precise.
In its entire span of existence, the Super Splendor has undergone a number of minimal updates, which have managed to keep the motorcycle fresh in order to face the tide of time effectively. The motorcycle has once again received a minor update recently, which includes only a couple of cosmetic changes and feature additions. Here’s a brief preview of the latest version of the Hero Super Splendor:-
2017 TVS Apache RTR 160
Why is there a 160cc category? That odd number is more of a marketing strategy really. Want people to shell out more money for you, give them another 10cc. TVS did just that with the advent of the RTR 160. It was the first ever bike to surpass the notion of selling only 150cc bikes, by giving the customers an upper advantage of extra 10cc in its engine and a little more equipment.
Launched first in 2007 to compete with the rest of the 150cc ones, it is a stylish looking Motorcycle and the word ’RTR’ means Racing Throttle Response which tells you that this motorcycle is built for speed. The bike was launched in parallel with the 180 nemeses and also received the major overhaul in 2012, and it made the Apache look sportier with possessed aggressive outlook. Now, for 2017, TVS has given it yet another mild upgrade which gives it a BS-IV engine and adorns the AHO feature. The rest remains unchanged. Let’s have a brief look at this year’s model.
2017 TVS Apache RTR 180
TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, and the Apache has been the company’s flagship brand since its launch in 2006. The “Racing Throttle Response" was the brand’s foray into the naked sports segment which, similar to the Pulsars, is gaining a lot of momentum into increasing the sub- brand’s product portfolio. The nameplate, which started with the unveiling of a 150cc motorcycle, has spawned into a variety of streetfighters, which somewhat have managed to create new benchmarks when it comes to delivering raw power in a relatively affordable package.
Running with three products under its Apache brand, the 180 sits right in the centre. It got a major upgrade in 2012 that adorned new cosmetic changes, and it made the Apache look sportier with possessed aggressive outlook. Although the rest of the mechanics remained the same, it remained as one of the most powerful and fastest motorcycles in this segment in India. Now, for 2017, TVS has given it yet another mild upgrade which gives it a BS-IV engine and adorns the AHO feature. The rest remains unchanged. Let’s have a brief look at this year’s model.
2017 Yamaha Fazer
Launched in 2008, Yamaha’s FZ series of motorcycles had created a new meaning to the streetfighter nemesis in the country. The DNA embedded had street characteristics that made the FZ the number one in the segment pretty fast. Then, Yamaha launched Fazer in the year 2009 under the FZ series, the Japanese Blue’s wonderful semi-faired sports tourers. It provided a perfect balance between the aggressive of Yamaha’s true-blue super sports and the very practical naked roadsters termed under the brand ‘FZ’.
After a span of five years, Yamaha gave the faired Fazer an overhaul and called it the Fazer FI Version 2.0. Along with a fresh styling elements, the bike also got Fuel Injection Blue Core technology installed which increased both the performance as well as fuel efficiency. Now, the same iteration gets even better with AHO, new decals and a BS-IV engine to run cleaner that before. Let’s have a look at these in detail.
What are the most underrated mass oriented bikes of India?
In our number of stories, we have repeatedly said that the Indian two wheeler market is one tough field to study. The kind of demands we Indians do ask from two-wheeler makers are quite hard to conquer, as we want literally everything in one product.
Keeping in view of such demands from a very competitive market, the manufacturers too are doing a tremendous job by offering products which are offering a good blend of all the traits in one single package. Out of all these products, some do hit the sales charts with massive popularity, while some of them end up being average or low sellers, despite being a brilliant piece of engineering and design.
In this feature story, we are going to throw some light on the latter category of motorcycles and scooters, ones which are not selling as expected despite being wonderful in one way or the other. Here’s a list of all such unfortunate and underrated motorcycles and scooters, and we seriously wish that they do post impressive numbers for their makers:-
Deciphering the Bajaj Pulsar line-up for 2017. Which is the one for you?
Born in 2001, the Pulsar was destined to be a superstar from the word ‘go’. Not only it spawned a host of motorcycles ranging in versatility and performance, but also introduced a long list of industry-first features and technology, making the Pulsar a pioneer among the performance motorcycles in India.
Now, in 2017, after many generations of updates and many new models added to the line-up down the line, the Pulsar series has got a BS-IV motor running under the belly along with yet another updated edition. Let us have a look at our 2017 Pulsar models. And Bajaj has made one for every kind of rider in the country, be it a commuter or a hard-core street guy.
Royal Enfield’s sales is not disturbed by any competition.
When Bajaj launched the Dominar in 2016, it was highly pitted against the mighty Royal Enfield Classic 350. It was supposed to gorge away the sales of the RE and leave it hanging dry. I, for one, was actually very confused at this conjecture made by both Bajaj and the moto fraternity on how they interpreted this rivalry. There wasn’t any in the first place if you ask me.
Both the bikes, though not poles apart, are not to be put against each other. Yes, they have similar engine capacity but that does not put them on the same page. It is like comparing cricket and baseball just because of a bat and a ball being in play.
