Honda Two-wheelers working on the 200cc platform.
Products will be manufactured in India.
The first product will be launched early next year.
Will spawn naked, faired, and adventure touring models.
Honda Two Wheelers India is working on a 200cc platform for the Indian market. The 160cc platform has been a huge success for it, with the CB Hornet 160R and the XBlade, and now it is looking to the future.
The 200cc platform will be one that is tailored to Indian needs. Hence, an air-cooled engine is on the cards, with the possibility of an oil cooler. Power is expected to be in the range of 20-23 bhp. The platform will spawn three different motorcycles, a street naked, a fully-faired motorcycle, and an adventure touring motorcycle. We’ve seen the former two developed to great effect in various forms with different manufacturers: Yamaha has the FZ and Fazer, while Suzuki has the Gixxer and Gixxer SF in their respective portfolios. Higher up the performance ladder, KTM has made an art form out of platform sharing, with the small capacity Duke, RC and now Adventure models.
Though Honda has the capability to develop a motorcycle that will rival what KTM has to offer, its previous attempts to go premium have not been very successful, as the sales figures of the CBR 250R shows. KTM has a stranglehold on the premium end of the 200-400 cc segments, which is why Honda is targeting a less premium audience. There will be a 300cc Honda series of products as well, eventually.
With the BS-Vl emission norms kicking in, there has been a slight dip in performance for a given capacity, to help meet the steep reduction in emissions. A capacity upgrade is a way to go for manufacturers that want their current customers to keep climbing the performance ladder, and a made-in-India air cooled 200 cc motor will offer that to the target audience.
Currently, a customer who wants a 200–300 cc motorcycle that isn’t at the premium end of the segment can choose from Bajaj’s NS200 and Pulsar RS200, or the Yamaha FZ25/Fazer 25, or Suzuki’s Gixxer 250/ Gixxer SF 250. For the offroad rider, there is only a single option, the Hero Xpulse 200.