New Honda Dream Neo review, test ride
4th Jul 2013 5:08 pm
The Dream Neo is Honda’s latest commuter bike in India. We get in the saddle.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has just augmented its bike line-up with the addition of the Dream Neo. Part of Honda’s Dream series, the Dream Neo is the manufacturer’s first motorcycle to get HET, or Honda Eco Technology. The Dream Neo is aimed at fuel-efficiency conscious customers looking for a reliable daily commuter, and will sell alongside the Dream Yuga and CB Twister in the competitive 110cc commuter bike segment.
True to a commuter bike, Honda’s Neo is conservatively styled, its angular headlamp housed in a simple bikini fairing. Instruments are likewise simple, showing the rider an analogue speedometer and fuel-gauge, both of which are easily legible. Palm grips are soft and switchgear on the Neo is Honda typical, as found on several Honda commuter bikes here, these including a pass-light flasher.
The Neo’s 8-litre fuel-tank feels slender, and comes with a hinge-less fuel filler cap. The base model Dream Neo comes with 18-inch wire-spoke wheels while higher variants are available with six-spoke alloy wheels, in black. The Dream Neo’s engine, frame and exhaust are also finished in black. At the rear, the Neo uses a simplistic tail-light and jaded looking tubular grab handle. Overall quality and fit and finish are however up to the mark, as expected on any Honda motorcycle, and the Neo faces no issues here.
The Dream Neo shares its HET enabled, four-stroke, 109cc, air-cooled and single-cylinder engine with the Dream Yuga. There’s a four-speed gearbox, operated via a heel-and-toe shifter in an all-up pattern. The carburetted motorcycle makes 8.25bhp of maximum power at 7500rpm. The clutch feels light, and works with good progressive feel as apt on a city commuter like this. Power delivery is step free, and the engine pulls well from low in the powerband, making this an easy motorcycle to ride in urban India.
The 105kg Dream Neo uses a single downtube tubular frame, using its engine as a stressed member. For suspension, the Neo uses telescopic front forks and a set of hydraulic rear shock absorbers, coupled with a sturdy rectangular section swingarm. The Neo seats its rider in a commuter friendly, upright and comfy riding stance and provides its rider a well thought out ergonomic triangle. Ride quality is decent, and it’s also a light and nimble handling motorcycle in city. Barring the base model Neo, other variants ride on tubeless tyres, which provided us with sufficient traction in wet and dry conditions. Honda has equipped the Dream Neo with 130mm drum brakes front and rear, with no option of a disc brake available.
The Dream Neo is available in three variants, kick start/ drum brakes/ spoke wheels for Rs 43,150, kick/ drum/ alloy for Rs 44,150 and a top-of-the-line self/ drum/ alloy variant priced at Rs 47,240 (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
So, priced about the same as several rivals including Hero MotoCorp’s Splendor Pro and Passion X Pro, Suzuki’s Hayate, TVS’s Star City 110 and the recently launched Mahindra Pantero and Centuro, the Neo does show promise as a well-rounded bike with Honda’s proven quality.