Honda CB150R ExMotion: Why India wants this

Honda has just revealed the CB150R ExMotion, a naked sport version of the CBR 150R. The bike will soon go on sale in Thailand, a big market for beautifully styled, high-performance small capacity motorcycles. India will want this gorgeous new bike, too. Here is exactly why.

For starters, it looks gorgeous

A naked version of the CBR 150R, the CB150R ExMotion looks drop-dead gorgeous. The bike has futuristic styling, with plenty of muscle. It almost looks like a baby Ducati Monster from some angles, and that’s something, given how iconic the Monster’s styling is.

Honda’s got most of the hardware, already

Based on the CBR 150R, which Honda used to build in India until a few months ago, the CB150R ExMotion shares a lot of parts including the engine and chassis. It’ll be a relatively easy task for Honda to localize this machine and sell it at a competitive price tag here as most part vendors are already in place.

Nobody’s buying the CBR 150R, or even the 250R

Yes, nobody’s buying the fully faired CBR 150R and 250R motorcycles in India. Naked make a lot of sense here, as they’re lighter and more usable on a day-to-day basis. Give it a sharp price tag, and make it take on the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar NS200, Honda India could be laughing all the way to the bank.

Honda’s never had a hit in the sporty bike segment in India, EVER

Honda CB150R ExMotion 2

And this is a big deal for Honda, considering that it’s one of the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheelers. Breaking into the sportsbike market here is important for future growth as bikers rapidly upgrade from bare-basic commuter machines to those offering a bit of style, performance and premium-ness.

The bike uses a 150 cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected DOHC single cylinder engine that makes about 18 Bhp-12 Nm. It gets a six speed manual transmission. Upside down front forks, a monoshock rear, an underseat exhaust and LED light fitments are other key details of this motorcycle. ABS is standard, and the bike weighs a light, 123 kilograms.

But Honda may still choose not to bring this hottie to India

Honda CB150R ExMotion 3

For one, it may have to deal with a high price tag, and the Indian market simply rejects stuff that’s costly, even if it’s from a Honda. Then you have competition – Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS and KTM Duke – which is already well entrenched. Finally, Honda’s focus for India is firmly on the commuter bike space, and on beating Hero MotoCorp. It may still be a while before the Japanese giant decides to turn on the heat and shift gears to premium segments.