Bajaj V15 vs Honda CB Shine SP : Comparison Test

14 April 2016, 09:35 AM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

The CB Shine is like the Activa of 125cc motorcycles for Honda. It is the highest selling vehicle in its segment. It offers the right amount of everything – power, fuel efficiency, comfort and safety. And not just that. Along with the bike, you take home peace of mind, thanks to Honda reliability. But with the introduction of the CB Shine SP, Honda has taken the game to a whole new level. With a five-speed gearbox and better decals, the CB Shine SP looks like an unbeatable proposition like we mentioned in our first ride report. But Bajaj has an interesting way to counter the CB Shine SP in the form of the new V15 – it’s bold, stylish, muscular – things which we miss on the CB Shine SP. So we decided to spend some time with both these mass market bikes and evaluate each.

Looks & Styling

The Bajaj V15 is a head turner. How do we know that? Simple. One stop at a traffic light and all eyes were on this machine. Heads peeping out of vehicles, fingers being pointed at in excitement, enquiries being made hurriedly and boy did our bike soak in all that attention. The V15 looks nothing like the bikes in its segment, not even in the 125cc segment. Its bulky body proportions, coupled with a quirky headlamp cluster and fat rear tyre, gives the V15 a different design approach and that was the main focus for Bajaj engineers. Then there’s also the removable rear seat cowl that adds more points under the feel-good-factor. The beefy exhaust too, adds to the visual appeal and interestingly, as per Bajaj, they’ve sound engineered the exhaust note. Does it work? Yes, it does! The floating tail section that houses the chrome bordered tail lamp looks slightly out of place.

However, there is not much to write about the CB Shine SP, which retains the same neutral silhouette and style from its four-speed sibling. There’s the right amount of creases on the side profile and sharp lines on the bikini fairing. Basically, using this design approach, Honda wants to appeal to a wide range of consumers and we think it easily will.

Bajaj V15:  6/10

Honda CB Shine SP: 5/10

Ergonomics & Quality

I’ll chose the CB Shine SP over the V15 when it comes to ergonomics. Why? Because I like the traditional upright seating position, with the legs properly angled on the footpegs. This gives the sense of comfort, especially during long rides. Also, I’ve more control over the bike. The V15, on the other hand, gets a more upright seating position, which some of us might like. But as compared to the saddle height of 780mm, the position of the footpegs is slightly higher, resulting in slightly different riding position.

Honda CB Shine SP

Honda CB Shine SP

  • Displacement124.73 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)10.57 bhp
  • Kerb Weight124 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 67,214

In terms of comfort too, the CB Shine SP shines here – thanks to the wide, well cushioned seat. The seat on the V15 is slightly firm, but that won’t bother you much during long rides. In fact, there’s a tiny little padding on the center of the rear cowl to aid more comfort.

The V15 wins in the quality department. The plastics used across the bike are pretty good, so is the paint finish. Bajaj engineers have their details down pat. Rubber has been used to hide the wires in front of the fuel tank;, the fuel lid shows little premiumness and the switch gear leaves little to complain about. The quality level on the CB Shine SP is something we see standard across Honda’s line-up. It’s decent and meant to last. But there’s also improvement of paint quality on the CB Shine SP.

Bajaj V15 : 5.5/10

Honda CB Shine SP : 6/10

Features & Technology

Here both the bikes have almost the same set of features but the CB Shine SP has an edge in the safety department as it gets the combi-braking system (CBS). While the instrument cluster of the V15 is refreshing and little appealing too, it doesn’t get a trip meter nor a tiny screen, like the CB Shine SP.

But Bajaj has a differentiation ready here. It has equipped the V15 with a fuel level indicator that turns red when it goes into reserve and turns green when it has enough fuel. Both the bikes get alloy wheels with an attractive design pattern. When it comes to the tyres, Bajaj has used 120/80 -16 tyre at the rear and 90/90-18 tyre in the front to improve the aesthetic nature of the bike. The CB Shine SP rides on 80/100-18 tyres on both side. And yes, all tyres are tubeless.

Bajaj V15 : 5/10

Honda CB Shine SP :5.5/10

Engine & Performance

The reason why the CB Shine SP sells so much is because of that refined 125cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. This engine churns out 10.57bhp and 10.3Nm and is vibe-free, smooth and so lively. The 150cc mill on the Bajaj V15 doesn’t come any close to it –blame that vibrations that sets in as soon as you start revving harder. The five-speed gearbox on the CB Shine SP offers smooth and precise shifts, which is a boon during city rides. Twist the throttle and this peppy little engine gets the bike in motion with ease (even with my weight). The throttle response is crisp, couple this with the linear acceleration and 124kg weight, you’re going to have a good experience. We liked the mid-range too, and the bike is capable of staying at 100kmph easily.

The 150cc engine on the V15 has good amount of low-end torque, making it is easy to ride in places that has lot of stop and go traffic. Its 11.8bhp and 13Nm of torque gives little edge over the CB Shine SP but in terms of refinement and vibrations, the Bajaj is way behind the Japanese bike. It doesn’t feel smooth at all; still has that harsh sound like other Bajaj bikes. And trying to touch 100kmph on the V15 will be a bad idea.

