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First Look At Honda’s 100cc Rival To Hero Splendor

This upcoming Honda commuter bike features cost-saving parts, but will it come to India? We explain

(Update: Honda has launched the Shine 100 in India. Check out all the details here.)

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We know that Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) has been working on a 100cc commuter bike to take on the might of the Hero Splendor. After all, this was revealed by HMSI CEO and MD Atushi Ogata. Now, here’s the first look at this motorcycle, courtesy of the Japanese marque’s design patent application.

Based on the application, we see that this was filed by Honda in 2020; however, the design was only journaled in November 2022. At this stage, the design patent is still not granted to Honda, as the application is now open for the public to object or oppose the grant of the design patent. While the design does look in line with the brand’s plan of a 100cc commuter bike for India, there are a few details which indicate why this bike makes sense for India, and some which do not work in its favour.

Why Does It Make Sense?

The design patent application does reveal that this Honda bike will be powered by a sloper (horizontally oriented) engine. The sloper engine is a Honda trademark, with the HA05E mill using a centrifugal clutch, designed by Soichiro Honda, powering the Honda SuperCub C100EX. A derivative of this engine with a wet multiplate clutch, called the HA10E, was seen in the Hero Honda Splendor back in 1994, and continues to remain in production under the Hero brand, of course with the latest emission conformities.

The sloper engine is known to be cost-effective to manufacture, while also being robust and reliable. For Honda’s 100cc commuter bike to be economically accessible, bringing back the sloper engine is key, and this would also help Honda market the bike better, being the pioneers of this engine.

Why Does It Not Make Sense?

While we did establish the key role a sloper engine would play in Honda’s ambitious 100cc commuter taking on the might of the Hero Splendor, the Japanese marque has not used the sloper engine on any of its bikes for India since its break-up with Hero in 2011. Thus this engine might well be for a commuter bike, intended for the export market.

Even if we assume that Honda does bring back the sloper engine through this 100cc commuter bike in India, the image seen in the design patent application does not indicate the presence of the secondary catalytic converter. This indicates that this engine might not be BS6/BS6.2 or even flex-fuel compliant, thus inferring that this bike may well be for the export market like Africa or Latin America.


While the design patent application does give us a fair idea of how Honda’s 100cc rival to the Hero Splendor may look like, the engine of the bike raises some questions. For Honda to be able to effectively take on the Splendor, the pricing of the bike is crucial. If Honda does use a sloper engine, the 100cc commuter may well get a price tag hovering around the Rs 63,000 to Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom) mark, thus undercutting the base variant of the Splendor by Rs 10,000. We expect that Honda’s rival to the Splendor will be launched in India as early as March this year.

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