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Old 20th March 2017, 18:16   #1
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Default Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Honda is reportedly working on a middle-weight motorcycle for the Indian market, which will be competing with bikes from the Royal Enfield portfolio. The company is said to have formed a dedicated team of engineers from Japan and Thailand which will be working in India on the said bike.

This information was reportedly revealed by Noriaki Abe, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Asian Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Abe will be taking over the charge of CEO of Honda's global motorcycle business from April 1, 2017. He has also indicated the possibility of Honda exporting the final product from India to other markets, including Japan. The company hasn't revealed any specific launch timeline for this upcoming bike.

Interestingly, the middleweight motorcycle segment in India has seen growing customer interest in the past couple of years. Eicher Motors Ltd.'s Royal Enfield brand leads the segment and has been recording significant sales growth. However, seeing the potential of the segment, various new manufacturers have now invaded the market, thus increasing the level of competition. Mahindra's Mojo and Bajaj's Dominar are competing in the same segment, while KTM's 390 twins are also clocking satisfactory sales. Honda is thus planning to have a share of this pie with its new bike.

Source: Livemint
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Old 20th March 2017, 21:25   #2
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Surprising to see that they are working on new model for India to challenge RE. They already have a suitable candidate on sale.
Why not bring it straight-away?

It's the Rebel!
Available in both 300 & 500cc!

Name:  2017_Rebel500_600x400_Red_trans.png
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Pic Credit: https://powersports.honda.com/2017/rebel-500.aspx
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Old 20th March 2017, 21:38   #3
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

A very good write-up from Overdrive's Shumi on this topic-

http://m.overdrive.in/opinions/chill...new-re-beater/
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Old 20th March 2017, 22:30   #4
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

If Honda people are following this thread for ideas, here's my wishlist. I would love a simple, retro looking motorcycle (a la RD 350, CB 750) with a modern engine like CBR 250's or even Karizma's 223cc motor. Sure, I can buy a used RX but being 30+ and having gained some pounds, the RX looks too puny for my frame. The RD looks perfect to me in terms of size and proportions but I am not rich or dedicated enough to maintain and use the legendary motorcycle as a daily runabout.

I am not a fan of modern iterations of retros like the Rebel in above picture or the concept sketches of XSR250/300. I like some old school chrome on the mudguards and grabrails and lustrous spoke wheels.

Currently, the Continental GT comes closest to my dream motorcycle but I will happily let go of the thump in favor of Japanese reliability and refinement.

Last edited by CarCynic : 20th March 2017 at 22:35.
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Old 20th March 2017, 22:50   #5
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Can they first update the CBR250R? It was one of the best alternatives from a touring point of view. Of course, it won't matter to RE posers who buy the bike mainly to 'feel' manly.

But for those who liked RE for it's touring capability had a good alternative with the CBR. It is torquey, has a good riding position + wind protection and a refined engine. But it's too old now and needs an overhaul right now.Unfortunately, Honda has other plans.
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Old 21st March 2017, 07:55   #6
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
Can they first update the CBR250R? It was one of the best alternatives from a touring point of view. Of course, it won't matter to RE posers who buy the bike mainly to 'feel' manly.

But for those who liked RE for it's touring capability had a good alternative with the CBR. It is torquey, has a good riding position + wind protection and a refined engine. But it's too old now and needs an overhaul right now.Unfortunately, Honda has other plans.
Honda already has the new 2017 CBR250, but they won't launch it in India. Wonder what the Honda management must be smoking. By the time the new RE competitor is released, God knows where the market will be. Vs RE, the competition is less now (add to that the poor engineering of RE) and this is now the time to steal some market share. Honda has to learn from Bajaj on reading the market correctly (Dominar, and Avenger 400 by end of this year likely).

So disappointed with Honda.

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2017 at 09:32. Reason: Typos
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Old 21st March 2017, 09:35   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avikbrio View Post
Honda already has the new 2017 CBR250, but they won't launch it in India. Wonder what the Honda management must be smoking. By the time the new RE competitor is released, God knows where the market will be. Vs RE, the competition is less now (add to that the poor engineering of RE) and this is now the time to steal some market share. Honda has to learn from Bajaj on reading the market correctly (Dominar, and Avenger 400 by end of this year likely).

So disappointed with Honda.
Agreed. I always feel Honda is the Toyota of 2-wheelers in India. Reliable yet over-priced, not keen about bringing its fresh products in India & milking Indian customers with its couple of blockbuster products (Activa,Shine : Innova, Fortuner)
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Old 21st March 2017, 11:41   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
Can they first update the CBR250R? It was one of the best alternatives from a touring point of view. Of course, it won't matter to RE posers who buy the bike mainly to 'feel' manly.

But for those who liked RE for it's touring capability had a good alternative with the CBR. It is torquey, has a good riding position + wind protection and a refined engine. But it's too old now and needs an overhaul right now.Unfortunately, Honda has other plans.
In addition to updating the CBR250R, I really wish Honda would release the CB300F and CBR250RR. They don't have a single twin on the market right now vs. their competitors Yamaha and Kawasaki. I think the CBR250RR and CB300F could really make some decent sales, particularly the CB300F which could be a decent competitor to the Duke 200, Dominar and FZ-25
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Old 19th April 2017, 11:10   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Honda needs to start working for a perfect recipe that the market demands.

