Honda unveiled its latest 400cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin engine in Japan. The engine isn’t a specially developed unit but a tuned-down version of the 470cc engine which is seen powering the CBR500R/CB500F/CB500X. The motor has been specially developed for JDM and Southeast Asian markets where 400cc is an important tier to adapt the various licensing regulations. Well, one might think what difference does that make for the Indian consumer but we feel the 400cc will make its way to our country the way the Ducati Monster 795 which was developed for ASEAN-markets.
Though it was expected that the CB-series with 500cc will head our way but with this new launch, it seems we will get the 400cc range which isn’t bad news. The 400cc will make more sense for our Indian markets since Honda has revealed that the emphasis in tuning was on a linear power band which means it will deliver a good combination of performance and efficiency and it’s estimated the motor will produce 35-40PS of power. The 400cc engine is visually similar to its 500cc sibling and shares the clutch, generator covers and 67mm bore though stroke is shorter at 56.6mm. It is expected that Honda would plonk the 400cc engine in the CB-500-series body for the Indian market.
According to the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer the new engine was developed with an aim of providing accessible performance, user friendliness at low price. The CB500 is priced at Rs 2.93 lakh and one can expect the 400cc version at a much cheaper price. The CB-series with the 400cc engine will be positioned against the highly anticipated KTM 390 and it is rumored that Yamaha is also eyeing the 400cc-segment and will enter a similar product in this space by this year end. So for the cash-strapped desi bikers it can’t get better than this as the affordable performance brigade readies for its Indian assault. For more news and updates on upcoming motorcycles…watch this space.