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Honda CB Shine SP: First Review


We take a close look and a brief first ride of the new Honda CB Shine SP – the latest 125cc offering from Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India

 

Honda CB Shine SP

The 125cc motorcycle space is a special place for Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India. Alongwith leading the automatic scooter segment with its immensely popular Honda Activa, HMSI is also the undisputed leader in the 125cc segment, with its popular 125cc motorcycle Honda CB Shine. With a frugal, yet refined motor, comfortable ride and reliability, the Honda CB Shine is indeed a favourite, accounting for over 46 per cent market share in the 125cc motorcycle segment in India. And that’s not all – the Honda CB Shine is also the highest selling Honda motorcycle in the world.

But not one to rest on these laurels alone, HMSI is now aiming to grab an even bigger slice of the 125cc motorcycle market by extending the CB Shine range. So, enter the new Honda CB Shine SP – the 15th product launched by Honda in India this year. And like the bestselling Honda CB Shine, there are lofty targets for the CB Shine SP as well. HMSI aims to sell around 3 lakh Honda CB Shine SP bikes in the next one year, taking the overall sales of the CB Shine range to over 11 lakh units.

So, what is the Honda CB Shine SP? And is it as good as the management at HMSI seem to think? We take a close look at the new Honda CB Shine SP and a brief ride as well, to see if it’s got what it takes to rake in the sales registers for HMSI.

New Honda CB Shine SP

Looks & Styling

The Honda CB Shine SP has been positioned just above the existing CB Shine as a premium product. Overall, the CB Shine SP retains a similar design silhouette of the CB Shine, with of course some new ‘premium’ bits, which lend some sportiness and freshness to the bike.

So, the CB Shine SP has new body graphics, 3D Honda emblem on the fuel tank, redesigned and dual tone side panels, blacked out engine, new alloy wheels, new headlamp unit, new part digital, part analog instrument panel, and a new chrome finish exhaust cover. In all, the CB Shine SP can, at best be called a facelift of the existing CB Shine, though it’s certainly a handsome looking bike from all angles.

Honda CB Shine SP 125cc engine

Engine & Performance

The Honda CB Shine SP is powered by the same 125cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that powers the current CB Shine. The engine is a refined unit with decent performance, making 10.7PS of power and 10.3Nm of peak torque – par for the course for 125cc motorcycles. The only difference in the CB Shine SP is that it now gets a five-speed gearbox compared to the earlier four-speed unit on the CB Shine.

The CB Shine has always been an impressive motorcycle but where it was a bit of a letdown was in high speeds and in higher revs of the engine, where the refinement loses out and the engine becomes a tad vibey.  We had a brief ride around the CB Shine SP’s launch venue and from initial impressions, it is the refinement which is noteworthy.  Power delivery is linear and the first thing we noticed is the silky smooth performance of the engine.

The five-speed gearbox slots in precisely and though it was a very brief ride, the CB Shine SP cruised with its refinement intact in higher revs in the fifth gear. Now, this could hardly be called a test ride, so we’ll have to do a proper review to see how the bike performs in the real world, but overall, there’s not much to complain in terms of performance. Honda claims fuel economy figures of around 65kmpl, so the CB Shine SP is expected to be quite efficient as well.

 

 

Honda CB Shine SP Ride and Handling

 

 

Ride, Handling & Brakes

Ride quality is comfortable and in our brief ride, handling was commendable too. The CB Shine SP takes to corners willingly and without instilling any surprises or sense of uneasiness for the rider. Overall, it’s a decent handling bike with comfortable ride quality. The Combi-Brake System works really well and braking is quite good, shaving off speeds quite effectively under hard braking.  

New Honda CB Shine SP 125

Verdict

As mentioned earlier, the new Honda CB Shine SP at best, could be called a facelift of the Honda CB Shine. Sure, it has a added features – the most significant being the new five-speed gearbox, and a few cosmetic upgrades.

 

Honda CB Shine SP 125

It’s a well rounded product and with spruced up styling and features, it will certainly appeal to young motorcycle buyers. From our brief ride on the new Honda CB Shine SP, it wasn’t enough to really judge its performance, nor would it be fair to pass judgement based on a few minutes’ ride.

First impressions however, are positive, and that fifth gear does seem to make the CB Shine SP feel effortless at high speeds. What also impressed us are the brakes, thanks to the Combi-Brake System. So, well rounded product, decent performance and backed by Honda brand equity, the new CB Shine SP has a lot going for it. We, of course, will be doing a comprehensive review soon, so keep watching this space for an updated and detailed review. For now, we have little to complain about the Honda CB Shine SP.

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