Ever since their global unveil at last month’s EICMA motorcycle show, Honda’s new range of 500cc sportsbikes, the CBR500 series, have been making quite a few waves waves internationally. While an Indian debut is something that is still unannounced, we suspect that Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India will be considering the CBR500R for the fast growing Indian motorcycle market, a market that is witnessing big growth in the high end performance motorcycle category. What with KTM planning to launch the Duke 390 in early 2013 and with Kawasaki lining up the Ninja 300R in the same year, Honda does need its own product between the 250cc to 600cc category.
Honda has big ambitions for the CBR500 range and the Japanese motorcycle giant has signalled its intent quiet clearly in the international market, what with the UK-spec CBR500R actually being priced lower than the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300R. Given this fact, there’s no reason why Honda wouldn’t want to emulate this in India as well. Now, for argument’s sake, let us consider that Honda is indeed planning to launch the CBR500R in the India. Given that the Duke 390 will be manufactured in India from grounds up, the heat is on Honda to localize the CBR500R to arrive at a competitive price tag.
Honda India has demonstrated that it can localize a high performance motorcycle suitably to bring its costs down to affordable levels, with the CBR250R being a classic case in point. So, the same could be done with the 2013 Honda CBR500R as well. If this does happen, expect the ABS equipped version of the Honda CBR500R to be priced at under 4 lakh rupees. We’re saying this based on the cost of the Honda CBR500R in the Thai market, a market in which the CBR250R also operates. Comparing prices of the Indian CBR250R with the Thai-spec model, we find that the pricing of this motorcycle is very similar in both countries.
For instance, the Honda CBR250R with ABS costs about 115,000 Thai Baht, which converts into INR 2.03 lakhs. In India, the ABS equipped version of the CBR500R costs about INR 1.93 lakhs, on-road Delhi. On an average, the made-in-India CBR250R costs about INR 2 lakhs, which is very similar to the price it is sold in, at Thailand. Given this similarity in pricing for the Honda CBR250R, let’s now look at the Thai-price of the Honda CBR500R. The 2013 CBR500R, built in Thailand sells at a price of 204,000 Thai Baht, which converts to INR 3.6 lakhs.
So, if indeed Honda manages to localize the CBR500R and build this motorcycle in the country, expect the pricing of the CBR500R to be well under INR 4 lakhs. All said, on whether Honda bites the bullet and builds the CBR500R in India is something only time can tell. Coming to the motorcycle in itself, the Honda CBR500R is powered by a 500cc parallel twin four stroke engine. This engine generates a peak power of 54 Bhp and a peak torque of 43 Nm in unrestricted guise. In restricted guise for Europe, the motor produces 47 Bhp-40.67 Nm.