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Honda X-Blade Road Test Review

Honda X-Blade Road Test Review

Snapshot: So does the X-Blade has what it takes to be more than just a looker or it just turns out to be a concept gone bad?

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Honda has been top of its game when it comes to small capacity motorcycle and scooters in the Indian market. The company introduced the CB Hornet 160R a few years back which went on to become quite a hit in its segment. And now with the launch of X-Blade, the company is hoping to get a grip on such an audience which prioritizes out straight practicality, efficiency and looks on a budget. The X-Blade has partially taken inspiration from the CX-01 concept which was showcased at one of the earlier AutoExpos. In the company’s portfolio, it sits right in between the well-known Unicorn and the newbie CB Hornet 160R! Believe it or not but this is quite a competitive spot to be in. So does the X-Blade has what it takes to remain more than just a looker or it turns out to be a concept gone bad? You are just about to find out!

Looks –

The X-Blade comes out as one of the most complicated yet good looking bikes. It has been given a rather sharp design and no matter from whichever angle you have a look at it, it reminds of overly designed robots from the Hollywood sci-fi movies. The front certainly is a visual treat and has been given the clichéd ‘Robo face’ inspired look. The headlight is a full LED unit which lights up nicely and looks attractive even in broad daylight. The tank gets a central black strip which gives a sporty appeal to the overall design.

Talking about its instrument panel, its fully digital panel displays all the necessary information in a highly clear and readable format. The tachometer is at the top bar which is placed horizontally, while the lower bar displays information like fuel level, gear position indication, current speed and much more.

Engine and Performance –

The X-Blade comes powered with the same engine as seen on the CB Hornet 160R which is a 162.71 cc single-cylinder engine that generates close to 13.93 bhp at 8,500 rpm and peak torque of 13.9 Nm comes at 6,000 rpm. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed transmission which is of the one down and rest up pattern. This engine is clearly a refined and sporty unit which picks up pace in no time, and has been tuned for efficiency and assertiveness. It has enough punch for the daily city rides and pulls off clearly from as low as 4000rpm. The punchy mid-range is quite evident on the bike which is perfect for a sporty commuter like this.  And talking about the top end performance, I was able to touch 120kmph without putting in much effort, and that says it all. And at the same time, the engine didn’t not shiver or produce any significant vibrations, keeping the ride friendly and smooth. While the transmission too is impressive as it does its job well without irritating the rider as it’s slick and precise. In summary, X-Blade doesn’t disappoint in the engine and performance department, and is spot on when performance is taken into consideration.  

Ride, Handling and Comfort –

The bike weighs close to 140kg and rides on 80/100 – 17 (front) and 130/70 – 17 (rear) tyres. At this weight, it might not be the lightest bike of the segment but at the same time, it handles pretty well. It feels fairly stable in straight lines as well as around the corners. Though it might not be the quickest bike to be taken around the switchbacks but at the same time, it feels quick enough for the daily city roads. And let’s be honest switchbacks is not where it belongs, daily city roads are what the X-Blade calls home. That sounded a bit cheesy I know but it negates through the daily streets with confidence and delivers a rather much-planted ride. It packs telescopic front forks and monoshock at the rear, both the units have been tuned to be slightly on the stiffer side aiding handling and comfort at the same time. But wait if you think I am overpraising the bike because I haven’t yet talked about one of the strong points yet, the brakes. Brakes at both the ends have more than enough bite that allows the bike to come to a halt in no time and the stopping power is all you need on a sporty commuter of its size. But at the same time, the rear can use bit more feedback so that it doesn’t lock up in a mini-second; which it tends to sometimes.

Talking about the seat and comfort, it gets a fairly wide and long single seat which scores good marks in terms of looks but is rather average in terms of overall back support and comfort. May be it can use a bit more padding for the support as it feels a more flattish than it should.

Verdict –

The company managed to fit in another good product placed inches apart from its other products in the portfolio, and has however made all of them distinctive in almost every sense. The new X-Blade approaches a new set of audience and is yet another likable product from the brand. It quite has the recipe to be a hit in the Indian market be it counting its exciting and different looks, sporty yet efficient engine, decently comfortable and planted ride, or anything else. It is the kind of motorcycle that will give you a taste of almost everything on a budget, and that makes it the right kind for many of us.  

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