Design patents for 125cc NS125LA and 150cc Winner X are most likely aimed at protecting Honda’s intellectual property in Indian market
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) recently got the design patents for NS125LA and Winner X scooters in India. These scooters are available for sale in international markets and are positioned as commuter bikes.
While 125cc NS125LA scooter is exclusively meant for Chinese market, the 150cc Winner X underbone scooter is sold in Asian markets such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Winner X is sold as Supra GTR in Indonesia, whereas in Malaysia, it is named RS150R/RS-X.
Honda NS125LA, Winner X
Honda NS125LA has a classic, retro design with round headlamp and smooth, curvy body panelling. Its attractive, laidback design, coupled with a range of utilitarian features, makes it suitable for all age groups. The scooter is powered by a 124.9cc air-cooled motor that generates 8.97 hp of max power and 9.87 Nm of peak torque. This is a different engine, as compared to the one used with Activa 125.
Honda Winner X blends in the best of both worlds, the speed and agility of a motorcycle and comfort and practicality associated with a scooter. Winner X was launched in 2016 and has received multiple updates over the years. It is powered by a 150cc motor that generates 15.6 hp and 13.5 Nm. It is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Some key features of Honda Winner X include full digital display, keyless operation, all-LED lighting and USB charging port.
India launch plans?
It does not appear that Honda is planning to launch NS125LA and Winner X in Indian market. Design patents may just be a proactive move on part of the company to secure its intellectual property in the country. NS125LA, in particular, has a fairly unique and attractive design. There could be a possibility that its design or part of it may be copied.
While established OEMs may not be a suspect, there could be a threat of design infringement from emerging players in Indian two-wheeler segment. It especially concerns the EV segment, where new electric scooters are being launched at regular intervals. Honda itself may have plans to use the design of NS125LA for one of its products in future. There could be several other possibilities, which is where the design patents come into play.
In its current form, the NS125LA scooter does not even meet the BS6 emission standards. It works in China, as emission norms there are relatively less strict. In case of 150cc Winner X, the scooter does not suit Indian consumer preferences. There’s hardly any demand for geared underbone scooters in the country. All these factors indicate that Honda NS125LA and Winner X are unlikely to be launched in India.
Honda has different plans for India, one of which is an entry-level 100cc commuter bike. It will primarily rival Hero Splendor and HF Deluxe. Honda is also working to launch its first electric two-wheeler in India. While Benly e: electric scooter has been spotted on road tests multiple times, Honda could introduce an entirely new product. Launch is expected in 2023.