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Old 1st June 2015, 12:24   #1
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Default Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Honda has taken the CB Unicorn 150 motorcycle off its website suggesting that it has discontinued the bike in India. The step comes as no surprise as the company launched the CB Unicorn 160 in December 2014.

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The CB Unicorn 150 on sale since 2005. It was Honda's best-selling 150cc motorcycle in India and none of the company's other 150cc offerings such as the CB Trigger and CBR150 have managed to replicate its success. The bike came with a 149cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled petrol engine that put out 13 BHP @ 8,000 rpm and 12 Nm of torque @ 5,500 rpm and was mated to a 5-speed gearbox. It had a telescopic fork front suspension and a monoshock at the rear.

Its successor, the Unicorn 160 has a 163 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled petrol engine that develops 14.5 bhp @ 8000 rpm and 14.61 Nm of torque @ 6000 rpm. The engine features Honda Eco Technology (HET) and is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The new Unicorn also features Honda's combined braking system (CBS).

At present, Honda's best-selling product in India is the Activa scooter. Coming to motorcycles, the CB Shine has been a strong performer in the 125cc category.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st June 2015 at 12:25.
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Old 1st June 2015, 23:23   #2
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Honda has done the right thing, same as what Toyota did when they launched Innova. Had they not stopped selling Qualis very few people would have opted for Innova at that time.

If Honda continues selling the CB150 I bet the herd mentality stays and people do not want to experiment with a new product.

The new Unicorn is a welcome move as they have updated a 10 year old model. The new console and looks make it more contemporary. The higher power would be helpful to keep the competition in check.

The tyre size in the new Unicorn has gone down from earlier 18 inches to 17 inches rim diameter. Its a welcome move considering majority of the bikes have 17 inches rims and so a wide variety of tyres are available in this size, thus giving owners options to choose during replacement.

The down side is the slight loss in stability during off-roading due to the reduced rim size.

With HET technology Honda would have tried hard to keep the motorbike as fuel efficient as its predecessor which was one of the USP of the bike in the 150cc category.
Lets wait for real world usage feedback...

Personal opinion:
This bike was the one of the first few motorbikes (in 150cc segment) to pamper the Indian buyers with extremely low NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) or rather I would say it redefined the benchmark in its category.

But I have apprehensions about Honda's so called Bullet proof reliability. From my personal experiences I have seen numerous Unicorns having engine problems quite early in their life and as early as 50k kms odometer reading. I have heard and experienced about its infamous Compression loss problem.

In my opinion the 100 cc Honda engines turn out to be more reliable than their 150cc counterparts.

What I love in this bike? -
1) Butter smooth engine.
2) Commuterish position.
3) Spaciousness of the bike (Easier to accomodate a pillion)
4) Monocross suspension technology

What I didnot like:
1) Earlier Unicorn models were plagued with problems pertaining to plastic quality. The tail light used to shake violently at the slightest bump on the road.
2) Suspension was not soft enough for my liking. I feel there are other motorbikes available whose suspension provides better comfort.

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 1st June 2015 at 23:51. Reason: Some corrections
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Old 1st June 2015, 23:39   #3
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post

Personal opinion:
This bike was the one of the first few motorbikes (in 150cc segment) to pamper the Indian buyers with extremely low NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) or rather I would say it redefined the benchmark in its category.

But I have apprehensions about Honda's so called Bullet proof reliability. From my personal experiences I have seen numerous Unicorns having engine problems quite early in their life and as early as 50k kms odometer reading. I have heard and experienced about its infamous Compression loss problem.
.
Well said my dear friend. The nvh levels of this bike are to die for.

Comingto the infamous compression problems. I have changed the valve sets five times in my 70 K ownership and the piston head once. The compression problem struck right from the first year of ownership and still strikes once in a blue moon. The vague reason given by Honda was filling of adulterated fuel something which I strongly disagree.

Other than the engine issue the bike indeed comes with bullet proof reliability. I feel the unicorn 160's built quality has fallen down drastically. Look at the switches for instance which you will find in the lower segment bikes.

Overall I would still prefer the 150 over 160 but we need to move on.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 10:13   #4
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
But I have apprehensions about Honda's so called Bullet proof reliability. From my personal experiences I have seen numerous Unicorns having engine problems quite early in their life and as early as 50k kms odometer reading. I have heard and experienced about its infamous Compression loss problem.

In my opinion the 100 cc Honda engines turn out to be more reliable than their 150cc counterparts.
What I didnot like:
1) Earlier Unicorn models were plagued with problems pertaining to plastic quality. The tail light used to shake violently at the slightest bump on the road.
2) Suspension was not soft enough for my liking. I feel there are other motorbikes available whose suspension provides better comfort.
Engine problem is what even I have seen on many Unicorns or rather Honda bikes in general. 5 of my friends own Honda bikes and all of them had some engine work done within 20-30k kms. The 2 Unicorns suffered from brittle side and tail panels leading to regular plastic welding or replacement. Another problem was sagging of the mono-shock, again within 20-30k kms which I feel is quite low.

I'm even more surprised to see 1/10 Honda bikes on the road smoking (burning engine oil). Though I can't comment on the degree of maintenance and care carried by the respective owners, the bikes seemed relatively new, shiny and well-maintained.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhi_abarth View Post
Comingto the infamous compression problems. I have changed the valve sets five times in my 70 K ownership and the piston head once. The compression problem struck right from the first year of ownership and still strikes once in a blue moon. The vague reason given by Honda was filling of adulterated fuel something which I strongly disagree.

