Yesterday, Honda Motorcycles dropped a very vague teaser, hinting at the possible launch or unveil of the Forza 350 maxi-scooter in the coming month. If true, this will be a huge departure for the Japanese brand which has remained content with its existing India-specific portfolio. Safe to say, we’re quite excited about what lies ahead. That said, if folks from Honda India are reading this piece, can you please entertain our request for the following motorcycles/scooters?
Let’s be honest. The entry-level off-road segment in India doesn’t have much to offer, compared to other segments. Yes, we have the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Hero Xpulse, but enthusiasts have been craving for a bit more. This gap which was supposed to be filled by the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW G 310 GS, remains somewhat barren, considering the on-road bias of the two motorcycles.
What better way to kick off the mass-market ADV segment than introducing the Honda CRF 300 Rally. With design inspiration taken from Honda’s Dakar motorcycles, the CRF 300 Rally packs the perfect balance between usability and a bonkers amount of fun! Powered by a 286cc single-cylinder engine, the dual-sport puts out a respectable 28PS of power and 26Nm of torque, which is enough to battle both paved and non-paved tarmac.
The automobile media in India have written countless love letters to Honda begging them to introduce the Rebel on our shores, but to no avail. In hindsight, it makes for a good business proposition to introduce a 500cc bike in our market considering the serious lack of options. The good news is, Honda might’ve just heard our prayers on this one, with many reports suggesting that the Rebel 500 is headed our way as early as next month!
There’s a reason the Rebel 500 commands such a cult-like following. And the major factor behind it is its unique Bobber-like looks, chunky tyres and customisability. This helps in giving it a road presence like no other. At the heart of it sits a 471cc single-cylinder engine, which makes 47.5PS of power and 43.3Nm of torque.
Talking about the lack of options in the 400cc-500cc segment, how about introducing the Honda CBR 400R in this category? Serving as an alternative to the RC 390, the mid-sized Ceeber can easily command a following for itself, thanks to its sporty styling, feature-packed equipment list and a hearty 399 cc parallel-twin engine, which makes 47PS of power and 38Nm of torque. The only trick here would be pricing it correctly, which can be resolved if Honda decides to locally manufacture it here. For now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed.
We’re finally coming to scooters – a segment Honda has ruled over for more than two decades in India. What better way to set the benchmark again than by introducing a whole range of performance-oriented scooters to our market? And what better contender to do that than the Honda PCX 160?
Tailored-made to take the fight to the Aprilia SXR 160, this Honda maxi-scooter not only looks the part but also proves it mettle when it comes to performance. Powered by a 156cc single-cylinder motor, the PCX 160 makes around 15.8PS of power and 15Nm of torque, easily edging out the Aprilia which stands at 10.9PS of power output.
Considering the needs of the Indian traffic and the roads supporting it, the idea of an adventure scooter doesn’t seem completely alien; a perfect stage for the Honda ADV160 to make its mark, honestly. Styled to be a brawny adventurer, with Showa suspension, the ADV160 can not only take on rough tarmac but also be an ideal companion for road trips.
Powering it is a 156.9cc, single-cylinder engine which makes 15.8PS of power and 15Nm of torque. Aided by ABS and a traction control system, while also packing larger 30 litres of boot space and a generous 8.1-litre fuel tank, you only need to ask “where are we headed next?”
Perhaps the most unconventional option of the lot, don’t expect the U-be to be a mile-muncher. From its design alone, it is quite obvious that the electric scooter was touted to be an ideal city companion.
Powered by a small 1.2kWh battery pack, the e-scooter puts out a respectable range of 80km, with a top speed of 25kmph. Designed to be sleek and minimal, the U-be Cross promises to “cross” any hurdles of city life, including traffic and a swarm of pedestrians. With it already making headlines in the Chinese market, it is only fair to assume that it might replicate its success on our shores as well.
Image credits: Honda Motorcycles