2021 Honda CB200X review – TUSEN

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The Honda CB200X is located in a very interesting segment of the Indian motorcycle market. Inserted into the 180-200 cc commuter segment, the CB200X intends to offer something different; this is not your usual street bike, but neither is it a hard all-terrain bike. And this is where, according to Honda, the CB200X will create its own sub-segment, that of a crossover motorcycle that can be used for commuting, but will also double down to explore the outskirts of town on a weekend. So all is well in view of the market trends, which has seen a huge explosion in the recreational motorcycle in recent years.

The Honda CB200X has the ADV styling, but it is not positioned as an off-road motorcycle by Honda, but as a crossover, with “smooth road” capability.

Understanding market trends is one thing, and creating a product that meets all the demands of its target audience is another. After all, in its segment, the Honda CB200X has to be reasonably affordable, offer characteristics comparable to its segment, and be a versatile machine, while competing against the 200 cc machines with better performance. But it does offer a kind of ADV flavor that is lacking in its segment. And for the sake of economy of scale, the CB200X is based on the Honda Hornet 2.0, sharing the same engine, chassis and suspension. The big question is, does the new Honda CB200X perform well enough to appeal to a wide range of customers?

Read also: Everything you need to know about the Honda CB200X

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The design certainly makes it an attractive motorcycle; with proper ADV styling, and it looks bigger than the displacement of its 184cc engine.

Design features

As far as the design goes, there is no doubt that Honda has succeeded. The new Honda CB200X is definitely a looker! Lay your eyes on it for the first time, and it feels like a bigger bike than it actually is. The body, front design, and even the red and white color scheme of our test bike are all reminiscent of the Honda CB500X, and even the larger Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. Yes, it certainly has a presence on the road and looks like an adventure touring bike, much bigger than it actually is.

Read also: The 5 strengths of the Honda CB200X

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The engine is a small, air-cooled 184cc single cylinder, but the CB200X has a plastic skid plate, which looks better than offering real rock protection while cruising over rough terrain.

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Take a closer look, telltale signs that this is just a commuter motorcycle appear, although the design and aesthetics make the motorcycle appear larger than its displacement. The front half-fairing with windshield makes the CB200X look a bit like its big brother, the CB500X, and that’s a good thing. The lighting is fully LED, including the smart tail light, and even the turn signals are LED, with the front turn signals mounted on the adventure-style plastic finger guards.

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The gold-finished 37mm upside down forks look premium, but suspension travel is limited with only 130mm of travel.

Going with the flavor of the “ADV” design, the CB200X even sports a plastic bash plate; not rugged enough for hardcore off-road use, but it’s designed more to complement the overall aesthetic of the ADV, and of course adds an extra thin layer of plastic protection to the crankcase, for what it’s worth. The gold-finished 37mm inverted front fork gives a touch of premium appeal, but suspension travel is limited, as it’s the same unit as the Hornet 2.0.

Read also: Honda Hornet 2.0 review

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The driving position is comfortable; you sit up straight and the seat has enough room for a comfortable perch for long hours in the saddle.

Ergonomics & Technology

The tall, flat handlebars, which are pulled towards the rider, provide an upright riding position. The stepped seat offers enough space for comfort, and the upright riding position, coupled with decent wind protection, makes the CB200X a comfortable place to stay. You sit high, with a breathtaking view of the road ahead and the riding position is comfortable enough for a few hours in the saddle; all good qualities to do for a short weekend out of town.

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The negative LCD instrument console looks neat and is the exact unit of the Hornet 2.0. Bluetooth connectivity would have added a feeling of premium quality, and the step-by-step navigation would certainly have made it more ambitious.

The negative LCD instrument console is feature rich, with daily counters, a clock and a gear position indicator. And that’s the result of sharing components with the bike it’s based on, the Honda Hornet 2.0. But a slightly more complete instrument console, with perhaps Bluetooth connectivity, certainly could have increased the premium appeal of the CB200X. The 17-inch alloy rims feature tubeless block-pattern tires, useful for tackling rougher terrain than tarmac, and provide grip in low-traction situations. The brakes, although with discs at both ends, only come with single-channel ABS, and the ground clearance could have been better.

