Commuter motorcycle segment is one of the prime transportation solutions for Indian people. And if there is one brand which has placed its cards pretty nicely in this segment, then it is none other than Honda. HMSI not only manufactures India’s top selling scooter which is Honda Activa, but also segment leading motorcycle like the CB Shine. In the month of November last year, the Japanese giant came up with its 15th product, the king of the Shine family, the new CB Shine SP.
Design and Looks-
The new CB Shine SP looks like a contemporary package. From headlamps to the tail-light assembly the bike switches a large number of minute changes when talking about the visuals. The M-shaped headlight assembly reminds of the Livo, capping a longer windscreen which looks good on top. The fuel tank looks taller, sportier and bears minimal graphics on the sides. The fit and finish on its panels delineates the up market character of the bike.
There are two plastic panels on the sides, one of them is light-greyish coloured which extends from below the tank and ends below the riders seat and then gels with a dark coloured panel which badges Honda’s ‘HET (Honda Eco Technology)’ tag. The new CB Shine SP also gets its rear suspension dipped in red colour which adds to sportiness. The rear section is designed interestingly with the use of combination of dual panels, matte black and the other plastic panel painted in the colour scheme of the motorcycle.
The new chrome plated exhaust muffler looks pleasing and the split alloy wheels are an eye candy to look at. Honda has managed to update almost everything on the visuals when compared to the standard CB Shine. The instrumental cluster is now changed to digital-analogue unit. The speedometer is analogue while other information like fuel gauge, trip meter, ODO meter is displayed in as digital.
Engine and Performance-
The new CB Shine SP shares the same engine as seen on the standard CB Shine. If we have to use a single word to describe this engine then we’ll say this engine is ‘smooth’. It is one tried and tested unit and has unbelievable refinement levels. At times we found ourselves revving it on ideal to check if still running or not. It is a 125cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine producing 10.5bhp at 7,500rpm and 10.3Nm of peak torque at 5,500rpm. Though we felt cold-starting was bit of an issue as the bike gets uncomfortable idling, and that we think could be irritating sometimes. But apart from that, the engine delivers a punchy performance and could do speeds exceeding 105kmph when pushed hard.
It comes mated to a new 5-speed gear box which has optimum ratios and is precise. The addition of an extra gear against it older sibling helps the engine deliver quicker response and makes it easy to cruise at comparatively higher speeds. We got a respectable mileage between 60 to 62kmpl and a tank full will easily take you more than 600 kilometres in a single run. That means one rupee for a kilometre, efficient right? Indeed it is.
Ride, Handling and Comfort-
Most of the terrain around us is basically mixed with paved, unpaved roads, mud and dirt sections. We tried out hands on all terrains possible testing its overall ride quality and all the factors that makes CB Shine the bestselling motorcycles from the Japanese auto giant. Its seats are wide, comfortable and practical. Even riding with a pillion makes no difference at all. The suspension are on the soft side making the front minutely bouncy but capable enough to handle all the rough patches put forward to it.
Featuring the longest wheelbase in its segment makes it a stable motorcycle on fast speeds and also high ground clearance of 160mm makes it a good tool when trundling over bad road conditions. Its split alloy wheels are shod with 80/100-18 tyres up front and rear and we felt Honda could update the rear with a bit wider tyre. The front and rear, both have tubeless tyres and provides decent grip.
But the best part of the package is yet to come, the Nissin brakes on the front works marvellously good with complete confidence, also the rear brake has enough bite for a commuter motorcycle. And not to forget that it also comes with CBS integrated braking system which is very useful on roads like ours.
This is an absolutely flawless product from Honda and is undoubtedly the best motorcycle you can buy today in this segment. But the question is, if you are in the market to buy a standard CB Shine should you spend some extra bucks and go for the new CB Shine SP? We think you should. With this money you are investing in better looks, better performance, better brakes and you are getting everything in a difference of not more than Rs 4000. The Honda CB Shine SP (CBS) retails at Rs. 64,400 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) and though it might be minutely expensive for some but it well justifies the price with everything it offers.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir