Honda is looking to develop a new small capacity (180-200cc) adventure motorcycle for India to further expand the Hornet 2.0 platform. That will also give the Hero XPulse 200 a direct rival and help the segment grow as well.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) have again vibrantly burst into the motorcycle scene with the launch of the new Hornet 2.0 and the H’ness CB350. Honda had been quite dormant in the motorcycle space for the last couple of years but now, they intend to keep the momentum going with further expansion of their lineup in India. According to reports, Honda is now considering a new entry-level adventure motorcycle for India. Given the recent craze for adventure motorcycles in India, this is indeed the best opportunity for Honda to capitalize on the situation.
Atsushi Ogata (President, CEO and MD, HMSI), in a recent interview with carandbike said that they have heavily invested in both the Hornet 2.0 and H’ness CB350 platforms and are exploring possibilities of further expanding these platforms by offering more motorcycles in different body styles in the near future. An adventure motorcycle based on the Hornet 2.0 platform makes most sense given the trend with these motorcycles these days. Moreover, Honda already has such small displacement adventure motorcycles on sale in China and other ASEAN markets and it would be a good business case to bring it here as well.
Atsushi Ogata said,”Adventure means real or full bike but basically like small cc, 200 cc or 160 cc. Also, we have such kind of crossover. It means on-off model. We have those in China, in ASEAN markets, the CRF and so on. So, why not! Because we have Hornet 2.0, so we have new platform, new engine, the same as the H’Ness. Also, the Hornet 2.0, we have big investment for this model. So now, under discussion to expand the variety and to utilise this kind of new platform and offer more different categories and one of the options is adventure. So, you will be able to see sooner or later.”
While being underpinned by the Hornet 2.0 platform, this adventure motorcycle could draw design inspiration from the CRF 250L range sold abroad. Although the Honda CRF 250L sold abroad is a hard-core small capacity off-roader, the India-spec adventure motorcycle will be more dual purpose in nature. It will certainly be more toned down but could feature premium equipment like full-LED lighting, digital-instrument cluster and dual-channel ABS as well. Honda could also tweak the engine slightly to increase the displacement and produce a little more power and torque.
The new Honda Hornet 2.0 is powered by a 184 cc engine which is fuel-injected and makes 17 bhp at 8,500 rpm along with 16.1 Nm of peak torque at 6,000 rpm. The engine is paired to a 5-speed gearbox. The engine on the adventure motorcycle could be up to 200cc at least or else it will be the smallest in the segment. Currently, the Hero XPulse 200 does not have any direct rival but should Honda actually bring this 180-200cc ADV motorcycle, it will also boost the small capacity adventure motorcycle segment in India.