There is immense pressure on the big names in the Indian Motorcycling space, after Royal Enfield pulled a fast one on everyone by launching the twins at a shocking price. With all their cash reserves, technology and resources available at hand, the big guns have only now started to chart a course. Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India is one of those canons which has been eerily silent in the entry-level premium motorcycling space. They did give us the CBR 650 F and the Africa Twin alright, but there’s been no bird with a wing on its tank to appease the masses.
Is there anything being cooked at all? In an interview, Mr Minoru Kato, President, HMSI India, revealed a few insights about the company’s plans for the premium space in India. He said, “We have a strong intention to introduce new products in the premium segment in the future, post the BS VI emission norms implementation (April 2020), right from 160, 200 and 300cc segments… they hold a big potential. We have been conducting a lot of surveys to understand what segment we should get into in the future — a cruiser or a street bike, etc. We need to be careful with the cruiser. Globally cruisers have a relaxed riding position, but people (here) call Royal Enfield a cruiser which has largely a street-bike stance. So, we need to be careful in understanding Indian customer needs and come out with the right solution.”
Honda’s boss also reiterated that the company’s focus will remain on the mass-market commuter segment and they won’t ever give up on it. On the other hand, Honda’s rival, Yamaha’s new boss for India made clear that the company will focus on taking the ‘boring’ out and bringing back ‘fun’ to their motorcycle portfolio for India. Good times ahead then, but still a lot of ticking to happen before we see anything.