Honda’s upcoming 200cc bike is likely to replace the CB Hornet 160R
[UPDATE: Honda India has launched the Hornet 2.0, a 184cc motorcycle that replaces the CB Hornet 160R. Head here for more details regarding the bike.]
- The upcoming 200cc Honda is likely to be based on the CBF190R.
- Its 184cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine is likely to be heavily reworked to suit Indian usage.
- The BS6 X-Blade’s pricing itself is quite premium, so launching the BS6-compliant CB Hornet 160R might result in cannibalisation.
- Hence, upgrading the Hornet to a 200cc motorcycle makes perfect sense.
We’ve come to know that Honda is likely to launch a 200cc motorcycle in the near future. It is likely to be called the CB Hornet 200R and could be based on the CBF190R, a 200cc streetfighter sold abroad. Last month, we were expecting Honda to launch the BS6-compliant CB Hornet 160R but it surprised us by launching the BS6-compliant X-Blade instead. However, at Rs 1,06,687 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the motorcycle easily became one of the most expensive 160cc bikes in the country.
The sad part is that for a premium of Rs 17,551 over the BS4-compliant version, Honda offers only an engine kill switch and a rear disc, that too as an option in the BS6 bike. There are no other tangible features to justify the high premium. Moreover, the CB Hornet 160R was always positioned above the X-Blade, so launching a BS6-compliant version at the same price as the X-Blade would result in cannibalisation. Even if Honda launched the motorcycle at a slight premium over the X-Blade, it would be way too expensive for a 160cc streetfighter.
Hence, it makes perfect business sense for Honda to upgrade the Hornet to cater to the fast growing 200cc category. This segment is currently dominated by the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, Bajaj Pulsar N200 and Bajaj Pulsar 220F. It’s high time Honda enters this space as there has been nothing interesting for Honda enthusiasts, particularly in the 200-250cc segment, after the CBR250R. So with the CB Hornet 200R as Honda’s first motorcycle in the 200cc segment, it should help the brand build a strong base in this category.
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The Honda CBF190R was patented in India back in 2019. It pretty much cements the probability that the upcoming 200cc Honda bike will be based on this motorcycle. The bike uses a 184cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine, which makes 16.86PS and 16.3Nm. These figures might not feel all that much considering the CB Hornet 160R’s 15.09PS, 14.5Nm motor. So expect Honda to tweak the engine heavily to make more power as well as comply with BS6 emission norms. In fact, Honda has a history of tuning its engines to suit the character of the respective bikes. Cases in point are the Honda Shine, SP 125 (share a 124cc motor), Unicorn and X-Blade (share a 162.71cc engine). If we’re lucky, Honda might just plonk in a 6-speed transmission, which should make touring a breeze.
To keep the costs competitive, Honda might junk the inverted front fork in favour of a traditional fork. Since it’s not an extreme performance machine, we don’t exactly see it as a dealbreaker anyway. For optimum safety, Honda is also likely to add dual-channel ABS to the front and rear disc brakes. Other notable aspects like the angular design language, LED headlamp and fully digital instrument cluster could be carried over.
Expect the CB Hornet 200R to command a price tag of under Rs 1.40 lakh (ex-showroom). Once launched, it will serve as an ideal bike to upgrade from the existing CB Hornet 160R or X-Blade. It should also serve as a reasonably priced sporty motorcycle for Honda fans who don’t want something as expensive as the CB300R.