Honda CB200X first ride review – The Urban ExplorerOctober 10, 2021 1 By The Editor
Honda CB200X – ” Of Premise & Pilots.. “
The Honda CB200X is the latest offering from Honda Two Wheelers India. Simply put by Honda Two Wheelers, the Honda CB200X is the first Urban Explorer. A commuter for college, office & daily errands and a touring motorcycle for the weekends.
- But then again, does it have a good recall value?
- Can we recall and pen down our ride by wrist memoirs after almost a fortnight of everyone else posting their reviews?
- Unlike our fellow automotive scribes, can we savor the taste a little longer?
- No quick notes & cramped in impromptus, just a memoir of a first impression by two motorcyclists with different riding styles
The Test Pilots
Three motorcyclists set out on a cloudy Wednesday morning. Of them, Two designated front-men: The writers. The third one behind the scene – The Videographer. Indeed you will connect with our third crew member on his YouTube channel. Even follow his journey and connect with him. Lets get to know the other two.
One, a Honda Purist, already owns two of Honda’s finest – Sport segment motorcycles. Cumulatively, almost a decade & a good amount of kilometers included he has his share of tours with his riding group. Indeed he knows the “wings” better. Also, its not just about riding. Being the pack leader, while his machine ranks second in taking whatever is thrown he is the first to take corrective action for the safety of the crew. Personally, he enjoys the open straights and relishes the curves with as much an appetite.
The other pilot, unlike our purist enjoys going the distance and looks forward to exploring trails. He owns “Non-stop” and two touring motorcycles. Quick reflexes and managing, not just tailing or leading the pack his rides take the most of the Feedback. On the personal front, long tours with short luggage is favorite mix of a ride for him.
Thus, we have a quick shifter and a long hauler going throttle to wrist with the Honda CB200X
Honda CB200X Review – Are we there yet?
The festival long of weekends beckons and thus we are posting this review a good 20 days late! The motorcycle is just not meant for the ones starting up. It can be used by every motorcyclist, from novice to expert. So, let’s start this from the beginning…
In the beginning – A time I wished the Honda CB200X existed
While I am the last of the elder siblings to start riding a motorcycling, I managed to go further and beyond. Backtracking to the days of future past, the first tour being to the Konkan coast on a motorcycling that is always game. The touring bug and a wind in my face is a HEADY MIX not to be forgotten. Back then I wished for a few things the motorcycle would have and some of those features, that today are a reality in the Honda CB200X.
Introduction – The Honda CB200X has:
- A bold presence yet ergonomic stance for long tours and short spins
- All-terrain broad format tyres for everything gravel and asphalt
- Adequate power for straights, gradients and curves
- Good amount of ground clearance for those craters
- Foggy mornings or cold nights knuckle, guards with embedded winkers & hazard lights!!
Honda CB200X – Design
The Honda CB200X is built of the best of breed DNA with the bloodlines and design cues of 3 of their own motorcycles. Simply put its a – Stunner. From the integrated LED indicators up front to the upswept exhaust it is difficult to point out what is out of place. In fact, the Honda CB200X comes with a belly cowl too. Certainly, the Sports Red is everyone’s favorite. The PEARL NIGHTSTAR BLACK too, is subtle yet composed. However, I somehow liked the Matte Selene Silver Metallic. With a dash of matte finished tan complementing the golden USD this is a shade of grey I’d want.
The HUD is a clean desk, hands down. The switch gear with a hazard light function built in is easy to operate. Rear view mirrors on the Honda CB200X needs no chicken dancing or peek a booing. One look is enough to look back. The seat comfort, handle bar and foot pegs make the perfect triangle.
Neither is the Honda CB200X too bland nor is it a collage of sticker night gone wild. Here, the design language makes a style statement without being in your face. The shades of grey are blended in well with the stand storm streak and matte plastics and other elements of the motorcycle.
