Honda has launched the new X-Blade at Rs 78,500, making it Rs 3,859 is cheaper than the CB Hornet 160R that retails for Rs 82,359 (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). The bike made its debut at Auto Expo 2018, with bookings opening shortly after.
Honda has positioned the X-Blade to attract youngsters and millennials, and for this purpose, it has adopted a very aggressive design language. The basic silhouette is reminiscent of the Honda CB Hornet 160R, but the company’s designers have given it sharper panels to increase its visual appeal.
Termed by Honda as ‘Robo-face’, the bike’s edgy headlight is an all-LED unit (a segment-first feature). The X-Blade also sports a taller fly screen, an underbelly cowl, chunky grab rails and a redesigned LED tail-lamp. The overall styling of the Honda X-Blade is impressive, barring the twin-outlet muffler which doesn’t flow well with the design. The motorcycle also gets a full-digital console, like the one found on the Hornet, but with the addition of a gear-position indicator, service indicator, hazard lights and a white backlight.
Powering the Honda X-Blade is the same 162.7cc air-cooled motor from the CB Hornet 160R. However, on the X-Blade, the engine makes 13.9hp at 8,500rpm and 13.9Nm of torque at 6,000rpm, in comparison to the Hornet's 15hp and 14.76Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox.
Honda engineers have equipped the X-Blade with smaller tyres – 80/110 R17 and 130/70 R17 section tyres at the front and rear (the Hornet 160 gets 100/80 R17 and 140/70 R17 tyres), respectively. Braking duties are carried out by a disc brake at the front and a drum unit at the back. What's surprising is that rear disc brake isn’t even offered as an option. Neither is the option of CBS or ABS to keep cost under check.
The Honda X-Blade is available in five colour options – Matte Marvel Blue Metallic, Pearl Igneous Black, Matte Frozen Silver, Pearl Spartan Red and Matte Marshal Green Metallic. In terms of competition, the bike takes the soon-to-be-launched TVS Apache RTR 160, the Yamaha SZ-RR and the Hero Xtreme Sports.