Recent spy pictures have captured Honda testing not one, but two new products in India. The first is the MSX 125 minibike, which, based on the market, is also famously known as the ‘Grom’. The key difference between the Grom and MSX overseas is that the Grom comes with a standard halogen light for the USA market while the MSX gets a funky new projector headlamp. The bike spotted testing in India features the projector headlamp.
The Grom has become an icon over the years, with a strong fan following overseas. This minibike is the machine that inspired the Navi for our market, but instead of the Navi’s 110cc scooter drivetrain, the Grom features a 125cc engine and a four-speed transmission. Against the basic Navi, the Grom features fuel injection, front and rear disc brakes and even optional ABS. Wheel size is small at 12 inches, but the bike packs fat 120-section rubber in front and 130 at the rear. Suspension is handled by 31mm USD forks and a monoshock. Suffice to say, if Honda does bring the Grom here, expect it to cost significantly more than the Navi, even if the bike comes in a more cost-effective package.
The second product recently caught testing is the Scoopy scooter. This machine has been on sale in Asian markets for a while now and stands out with its funky, neo-retro looks. The Scoopy spotted here is the new 2017 version that was unveiled internationally back in May. The design is dominated by an enormous oval headlamp that sits on the front apron. It’s a unique look that will definitely stand out in our sea of anonymous scooters. Further retro themes come in the round rear view mirrors and curvy body panels along the rear section. The 12-inch wheels are a welcome change from the smaller wheels on Honda’s current scooter line-up and will give the Scoopy more stability.
The Scoopy uses telescopic forks and features a front disc brake. Power is provided by a 110cc motor, and like the MSX, this one features fuel injection but goes one step ahead by featuring start-stop technology. As with the MSX, the Scoopy has numerous features – which include the LED projector headlamp and the digital instrument cluster – that will drive the price up. Underseat storage space is rated at a generous 15.4 litres.
It will be interesting to see whether Honda India offers these products in their overseas spec or if they will be cost-engineered for our market. This is particularly valid in the case of the MSX whose multiple features could drive the price up to the point of premium 150cc commuters, or higher still. Perhaps we might see these vehicles with simpler features and carburetted engines from HMSI’s existing line-up to keep the price down.
It must be remembered that all vehicles caught testing are not destined for launch in our market. These two-wheelers may simply be undergoing R&D testing for technologies like Honda’s PGM-Fi fuel injection in lieu of the upcoming BS6 regulations in 2020 or ABS testing for the impending 2018 ABS deadline.
Of the two, the Scoopy seems like a rational choice for our market where it can take on Yamaha’s highly successful Fascino scooter and even the pricier Vespas. And of course, wouldn’t we love to see the Grom roaming our streets!
Honda Scoopy image source
Honda MSX 125 ‘Grom’