The Japanese two-wheeler maker Honda revealed its intention to introduce more premium motorcycles in India in November 2019 at the Milan Motorcycle Show (EICMA). It promised to nearly double its existing premium motorcycle portfolio of 7 products to 13 by March 2021.
Honda will begin first with updates to its existing line-up. Post that, it will be trying to bring in additional new models form its international portfolio.
The intention behind this move is to ultimately foray into mass production of premium motorcycles in India. In fact, the company wants to make India a manufacturing hub for bigger capacity products and export them to other international markets.
There is also an India-made already-existing model on cards. While not much is known about this product, we wouldn’t be surprised if it is the Royal Enfield rivaling middleweight motorcycle.
However, here are the top 5 upcoming bikes of Honda in India in 2020-21.
1. 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade
The all-new Honda Fireblade unveiled at EICMA 2019 is nastier than ever. Gone are the days when this litre-class motorcycle could be labelled as the tamest product in the segment. The 999.9 cc inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC motor can dish out 217.5 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque. This powertrain has the same bore and stroke ratio as the RC213V-S's engine but does not get the V4 layout.
Suspension duties are taken care of by 43 mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) at the front and a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Light (BFRC-L). The 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade has Nissin-sourced calliper at the front and a Brembo calliper at the rear. Its tyres are the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP.
The 2020 Honda CBR1000R-R Fireblade tips the scales at 201.3 kg and has a ground clearance of 118.6 mm. Other cycle parts include a new twin-spar aluminium diamond frame chassis and a new six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) from Bosch. Its features list includes titanium con-rods, forged aluminium piston, three-level Honda Electronic Steering Damper, Wheelie Control and Honda Selectable Torque Control.
We expect the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade to be priced upwards of INR 20 lakh (ex-showroom).
2. 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
If you thought that the new Fireblade is mental, just wait till you meet the new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. It has new fully adjustable Öhlins semi-active NPX Smart EC 2.0 fork up front and Öhlins TTX36 Smart-EC monoshock.
The brakes also received a significant upgrade in the SP variant. They are the latest Brembo Stylema callipers at the front and the same rear Brembo monoblock calliper used on the RC213V-S. Besides, the aerodynamic package in the motorcycle, which includes new winglets that are being termed ‘unbelievable’ by Grand Prix motorcycle racer Marc Marquez himself.
Adding to the versatility of the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is a quick-shifter, which is a standard fitment. We expect the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP to be priced at around INR 25 lakh (ex-showroom).
3. 2020 Honda CB1000R
The litre-class neo-sports café racer in its 2020 iteration is largely similar to its outgoing iteration and has only a few cosmetic changes. It features an all-black triple clamp and stem that are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. In contrast, the previous model used silver accents for the triple clamp and stem. Besides that, it has a silver racing stripe enhances the visual appeal of the fuel tank. Also, apart from the existing Candy Chromosphere Red and Graphite Black paint scheme, the 2020 Honda CB1000R will also be available in a new Matte Pearl Glare White shade.
The engine has received a few upgrades, and it now produces 16% more peak power and 5% more torque than the previous iteration of the motorcycle. Also, the 2020 Honda CB1000R gets revised gear ratios. Its 998 cc inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 16-valve DOHC motor now produces 145.5 PS of power and 104 Nm of torque. Also, the compression ratio of the motorcycle has gone up by 0.4 to 11.6:1.
Salient features of the 2020 Honda CB1000R include throttle-by-wire, four riding modes (standard, rain, sport, and user), engine brake and Honda Selectable Torque Control. Besides that, the motorcycle is also offered with an optional quick-shifter. Suspension setup includes Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) at the front and a Showa monoshock sy the rear.
We expect the 2020 Honda CB1000R to be priced at around INR 15 lakh (ex-showroom).
4. 2020 Honda CBR650R
This everyday middleweight motorcycle introduced in India last year will be launched in BS-VI avatar after April 2020. Its engine casing loses the bronze shade and gains an all-black finish. The rim stickers too have been removed. However, the LED headlamp and LCD instrumentation have been carried forward in the 2020 Honda CBR650R.
The suspension system includes upside-down telescopic forks (Showa separate function fork) at the front and a monoshock at the rear. The braking system includes the same dual discs at the front and a single disc unit at the rear.
The 2020 Honda CBR650R is powered by the same 649 cc inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC motor. This engine can produce 88.4 PS of power and 60 Nm of torque. The Indian-spec BS-VI Honda CBR650R will be in a slightly different state of tune as Honda premium motorcycles (CKD products) have so far been introduced with reduced performance.
We expect the 2020 Honda CBR650R to be priced much higher than the old, which used to cost INR 7.70 lakh (ex-showroom), at around INR 8.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
5. 500 cc Middleweight Motorcycle
Honda will also launch a new middleweight bike in India manufactured locally. The motorcycle is expected to have an engine displacement around the 500 cc mark and will be dishing out around 45-47 PS of power. This could be the Rebel 500.
Honda will have to price the new motorcycle competitively in order to make the volumes large enough to be commercially viable. That is something which the Japanese motorcycle maker has so far not been able to do so far. Also, to price it competitively, Honda will have to heavily localise it.