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Honda Rebel Cruiser – The Potential Royal Enfield Competitor’s India Launch Put on Hold

Honda India seems to put their Royal Enfield competition plan on hold as Mr. Minoru Kato was heard talking about the cost competitiveness of the product that will fall beyond the 250 cc segment. He was of the fact that Honda’s presence around 100-125 cc is quite prominent while developing new product in that segment is not even a challenge, When bigger bikes are concerned, they need to keep the cost under check as placing their products higher would bring them the same disappointment that has been gathered from the CBR single cylinder duo in India.

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Honda Rebel Cruiser – The Potential Royal Enfield Competitor’s India Launch Put on Hold

They are even of the fact that the product that would be developed would be made by keeping the ASEAN region under consideration, further stretching the time for the launch of such product. Honda Rebel Series can be seen as the most competitive product around Royal Enfield motorcycles. It carries a typical cruiser design and could share the engine with the CBR250R, if planned to launch in India simultaneously. Royal Enfield bikes are known for their retro modern appeal and Honda needs to see if the placement of this product could benefit them in this segment.

Mr Kato, the president and CEO of HMSI recently indicated that the plans had been put on hold for now:

“So far, from my point of view, the cost competitiveness as of today is not enough to compete in that segment,” Kato said. HMSI is very cost-competitive in big-volume models like the Activa scooter, which comes in 110cc and 125cc versions, but it doesn’t have the experience of developing motorcycles in the above-250cc (up to 450cc) segment, he said.

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Honda’s plan of selling more than 6 million units this financial year can only be supported by mass selling products like Activa and CB Shine. The quarter liter products holds a small chunk in the overall sales in India while dedicated fans are hardly attached and mostly rely on the same brand for even bigger bikes like 600 cc and 1000 cc in future. Honda India also revealed that they will launch 4 new products in India, two of which are scooters while one other is Honda Africa Twin. It is to be seen that which segment Honda considers to dominate with its fourth product.

Honda Rebel Series is on-sale outside India and it is available in 3 variants: Rebel 250, Rebel 300, and Rebel 500. Honda Rebel 300 uses the motor from CBR300R, keeping the 286cc, single cylinder engine under little stress due to cruiser body style and running dynamics. The motorcycle offers true cruiser style riding to riders with least driving experience. The motorcycle is good for younger riders who even wish to keep the expenses under check.

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Honda recently launched the Rebel 500 in Japan with a price tag of JPY 785,160 (INR 4,66,500 approx) while Rebel 250 can be had for JPY 537,840 (INR 3,19,500 approx) and JPY 588,600 (INR 3,49,600 approx) for non-ABS and ABS variant respectively. Honda plans to sell 1500 monthly units for Rebel 500 while 1000 units for Rebel 500 are also on the charts.

Honda Rebel 500 uses a 471 cc, twin cylinder engine that is good for 46 PS at 8500 rpm and 43 Nm at 6500 rpm. The bike weighs quite high at 190 kg while it can be bought in Matt Armored Silver Metallic and Victory Red. Rebel 500 has a low 135 mm of ground clearance.

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The younger Rebel 250 comes with a smaller 249 cc, single cylinder engine producing 26 PS at 9500 rpm and 22 Nm at 7750 rpm. The bike weighs 168 kg (non-ABS model) while its ground clearance is slightly better at 150 mm. It can be bought in Lemon Ice Yellow, Graphite Black and Matt Armored Silver Metallic. Both the bikes use 16 inch alloy wheels with thick 130 mm front tyre and even thicker 150 mm unit at the rear. The front forks measure 41 mm on the Rebel series.

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Key Specs of Honda Rebel 250

  • Length x Width x Height – 2190 x 820 x 1090 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1490 mm
  • Ground Clearance – 150 mm
  • Seat Height – 690 mm
  • Fuel Tank – 11 litres
  • Weight – 168 kg (Standard), 170 kg (ABS)
  • Engine – 249cc, Liquid-cooled, 1-Cylinder
  • Max. Power – 26 PS @ 9500 rpm
  • Max. Torque – 22 NM @ 7750 rpm
  • Fuel Supply – Programmed Fuel Injection
  • Transmission – 6-Speed Gearbox
  • Front Tyre – 130 / 90-16 M / C 67 H
  • Rear Tyre – 150 / 80-16 M / C 71 H
  • Front Brake – Disc
  • Rear Brake – Disc
  • Front Suspension – Telescopic Forks
  • Rear Suspension – Dual Shock Absorber
  • Starting Price in Japan – JPY 537,840 (INR 3.20 lakhs, approx.)

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Key Specs of Honda Rebel 500

  • Length x Width x Height – 2190 x 820 x 1090 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1490 mm
  • Ground Clearance – 135 mm
  • Seat Height – 690 mm
  • Fuel Tank – 11 litres
  • Weight – 190 kg (ABS)
  • Engine – 471cc, Liquid-cooled, 2-Cylinder
  • Max. Power – 46 PS @ 8500 rpm
  • Max. Torque – 43 NM @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Supply – Programmed Fuel Injection
  • Transmission – 6-Speed Gearbox
  • Front Tyre – 130 / 90-16 M / C 67 H
  • Rear Tyre – 150 / 80-16 M / C 71 H
  • Front Brake – Disc
  • Rear Brake – Disc
  • Front Suspension – Telescopic Forks
  • Rear Suspension – Dual Shock Absorber
  • Starting Price in Japan – JPY 785,160 (INR 4.67 lakhs, approx.)
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2017 Honda Rebel – Express Yourself

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Honda Rebel 500 Shades

17 Honda Rebel 500_black RHP

17 Honda Rebel 500_matte silver

17 Honda Rebel 500_red RHP

17 Honda Rebel 500_yellow RHP

Official Photos of Honda Rebel 500

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Honda Rebel Cruiser – The Potential Royal Enfield Competitor’s India Launch Put on Hold
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