May 18, 2006

Honda Shine Ride Report

I finally spent a good deal of time on the Honda Shine yesterday. And I have good news, and I have bad news. What shall we start with?

The bad news? Okay.

  • a) the heel-end of the gearshift nearly took a chunk off my shoe yesterday. Since I only use the toe-shifter, I got in hacked off. Anyone want the heel bit? Looks like an effective cosh.
  • b) Like the Unicorn, ride quality is still on the stiff side. A journalist would say firmly suspended (what is that? A chap in traction?). It shoves fair spikes over concrete joints and only gets comfy when you load it up with a pillion.
  • c) The motor is quiet but, when you get to 70-odd kph or higher, you keep wanting another gear, because the motor sounds just too busy. It's gonna suck on the highway big time.
  • d) No electric start, yet.
  • e) The bike I borrowed was maroon in colour. In that shade, the bike looks about as dull as most of today's TV programs.
  • f) Mirrors don't have screw tighteners at the top-end of the stalks. So when they droop, they droop. My left one was flying half-mast throughout. On a 150 km example.
  • g) No engine kill switch.
  • h) No alloys. In the face of Bajaj's Discover, that's almost the equivalent of a slit wrist.
  • i) Where is there a piece of pipe where my grab rail is supposed to be?
  • j) The clincher for me. I'd never have an emotional connect with this machine.
The good news, then?
  • a) The motor sounds very refined. But there's a fair bit of vibes in the grips at mid-range. I think a thirty-odd km city ride will numb/tingle your fingers. Oh shoot, that needs to go into the bad news section, right?
  • b) The motor does sound quiet, and very effective.
  • c) The motor makes lots of torque and feels very robust. So when you suddenly run out of puff at 65 kph, you feel frustrated and cheated. Below that, though, the Shine feels very, very happy.
  • d) It feels okay as a handler. Not exceptional, but stable and friendly.
  • e) The seat is comfortable for short hauls.
  • f) Handlebar feels a bit wide, but is very comfortable.
  • g) Love the new switches on the left side. Did keep messing with the high/low beam toggle switch a bit, though.
  • h) Disc brake feels superb.
  • i). Er... that's it.
Doesn't look good for Honda yet. This products will, basically, fail to Shine. I'd zero in on a Disco or a Gladiator, I think.

Other posts about
All the 125s: Table
Hero Honda Glamour FI: Release
Yamaha Gladiator: Images Launch Expo photos Expo text Compared to the Shine
Suzuki Heat: Expo text Expo photos Zeus Ride Report
Honda Shine: Mumbai launch TVC criticism Launch Compared to the Gladiator
TVS Victor Edge/GLX: Launch


The BATFAN said...

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rearset said...