Honda CBR650F spotted at Buddh International Circuit; Launch in July
Honda’s performance in the premium two-wheeler market in India has been sluggish ever since it parted from long-time partner Hero. The manufacturer is famous the world over for developing amazing sports and super bikes which have gone on and won many accolades on different race tracks. But it’s hard to understand why Honda has been so careless towards these segments in the Indian market?
Honda is well settled in India now and has a long list of commuter motorcycles and scooters that are doing good numbers with respect to sales. Activa is the best-selling scooter in the market and is constantly competing with Hero at the top of the sales chart. But even if we ignore the previous fact, India is actually Honda’s biggest market in the whole world now.
Coming back to the premium motorcycle segment, it is growing at an exponential rate in India and world famous manufacturers have already set up manufacturing and assembly plants to capitalise in the growing market. But, Honda is almost completely missing from the action. One question that always crops up in my mind is: Why Honda, why the ignorance?
Having realized this fact as of late, Honda is expected to launch the CBR650F in India in the month of July. A very capable motorcycle with a comfortable riding position, the CBR650F has recently been caught testing at the Buddh International Circuit, quite possibly for an ad shoot.
The CBR650F is powered by a 649cc in-line, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that generates 86 HP and 63 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and the bike will offer ABS as standard.
Everything seems to work in favour of the CBR650F in terms of features and performance offered. But, everything in India really comes down to the price of the product. Honda will be bringing the four-cylinder machine to India via the CKD route and it will be assembled at Honda’s plant at Manesar, Haryana. With a localization of just 5 percent, it is expected to be priced around Rs. 7 lakhs (ex-showroom), which is very high for a 650cc motorcycle. What this does is that the CBR650F will end-up competing with the Kawasaki Z800, which is surely not going to be good for Honda.
Anyhow, we all are hoping that this points towards more product launches from the Japanese manufacturer in the premium motorcycle segment in India.