Bike tested: 2012 Honda Dream Yuga (Self-Drum-Alloy)
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 56,799/-
Post the break-up with Hero, Honda has been gunning down Bajaj Auto’s throat at a rapid pace. The Japanese automaker has brought in new product upgrades, changed its communication plan, roped in Akshay Kumar and committed itself to increase service outlets. Clearly Honda wants to snatch the numero uno spot from its erstwhile partner and the Dream Yuga is one such vehicle which is key to doing so. We take the Honda Dream Yuga out for a spin to find out if it can dethrone established commuter motorcycles in India.
Styling – The Honda Dream Yuga looks like a scaled down version of the CB Shine. The tank has a bigger scoop for better thigh support and the rear fender is sharpened with the name printed on it. The front mudguard is long which adds to the premium ‘look’ of the Honda Dream Yuga. The headlight assembly is pretty much the same as the CB Shine but smaller in size. The exhaust is sleeker and has a better looking heat-shield painted in black like in most Honda bikes. The side panels are quite distinct from those on the Shine. However, the red Honda badge on the engine casing and the 3D-emblem on the tank is missing. The rest like the rear mudguard, turn indicators, rear view mirror’s and tail lights are identical to the CB Shine.
Ergonomics – The seating position is very upright and the wide handle gives the Honda Dream Yuga a very commuter feel. The foot pegs are placed for a comfortable ride for both the rider and the pillion. The RVMs are adequate for the normal sized people but not if you are broad. Seat could have used much more cushioning for pillion and the rider, which could have made it much better to adjust to the taller handle bars. There is enough space for inner thighs to breathe and the scoops on the tank serve their purpose well with good thigh support. Overall long journeys are comfortable enough on the Honda Dream Yuga.
Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – Instrument cluster of the Dream Yuga is very simply laid out. There are two round dials. The one on the left is the speedometer which has 30 to 50 km/h marked as economy mode. The speedo is marked till 140 km/h though, finicky indeed. An old-fashioned trip meter sits inside the speedometer. On the right is the fuel gauge which consists of the basic things like high beam, neutral and turn lights. Switch gear is pretty decent with respectable quality for the motorcycle at this price point. It’s the very same seen on most of the Honda bikes which includes pass light and high beam button. But it misses out on the engine kill button which the competition offers. However, the switch gear will be different to operate for those people who are graduating from other bike manufacturers.
Performance and Gearbox – The Honda Dream Yuga is powered by a 109 cc, 4-stroke engine which produces 8.5 BHP of peak power output at 7500 RPM and 8.91 Nm of peak torque output at 5500 RPM. This engine is powered by what Honda calls Intelligent Ignition. All though the motor is borrowed from its sister, the Twister, it runs on slightly de-tuned state than the Twister. The motor has typical Honda traits, it is smooth and refined as a Honda should be. Thanks to the under square layout of the engine which produces sufficient torque at low revs to get you moving. The motor usually is at its best when it comes to mid and top-end power delivery.
The sound of this engine is remarkably good and for a commuter it’s an absolute delight. The power is transferred to the rear wheels by a smooth shifting 4-speed gearbox, which is a mixed bag when it comes to gearing. The first gear is of no use, it will hardly reach 15 km/h, so it’s best to shift to second instantly. Second gear gives sufficient power to get one moving and when shifted to third, you can see decent progress with the speedo showing 45-50 km/h. When shifted to a very tall fourth gear, the Honda Dream Yuga takes its own sweet time to reach all the way to its top speed of 80 km/h. Gear pattern is all down which isn’t suitable for us enthusiasts but commuters will relish it.
Ride, Handling and Braking – Despite the increase in every dimension (length, width, height, and wheelbase), the Honda Dream Yuga has the same kerb weight as that of the Twister. No, it’s not any magic, but it is all thanks to the single down tube chassis which has less weight compared to the twin tube type frame which the Twister is bolted on to. This procedure usually leads to vibrations, because engine is a part of the chassis. Luckily, there are no vibrations here, thanks to the refinement of the engine and various other factors. The 18-inch wheels on the Dream Yuga provide best in class handling and ride comfort.
Ride quality is excellent and despite 18-inch wheels, turn-in is crisp and the bike takes sweepers with great poise and in a balanced manner. Maneuvering in town as always is superb and it can go through any imaginable gap you throw at it. Braking was mediocre, primarily because brakes were new and needed some run-in to get a proper bite. Rear-brake is adequate and did most of the job effortlessly.
Miscellaneous – Fit and finish was excellent, plastic quality was good for a motorcycle of this size and price-point. Headlight throw was quite good on low beam while high beam was satisfactory on highways as well despite the small size. The ground clearance of the Dream Yuga is 161 mm while the CB Twister has 180 mm. The thing we did not understand is that inspite the Dream Yuga being projected as a tougher bike, why was the ground clearance reduced? Aerodynamics may be. You will have to pay for ‘accessories’ such as engine guard, alloy wheels, and self start (on the lower variants) and there is no option for disc-brakes in any variant.
If you need one, Honda suggests the Twister may be a better option for you. Fuel efficiency in our riding condition was around 58-60 km/l. Hopefully after first service (which was not performed on our test bike) it should increase and it could reach a more sensible 63-65 km/l in sane riding conditions. Tubeless tyres are standard, all though you won’t get tubeless in the market after current tyres wear-out, a typical Honda trait which is previously seen on all its commuter segment bikes. Paper element filter should give a very long cleaning interval and long time interval before you change one. Horn is loud enough, finally. The Honda Dream Yuga lacks features offered by key competitors such an engine kill switch, LED tail light, pilot lamp in head light, etc, despite the premium pricing.
Conclusion – The Honda Dream Yuga does its job well for a commuter segment bike. It has an excellent engine, good maneuverability and is an excellent commuter package. However it is priced significantly higher than its rivals. While Honda believes this product will help them dominate the Indian market, we think it’s just the Honda badge which will help them extract that extra cash. After all, it is Honda, Sach kardega apke sapne!
* Engine refinement
Whats Not So Cool
* All down gearshift pattern
* Seat does not open
Honda Dream Yuga Specifications
* Engine: 109 cc, Air Cooled, 4-Stroke, SI engine
* Power: 8.5 BHP @ 7500 RPM
* Torque: 8.91 Nm @ 5500 RPM
* Transmission: 4-speed manual
* Top Speed: 80 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: 58-60 km/l (City), 63-65 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Telescopic Fork (Front), Tube Type (Rear)
* Tires: 80/100/18 Tubeless
* Brakes: 130 mm Drum (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear)
Honda Dream Yuga Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 2022 mm X 733 mm X 1095 mm
* Wheelbase: 1285 mm
* Ground clearance: 161 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 8-litres
* Kerb Weight: 108 kgs