A worthy offering in the sporty 150cc space here in India?
Honda has big plans for India this year with launches ranging from the BS6 CB300R to its entire 500cc range and 1000 plus motorcycles. As exciting as that sounds, there seems to be a big loophole in its ambitious plans.
Care to hazard a guess? If you guessed small capacity faired motorcycles, you're on the money! The CBR range is one of the most sought after bikes, sadly only the litre-class CBR1000RR-R is available in India. Smaller supersports like the CBR250RR and the CBR150R have been omitted from the Indian market.
The latter was recently launched in Indonesia with a new avatar for 2021. We believe it makes for the perfect entry-level sportbike in India, and here’s why:
It sports an all-new aggressive design reminiscent of the CBR250RR, and could very well be Honda's answer to the Yamaha YZF R15 V3 -- a bike that has been reigning supreme in this segment for years now.
Almost every inch of the bike has been redesigned. Aggressive lines paired with a muscular fuel tank and an alien-ish split LED headlight lend the bike its unique appearance. Speaking of unique, check out these two new 125cc bikes from Zontes.
Even the tail lamp and turn indicator LEDs units.
Then there's the instrument console, a redesigned full-digital unit that displays information like mileage, gear position, time, tripmeter, and odometer readings, apart from the speedometer, tachometer, and tell-tale lamps.
The 2021 CBR150R uses the same 149.16cc DOHC single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine as before and produces the same output: 17.1PS at 9000rpm and 14.4Nm at 7000rpm. For reference, the India-spec BS6 Yamaha R15 V3 makes 18.6PS and 14.1Nm.
The most significant change is the 6-speed transmission which now features a slip-assist clutch that claims to reduce lever effort by 15 percent and prevent rear wheel lockup under hard downshifts.
Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of Showa Separate Function Big Piston Front forks (Showa SFF-BP). While it doesn’t get preload-adjustments like the previous-gen model, we believe its damping will be much more sophisticated than its predecessor. The rear uses the same linked monoshock as before.
The CBR150R’s braking setup consists of the same petal discs at both ends, with ABS available as an option. The entire package weighs in at just 139kg kerb (ABS variant) -- 3kg lighter than the R15 V3.
It is available in multiple liveries across both non-ABS and ABS variants. Prices start from IDR 35.9 million, which roughly translates to Rs 1.86 lakh. The ABS variant will set you back by around IDR 39.90 million (Rs 2.10 lakh).
That said, Honda is unlikely to bring the 2021 CBR150R to India as it may end up being too expensive for the segment. The only workaround is to localise the product, which could drastically bring down costs.
If you loved this detailed image gallery, don’t forget to check out Yamaha's chic-looking moped concept based on the R15, called the F155 Concept.