Buyers Guide: Which Honda?

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How to choose a Honda (HMSI) bike below 250 SHE-SHE or SEE-SEE?==cc.


The official website of Honda http://www.honda2wheelersindia.com/  

As at 19:30 pm on Saturday 8th June 2013, Lists 17 models on its above website.

The largest FOUR models are:

<1>VT 1300 CX – whatever The F***   VT means or CX means I dunn0. I am idiot. And I will cunt in you to be an idiot bkoz I don won to kn0!

<2>VFR 1200 F – somehow I interpret VFR as Very Fast Revving and F as Fast!

<3>CBR 1000 RR – dunn0 what is CBR or RR. I interpret CBR as short stroke, something I learnt from the engines of the CBR150 & CBR250, which are both Maha=Very-short storke. WTF the RR and R at the end mean, I dunn0. I don won to kn0. Maybe it is Honda secret. On their website they donn tell. So how to kn0?

<4>CB 1000 R – same story! WTF is CB and WTF is R?

Bikeguru is not going to analyze the above so-called Superbikes bkoz bikeguru believes that anything bigger than 250 cc is for EGO boost, not for city transportation for aam janata! For the time being this is a policy decision for the time being!

Now coming to the sensible category==250 cc and below:


  • <1>Coming downwards from the top, First is CBR 250 R, which is a short stroke engine. Bore is 76 mm and stroke is 55 mm. stroke/bore ratio is 55/76==0.724. Therefore as per Archimedes Principle, this engine will have poor Low End Tork but pretty good high end. It produces 18.64 kilowatt ==25 bhp of power at 8500 rpm at a Compression Ratio=CR of 10.7 to 0ne. So Engine Life Factor (ELF) is 100000 divided by (max rpm=8500 X CR=10.7, which is=90950). So ELF is 0ne Lakh divided by 90950, which is==1.1, which is quite low. All current Bullet UCE models have ELF of 2.24, which is more than double the ELF of this Honda CBR 250 R. Actually 8500 is not a too high max rpm. Hero Xtreme and Hunk max rpm is 8500. Most Pulsars are at max 8500 rpm. The max tork of this bike is 22.9 Nm at 7000 rpm. Bikes maximum torking at 7000 rpm is still quite rare (KTM Duke 200 maxing tork at 8000 rpm notwithstanding!). The high revving nature of this 4valve engine is managed by SiX gears in a 0ne-down-five-up pattern. Drive chain is a sealed chain. Driving this bike in city will need much gear changing= =much work for the driver! This bike would give a mileage about same as Bullet 350, varying much, as per road, load and traffic conditions. Riding on wide low [aspect ratio 70] profile, 17 inch tires [110/70 front and 140/70 rear] having disc brakes front (296mm) and rear (220mm). Backed by a 12V-6Ah maintenance free battery, the powerful 60/55 watt headlight is a boon at night and a great safety factor at night. This 167 kg HEAVY bike on a wheelbase of 1367 mm at a ground clearance of 145 mm would be able to do @ 420 km on a tankfull (13 Liters) to tankfull basis. The biggest negative point of this bike is that it DOES NOT HAVE A KiCK STARTER!
  • Never buy a bike without kick starter, bkoz if battery is dead (which happens very often) you have to push start=PoO0o0oSH! And pushing a 167 kg bike is a very strenuous effort! You can fall down and get badly hurt! You can even get heart attack and even young people can die. 0lder people are more likely to die!


<2>Next step down the line is the150 cc engine size. Honda has FOUR models in the nominal~~150 cc category. The largest in this category is the 149.4 cc CBR 150 R and the other three are based on 149.1 cc Unicorn engine. These are: Unicorn, Unicorn Dazzler (without kick start) and Trigger having slight differences in accoutrements & graphics.


The CBR 150 R has a very short stroke: Bore X Stroke is 63.5 X 47.2. So (taking the value of ‘pye’ [22/7] as 3.14159, the Swept volume is exactly 149.47857 cc, which is closer to 149.5 than to 149.4. Therefore Honda is advised to make this correction on their website or prove me wrong!

It is interesting to note here that stroke/bore ratio in this bike engine is 47.2/63.5, which is 0.743307. This means stroke is 74.33% of bore, whereas in the CBR250R, this ratio is 0.724, i.e. stroke is 72.4% of bore. Now, as per Archimedes Law which is: Mechanical Advantage X Velocity Ratio==1 – always. Yet bkoz 250 is a bigger and more powerful engine than 150. I feel, the difference between 74.33% & 72.4% is very small and statistically insignificant and would make no difference in road behavior as far as LET is concerned.

