More Powerful Honda CB Hornet Incoming
- Jan 16, 2020
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We recently had a chance to ride Honda’s first BS6-compliant motorcycle, the SP 125. This is the successor to the popular CB Shine SP, so it has some big shoes to fill. But Honda has given the bike a comprehensive update and thrown in quite a few new additions. As a result of all these changes, there are quite a few questions surrounding the SP 125, and we’re here to answer them for you.
Kitna Deti Hai?
Let’s start off with the elephant in the room - fuel efficiency. This is the most frequently asked question about the new Honda, and while we can’t give you an exact answer yet, we can provide the next best thing. We haven’t yet been able to test the SP for fuel efficiency, but we have tested its predecessor, the CB Shine SP, and Honda claims 15 per cent higher fuel efficiency on the SP 125.
The Shine managed to stretch a litre of fuel for 62km in the city and 65km on the highway, which is already quite respectable. But if Honda’s claims are legitimate, then the SP 125 should manage around 70kmpl in the city and 75kmpl on the highway for each litre of petrol. If the bike manages these numbers in the real world, then the SP could become one of the most fuel efficient motorcycles we’ve ever tested!
Is It Worth Its Price?
The SP 125 is not only Honda’s first BS6-compliant motorcycle, but also the first 125cc BS6 bike in the country. As a result of this, it is the most expensive motorcycle in its segment, and is even Rs 7,300 more expensive than the CB Shine SP that it replaces.
But for this extra cash, you get an LED headlight, fully digital instrumentation with a lot of useful information on display, a thoroughly refined fuel-injected motor, an ACG starter and excellent build quality and finish levels. For this reason, we feel that the SP 125 justifies the premium that it commands because it does feel like a premium and well-equipped product.
Is It Better Than Its Competition?
The Honda’s most direct competition comes from motorcycles like the Bajaj Pulsar 125 Neon and the Hero Glamour PGM-Fi, the only other fuel-injected bike in this segment (and no, the KTM 125 Duke doesn’t fit into this segment). Both bikes mentioned above are a fair deal more affordable than the Honda, but for good reason.
Neither the Pulsar nor the Glamour can match the equipment levels offered on the Honda, and they certainly can’t match the engine refinement levels. Fit and finish is another area where the SP comes out on top. So if you are in the market for a premium 125cc commuter, the SP 125 feels like the most premium of the lot.
What’s New About The Engine?
The existence of the SP 125 has been necessitated by upcoming BS6 emission norms, so one of the biggest changes when compared to the CB Shine SP is the motor. It shares the same bore and stroke as the unit seen in the Activa 125 BS6, but makes more power and torque here - 10.8PS and 10.9Nm to be precise.
Just like the new Activa, it is also fuel-injected, in order to meet stricter emission rules. Cleaner tailpipe emissions aren’t the only benefit, fuel-injection is also what has allowed Honda to achieve the increase in fuel efficiency mentioned above.
Is Anything Else New?
Aside from the engine, Honda has also updated the styling on the SP 125, injecting it with some flair and youthfulness. The sharp tank extensions, bright colour scheme and smart headlight and tail-lamp give the SP 125 a sportier look than the CB Shine, borrowing cues from larger Hondas like the CB Hornet 160R.
One area that hasn’t changed though, is underpinnings. The same diamond-type frame continues to be suspended on a conventional fork and twin shock absorbers, while a front disc brake is on offer as well. Ride quality is a little stiff by commuter standards but not exceedingly uncomfortable, and the SP feels agile and maneuverable through slow and medium speed city traffic. Braking performance is adequate as well.
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