The birth of the Honda Unicorn was intended to do what the Activa did to the scooter segment. But as Activa went on breaking records and making a few, Unicorn failed to get as much in the segment ruled by the Pulsars and the FZs.
Although it boasted of a bullet proof engine, excellent build quality and refinement close to none, customers were looking for an edge more. This resulted in Honda launching the Unicorn 160 in 2014. It bought, on board, a few interesting changes and add-ons like new sculpted body panels, headlamps and a slip front cowl with new visors.
Keeping the same four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder setup, a new 162.7 cc debuted on this motorcycle that punches 14.6 bhp and 14.6 Nm torque. 1 more. It remained as refined as it was previously. The ride quality and equipment did not change as it was already upto the mark.
With all this, Honda thought they had checked the right boxes to up its sales. But the sales figure tell otherwise. It was drubbed as the lowest selling 150 cc motorcycle in India. Being Honda, they believed this motorcycle has more up its sleeves and yet again gave it an “All New” tag and updated it for 2017.
The new 2017 model will feature the same styling and design aspects but majorly change the engine dynamics to make the new bike BS-IV compliant. In this process, the power is cut down to 13.82 bhp and torque to 13.92 Nm. Back to the same vicious circle. It is definitely not a welcome figure, but has lower emissions.
Apart from this, the motorcycle will get the AHO (Automatic headlamp on) feature which was however made compulsory by the government. The new colour palette now includes a matte Blue, taking it to a grand total of 5. The bike features the new visor and a few decal changes are also included.
Expect the price to be slightly increased to ₹76653 for the standard version and ₹79150 for the CBS version.
Honda also, along with this, will run its 150 version and the CB Hornet 160 which is for itself doing quite well in the market. For 2017, every other bike from the Japanese stable will feature AHO and will be running on BS-IV complaint engines.
We are not sure how this will affect the sales of the Unicorn 160, especially if Bajaj launches the NS160 in the coming year. But rest assured, the Unicorn is one of the most sturdy and reliable machines you can get your hands on.