The Sport Touring segment is going to see some serious competition in the coming times and the reigning king of the segment, the Kawasaki Ninja 650R will see its first proper competition in all these years in the form of the upcoming Honda CBR650F. Initially the CBR650F was supposed to be locally manufactured making us believe that it may help Honda to price the Middle Weight Sport Tourer at around 4.8 -5.2 lakhs. Though as per Honda it is only going to be assembled in the beginning meaning that it should have a price point of around 6 lakhs ex showroom when launched in India.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India President and CEO, Keita Muramatsu at a press conference in Chennai, confirmed to reporters that the much anticipated CBR650F would be seeing a July 2015 launch. It was also revealed that the sport tourer would be imported as a Complete Knock Down (CKD) unit. There is currently a localisation of just 5% planned for the machine, which would grow in a phased manner. At the launch, due to the low localisation, the bike is expected to cost around Rs 8 lakh (ex-showroom), which is quite high comparing to the Ninja 650R which comes in at Rs 5.35 lakh (ex-showroom). On the other hand, the CBR650F produces 16bhp more than the Ninja 650R.
We reckon at that price point, there are a lot of better and powerful motorcycles available in the market, with the likes of Triumph Street Triple, Kawasaki Z800 and the expected pricing for the upcoming Ducati Scrambler and Monster 795 along with the Benelli TNT 899 are also going to be in the same price bracket. Thus, we are not sure what Honda is planning to do with a Sport Tourer with an equipment list which is basic at best by considering it to price it that high up in the segment. Moreover, the Kawasaki Ninja and the Hyosung GT650R both are being assembled in India and are priced way more sensibly than the expected price of the Honda CBR650R.