Yet the CBR150R is a performance oriented bike. It maxes 13.1 kw= =17.57 bhp at 10,500 rpm, which is as much as 2000 rpm higher than most other high revving engines and even higher than KTM Duke 200 which maxes at 10,000 rpm! And even the tork of 12.66 Nm maxes at 8500 rpm, which is bluudy high! Even KTM Duke200 maxes Tork at 8000 rpm, which is 500 less than CBR150R! And this is an F-i engine==fuel injeXion, no karburetor – and has DOHC operated 4valves, just like the 250. With a high Compression Ratio [CR] of 11.0:1 and the engine revving at 10500, the ELF of this bike engine is just 0.866, which is less than 1, which is very low, even lower than the 250. This engine will have a fairly short life, shorter than the 250.

Keeping with its RACiST RACiNG image, the CBR150R has no kickstart! This is terrible! If battery is weak or dead you have to push start! I am a 67 year old man weighing only 48 kg. Does Honda think it is easy for a man of my age and size, to push start this 138 kg bike? Does Honda want old men to die Kwik Lee Like Bruce Lee?

More: The six speed gearbox. Has to be six gears! With the engine revving at 10500 rpm, how else do you spread out the torque? Yeah, sure, six gears spreads the torque, but shifting thru six gears all the time to cope with city traffic is a LOT OF WORK for the driver and jerks for the pillion.There is danger of pillion getting Jerked-0ff! And if the pillion happens to be your FAT “heavier-than-thou” wife who sits sideways, heaven help her! This bike is NOT for married people, and if you have children, totally FORGET IT!

But for adrenaline pumping youngsters, the CBR150R would be much more exciting than the other three nominally 150 cc (149.1 cc) bikes based on the Unicorn engine. And if you have a buxom GF sitting behind you horse style, your upper back will be in heaven and your Lower front will also be in heaven! Gawd!

The wheelbase of 1305 mm is shorter than the three Unicorn based models as well as the 190 mm Ground Clearance is more (=higher) than the three unicorn based models. The 13 liter fuel tank has the same capacity as the 0riginal unicorn. The 60/55 watt headlight backed by a 12V-6Ah battery is much brighter than the 35 watts of the three unicorn based models.

The CBR150R rides on 17-inch low profile tires front and rear, which are wider than the unicorn models. The rear being 130/70 and the front being 100/80. Stopping is by a 276 mm disc front and 220 mm disc rear.

If a bike riding on 130 mm wide tires of low 70 aspect ratio, revving at high rpm & having high compression ratio, and having six gears is dubbed a Sports Bike, then I would say, the CBR150R would qualify as a sports bike more than any pulsar or maybe even KTM Duke 200!

But don’t expect much mileage. I think a mileage of 45 for this bike should be more than satisfactory. Even the website makes no claim of mileage as it does <60 kmpl> for the Unicorn based models. And don’t forget, this bike has no kick starter, and to me, that is a problem! Battery die, I die! Push starting makes me die! Battery cost 1500/-. Kick cost nothing.

I prefer things that cost nothing! Who doesn’t?

Resale value of CBR150R will be quite low. Like DTSi.

<3>Now are the THREE 149.1 cc Unicorn engine based models. The HMSI=honda2wheelersindia.com website does NOT mention the bore and stroke of the engine. Aha! But I have Honda Unicorn hard copy Workshop manual which mentions bore as 57.3 mm and stroke as 57.8 mm, which is almost a square engine having swept volume of 149.04814 cc, which is closer to 149.0 cc than 149.1 cc. Somebody is in error. At some places they even wrote 149.2 cc. This is terrible. Not expected. Puts many other things in doubt!

THREE Honda models using this engine are: basic 0riginal Unicorn, unicorn Dazzler (without kikk starter) and Trigger (having kicker). The stroke/bore ratio is 57.8/57.3 which is=~=1.008726, which is almost 1.009. So the LET characteristics of this 150 cc bike will be definitely better than CBR150R.

Here the website is claiming 60 kmpl, which you can get, which I also actually got, but only if you drive according to the text book, which traffic hardly ever allows. A 53/54 kmpl figure is more realistic, which is still much better than the CBR150R. You can read my detailed test report of the 0riginal Unicorn at http://www.indiabike.com/infobank/unicorn/page1.htm

The main difference(s) between the Unicorn, Dazzler, & Trigger are:

<1>Unicorn rides on 18-inch diameter tires. Dazzler and Trigger ride on 17-inch tires, of which the rear tire on both Dazzler & Trigger are broader at 110 mm, while Unicorn is 100 mm broad. While the front tire on Dazzler & Trigger is 80/100, that on Unicorn is 2.75 X 18.

