Honda’s CBR onslaught includes 4 models for 2015, ranging from 150cc to 650cc. Local sourcing of content will be high on these bikes for an aggressive price.

Honda CBR500R India Price
Honda will locally assemble the CBR500R in India, it will get ABS as standard

Honda was the first mover in the nascent quarter-litre segment in India with its CBR250R and although the company appears to be sleeping as far as the performance segment goes, the truth is far from it. The silence at Honda is nothing but the calm before the storm because 2015 will see not one, two or three but four new CBR motorcycles being launched in the Indian market. Yes, that’s right, Honda doesn’t want to play second fiddle to anyone and will do everything to beat Hero for the numero uno spot and displace KTM in the performance space.

So which all CBRs will go on sale in India next year? We all know the Honda CBR650F is coming as the company confirmed the same at the 2014 Auto Expo. The CBR650F will be the cheapest 4-cylinder bike on sale in the country (currently it’s the Kawasaki Z800 and soon the Benelli BN 600i will take over). Other than the 650F, Honda hasn’t divulged details about any other CBR motorcycle launch but it has said there will be 10 new product launches, 7 new products and 3 refreshes, 4 of which will be CBRs.

However, the CBR300R is coming while the updated CBR150R will also be launched next year. The poor sales of the current CBR150R and CBR250R have led to the delay as the Japanese automaker continues to clear stock with a lot of difficulty. Production of these motorcycles was stopped more than six months back and dealers who don’t have any stock refuse to take bookings, some citing a waiting period of up to 5 months! Meanwhile dealers with inventory of the 150R and 250R find it difficult to lure buyers who either opt for the Yamaha R15 or the recently launched KTM RC 200.

The big surprise of 2015 will be the Honda CBR500R. Yes, the half-litre bike is headed here and will be Honda’s only twin-cylinder offering in the country (produces 47 PS and 43 Nm). Honda imported one unit of the CBR500R to India in July 2014 for R&D purpose. The bike was imported from Thailand and the declared value was Rs. 3.83 lakhs. Honda will continue local manufacturing of its single-cylinder CBRs in India while the CBR500R and CBR650F will be locally assembled via the CKD route, both using the same assembly line. Honda had showcased the CBR500R at the 2014 Auto Expo to gauge customer response and the performance motorcycle is expected to be priced at around Rs. 4 lakhs, fighting directly with the Kawasaki Ninja 300.

Honda CBR500R side
The Honda CBR500R is a faster bike than the KTM RC 390

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