Honda has unveiled a 400cc parallel-twin engine based on the CBR500R's motor. There is a lot of component sharing between the two as well, but here's what has us excited: it has been made especially for the domestic and South East Asian markets. That means Japan, and India as well.
The 400cc engine retains the 500's 67mm bore but the stroke is reduced to 56.6mm. It will share the casing, clutch and generator covers with the 500. It is visually identical to the latter as well, which gives us hope for all the three body styles it powers: sport, naked and tourer.
It will work in India if Honda can price it right, either by going the CKD route with kits from Thailand, or even better, by manufacturing it here. Although the volumes may not justify manufacturing in the country, even a CKD operation will mean that the Ninja 300 will have competition at a very similar price point - and that 100cc advantage will make many customers switch loyalties.
The price point will be similar to the Ninja, at Rs three lakh or thereabouts and the power and torque also will be similar, although the company hasn't revealed figures yet. Ultimately, the consumer benefits from the competition, so we're eagerly looking forward to the CBR400R when it gets launched here.