<2>While all three have 240 mm front disc brake, the old Unicorn has 130 mm rear drum brake, while Dazzler & Trigger have 220 mm disc brake at rear.

<3>While all three have self start, 0ld Unicorn and Trigger have kicker also. Dazzler has NO KiCKER, SO DAZZLER IS A FAiLED MODEL as per bikeguru standard which has been defined earlier.

<4>While the 0ld Unicorn produces 9.9 kw==13.3 bhp of power at 8000 rpm, the Dazzler & Trigger rev max at 8500 rpm, which is 500 rpm more than 0ld Unicorn. Dazzler produces10.44 kw which on the website is shown as==14 bhp; while Trigger produces 10.3 kw, which is also shown as==14 bhp. If this be taken a correct (is Honda ever wrong?), then 10.3==10.44, which is impossible.

Somebody goofed!

It could be me; 0r the people at SwaranSoft who are mentioned on the website as “Developed by”, 0r it could be Honda. It is probably me!

Whoever is the site developer, finally Honda is the owner of the site, and is hence responsible. Will Honda please explain or admit its goof?

Like I said before, there are several non-uniformities and some goof ups in the website. I am commenting upon ONLY the technical part, that is SPECiFiCATiONs!

For example, on the Trigger page, specifications mention Rear Brake Type as KDisc 220 mm dia. What the hell is KDisc? What does K stand for? Kookaburra – an Australian bird? Another goof up?

Tank capacity and kerb weight. These are not significant and should not influence buying decision.

My choice is dictated by Maintenance freeness, ELF, Comfort, Road Holding, headlight power, Seating Geometry, Tire diameter, Power & pickup, top speed, mileage & price in descending order.

Unicorn max rev is 8000 while Dazzler & Trigger max rev is 8500.

Compression ratio [CR] of none of these three is given on the website. The hard copy SHOP MANUAL of the 0riginal Unicorn gives CR as 9.1:1. I assume it should be same for Trigger & Dazzler. It is obvious that ELF of Unicorn is higher than the other two. Sure, Trigger & Dazzler have 0.7 bhp more power than Unicorn, which is @ 5% higher. To me this difference is very little and is over ridden by the other +ve factors of the Unicorn that I have mentioned.

Unicorn tires are 18-inch while other two are 17-inch. I prefer larger diameter tires.

Headlight power of all three is same 35 watts.

For me, Dazzler is a failure and is out because NO kick start.

Between Trigger & Unicorn, the positives of Unicorn outweigh Trigger. So my choice between these three is Unicorn, the rear disc brake of the Trigger notwithstanding! The front disc brake and 130 rear drum on 18inch tires of the Unicorn are safer than both front & rear having disc on 17inch tires! This is my gut feeling. I wonder what Shyam Kothari would say about my claim. He is the best rider this country has produced in the last 28 years!

<4>Next down the line are the two 124.7 cc models: Stunner CBF & Shine.

While the Stunner site does not mention any bore/stroke dimensions [as at 11:00 am on Tue 11.June.2013] of the cylinder 0nly mentioning 124.7 cc as swept volume. The same 124.7 cc is mentioned for Shine. Therefore it is safe to assume that the bore X stroke for both Stunner & Shine is the same, which is B X S==52.4 X 57.86.

The stroke bore ratio here works out to 1.1042, which is a positive for L.E.T. (Low End Torque), but applies equally to both Stunner & Shine, so nothing to choose from on this parameter.

Coming to max rpm, Stunner turns at 8000 rpm max, while Shine turns at 7500 rpm max. Compression Ratio [CR] of both HAS TO BE SAME because both have same bore X stroke. Therefore it is obvious that Engine Life Factor [E.L.F.] of Shine will be higher (=better for long life) than Stunner. How to calculate the ELF without CR?

Luckily, I have the Shine hard copy SHOP MANUAL of 16.June2006, which gives CR as 9.2 : 1, which MUST be same for both. Thus E.L.F. of Stunner is 1.36 and ELF of Shine is 1.45. So, ELF of Shine is (1.45—1.36)==0.09/1.36==6.62% higher than Stunner, which for LONG LiFE of bike engine is higher=longer life=better.

In terms of power, Stunner produces 8.2 kw==11 bhp, while Shine produces 7.55 kw==10.12 bhp. Thus Stunner produces @ 8.7% more power.

