Unveiled - Honda CBR500 family at EICMA 2012
The CBR250R was a big change for Honda. It was built to a price and a target (the Ninja 250R in most markets) and its performance was close enough to being credible. Honda are now stepping further down the path with their new 471cc parallel twin engine that debuted in the CBR500R sports bike, the CB500X adventure tourer and the CB500F based on the CB1000R naked, to introduce new riders to bigger displacements and more power - 47PS on tap - which has great license class implications in markets abroad. Liquid cooling and fuel injection are present, and economy is said to be excellent - 30kmpl!
Like the CBR250R, the chassis use steel instead of aluminium for cost reasons and the suspension spec is basic. The X also gets longer travel suspension, different handlebars and a bigger tank keeping in mind its role. Honda has not confirmed an Indian launch, but we believe these motorcycles were designed with emerging markets in mind as much as new European or American riders, and will arrive in India. We expect engines to be sourced from Thailand but a major part of the rest of the motorcycles will be sourced locally to keep costs in check. We expect the launch to happen in a year's time, but maybe Diwali will come early for Indian bikers next year.