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Honda developing motorcycle to rival Hero MotoCorp Xpulse 200

Written by Parichay Malvankar

Hero MotoCorp has found the sweet spot probably with the Xpulse 200 dual-purpose motorcycle, and Honda seems to be interested in putting across a competitor on the shelf. Rumours suggest that Honda will introduce a new 200cc motorcycle which will be similar in concept to tackle off-road terrain and an image has leaked online revealing this future model. This motorcycle could also be the brands first made-in-India 200cc class motorcycle. This motorcycle could be showcased in concept form in 2020, but is not expected to launch anytime before 2021-22.

Powering the motorcycle could be a single-cylinder, 200cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected motor and this block could be benchmarked with the Xpulse 200; so expect similar power and torque figures (or slightly more for a marketing ploy). The engine could be matched to a 5-speed gearbox and we expect a switchable ABS system for safety on road, and fun when off-road.

The sketch which has leaked of the new motorcycle design hints at off-road friendly wheel setup with a 21″ front wheel and 18″ wheel at the back. There also seems to be long travel suspension in place as per 200cc class motorcycles with a telescopic front fork and rear monoshock. The bike seems to ride on a single downtube chassis similar to the Xpulse 200. This should help keep the costs in check. The overall styling of the motorcycle seems in sync with the CRF line of models which go on sale in the international market, it looks rather similar to the CRF250L.

Expect features like spoked rims, aluminium swingarm, high mount front fender, LED headlamp and tail lamp, digital instrument cluster, high mounted exhaust, slim and long seat, small fly screen, etc. Honda needs a new mass market motorcycle with some character to attract newbie riders and also seasoned riders. The current portfolio under the 300cc class is rather bland, and not exciting at all.