The choice is yours: Do you want 8.7% more power or 6.62% longer engine life? More power=Stunner. Longer engine life=Shine.

Looking at Torque delivery, Stunner max Torques 11 Nm at 6500, while Shine max Torques 10.54 Nm at 5500. The 0.6% extra torque in the Stunner is not worth the lower 1000 rpm of Shine. My choice on this parameter is Shine.

Then there is Torque Spread. With Stunner Five gears versus Shine four gears, the Spread is 0bviously better in Stunner, but FiVE gears means more work for driver than four gears. I am LAZY. I prefer four gears, the lesser the better, because lesser work for driver.

Do you know that Escorts made RAJDOOT 175 cc, 2-stroke motorcycle (which died 20 years ago) had only THREE gears!

Even by Looks, on which I usually don’t comment Shine is definitely my choice because Stunner is too pokey looking. It has pokeys protruding front from the fuel tank, it has a poking belly pan and its tail is again pokey. I just don’t like Poki-Poki. I like well rounded like JLo=Jenifer Lopez, who shines. As Looks go, my preference is Shine.

I prefer Shine 18inch Tires. They are safer than Stunner 17inch. Both have same size disc brake front and drum brake rear so nothing to choose between.

Shine has Higher ELF=Longer life. I have fully tested Shine. That was 7/8 Ears ago. I had probably wished for five gears at that time. Now I am much older and LAZiER. Four gears are fine with me, especially since Shine has XLNT L.E.T.!

The worst part is that Stunner has no Kicker, so if battery weak (happens very often), you have to push start, which is a invitation to HEART ATTACK! Gawd! I donwont0 po0O0osh start! I donwont0 die! I donw0ntobe Stunned to death! Therefore I d0nw0n Stunner!

Between these two, for me it is SHiNE!

<5>At the smallest end of the Honda2wheeersindia website is the 109 cc engine, which powers three (or four?) gearless (=ungeared) scooters and three geared bikes. The geared bikes being: TWiSTER, DREAM YUGA and DREAM NEO; and the scooters being ACTiVA, AViATOR AND DiO.

Looking at this 109 cc engine first: It has bore X stroke of 50 X 55.6 mm, giving a stroke/bore (stroke divided by bore) ratio of 55.6/50==1.112, which is quite good for the 109 cc engine, which for L.E.T. is better=higher than the 1.1042 of the Shine&/Stunner 124.7 cc engine, which again is better than the 1.09 of the Unicorn / Dazzler / Twister 149.1 cc engine. You can see: As the engine cc dekreezez, Stroke becomes longer in proportion/comparison to Bore!

By playing with different CR and rpm, Honda has been able to kreate THREE SLiGHTLY DiFFERENT versions of this engine, just as Honda has done with the 149.1 cc Unicorn engine, and TWO different versions of the 124.7 cc Shine engine.

Starting with the highest power version of this 109 cc engine, the TWiSTER version has the highest power: 6.67 kw==9 bhp at 8000 rpm and max Torking 8.97 Nm at 6000 rpm at a Compression Ratio [CR] of NiNE is to ONE or 9.0 : 1.

Next, lower down the line is dream YUGA version producing nett power of 6.35 kw==8.5 bhp at 7500 rpm and max Torking 8.91 Nm at 5500 rpm at the same Compression Ratio [CR] of NiNE is to ONE or 9.0 : 1.

Note that while CR is same for TWiSTER and dream YUGA, rpm of YUGA is LOWER by 500 rpm for both: max power as well as for max torque.

Last down the line is the dream NEO, which revs at the same 7500 and 5500 rpm as the YUGA for max power and max torque, but has a higher CR of 9.9:1. Thus the dream NEO produces 6.15 kw==8.25 bhp at 7500 rpm and Torking 8.63 Nm at 5500 rpm at the higher CR.

0f course, the website does not clarify or explain how the CR could be different for an engine have same bore X stroke.

To me this is an anomaly, a paradox, a contradiction! How can an engine of same bore X stroke (fed by the same carburetor) running at the same rpm but at a HiGHER Compression Ratio [CR] produce LESSER Power? The bigger anomaly / paradox / contradiction is that how can an engine having same bore X stroke have different CR? KYA? Kuchh gadbad=gad-bad hai, ya goodbad=good-bad hai? !

To me this is possible only if piston top surface shape is different 0r, cylinder head bottom surface has a different recess. Which means Total cylinder volume – minus Swept volume is different for the two engines. Does this make economic sense? Having different cylinder head / different pistons does not make economic sense to my stoopid brain.