Bajaj V15 : 5/10
 
Honda CB Shine SP : 6/10 

Ride, Handling & Braking

I believe the Honda CB Shine SP trumps the V15 here as well. The bike is light, easy to manoeuver in peak traffic, feels planted on national highways and more importantly, you can live with it. The suspension setup is on the softer side, eats up all the bumps and bad roads easily, without affecting your back. The V15 too, feels composed with the soft suspension setup, but it doesn’t absorbs bumps like the CB Shine SP at high speeds because of the 16-inch rear tyre. City riding is good with the wide-handlebar and low seat height. However, that riding position will take some time to get used to, especially, if you have to filter through the peak hour traffic. The braking on the CB Shine SP is pretty good, thanks to the combi-braking system (CBS). The Bajaj too, with the help of 240mm disc in the front and 130mm drum at the rear provided good amount of braking power, with decent feedback on the levers.

Bajaj V15 : 6/10

Honda CB Shine SP : 6.5/10

Fuel Efficiency

Good fuel efficiency is Honda’s forte and the Honda CB Shine SP returned the highest figure – 60.74kmpl. The Bajaj V15, with its fat rear tyre and extra 11kg helped itself with a 56.73kmpl which is pretty good for a motorcycle of this size.

Bajaj V15 : 6/10

Honda CB Shine SP :7/10

Price & Warranty

The Honda CB Shine SP retails for Rs 76,7214 (on-road Mumbai) and this is for the CBS version. At this price, Honda also offers a warranty of 2 years or 50,000 kms, whichever comes earlier. Bajaj is asking for Rs 74,900 (on-road Mumbai)for the V15 and this price includes the mandatory accessories pack, which includes removable rear seat cowl, crash guard, saree guard and rear grab rail. The warranty of 2 years or 50,000kms applies to the Bajaj V15 too.

Bajaj V15 : 7.5/10

Honda CB Shine SP : 7/10

Desirability

Usually, you can’t associate desirability with a mass market 125cc motorcycle. They’re more utilitarian rather than an object of desire, but Bajaj has pulled off a brilliant marketing gimmick with the V15. With its association with the legendary INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, the V15 is surely a desirable product due to its relation with the Indian armed forces. Sadly, the Honda CB Shine SP takes the second spot.

Bajaj V15 : 5/10

Honda CB Shine SP : 4/10

Verdict

Rank 1

….and the winner is the Honda CB Shine SP as its ticks all the right boxes. The bike is easy to ride and live with and is fuel efficient too. The 125cc engine is reliable, refined, smooth and the service back up is pretty good too. Even though, the CB Shine SP isn’t as attractive as the V15, it manages to win on most of the test parameters, resulting in the pole position.

Rank 2

The V15 is a very good attempt by Bajaj to establish itself in the mass market segment. The design is something that’ll attract a lot of footfalls into the showrooms and chances are most of them will walk away with one. With a very good road presence, the V15 could become the poor man’s big bike. But if the engine was vibe-free and smooth, Bajaj surely had a winner on its hands.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points Honda CB Shine SP Bajaj V15
 Rank    1  2
 Looks & styling  10 5 6
 Ergonomics & Quality  10 6 5.5
 Features & Technology  10  5.5 5
 Engine & Gearbox  10 6 5
 Performance  10 6 5
 Ride quality  10 6.5 6
 Handling & Braking  10 7 6
 Fuel Efficiency  10 8 7
 Price & Warranty  10 7 7.5
 Desirablility  10 4 5
 Total  100  61 58
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)   Rs 76,721 on-road Mumbai Rs 74,900 on-road Mumbai

Specifications

 MAKE Honda Bajaj
 Model CB Shine SP

V15

 POWER TRAIN    
 Engine Type Air-cooled Air-cooled
 Capacity 124.73cc 149.5cc
 Max Power  10.57bhp 11.83bhp
 Max Torque  10.3Nm 13Nm
 Gearbox 5-speed 4-speed
 CYCLE PARTS    
 Chassis Steel diamond Steel diamond
 Supension F  Telescopic Telescopic
 Suspension R  Spring loaded hydraulic  Spring loaded hydraulic
 Brakes F  Disc Disc
 Brakes R  Drum Drum
 Tyre F 80/100-18 Tubeless 90/90-18 Tubeless
 Tyre R 80/100-18 Tubeless 120/80-16 Tubeless
 MEASURES    
 Fuel Tank  10.5 litres 13 litres
 LxWxH  2007mm x 762mm x 1085mm 2044mm x 780mm x 1070mm
 Wheelbase  1266mm 1315mm 
 Kerb Weight  124kg 135.5kg 
 COST    
 Price (OTR, Mumbai) Rs 76,721 on-road Mumbai Rs 74,900 on-road Mumbai
 Warranty 2 years/50,000kms   2 years/50,000kms

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