Honda is developing a middle-weight bike for the Indian market which will take on Royal Enfield.

2017 Honda Rebel Unveiled
The Honda Rebel seems like an ideal fit for the Indian market

Royal Enfield is one of the most successful two-wheeler brands in India and when you are successful, fresh competition entering to challenge your dominance is a given. First it was Bajaj Auto with the Dominar 400 and now Honda has its eyes set on Royal Enfield. The Japanese automaker wants a chunk of RE’s Classic pie and is developing a middle-weight motorcycle for India to compete with the British brand.

Honda has formed a team of engineers from Japan and Thailand who will work in India to develop a global middle-weight bike. The Honda cruiser will be exported to Japan although the 250-400cc segment is shrinking there and Honda finds it very difficult to have a competitive model in that displacement. With design, development and production to happen in India, Honda will be able to tackle costs.

The middle-weight motorcycle segment consists of bikes with displacement of 250cc to 750cc, priced between $3000 to $7000 (Rs. 1.97 – 4.58 lakhs). Honda believes it has the technology to compete with Royal Enfield and although it wasn’t looking to compete with the Bullet maker, looking at their growth, the CBR maker is now planning to enter the segment as the business model of Eicher Motors (the parent company of RE) is very interesting.

So finally after a long lull of Honda not showing any focus on the performance and premium segments in India, the firm has turned some focus on the middle-weight category where it already has the CBR650F, sold in India and currently on a massive discount for stock clearance before BS4 emission norms kick in next month. Honda has the expertise, it also has the Rebel cruiser globally but we feel the company will make a close alternative to RE’s Classic 350, which will feature a single-cylinder engine and retro styling.

Honda Middle-Weight Bike

– Honda finds RE’s business very interesting and plans to enter the segment
– The company has allotted resources to develop a middle-weight bike in India
– Honda kick started the quarter-litre segment in India by locally manufacturing the CBR250R
– The Japanese automaker has what it takes to give RE a run for its money

Honda CX-01 Concept
The upcoming middle-weight bike could take cues from the CX-01 concept

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