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Honda CB200X: First Ride Review

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Suvil Susvirkar

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Introduction

Right Front Three Quarter

Honda 2Wheelers India has brought the concept of adventure-style touring motorcycles to the sub-200cc of our market. The new CB200X is based on the Honda Hornet 2.0, although this motorcycle gets a semi-fairing, a windscreen, and dual-purpose tyres. While it may not have a direct threat due to its positioning in the Indian market, it will face some competition from the likes of Hero Xpulse 200 and the Xpulse 200T. On the other end of the competition are the sporty-tourers like the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 and the Bajaj RS200. We tested this latest offering from Honda 2Wheelers India for a first-ride review and here are our initial impressions about the new CB200X.

The Visuals

Front Fairing

As the name suggests, the CB200X belongs to the adventure tourer category in Honda’s line-up that also includes the CB500X. However, the hardware on the CB200X says otherwise. In fact, Honda itself calls it an Urban Explorer instead of an adventure tourer. While this motorcycle gets a pair of knuckle guards and dual-purpose tyres, it rides on road-biased 17-inch alloy wheels on both ends and boasts a similar ground clearance as the Hornet 2.0 roadster.

windscreen

The design elements such as the semi-fairing and the visor are aimed to provide protection against windblasts, and they do a satisfactory job. Although it does not divert much air away, there’s a considerable amount of buffeting on the helmet.

Head Light

The front fairing gets a beak-style finish to mimic Honda’s higher displacement adventure tourer motorcycles, and the CB200X looks stylish, to say the least. The LED headlight setup features twin LED DRLs while the front turn indicators are integrated into the knuckle guard, thus giving the CB200X a clean look. The dual-tone finish to the fairing looks visually appealing and the radiator shroud design adds a muscular look to the CB200X. The fuel tank can hold 12-litres of petrol. We will get you the exact fuel economy number when we get the bike for a longer duration.

Engine Cowl

The build quality is typical Honda and we did not find anything bothersome during our short stint with the CB200X. It isn't designed to be a proper off-road vehicle and that is evident from the hardware, relatively low ground clearance, and the plastic engine cowl.

The Package

Instrument Cluster

The cockpit comprises a fully digital instrument cluster that is identical to the Hornet 2.0 and very easy to read even during bright daylight. The console, however, misses Bluetooth connectivity which is steadily becoming a common feature of most new products. The information available on the instrument cluster comprises a gear-position indicator, speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, trip meters, battery voltage, and a clock. Similar to its roadster sibling, the CB200X boasts full-LED lighting and a single-channel ABS as standard. The addition of the hazard light function, too, is a neat feature.

The Ride

Left Front Three Quarter

The new CB200X targets buyers who mostly ride in the city, but prefer touring occasionally. The new CB200X, as mentioned above, is based on the Hornet 2.0 and with the exception of the design, everything is taken directly from the Honda roadster motorcycle. However, the addition of semi-fairing and a taller handlebar enhances the comfort levels further. The windscreen isn’t very tall, and thus provides limited windblast protection. The upright ergonomics aid comfort and a rider can munch miles for long hours on the saddle. The taller position of the handlebar is easy to reach when standing on the footpegs, and that will come in handy when riding off the tarmac.

Right Side View

The suspension tasks are handled by upside-down front forks and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock and the setup is tuned for sporty riding. However, this results in stiffer ride quality and you would notice most of the undulations on the road.

Side Panel

In terms of performance, the numbers are identical to the Hornet 2.0 roadster. Linked to a five-speed gearbox, the 184.4cc, single-cylinder engine makes the same 17bhp of power at 8,500rpm and 16.1Nm of peak torque at 6,000rpm as the Hornet 2.0 roaster. The engine map and the gear ratios, too, are identical to the Hornet 2.0. The engine packs a sporty sound, and it does not translate into unpleasant vibrations until you venture into the higher rev band. It starts pulling away cleanly above the 3,000rpm mark. The motorcycle feels comfortable while cruising at highway speeds, although you can sense some stress on the engine when you venture closer to triple digits.

Front Disc Brake

The braking setup includes petal-type discs on both wheels while the safety net comprises a single-channel ABS. The brakes feel adequate for the job, however, I would've liked some more initial bite from the setup.

Our Take

Left Side View

The new Honda CB200X is a bold move by the Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler maker to capture a share of the growing adventure-tourer segment in our market. The design looks stylish while the build quality is typical Honda. We did not find any unpleasant sounds or improperly installed body panels in our short first-ride review. It retails at a premium price tag of Rs 1.44 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it nearly Rs 24,000 more expensive than the Hero Xpulse 200.

Left Front Three Quarter

For that price premium, you get nearly similar power and torque output numbers, fewer features, and less off-roading capabilities than the Hero Xpulse 200, and that may influence a potential customer’s buying decision. It does, however, make up for the lack of features through its sporty handling characteristics and a comfortable rider’s triangle. So, excluding the missing Bluetooth connectivity and a stiffer suspension setup, the CB200X is a very likeable motorcycle.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gallery

Front Fairing
Right Side View
Rear View Mirror
Front Suspension
Front Turn Indicators
windscreen
Head Light
Rear Brake Fluid Reservoir
Pillion Footrest
Pillion Footrest

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