It has been a long long time and a long long weight for us to see higher capacity motorcycles being manufactured in India locally. Until now, we have either received big bikes as CBU (Completely Build Units) or CKD imports. This has caused the pricing of these models to be considerably higher as compared to other markets in the world.
The prime reason behind manufacturers taking the import routes has been, constantly blamed of the typical low number volumes in the segment, making it impossible to generate profits for the companies. Now, with the changing times and a rapidly growing premium bike segment, the scenario is changing, and the spearhead on his front is going to be the mighty Honda, who have declared that the will be manufacturing their immensely capable CBR 650 locally in India.
"We announce that (from) next year Honda will start making CBR -650 in India. By this, we will not only open up the skill of our existing manpower but it will also showcase the Honda India's manufacturing quality to the world," HMSI Vice President Y S Guleria told reporters here on the sidelines of a foundation stone laying ceremony for its upcoming plant at Vithalapur in Ahmedabad district.
Besides the upcoming unit at Vithalapur, Honda has a total of three plants in Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka. When asked about the capacity of the Vithalapur plant, Guleria said that the quantum is yet to be decided. "As of now, we have not decided on units as numbers are too small... and very quick decision can be taken, but we are not expecting very high volume," he said.
Guleria further said that the Japanese auto giant's purpose to start making CBR-650 bikes is in tune with the 'Make in India' commitment of the company. Honda has also not finalised the price tag for the sportsbike for its Indian customers. "The purpose (to start manufacturing the bike in India) is to build in India and also the affordability aspect will be considered for customers with Make in India commitment," he said.
The Honda CBR 650 has a 649cc inline –four engine producing 87 bhp@11000 rpm and a whooping 63Nm @ 8000 rpm. With a tank capacity of 17.3 litres, and a fuel efficiency good enough to be around 20 -25 kmpl, the CBR 650 suits perfectly to the touring kinds in the country.