Ingredients for that recipe

Displacement: 500-600cc Bullet proof Twin cylinder engine

Torque : Available from Low down around 50-55 nm

Bhp : Again 50- 55

Safety: Twin channel ABS ( a must ), Traction control (Desirable)

Ergo : Now this is where I feel the manufacturer needs to focus. Agreed that India has a very young median age of 27-29 and manufacturers from KTM to Yamaha to even Honda try and cater to these, however there is an entire working generation in 30's and 40's with disposable income who have been long term commuters and are now looking to upgrade to something more powerful and safe for their everyday needs.

Then there are many who are looking to return to leisure biking. They do not need a corner carver but end up buying one for lack of options and then six months later realization sets in and they put it on the block at a huge loss.

RE understands this void and has its products placed right for the moment.

Manufacturers need to wake up to this reality. There are hundreds who drool at the Bonnie and end up buying an RE for all the practical reasons. But tomorrow if Triumph thinks of coming with a 500cc twin with all the old world charm, modern safety features and reasonable pricing I am sure these Hundreds will be queuing outside the 'T' Showrooms.

So now, Wake up Honda! You already have the ingredients for the classics/ modern classics in your store.

Still if you need help here it is

Seating: Comfortable and upright with neutral handle bar position and foot controls (look at the RE for reference).
Needs to be a city commuter and should do those weekend highway runs with ease along with a pillion rider and some luggage.

Not all can afford multiple bikes for different purposes, again here RE scores.

If you are serious about building an RE Rival, you now have the recipe.

Cheers!

Last edited by schitre05 : 19th April 2017 at 11:14.
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Old 25th April 2017, 11:15   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

http://indianautosblog.com/2017/04/h...ke-time-265029

Honda putting the plans on hold, way to go.
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Old 11th December 2017, 15:04   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
http://indianautosblog.com/2017/04/h...ke-time-265029

Honda putting the plans on hold, way to go.
Honda seems to be working on bringing the Rebel 300 to India, as per this Overdrive article.

http://overdrive.in/news-cars-auto/h...d-on-its-turf/

From the article,

Quote:
Honda is preparing its cruiser, the Honda Rebel 300 for an India launch soon. Reports suggest that Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has recently patented the Honda Rebel in the country.
.
.
.
Earlier this year, CEO of Honda's global motorcycle business Noriaki Abe had announced that a mid-segment global motorcycle would be made in India. Later HMSI president and CEO Minoru Kato had said that the plan to bring the Royal Enfield-beater had been put on the backburner as costs had become a cause for concern. Now, however, with the patenting of the Rebel here, it does not seem like a stretch to see this motorcycle hitting the streets in a short time. The Honda Rebel 300 comes powered by the same 286cc single as the Honda CBR300R, which puts out 27.3PS / 27Nm.
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Old 11th December 2017, 21:36   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

My prediction: Honda goes the Suzuki Intruder 150 route and puts out utterly underwhelming, borderline-insulting garbage. It will probably be a 100cc or 150cc at the most, a commuter cruiser with no features and mediocre looks, priced just above the Bajaj Avenger.

Articles on this hypothetical Indian Honda Rebel mention that it's the Indian Honda team working on it, so we're not talking about Honda starting to sell the international Rebel cruisers here as they exist in the Western world. They're going to make something they think suits the Indian market. And what would that be? We already know, because Honda has previously gone on record to officially state they're not interested in competing with the likes of KTM or Harley, and that they're quite happy putting out sensible, no-risk commuting vehicles because they sell reliably well. If making safe money is the bottom line, why should this strategy have changed?
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Old 11th December 2017, 21:43   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

Cruiser bikes are like the SUVs. You've got to have one thats got a size and sound. I just hope they dont give something that pretends.

We cant expect Honda to have the same engine size of an RE and also compete with one at the same price point. Honda is welcome to surprise us
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Old 12th December 2017, 10:07   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

With all due respect to Honda, it's going to take much, much more than better engineering to beat RE in the Indian market. People who buy RE motorcycles are generally in the market to buy an RE and nothing else!

RE's brand value, unlike Honda does not come from the sophistication and reliability of their machines alone. There are few other things to consider like the Rider Mania events, the legacy of RE especially in India, RE's top notch marketing(made like a gun anyone?), and the fact that a high number of motorcycle riding groups are centred around RE products. The sheer number of Rider events organized by RE is probably higher than all the other manufacturers in India combined! So while I'm quite sure that Honda can and will better RE in the engineering department, beating RE's brand value is one uphill battle and will take time.

As a motorcycle enthusiast I'm thrilled about Honda finally deciding to be aspirational and not being content with Activa 4g, 5g or whatever g they have going and trying to woo the small group of us for who motorcycles are much more than a cheap alternative to cars. Good times ahead!

P.S: It will be a dream come true if Honda brings the CB300r to India too! Here's a video:

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Old 12th December 2017, 11:22   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Honda working on a Royal Enfield rival

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We cant expect Honda to have the same engine size of an RE and also compete with one at the same price point. Honda is welcome to surprise us
If at all Honda decided to launch Rebel 300 in India, they will surely not provide at the price point of RE Thunderbirds. Honda are known for pricing their products at a Premium and expect a price tag of minimum 2.5 lakhs and that will be a full one lakh premium over RE Thunderbird 350, which will again be a niche product like CBR 250 R.
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