Honda seems to be working on an all-new CBR 150 R for the Asian markets and if the pictures on an Indonesian blog are anything to go by, the changes seem to comprehensive enough to justify the "all-new" tag.
First off, like the CBR 300 R and CBR 500 R, this youngest of the CBRs will also sport twin headlamps as opposed to the single unit in the current model. The fairing will be revised to accommodate the new twin-headlight unit and the overall result is a sharp looking motorcycle. The current one, like the CBR 250 R, is a 'soft-looking' bike which is due to its design incorporating more curves than angular lines. The fairing also sees changes to further the assertiveness of the whole design. We say 'assertive' and not 'aggressive' as only the Yamaha R15's design deserves that adjective. And we give a big thumbs up to all manufacturers who bring the traditional circular exhaust back - we certainly ain't fans of the short and stubby units employed on most premium offerings nowadays.
As mentioned earlier, the changes go beyond the cosmetics. The new Honda CBR 150 R will feature a tubular diamond type frame, like the one on the CBR 250 R, instead of the current one's twin-spar set-up. In all probability, the mechanicals, suspension and brakes won't see any changes in the new bike, which is not a bad thing as the bike was already very well-sorted. It's149.4 cc liquid-cooled engine has been given a 4-valve head by Honda, and this high revving unit produces 17.6 bhp at 10,500 rpm while the peak torque of 12.6 Nm also comes at a very high 8,500 revs. A six-speed gearbox facilitates to keep the motor on the boil - you do that and brisk progress is guaranteed. The current bike weighs in at 138 kg and we hope that the new model sees no addition to that figure.
Expect Honda to bring the new CBR 150 R by the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2015. But the Japanese major will have to work really hard on the pricing of this baby as, other than the current competitors (R15, KTM Duke 200 and Pulsar NS 200), the new bike will face stiff competition from the soon-to-be-launched KTM RC 200 and Pulsar SS 200 too.