Other than the engine issue the bike indeed comes with bullet proof reliability. I feel the unicorn 160's built quality has fallen down drastically. Look at the switches for instance which you will find in the lower segment bikes.
The switchgear is similar to ones found on lower segment bikes like Splendor and Glamour. Even the ones on my '12 Activa feel very flimsy.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 13:21   #5
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Recently I wanted to book the CBR 250 ABS. Two dealerships in Calcutta said the model has been discontinued. One said, "book with Rs 5000 and wait. We will refund if it doesn't come within a month". Apparently that's what they were told by the local Honda office. I thought this was really a confused state of affairs and chucked the idea of buying a Honda for now.

I am more than certain it is a matter of time before the model is withdrawn, perhaps to be replaced by the 300.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 13:36   #6
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Recently I wanted to book the CBR 250 ABS. Two dealerships in Calcutta said the model has been discontinued. One said, "book with Rs 5000 and wait. We will refund if it doesn't come within a month". Apparently that's what they were told by the local Honda office. I thought this was really a confused state of affairs and chucked the idea of buying a Honda for now.

I am more than certain it is a matter of time before the model is withdrawn, perhaps to be replaced by the 300.
What I hear from some dealers is they have stopped the production and only clearing off the remaining stock. The 300 will be rolled out around festive season or early next year.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 13:46   #7
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post

Personal opinion:
This bike was the one of the first few motorbikes (in 150cc segment) to pamper the Indian buyers with extremely low NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) or rather I would say it redefined the benchmark in its category.

What I didnot like:
1) Earlier Unicorn models were plagued with problems pertaining to plastic quality. The tail light used to shake violently at the slightest bump on the road.
Yes - this bike defined NVH when launched and was a joy to ride long distance non stop. Unicorn, coupled with Michelin M45s was a go any where bike during its heydays - be it on highways or off the road.

My bike had this issue and had to resort to fix the panel above the tail light with super glue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhi_abarth View Post
The compression problem struck right from the first year of ownership and still strikes once in a blue moon.
I had been troubled couple of times with this issue - but did not attempt any fix since it used to happen only once in a blue moon ( 3 or 4 times in about 9 years).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
Engine problem is what even I have seen on many Unicorns or rather Honda bikes in general. 5 of my friends own Honda bikes and all of them had some engine work done within 20-30k kms.
The switchgear is similar to ones found on lower segment bikes like Splendor and Glamour. Even the ones on my '12 Activa feel very flimsy.
This is surprising. Have never heard about Unicorn having engine troubles. the switch gear may look flimsy, but were tough. Never faced any problem due to them in almost 9 year, 1L plus KM.

--Anoop
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Old 2nd June 2015, 14:20   #8
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

AFAIK, the 160 was not a runaway success like the 150 Unicorn and I have hardly seen one or two 160s on the road till date. Maybe the 150 was cannibalizing the sales of the 160 and hence Honda decided to pull the plug on it. I own a 2005 Unicorn and have no qualms whatsoever till date. As with my cars, the bike is also low on mileage till date with the odo close to 15K Kms now after 10 years.

OT - On a side note, of the vehicles I own, only the Unicorn was currently in production and now it has joined the bandwagon of the others out of production.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 16:24   #9
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
Honda has done the right thing, same as what Toyota did when they launched Innova. Had they not stopped selling Qualis very few people would have opted for Innova at that time.

If Honda continues selling the CB150 I bet the herd mentality stays and people do not want to experiment with a new product.
Amit Sir, what you've written is perfect to the T! A friend who owns a multi-brand 2-wheeler dealership here in Mumbai was telling me that he has hardly sold 2-3 160's till now. Same is the case with the Trigger, the numbers are quite low. The Unicorn is in a league of its own in sales. It is the bread and butter for Honda.

All that people want is the CB Unicorn. They are not keen on even test riding the 160 once. In India, people have a very narrow mindset regarding such new launches. Most of this prejudice is spread by people who have zilch knowledge of bikes/cars and they give away statements in their circles like: "This new bike is full of problems", "The engine is nowhere close in smoothness as the old bike", "New engine doesn't give good FE" etc.

The mechanic there was also of the opinion that if Honda stops selling the Unicorn 150 then the company's sales numbers will be hit big time. I think he might be true. But all I can say is, Honda has taken the right step. Agreed the Unicorn is an excellent bike, smooth engine, smooth gearbox etc. but it was high time people started accepting new launches/newer technologies. Good move by Honda

-Bhargav
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Old 2nd June 2015, 17:30   #10
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Good move!

This is just like what Maruti is doing to the 1.3 DDiS engine by plonking it in every other car in their portfolio. With this it becomes monotonous and boring as a choice to customers. There is a limit for anything and it shouldn't be let to get long in the tooth.

The Unicorn (150cc):

Gen 1: Had issues with tail lamp breaking frequently and some engine problems.

Gen 2: IMO the best and reliable too with tail lamp bracket issue solved. Classic engine too.

Gen 3: Was just selling on 'word of mouth'.

Honda should now sense that the competition has taken the barge pole much ahead leaving them behind in this segment. When all are looking at 250-300cc segment, Honda was selling the 150cc engine or perhaps a 160cc one!
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Old 8th June 2015, 01:56   #11
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

They are clearing the old 150 to clear production line for the new launches scheduled in July and Festive season. Their plant capacity has been running full for over a year and they still haven't cleared the 1 lakh + backlogs they thought they would with the new plant going operational.
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Old 27th March 2016, 19:22   #12
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Default re: Honda takes CB Unicorn 150 off its website. EDIT: Now reinstated

Well... bouncing a old and dead thread, in a movie style resurrection, the sober not so hyped bike is back on sale.

And i have my third bike as a hardly used 2008 silvery grey Unicorn 150.
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