Nearly 5 months have passed since Honda stopped building the CBR 150R and 250R in India, and both bikes seem to have been culled from the Japanese two wheeler major’s Indian portfolio. This, even as Honda has introduced a racier version of the CBR 250R in markets abroad.
The faster bike is called the CBR 250RR, and features a 250 cc, parallel twin four stroke engine with a power and torque outputs of 39 Bhp-23Nm. The CBR 250RR is unlikely to make it to India due to the high costs involved even as Honda has patented this badge here.
Coming back to the CBR twins that were sold in India, the bikes were pulled out of production just as the BS4 emission norms kicked in. Honda has not upgraded both bikes to the higher emission norms, and doesn’t seem to have any plans to do so even in the future. That explains the interminable pause in production.
Honda did sell the last few CBR twins at heavy discounts in India. Both bikes never really caught the Indian buyers’ fancy, and poor sales were the result. The bike mover could move less than 300 units of the CBR 250R each month last year, while the CBR 150R fared slightly better with average sales of a little over 450 units/month.
So, what killed the CBR twins?
- Age. The bikes were simply too old to take on newer competition, what with Honda not releasing timely updates. On the other hand, newer bikes such as the Yamaha R15 Version 2.0, the Bajaj RS 200, the KTM Duke twins, and the Yamaha FZ 25 twins have taken the market away from the CBR twins.
- Pricing. Right from the outset, the CBR twins were priced at a steep premium compared to competition. This didn’t go very well with the value-conscious Indian premium motorcycle buyer.
Will Honda make a comeback into this segment?
We don’t know. Currently, it seems unlikely that Honda will bring back the CBR twins given the fact that most of its energies and resources have been deployed for fighting the volumes battle with Hero MotoCorp. Premium motorcycles still account for a very small segment of the market, something that Honda may not bother with in the near term. MoneyControl reports that a Honda spokesperson hasn’t ruled 0ut the CBR twins coming back into showrooms. However, a timeframe for the comeback hasn’t been shared.