Japanese motorcycle maker Honda, it seems has set the cat amongst the pigeons with the pricing level of the new 2013 CBR500 series of sports motorcycles. Honda has just announced prices of the CBR series at this year’s NEC motorcycle show at Birmingham, UK. Gauging from the pricing level, Honda has undercut the Kawasaki Ninja 300R, thus making the all new 2013 CBR500 motorcycle series a compelling buy for most buyers since these motorcycles offer higher engine displacements and power figures than the likes of the recently launched Kawasaki Ninja 300R.
The naked CB500F is priced at £4,650, while the CB500X sports tourer and CBR500R sportsbike come with a similar price figure of £4,950 – a full £249 cheaper than the ABS equipped variant of the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300R. The CBR500 range of motorcycles will be produced in Thailand and imported to export markets across the globe including those in Europe and the United Kingdom. With the aggressive pricing level for the CBR500 series, Honda seems to be targeting the dominance of Kawasaki in the entry level sports motorcycle segment.
Showcased at the recently concluded 2012 EICMA Motorcycle Show at Milan, Italy, the Honda CBR500 series of motorcycles come with 500 cc, parallel twin four stroke engines that produce a peak power of 54 Bhp. These engines are mated to six speed manual transmissions and are also available in detuned form to fall within the 47 Bhp power limit that the European Union specifies for entry level motorcycle riders. The CBR500 series of motorcycles are available in three variants, all of which come with the ABS safety option. The Honda CB500F comes with naked bike styling, while the CB500X comes in sports tourer guise.
The 2013 Honda CBR500R, on the other hand, is a sports motorcycle targeted at riders for road and track use with a more aggressive riding position. Coming to the Indian angle, the Honda CBR500 sports motorcycle is a good fit for the Indian market given that Honda doesn’t have a single motorcycle offering in the 250-650 cc motorcycle space. Kawasaki is expected to launch the Ninja 300R in 2013 while KTM is also readying up the Duke 390 for an early 2013 launch. With such motorcycles arriving into India, Honda would do well to launch the CBR500R at an attractive price level of under 4 lakhs.
To achieve such a price, Honda willl have to build these motorcycles in India through the CKD route. This is an attractive proposition as India shares a free trade agreement with Thailand, a country where the CBR500R series of motorcycles are produced. Even better, Honda could produce the CBR500R in India, just like it did with the CBR250R. For now though, Honda remains tight lipped about the CBR500R’s launch prospects for India.