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The engine performs well for its displacement, with smooth acceleration and smooth gear changes. The CB200X is happiest at 90-95 km / h and will go over 120 km / h, but the vibrations settle in at higher revs.

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Engine performance

On the move, the CB200X looks familiar, that’s because it shares the same powertrain as the Hornet 2.0. The air-cooled 184.4 cc single-cylinder engine produces 17 hp at 8,500 rpm and peak torque of 16.1 Nm at 6,000 rpm. The engine has smooth acceleration, the gear changes on the 5-speed transmission are smooth, and it will happily move at 90 km / h all day, and even go over 120 km / h if on. pushes, on an open highway. But it’s in town that the CB200X is happiest.

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Acceleration is brisk up to speeds of around 60 km / h, and neutral handling provides confidence and stability at all speeds.

Acceleration to 60 km / h is quick and smooth, and a downshift or two will provide enough thrust to stay ahead and cut through traffic. The overall performance is quite nice. Yes, there are a few vibrations that creep towards the upper end, but 5,000-7,000 RPM is where the CB200X is happiest, and if you use the 5-speed gearbox it does. will provide a decent enough growl to make everyday use entertaining. On the highway, 90-95 km / h is the happiest place, but it will push 130 km / h on a fairly open stretch of road, but the small engine will be strained and vibrations will be felt. at three-digit speeds.

Read also: Honda CB200X Vs Hero XPulse 200 Specs Comparison

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With its 147kg curb weight, the Honda CB200X is light on its feet, and there’s a decent midrange for getting in and out of traffic. Overall, it inspires confidence and the dynamics are well sorted.

Driving and handling

The chassis, again shared with the Hornet 2.0, offers neutral and predictive handling, and with its 147kg curb weight the CB200X is light on its feet, and there’s a decent midrange to get in and out of. the circulation. Ride quality is firm, without being harsh, but there are some complaints if you hit a fairly large pothole or speedbreaker at slightly high speeds. Our test route didn’t include any twisty roads to introduce the CB200X into some bends, but the fast bends are handled with confidence and grace.

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Honda says it’s not an all-terrain bike, so the suspension’s lack of travel is a disappointment. The suspension is a bit stiff and crashes into large potholes and speedbreakers at high speed. With a little more suspension travel, ground clearance, and dual-channel ABS, the Honda CB200X could have been a versatile all-rounder, making it a very attractive proposition, which it narrowly misses.

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Considering this is the same platform as the Hornet 2.0, there is nothing to complain about when it comes to handling or overall dynamics. The brakes could have been better. And when you venture into lightly rugged terrain, the CB200X is quite up to the task, but just barely. The chassis offers confidence and balance, and the block tires provide much better grip in mud, slush and low traction conditions. But the lack of suspension travel and ground clearance is what lets it down.

Read also: Honda CB200X launched at ₹ 1.45 Lakh

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The stepped seat offers decent real estate for a comfortable perch for long hours.

Verdict

The biggest strength of the Honda CB200X is its appearance! It looks like a real mid-size adventure bike, and based on its looks alone, it’s sure to find a taker. The engine is refined, gear changes are smooth, and handling is neutral and predictive; all the qualities that make a good package. At ₹ 1,44,500 (Ex-showroom) it’s not what you would call an affordable commuter bike, and at this price point it’s knocking on the doors of 200cc street bikes with better performance and features.

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The biggest strength of the Honda CB200X is its appearance. It looks big, has a definite road presence, and looks like a mid-size ADV, rather than a 184cc commuter crossover. With a little more suspension travel, better specs, this could have really been a very attractive proposition in the 180-200cc segment, attracting even riders from the upper segments.

And even at that price, the CB200X only gets single-channel ABS, which is a big dud. All in all, this is certainly a unique proposition and is sure to get its share of fans, depending on its looks, smooth engine, and sympathetic dynamics. If only it had had more suspension travel and an optional variant with dual channel ABS, it could have made all the difference between a good bike and a great bike!

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(Photography: Pawan Dagia)

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