Honda CB200X – Ride and Handling:
The Honda CB200X had me hooked the moment I sat on it. The upright ride posture is indeed its core strength. You can corner with as much agility that you saddle the bike on trails. The height is perfect for motorcyclists of all builds to maneuver it in any situation. Also, the Half fairing takes away the weight of the headlight console making the CB200X all the more maneuverable – be it traffic, trail, highways or for that matter any other riding condition. Taking the motorcycle through Mumbai traffic for a non-Mumbaikar indeed is a piece of cake. Yes, it is agile.
The front suspension and the swaged & raised handle bars make the motorcycle the perfect blend for craters and bumps. The seat without a doubt complements this. However, I believe the rear suspension would need to be tuned to the riding style. There is no denying that this motorcycle gives the rider a big bike touring centric motorcycle feel. Even with a mere 12 litres, based purely on riding stance non-stop riding is on the cards. With the exception of stops for fueling up thrown in between.
The Nissin brakes come coupled with single channel ABS have adequate bite. However, I do see room for dual channel switchable ABS and probably traction control here. The MRF zapper curves hold the road on the curves and gravel alike. This is the tread pattern that most trail raiders are probably waiting for.
To further push the Honda CB200X, I did get my fair share of ground clearance and panic braking opportunities to understand my outliers. Well, let’s just say we cleared those areas.
Honda CB200X – Engine and Gearbox:
Unlike my teammate, Sam who understands a smooth transmission I am adept to the clunky gear boxes. However, what I personally did not expect is a quick on its feet motorcycle. The Honda CB200X is a surprise package here. All I did was open, clutch and blip all the way to top gear.
The Honda CB200X just glides back and forth the powerband. To give this powerband the perfect topping a 6th gear could be added. Belting out a sweet symphony is the upswept exhaust without any vibrations, even when redlined.
Honda CB200X – Features:
As regards my personal favorite features of the Honda CB200X go, the writing is on the wall. Let us delve into what the motorcycle is offering:
- The knuckle guards with integrated blinkers and hazard lights aren’t just aesthetic. They are functional too. Caught off-guard in Mumbai showers, I switched on the hazard lights and pulled over. While wearing the raincoat, a BEST bus passed by, at a safe distance.
- Nowadays most motorcycles in this price and powerband have rider biased seats. The pillion seat is not only wide enough and comfortable. Also, the overall seating posture is rather comfortable for the family. Without a doubt I’d like to say it’s a welcome feature for the pillion.
- To talk about Easter eggs, the pillion foot rest area has a triangle that can be used for fastening luggage. Be it bungee cords, tie-downs or luggage systems fasteners, most of the brands and types of luggage can be bolted on without much fuss. Also, the saree guard section and fiber tail gate can be used in the installation process too.
- The visor placement makes room for visors to suit touring needs with potential for OEM accessorizing here.
- The key on tank is a simple yet a nifty way of keeping the key from getting lost. Simply use the engine cut off switch on short tea & photography halts.
- Likewise, the gear position indicator and Voltmeter are good value additions.
Verdict: Giving a verdict for a short distance in my case is like finishing off dinner with appetizers. However, the takeaways that hold bring me back to the motorcycle are –
- Well-tuned yet scarily fast engine coupled with a seamless transmission system makes the Honda CB200X the perfect all-rounder for budding tourer motorcyclists.
- Be it Handling characteristics or touring real estate (luggage or gadgetry). It is for everyone, from novices to the experts
- The all-terrain tread pattern on the Honda CB200X will not just cut through the gravel or glide through corners it promises to go the distance
- Confidence inspiring braking, even with single channel ABS a rare factor to come by nowadays.
- Well-thought out hazard lights & knuckle guards are a great add-on that too in bone stock
For details on the Specifications click on the link : https://www.honda2wheelersindia.com/CB200X
Additional content –
Honda CB200X Walkaround – https://youtu.be/o4JNf4oI09I
Honda CB200X Accelaration – https://youtu.be/RMKlaN6ptSI
Honda CB200X Top Speed – https://youtu.be/p2ae5tqxPhE