Am I goofing? Maybe I am goofing.

Making a choice between these three, FOR ME is not difficult. The power and torque difference between them (9 – 8.5 – 8.25 – which to my understanding may or may not be true or correct) is not significant enuff. Neither are the torque figures. Yet, 18inch tires are significant to me. Therefore TWiSTER with 17inch tires is out for me even though it has front disc while NEO & YUGA do not have front disc.

NEO is also out for me bkoz inspite of higher CR (how?==explained above) it produces least power at same rpm as YUGA. kuch gadbad hai kya?!

So my choice in this 109 cc class of Honda India is dream YUGA.

 <6>Finally let us look at the THREE scooters which also run on the same 109 cc engine: Activa, Aviator and Di0.

On all three pages Honda is making a klaim / klame / Claim of 60 kmpl which no vari0matic scooter can give in city traffic in real life. 40 kmpl should make you more than happy.

While all three klaim power of 6kw==8 bhp, Activa does it at 7500 rpm while Aviator and Di0 do it at 7000 rpm. None of the pages gives the Compression Rati0==CR, which has to be the same for all three since bore X stroke is same. So how much is the CR? Maybe it is 9.0 or 9.9! Or even something else as per my stoopid understanding of Honda website data!

Torque figure of 8.77 Nm at 5500 is same for Aviator & Dio but is different for Activa at 8.74 at the same 5500 rpm. How? I dunn0!

Then I checked the website again at 08:00 am on Saturday 15.June.2013, and whaddyu kno? There are two Activas shown on the website! First there is an Activa-i which shows engine as 109.2 cc and power as 5.83 kw (=8 bhp) at 7500 rpm while torque remains same at 8.74 Nm at 5500 rpm!

Then there is an Activa without the i which shows engine as 109 cc (where did the 0.2 cc disappear?) but the power inkreezed to 6 kw (8bhp) at same 7500 rpm! Eh? How? Especially when Tork remains same 8.74 Nm at same 5500 rpm?!? How?!?

What I don’t understand is how 6kw (of Aviator)==8 bhp at 7000 rpm==5.83 bhp (of Activa-i)==8 bhp at 7500 rpm==6 kw==8 bhp (of Di0) at 7000. I must be dumb!

Luckily or UN-luckily I have 8.Aug.2002 SHOP MANUAL of Honda Activa, which shows engine of 102.1 cc having bore X stroke of 50 X 52 mm at a CR of NiNE to ONE, which is a totally different engine from the 109 cc engine that is shown on the website today at 19:11 pm Tue.11.June.2013.

So, I am assuming that this 11 year old hard copy SHOP MANUAL of Activa as well as the hard copy Owner’s Manual which I have is now irrelevant / UltraVires since the engine itself has changed (as per the website) from 102.1 cc to 109 cc. So I ignore the 0ld shop manual as well as the 0lder 0wners Manual and stay with the today website.

To me this~109 cc~109.1 cc~109.2 cc~engine appears to be the same which powers the DREAM twins Yuga and Ne0 as well as Twister

Just as confusing to me as this above~~109cc~~engine of the Yuga, Ne0 and Twister was/is, the same goes for the~109cc~engines~of Activa~i, Activa without i, Di0 and Aviator.

Looking beyond the engine, except the larger [12inch] front tire of Aviator – which raises its seat height to 790 mm – compared to the other three: seat height=765 mm. So Aviator seat is 2.5cm=exactly 0ne inch higher (shorties watch 0ut!). Also Aviator has 190 mm disc brake in front. Other than this, all the four scooters are almost identical & there is nothing much to choose from, except, LoO0oKs and Price.

My personal choice between these four is Aviator, because of the larger front tire and front disc brake, even though it is the most expensive.

The consideration in this segment – which is a very LARGE segment, is COMFORT. My height is 174 cm and the 0ne inch higher seat is fine with me.

Best is to go to Honda showroom, take short ride and check out SEATiNG COMFORT and Riding Posture double seat. Buy whichever suits your your body shape, size and dimensions!

Today even 20 something healthy male youngsters like Himanshu (name changed) is looking for ungeared scooter which gives very poor mileage compared to geared bike. WHY?

It is either because of COMFORT and ease of driving 0r, possibility of female (=babe) being involved in the consideration of purchase. And babe is maha-important. Just think – babe is driving scooter and you are sitting behind. Just imagine where your hands will be and what they can do! Now I understand why the Vespa LX125 is increasing its footprint!

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