We’ve been hearing about it for long, and out comes another bit of news. A leaked patent image reveals that Honda might be developing a middle-weight modern classic motorcycle to rival the likes of Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. It is already known that Bajaj & Kawasaki are soon going to join this race, and it is time that the Japanese two-wheeler giant also has a product in this space. This bike will share underpinnings with the Honda Rebel 500, hence development process could be faster.
The rival from Honda to the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 could make use of the same chassis and engine from the Rebel 500. The patent image clearly reveals the chassis which is similar to the Rebel series. Honda could also develop a motorcycle based on the Rebel 300 to rival the likes of Royal Enfield Classic 350.
The styling will be simple, and old school. Expect a round headlamp, retro-looking speedometer cluster with digital display, telescopic front forks, dual rear shock absorbers, box-type swing arm, flat long seat, old-school fuel tank, regular fenders and rear view mirrors but a uniquely design full system exhaust which is lifted towards the end can area.
The twin-cylinder model will have a 471cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine matched to a 6-speed gearbox while the smaller sibling will have a 286cc, single-cylinder motor. Both motorcycles however are expected to be significantly lighter than the Royal Enfield rivals. The chassis geometry will be reworked for a relaxed and upright riding stance.
There is no official announcement on both these bikes coming to India in 2020. However, we can expect this to happen as Honda has revealed they will launch as many as 7-13 new products in the premium segment next year. Honda needs an old-school motorcycle as the market acceptance is high, and the brand has always struggled to get high numbers in the aspirational segment. Honda is currently backed with high sales from the Activa series and the CB Shine commuter model.