The 150cc segment of motorcycles is indeed a difficult one to penetrate mainly because within itself there are three sub-segments – the first one caters to a slightly mature, older customers who focus more on the technology and efficiency of a machine. The second sub-segment comprises premium 150cc motorcycles such as the Honda CBR150R and the Yamaha YZF-R15 that appeal to a much younger and stylish customer; while the last one slots slam bang in between both these categories and it’s this segment that Honda is trying to tap into with the new CB Trigger.
While all manufacturers have tried to grab a piece of the pie in this class of motorcycles, only a few have succeeded. The key, of course, is to build a motorcycle that not only blends contemporary styling with conventional customer demands, but also priced in relative sync with other motorcycles in the 150cc segment. With the CB Trigger, Honda has attempted to do just that after having failed to get the ingredients right with its earlier CB Unicorn Dazzler.
So what exactly does a customer look for in a bike in this segment? As per Honda’s research, motorcycles in this segment should have certain basic traits (more on this discussed later) aside from offering a fine sense of style. So does the new CB Trigger manage to meet all of these customer expectations? Let’s find out...
Look! It does matter
The CB Unicorn Dazzler didn’t quite dazzle customers. Sales dwindled which eventually led to its replacement by the CB Trigger. Now the Trigger sports the same frame underneath, but the design is all new. The front stance is aggressive thanks to the somewhat hexagonal headlight that is sheathed by the bikini fairing and air scoops on the windscreen visor. The massive contoured tank with its sharp lines has been chiselled in the right places. While the floating pseudo air scoop blends well with the tank, we feel it would have worked wonders had it been slightly smaller. The arrowhead shaped side panel merges well with the sharp lines of the side cowl and into the LED taillights of the Trigger. The massive black exhaust adds to the overall masculine charm of the bike.
To cater to customers’ demands, the CB Trigger gets a heel-toe shifter and a covered chain as opposed to what we saw on the Dazzler. The long and wide seat makes for a comfortable ride but its arched shape isn’t quite long-distance friendly. The speedo and the tacho on the all-digital console are extremely easy to read. The console also houses a clock, fuel indicators and two trip meters. To sum up, the bike hits all the right notes as far as styling is concerned and seems to be an apt successor to the Dazzler.
Underneath the Skin
The Trigger borrows the tried and trusted 149.1cc engine from the CB Unicorn that produces 14PS @ 8,500rpm and 12.5Nm @ 6,500rpm. The power is evenly distributed and on hand even at lower speeds making it extremely convenient to ride in the crowded city streets. There is enough low and mid-range grunt which helps the bike pick up from speeds as low as 20km/h in the fourth gear. The Trigger recorded an extraordinary time in our in-gear acceleration tests completing the 30km/h to 70km/h run in just 6.71 seconds in the third gear.
Thanks to the flat torque curve, the bike can easily cruise in higher gears without having to shift frequently while riding in the city. In our tests, the Trigger touched the 60km/h mark from standstill in 6.27seconds and it would have posted a better time had it not been for the wet tarmac. Although the engine doesn’t quite feel out of breath even at higher speeds, one can feel a light vibration on the tank after crossing the 4000-4500rpm mark. Having said that, going full throttle on the Trigger the best I could manage was 109km/h, which is pretty close to Honda’s claims.
For a bike that can do speeds of over 100km/h, the braking has to be equally efficient and Honda’s Combi Brake System (CBS), installed for the first time on a motorcycle, ensures just that. Making use of a delay valve, the CBS comes into play when you hit the rear brake which activates the middle of the three pistons up front to ensure equal distribution of brake force. Hit the brakes hard and the three pot 240mm disc up front and the 220mm rear disc bring the bike to a halt from 60km/h in just 20.33m.
The 17-inch 80/100 section tyres at the front and the 110/80 rubber at the rear support the braking capabilities very well. Overall, the Trigger works well as a replacement to the Dazzler. The 150cc mill is highly refined and is at par with the competition on the performance front as well.
How it rides?
Hop on to the saddle and you can immediately feel that the bike is comfortable not only for your routine rides to work and back, but for that occasional long distance trip as well. The long seat makes riding comfortable even with a pillion onboard. The bike offers a supreme ride quality and easily glides over rough roads without sending a single notification to the back thanks to the well-damped telescopic front forks and mono shocks at the rear. On the flip side, the soft nature of the suspension does make it that much less confident when riding enthusiastically through corners.
That said, the riding geometry is fairly pleasing, the well-crafted tank is easy to grip, the wide handle bars and the aptly placed foot pegs make for a comfortable riding posture. On the whole, it is a pleasant experience to ride the new Trigger taking into account its comfort, handling, smooth gearbox and the well-sorted gear ratios that ensure you have additional power even at lower revs for your overtaking manoeuvres.
How far will it go?
This is one point that buyers really focus on before buying a motorcycle and the CB Trigger scores fairly on this front as well. Despite the short geared nature and the availability of low-end power, the bike returned an overall efficiency figure of around 51.5kmpl, going 48.25km a litre in the city and an impressive 61kmpl on the highway. On the efficiency front, it is pretty much at par with the competition. The 12-litre fuel tank gives it an impressive range of more than 600km.
The Last Stand
It is evident that Honda has spent a lot of time researching about the likes and dislikes of customers before building this motorcycle. But is it still a worthy successor to the outgoing CB Unicorn Dazzler? Replacing the open chain with a covered one, introducing a larger size tank, heel-toe shifters all are amendments in the right direction. While Honda offers all the right things on the Trigger including Combi Brakes in the top end variant, the Rs 76884 price tag is just too steep for a motorcycle in this segment.
The two other variants with disc-drum combo and the double-disc option at Rs 67384 and Rs 70384 respectively are at par with all else out there and would most likely make up the bulk of sales. Leaving the cost aspect aside, the Trigger does the intended task of a stylish 150cc commuter and is definitely a worthy replacement to the Dazzler.
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