A couple of weeks ago, we carried an exclusive informing you about Honda all set to launch a new 150cc motorcycle in India. Well, the wait is now over as the motorcycle in question will be launched as early as February 2013. We’re talking about the Honda CB150R Streetfire, essentially a naked version of the Honda CBR150R. Sharing the engine and cycle parts with the CBR150R, the CB150R is aimed at commuters and hence gets an upright riding position. The motorcycle is already on sale in Indonesia, after it was first unveiled globally, at the 2012 Jakarta Motor Show.
The Honda CB150R is powered by the same 150cc liquid cooled, single cylinder-4 stroke engine, as the CBR150R. However, on the CB150R, this DOHC-4 valve motor gets ECU tweaks for better low end performance. So, you have an additional dollop of torque: 13.1 Nm generated at 8,000 rpm, whilst peak power falls from 18 Bhp to 16.7 Bhp generated at 10,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a six speed manual gearbox as standard. The CB150R gets telescopic front forks up front and a monoshock rear, carry overs from the CBR150R. The big change in styling though is the fact that the CB150R dumps the full fairing to go naked. The motorcycle weighs 129 kilograms.
The seat is also reprofiled to accommodate the rider and pillion comfortably for city commutes. The exhaust muffler sees a redesign for more low end torque even as Honda has retained disc brakes for the front and rear wheels. In India, its remains to be seen how Honda will price the CB150R. The Honda CBR150R is an overpriced motorcycle and sure enough, it has bombed at the hustings. To ensure that the CB150R has a fighting chance at doing well in India, Honda would need to price it well below the INR 1 lakh mark.
Many Indian motorcycle buyers looking to buy premium motorcycles are attracted by full fairings of the likes of the Honda CBR150R and the Yamaha R15. Given that the Honda CB150R is unfaired, the asking price for such a motorcycle would immediately diminish. We hope Honda keeps this factor in mind while pricing this motorcycles. If priced well, the CB150R could set the cat amongst pigeons in the 150cc segment in India by being a class leading commuter motorcycle. The competition is a generation behind in engine technology and this advantage could be the biggest selling point for the 2013 Honda CB150R.