Oct 15, 2007

Hero Honda Hunk: What the heck is going on?

Okay, the official launch of the new Hero Honda bike is scheduled for October 18, 2007. I'd written about it likely to be a twin. Well, I still have my fingers crossed. But sources are more or less sure that the bike is not going to be a large displacement player, but a 150cc-class bike. If you've been salivating over the prospect of a Honda CBX250 Twister, you could be drooling up the wrong tree. A 150cc Twin, even to a die-hard look up and ahead optimist like me, sounds like overkill. So, I'm now leaning away from the twin and increasingly towards a mildly hopped-up 150cc single cylinder engine.

Purely guessing, but here goes. I looked closely at the pics of the CBR150R that're up at various blogs. The wheels, front brake and all look very similar. However, the twin-spar style chassis may be hard to do in India within a reasonable cost structure. So I'm thinking of the Hunk as a 160-ishcc motorcycle, engine heavily based on the Unicorns, making around 16 bhp (similar to the RTR 160, but refinment may be slightly better). If Hero Honda have moved on and added an oil-cooler, it could make more at the expense of fuel economy.

The motorcycle's USP, will be its full fairing. The most common local mod appears to be slapping on a CBR-GSX-Busa-R1 fairing, and this should become a manufacturer-offered, and hence high quality fairing. I don't know whether the light cluster from the CBR150R will make it, but the CBR's fairing seems pretty much the ideal choice for a faired 150. No fuel injection, although a monoshock is a definite maybe.

All up, I expect this package to set the customer back, say, Rs 4,000-odd over the CBZ X-Treme. Which, for a crowd who want a fairing won't be too much extra dosh, since they're willing to spend anything from Rs 10,000 to Rs 45,000 on a lash-up fairing. Of course, this is purely speculation.

Why another 150? Well, with Bajaj's Pulsar numbers more or less refusing to slow down despite the competition's increasingly better spec-ed products and the consistent growth of the premium segment, Hero Honda cannot help but look at this segment for great margins on sales and a consequent top-line boost. Cost cutting on entry-level bikes isn't helping anyone's profits, really. With the Achiever being more or less a flop, and the CBZ X-Treme buzz having slowed down since the RTR 160 stole the thunder, I think the Hunk is what Hero Honda needs, although not necessarily what we want. In fact,

Then, of course, there is the name. Again, there is no official confirmation on the moniker, but Hunk is as daft a sobriquet as Joy, Dawn, Passion, Pleasure (!), Glamour and Achiever. And obviously, market research still insists that we're only mature enough to handle easy to pronounce names like Hunk (yes, Doc, the J, indeed lies suspiciously close to the H like you said), Dawn and Joy. Personally, a tuned version, the Hunk RR has a nice ring to it. If they do it right, I might even be Hunk RR-ing after it. Er... okay, bad one.

But again, let us not condemn the bike before we see it. Who knows how much a punk the Hunk will really turn out to be, eh?

10 comments:

Payeng said...

With so much noise littered on the internet the last we need is another rumour/speculation from your blog.

adi said...

Actually Hritik's contract has run out.. so they decided to cut down on costs and call the bike hunk instead. Go, HH! Lead the way.

adi said...

-contd-
This is also the first in a series. Now its hunk. They'll also have heart-throb, dude and stud.
Lead the way, HH.

Maltesh Ashrit said...

Hi Rearset..

What dearth of names for HH. HUNk this time..

Imagine if the bike is termes a succesor to Xtreme, and be called Xtreme Hunk.. :)

first_synn said...

Hmmm...

Our car companies have been doing pretty much the same thing over the past few years. Take an international model, strip it of what would constitute as "essential features abroad and "novelty" here, and plonk in an engine that has been around in these parts since the dawn of time.

*cough*Swift*cough*

That being said, the CBR 150 makes somethin' like 17PS with its liquid cooled engine. If the new whatchamaycallit can make 16, it wouldn't be too much of a letdown, I guess...

Plus, some rumors talk about a return of the 156CC mill of the Ye olde CBZ(albeit, retuned). This always brings up the prospect of plonking in the Karizma engine block...

Navendu said...

Who knows HH might decide to put FI on Hunk.

Anonymous said...

sounds pretty lame to me, the supposed name that is.

Revhard said...

Will some hang the guy who decides the names of bikes at HHML ? It's going from bad to worse.

Sankoobaba said...

I have two questions, I hope you will answer them, first is, a office-mate was asking how is unicorn, with an intention to buy it soon, I gave him some gyaan(sourced from mags/ur blog etc), but when I told him unicorn has a single shock, he got sceptical! I tried explaining him stability and stuff, but I am looking for a better example! what do you suggest? and second question is, will removing the rear tyre hugging black plastic thing affect or harm the performance/functioning of the bike....I am wondering...or will its removal just means all the slushy-mud will fly everywhere??

vineeth said...

I belive HH is going down... still sticking with old tech nothing new in any model all the same ....old wine in new bottle.... get some new looks something creative.... ofcourse some name which majority can pranounce..... soon HH'll see others leading the way....