With CBR150R, Honda will be looking to challenge Yamaha’s dominance in entry-level faired bike segment
Patent registration for CBR150R in India has fuelled speculations about the bike’s potential launch in the near future. It is to note that this will be the second time the bike will be launched here. Honda CBR150R was available in India from 2012 to 2017. It was later discontinued likely due to unsatisfactory sales numbers.
2022 Honda CBR150R India Launch
In a recent interview with ET Auto, President of Honda Motorcycles India, Atsushi Ogata stated that they are focusing on 150cc motorcycle segment. He said, “We need to focus more on the 150 cc line up. We are investigating this segment too and you will hear (from us) sooner or later.”
It is likely that he was hinting at the launch of 2022 Honda CBR150R. If Honda is to successfully take on Yamaha in entry-level faired bike segment, it will have to launch CBR150R at a competitive price point. Its primary rival Yamaha R15 V4 is available at a starting price of Rs 1.73 lakh (Metallic Red). Dark Knight and Racing Blue variants are priced at Rs 1.74 lakh and Rs 1.78 lakh, respectively. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.
It is difficult to estimate the bike’s price in India. Most that can be done is to get a rough idea by comparing prices of Honda bikes available in India as well as international locations.
For instance, if we consider Honda CB300R, the starting price is THB 151,690. This is approximately Rs 3.50 lakh. In India, CB300R is priced at Rs 2.77 lakh. This makes it around 20% cheaper as compared to Thai-spec model. The India-spec bike is cheaper even though it is BS6 compliant, as compared to Thai-spec CB300R that continues in BS4 format. India-spec BS4 CB300R was available at a starting price of Rs 2.41 lakh.
Coming to CBR150R, the bike is priced at THB 92,900 in Thailand. This is approximately Rs 2.14 lakh. If we apply the 20% ratio as applicable for CB300R, pricing for CBR150R in India comes at around Rs 1.71 lakh. This makes it even cheaper than R15 V4. However, this is just a rough estimate.
To be able to launch CBR150R at a competitive price point, Honda will have to increase localization. CB300R is perfect example, which has received a higher level of localization in its BS6 format. Localization for CB300R could increase further in future, as the company is developing the new BS6 engine at its Gujarat facility.
Something similar needs to be done for CBR150R if the bike is to emerge as a viable option against R15 V4. Pricing is important in entry-level motorcycle segment, even though it may not be the sole factor that influences customer purchase decisions.
In terms of styling, both Honda CBR150R and Yamaha R15 V4 are equally good looking. R15 V4 also offers a wide range of features including USD forks in golden finish, dual-channel ABS, assist and slipper clutch, variable valves actuation, traction control system and quick shifter. Bluetooth-based connectivity features have also been added, which can be accessed via Y-Connect app.
While CBR150R has similar set of features, the challenge is about launching the bike at a competitive price point. It remains to be seen if Honda can achieve that goal.