Honda is evaluating the possibility of introducing its 500cc motorcycle lineup in the country. At the launch of the 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports, the company elaborated its plans for India. It hinted at the ‘mid-weight’ motorcycles here.
The exact engine capacities have not been specified. But there’s enough reason to believe that it could be in the 500 cc range. Honda is also planning to build big-capacity multi-cylinder bikes using local components. This will result in lower pricing.
Honda is not releasing any information about which of the motorcycles will be made in India. But the prospect of 500 cc can not be ruled out.
Why the 500 cc segment?
When it comes to motorcycles, the 500 cc platform offers versatility. This offers the company to create multiple types of motorcycles. The models Honda can be looking in particular are CB500X and the Rebel 500.
The Honda CB500X is a lightweight adventurer and an excellent all-rounder. Powered by a liquid cooled parallel twin motor. it produces 47 hp and 43 Nm torque. This amount of power rivals with recently launched KTM 390 Adventure. But there is always an advantage for the CB500X because of its extra cubic capacity and two cylinders. It has a much calmer motor even at cruising speeds.
If the CB500X comes to India via the CKD route, we can expect it to be available at around Rs. 5- 5.5 lakh. The can significantly drop if Honda uses the locally made parts. This can definitely be game changer for a 500 cc twin-cylinder adventure tourer is sweet at resonable price.
The Rebel Cruiser
Another model that can make its way to India is the Honda CMX500 Rebel Cruiser. It has the same motor as the CB500X. Its design can appeal to the audience looking to own a power cruiser featuring modern day upgrades like liquid cooling and ABS. Again the question comes is whether Honda will assemble its parts locally. If it decides to do so, it would definitely bring the prices down. And if the prices come down, it can offer a liquid cooling motor at a very effective price. Thus competing the Royal Enfield 650 twins.
Nevertheless, it is good the manufacturers like Honda are opening to the mid-weight category. Being in the affordable range, it can make these bikes the next big thing in the Indian market.