Three new models debut at Honda Motorcycles open house at Alexandra Road, are part of the brand’s renewed efforts to reach out to the riding community in Singapore
On March 30, 2019, Honda launched three new motorcycles at its showroom on 255 Alexandra Road at an Open House event.
The models launched were the CB 1000 R, a high performance streetfighter, the Forza, a mid-sized scooter, and the CB 400 X, a small adventure motorcycle (more information below).
The event also featured test rides of the bikes, as well as other machines in the line-up.
The triple launch is another step in Honda’s efforts to reach out to riders and dealers here in Singapore, and one of the main driving forces behind it is Mr Nicholas Wong, the general manager for Boon Siew Honda and Kah Motors (Honda Cars).
“It reflects a new and closer relationship between us, customers, and dealers, and with more models to come we look forward to a great 2019 ahead,” said Mr Wong.
Brand promotion and model launches have, in the past, been the sole territory of luxury motorcycle makers such as BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph, but Honda now stands out at the only Japanese motorcycle brand to begin actively engaging its audience in a similar way.
The first sign of this was when Honda opened its Alexandra showroom in November last year, which it cited would be a space for riders and dealers to engage with and get to know the brand better.
Scroll past the gallery for details and pricing on the new bikes.
The CB 400 X in its current form has been a strong selling motorcycle here in Singapore, appealing to Class 2A riders who want adventure-style in a 400cc engine. First launched in 2013, it received a facelift in 2016 with a larger fuel tank and LED headlight.
The upgraded model seen here is almost entirely new. The bodywork has been changed, with the emphasis on more wind protection (the screen is 20mm higher) and steering angle has been increased for more agility in urban spaces. The digital LED display is new and includes more information.
Besides the engine, it’s identical to the CB 500 X sold in Europe. The tubular steel frame is the same as before, but chassis tweaks include 10mm more front fork travel, 17mm more rear wheel travel, a new single-tube rear shock with preload adjustment. There is also a 19-inch front wheel, replacing the 17-inch one, which should improve ride quality and stability.
Intake and exhaust, plus injection and valve timing, have been improved on the 399cc parallel twin engine, Honda says it’s now smoother, with slight increases to power and torque (now 46hp and 38Nm). A new slipper clutch reduces clutch effort and improves safety.
This is a new version of Honda’s naked, high-performance streetfighter and possibly one of the most exciting new models it’s launched in recent years.
The new machine is based on the previous CB 1000 R the one with a ‘gas mask’ style headlight, which has its engine based on the seventh-generation CBR 1000RR Fireblade (the last one with a central, underseat exhaust).
However Honda has gone with a radical approach to design, instead of sporty ‘RR’ genes, it’s new look is dubbed ‘Neo Sports Cafe’ – a combination of futuristic and classic – to ‘deliberately separate it from the naked-bike mainstream’.
There’s plenty of metal on display with the polished engine surfaces, the single-sided swingarm, and circular LED headlight.
The 998cc engine has been tuned for street riding and more torque rather than top end – it generates 140hp at 10,5000rpm, and a peak 104Nm of torque, and Honda claims it accelerates to 130km/h even quicker than the current Fireblade. Redline is 11,500rpm and cuts off at 12,000rpm.
Helping the rider tame the power is a Showa Separate Function Front Fork Big Piston unit (SFFBP) and Showa rear shock, there’s the same Nissin dual-caliper radial brakes from the Fireblade. Electronic control includes throttle-by-wire, power modes, traction control, ABS, and selectable engine braking.
Honda’s Forza scooter has been a big hit in Europe, especially in 125cc guise, and the 300cc version is for those who want more power and touring capability in a scooter that’s not quite maxi-sized.
This model is completely new, including a tubular steel frame, 33mm front forks, twin-rear shocks, and one piece swing-arm, running on 15-inch front and 14-inch rear wheels.
The 279cc single-cylinder engine (shared with the SH300i scooter) makes 25hp and 27.2Nm of torque, with a CVT transmission and V-belt final drive. The fuel tank is 11.5-litres in capacity, with a quoted 3.2L/100km fuel efficiency, that gives a theoretical 356.5km per tank. One interesting safety feature is Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), i.e. traction control.
All the scooter’s lights are LED units, the electronically adjustable windscreen has 140mm of range, and the bike boasts underseat storage for two full-face helmets, in addition to two front gloveboxes. Honda’s keyless Smart Key also works with an optional 45-litre top box.