Nonetheless, people did compare them, wrote and spoke sagas about it but it looks like the universe had different plans for them.
Bajaj Pulsar 160 NS launched in Nepal
In 2015, Bajaj Auto launched the first of a new-generation design philosophy in the form of the NS 200, acronym for ’naked sport’. A streetfighter that was later discontinued for not being able to be compliant to the emission norms for some, gearbox issues for others and few say for braking judders. Whatever they were, Bajaj took it off the shelves.
In 2017, that bike made a grand comeback and put Bajaj on the streetfighter map again. Calling it as the ’Pulsar 200 NS 2017 Laser Edged edition’, Bajaj is set to take the performance biking to a whole new level. Now, there is another sibling for the NS200 and it is heading to Nepal. The Pulsar NS 160 rumbles on.
2017 Suzuki Gixxer
Not all debuts are sure shot hits – ask Suzuki. When the Japanese manufacturer made its entry on its own almost a decade ago, it didn’t have a start as good as expected. Except for the 125cc scooter Access, no other product from Suzuki in India could shake up the already established models in their respective segments.
And this continued for almost five years, till Suzuki launched the very promising 155cc motorcycle, the Gixxer. Considering the last flops which included all of its motorcycles, including its very first 150cc bike, the GS 150R, Suzuki naturally had high hopes attached with the Gixxer. And as expected, the Gixxer became the very first hit from Suzuki in the mass market segment. With this, Suzuki too started showing signs of becoming a settled player like its Japanese rivals in India, Honda and Yamaha.
In 2016, Suzuki introduced a couple of changes to the Gixxer to counter the onslaught brought by Honda in the form of CB Hornet 160R, and now to make it even more upmarket than before, Suzuki has freshened up the Gixxer even more with a couple of new changes for 2017 model. Let’s take a look on what all changes Suzuki has carried out for the Gixxer:-
2017 Honda CB Shine DX
When you are out for a perfect daily commuter which offers you the best of both the worlds of performance and fuel efficiency at the same time, the segment of 125cc commuters is the one to watch out for. And this segment is incomplete without the Honda CB Shine.
Since its first launch almost a decade ago, the Honda CB Shine has gone on to become the topmost grosser in the 125cc segment regarding volumes and has been consistently finding a place in top ten selling motorcycles till date.
The motorcycle has received constant updates throughout its life span till date, including a more premium version christened as CB Shine SP. However, it is the CB Shine DX, the last proper update still being the volume churner for Honda in India.
The motorcycle has yet again received another update, which includes a couple of minor cosmetic add-ons, new additional colour options and few small but noticeable mechanical upgrades. Let’s have a look at what all changes the new CB Shine DX has received:-
2017 Honda CB Shine SP
Ever since its inception back in 2005, the Honda CB Shine has been ruling the roots of the 125cc motorcycle. For all those motorcyclists who wanted a perfect balance between the fuel efficiency of entry level 100cc commuters and performance of a 150cc naked streetfighter, the motorcycle proved to be one capable option. Within no time of its launch, the CB Shine created and strengthened an all new segment of 125cc motorcycles, which forced other bike makers to enter this segment and amplify their profits.
Since its launch, the CB Shine has been a consistent performer in its segment, maintaining its hegemony in the 125cc motorcycle space and churning up consistent sales month after month. To double up the aura of the brand in the 125cc space, Honda replaced the good old semi-faired Stunner with a sportier avatar of the CB Shine. Dubbed as CB Shine SP, this particular variant is the sportier version of the good old Shine with spruced up front and side looks, along with a couple of modern features.
The CB Shine SP has recently received its first mid-life facelift, which comes with a couple of minute cosmetic changes and additions as well as minor changes done to its powertrain. Let’s have a look at what all changes do the new CB Shine SP gets:-
Honda is gearing up for a new ’Frontastic Ride’ Scooter
As the entire nation’s manufacturers are busy updating their models to run on BS-IV engines, the Japanese Red are also doing the same and gave us a hint at bringing in a new scooter to its product line-up.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India’s senior vice-president, YS Guleria confirmed this development and hinted at it being a ’surprise’ for all of us. He said "It will be launched very soon and what it is, is a surprise, so wait for the launch. We can’t say anything more at this stage,".
Hero MotoCorp updated the Passion Pro for 2017
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. They have had a good run all this while, and their big guns were, in fact, the commuter segment which outsold any other motorcycle in the same segment. They were pioneers in getting electric start to the segment amongst others.
For 2017, Hero MotoCorp is upgrading all their motorcycles with new additions that are both green and excite customer satisfaction. The Hero Passion Pro also gets its due and gets an i3s moniker beside it.
Honda launched the updated CB Shine
The Japanese brand launched this 125cc commuter in India back in 2006 and since then, this bike has been a consistent performer and in turn helped Honda to buy itself the tag of a serious two- wheeler manufacturer. It did not take a lot of time to position itself on top of the leader boards and it stayed there for the longest period of time.
Since CB Shine holds a very important place in Honda’s two-wheeler portfolio, the company has updated the model for 2017 and has done so with updated safety features, a cleaner engine and bold new liveries.