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Honda developing new 200cc – 300cc platform for India

Written by Parichay Malvankar

Honda plans to launch new motorcycles in the premium motorcycle segment after the implementation of BS6 emission norms. The brand is reportedly working on a new 200cc – 300cc platform for the Indian market and other key emerging markets which could spawn a street motorcycle, a faired sportsbike and also an off-road friendly two-wheeler. The new bikes could debut as early as 2021, and we expect Honda to showcase a concept model at least at the upcoming 2020 Auto Expo to be held in New Delhi, India.

Honda has been running with the CBR250R for almost a decade, with bare minimum cosmetic updates. The bike which was once a competent tourer in the segment, now feels dated and bland in front of competition. The new 200cc – 300cc bikes would come with all the latest bells and whistles and attract younger buyers, and even urban commuters who have moved to a slightly higher capacity motorcycle for daily use. The new bikes in development would become the entry-level models for Honda’s premium motorcycle portfolio.

The engineering involved though would not be completely high-tech as we see on the Yamaha 155cc motor which comes with liquid-cooling and variable valve actuation. Honda will play it safe in the interest of keeping costs in check, with an air-cooled, single-cylinder motor. Rumours hint at a power output in the range of 20 – 23 horsepower. Which category of motorcycle would first arrive is unknown as of date, but looking at the popularity the Hero MotoCorp Xpulse 200 is gaining, it might not be a surprise should Honda decide to first push out an off-road model. For those who want a hint at such a design, one can look at the Honda CRF250 L.

Honda is also rumoured to be working on a rival to the likes of Royal Enfield. Now this 200cc – 300cc class platform could also spawn a modern classic. More details to be available post the Auto Expo next month.