Honda will focus in the middle-weight segment starting from 250cc to 750cc motorcycles
Honda excels in what it does. May it be bikes or scooters, it knows how to create something which is badly needed by the Indian riders. From entry-level performance commuters, sportsbikes to stylish, frugal scooters, the Japanese brand has made its mark in almost every two-wheeler segment which is the country’ favourite. On the other hand, one brand in India which has its own unique identity and vast fan following is the British brand Royal Enfield. With its attractively classic designs, thumping audio and comfortable ergonomics, Royal Enfield has managed to won million hearts. Same goes for Bajaj, which had also earn praises but in the low capacity sports segment. It was only recently that it tried its luck with the power cruiser Dominar 400 and the results aren’t bad.
So talking about the comfortable cruiser bike segment, this is the niche in which Honda doesn’t have its players to compete, at least in India. As for other international markets, Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 have their presence for long. But now, these cruiser bikes from Honda are certainly carving their way to India as Honda patented the Rebel 300 in India. It’s a funky, cool looking cruiser bike with low slung and muscular stance. However, does it have the taste to make the RE lover’s drool over it? That, only its arrival will tell.
To be designed, developed and produced in India, the new range of middle-weight Honda motorcycles, including the Honda Rebel 300, will be nurtured by the boffins from Japan and Thailand. In this segment, motorcycles lying in the range of 250-700cc are on the list, exact details of the bikes are yet unclear. As stated by the CEO and President of Honda India, the main idea behind yielding these bikes in India is to make them cost-effective eventually making them stand successfully in the competition.
Talking about the powerplant of the Honda Rebel 300, it gets life from 286cc, single-cyinder, 4-valve, DOHC, fuel-injected, water cooled engine, same which does duty on the Honda CBR300, which is not in India either. On the other hand, Honda Rebel 500 clenches a 500cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine which develops 45 BHP of power and 44 Nm of peak torque. The design of the Rebel twins is similar and unique in their own way. Tiny round headlamp carries a single-pod instrument cluster along with the single unit handlebar which gives it a quintessential cruiser bike look. The tank is a round unit which flows down towards the seat while the rear fender wrapping the tyres resemble that of Indian motorcycles and several other high-end cruisers. The enormous front and rear wheel give it a strong and gigantic presence on the road.
To make it a hit, Honda will have to stick a commendable price tag on these motorcycles. In the US, the Rebel 300 has been priced at $4,399 (Rs. 3,01,221) and the Rebel 500 is retailed at $5,999 (Rs. 4,10,781). India entry will demand a lower price which perhaps will be achieved by Honda as it will put it down as a made-in-India motorcycle. The battle will be an interesting one. One thing is undeniable that Royal Enfield, and now Bajaj, are pretty tough to conquer which is why they have been the leaders of the segment Honda is about to focus on.