Honda teased the CB Shine SP at the mega launch event held during Revfest earlier this year, alongside the CBR 650F, CB Hornet, as well as CBR 150R and CBR 250R.
With 'SP' standing for 'Special', in reality the CB Shine SP is not very different from the previous one, except for the addition of a fifth gear and new styling on the motorcycle. The wheelbase and ground clearance are also increased on the SP.
When you look at the CB Shine SP, you see that the motorcycle has followed Honda’s new design language. The headlamp looks sharp, exactly like the one on the Livo. The cowl, however, is meatier and bigger. The fuel tank retains the styling of the older Shine, albeit it has been resculpted, with new stickers making it look better.
The motorcycle comes with an elongated seat to make it more comfortable for riders as well as the pillion. While riding, we did find a noticeable change, allowing us more room to move around in on the CB Shine SP.
Below the seat, the side panels are reworked giving the motorcycle a sportier feel. The pillion grab handle is new, and is now covered in a soft PVC material to make it comfortable to hold.
The engine on the new Honda CB Shine SP is identical to the one on the older CB Shine. It is the 124.7cc air-cooled four-stroke unit, with 10.3bhp of maximum power delivered at 8,400rpm. Torque output is decent at 1.1kgm available at 7,000rpm. The engine remained Honda-smooth throughout our ride, with barely a hint of strain felt when pushing it hard and only right at the top end of a wide powerband.
The major change, however, is the extra fifth gear. Honda has developed the new transmission from the ground up. Going through the gears rewards you with nice, smooth and affirmative clicks. The reason Honda added an extra gear was to improve overall smoothness while cruising, and it has definitely made a difference.
The wheelbase is now longer, and this too has improved the overall stability of the CB Shine SP. Manoeuvrability of the motorcycle is good, and it is still an easy motorcycle to live with and use for daily commutes. However, a serious drawback on the new Shine is its lack of a box-section swingarm, as Honda has been saving costs by using a tubular steel swingarm – even a full decade after every other bikemaker in India has switched to this essential equipment on their 125cc bikes. You can feel this in the shortcoming of more flex at the rear of the motorcycle when changing direction. Honda really should have equipped the CB Shine SP with the new
While the CB Shine was aimed at a slightly mature customer base, the SP targets the younger commuter. Styling on the motorcycle has been upgraded, and that is evident from the design of the wheels. The motorcycle now has five-spoke split alloys which look quite nice. It also gets tubeless 80/100 x 18-inch tyres. Brakes on the CB Shine are supplied by Nissin, equipped with Honda’s Combi-Brake System (CBS) which applies both brakes on application of only the rear brake.
The CB Shine SP is a good-quality, refined engine-equipped motorcycle, sure to make a reliable commuting companion that is long-lasting and efficient too. However, it appears that Honda has been really slow to equip its bikes with the specifications that are standard in the segment today, going by the few essential features that are missing on the new Shine.