MUMBAI: Will a snazzy jacket without a winter liner protect you in extreme cold? While choosing what’s best for the cause, the form and functionality of the product are weighed alike. Hoping we are on the same page, let’s take the case of the Honda CB200X.
The CB200X is essentially a spin-off based on Hornet 2.0, which is braced with fairing and re-engineered ergonomics. The iconic Africa Twin stands as the design inspiration for the CB200X. And from certain angles, far and wide, the CB200X appears as bulky as the CB500X.
The LED headlamp craftily positioned under the short visor is a gentle reminder of the silhouette of accomplished ADV motorcycles. The plastics beef up around the 12-litre tank, making the CB200X look front-heavy.
Compare with Hornet 2.0, the CB200X will seek Rs 15,000 premium. The reverse LCD cluster, upside-down front forks, mono-shock, diamond frame, 184-cc engine, 5-speed, dual disc brakes with single-channel ABS are among the endless key ingredients shared in building the two motorcycles.
How does Honda justify the Rs 1.44 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag for CB200X?
Thanks to its ADV inspiration, CB200X is one of the most comfortable motorcycles under 200-cc class to ride for long hours. The handlebars are easy to reach due to elevated pivots. Thighs seamlessly slip into the creases on the fuel tanks, giving the rider a firm grip while quick directional changes. The footpegs are mildly rear-set and the stepped seat is adequately cushy to accommodate light and heavy riders alike. The perch is 15 mm higher than Hornet 2.0 at 810 mm, yet dropping feet for the anchor is easy due to its narrow profile.
Honda’s 184-cc engine is characteristically enjoyable to purr in the cities. It’s punchy in the bottom and mid-range, and revving it out for quick overtakes is relatively engaging. A proper city-friendly engine, this 4-stroke motor will be easy-going on the fuel bills as well. Mated to the engine is a 5-speed transmission, which is a slick operator and the gearbox is light on the pull. But is it the suitable engine you wish to ride on off-trail? Hang on.
Honda never promised that. Don’t fall for the looks. Promoted as an ‘urban explore’, the Hornet 2.0 on steroids aka CB200X is meant for an effortless daily commute. Don’t even consider it a soft-roader.
The wheels are alloys and not spoked. The only mechanical difference is the grade of rubber. MRF has supplied rubbers, identical in size and ratio; but with a different thread pattern on the CB200X. During the short experiential ride, we found the rubber offers a decent grip on wet tarmac.
The issue crop up, when seen through the optics of ADV inspiration. Aspects like higher ground clearance (167 mm), dual-channel ABS and Bluetooth-supported navigation setup were terribly missed in CB200X.
Luckily for us, relentless rain in Mumbai emulated a mildly off-road scenario. The nimbleness and flickability of the motorcycle are enjoyable. Strangely, the rear mono-shock bottomed out while going over water-filled potholes, yet again establishing the fact CB200X is a street motorcycle draped in adventure clothes.
Along with Hornet 2.0, the CB200X becomes the only pair of motorcycles to ride on upside-down front forks. These show a great degree of ease will maneuvering and confidence while nipping and tucking through traffic. Honda CB200X comes in a single variant, which is supplied with dual discs and single-channel ABS. Largely ridden on rainy conditions, the feedback on the lever was found slightly inconsistent and I was hoping for dual-channel ABS here.
Should you buy the Honda CB200X? Well, firstly the smallest CB is no match for the off-road prowess for Hero Xpulse 200. If that doesn’t bother you, the CB200X has plenty of tricks up its sleeve that XPulse can’t.
The engine and gearbox are refined and reliable. Cruising at 100 kmph comes naturally on CB200X. Also, you may consider CB200X over similar-specced street naked motorcycles based on distinctive looks. Most importantly, it may not go as fast as others but will ride you in greater comfort than them.