Honda’s New segment : Urban Explorer CB200x

Honda two-wheelers are famous for platform sharing, earlier it was Unicorn 160 and X-blade which had similar workhorses with different body styles. Honda had launched the cb500x six months ago. On the same soft-roader DNA, Honda is back with another platform sharing plan, and this time it’s derived from the hornet 2.0, welcome the all-new first in segment Honda CB200x. Honda defines Urban Explorer, as a motorcycle that can be used for weekend trips, with mild offroading and mostly ridden on Highway munching road trips. 

Design 

Honda says the Design language for CB200X is a mixture of Africa Twin, NC 750X, and CB500X, the headlight is directly from hornet 2.0, can expect similar throw at night, the overall weight (Kerb Weight) has gone up by 5kgs, thanks to the Semi-faring offered, to give an offroad appeal. The Windscreen/deflector is to offer good aerodynamics, but the design has failed terribly as it looks they have cut the windshield so that handle turns on either side with knuckle guards on. Honda can improve on that front.

Apart from the fairing, the side looks pretty much the same as a hornet, but the seat design is something where you can spend hours covering 4-digit kms in a day as it’s designed for the rider comfort. Honda says the overall length of the seat is increased, still, pillion can spend 100-150kms to the maximum as it is not that comfortable for pillion, but enough to accommodate saddlebags. The rear looks similar to Hornet 2.0, no changes there. Lastly, they have incorporated an under-cowl which is made of fiber and not aluminum. Since the G.C is the same as Hornet, Honda could offer a cowl in aluminum rather than fiber, which can easily break and damage the engine block or frame. Overall the motorcycle looks proportionate and stands apart from traffic, for design 7/10 for CB200X.

Key:

Key design

As everything of a motorcycle starts from, is the Key, it’s pretty basic, shares the same design and dimensions from its cousins, the x-blade, and hornet of course. The same key is used to open the fuel lid/cap. Nothing fancy there, but Honda has changed the placement of the Ignition key which is now positioned before the tank, a feature that premium Motorcycles get, reason? So that the rider need not stretch all his muscles every time he/she wishes to switch on/off the motorcycle.

 

 

 

Instrument Cluster:

Instrument cluster

Switching on to the Instrument cluster, as that’s the second thing when you switch on the motorcycle, it has almost all relevant information which we need while touring, gets gear position indicator, it shows service due, clock so that you don’t get late to reach the meeting point, OBD/engine check light, Trip A, B, and ODO ofcourse, and its shows battery voltmeter. Honda could have skipped that and placed distance to zero, or an average of the motorcycle could fit better. Honda has also equipped the Instrument cluster with Five brightness levels which will do wonders in bright sun as well as calm night rides. We are yet to check it for pitch dark nights, left that for a comprehensive review of CB200x.

Swaged Handlebar:

CB200x is agile, and lightweight, a major contributor to this is the handlebar design, Honda says they have tapered the diameter of the handlebar at the ends, maintaining the same strength across, and reducing weight makes a lot of difference switch’s quality is the same as on the hornet 2.0.

Left switches
Right switches

On the left, it gets passing light, high-low-beam, turn signal indicator switch, and horn.

On the right are the engine kill switch, the Hazard lighting switch, which qualifies as a good feature, and the Self-start button. Mirrors are yet again the same as Honda cousins, but  vibration-free at 100+ Kmph. 

 

Riding Position

The new upright riding position is new comfort, one of the most engineered aspects of the motorcycle, major contributors, the handlebar risers, USD-forks, and the Swaged Handlebar make the most for Riding Triangle.

Normal/city riding triangle
Saddling position

CB200X gives a commanding position which makes it easy to handle, maneuvering through the city traffic is a task as the length of the handlebar can be felt at every inch. No pains at wrist joints nor shoulder pain. We will further test the motorcycle in the comprehensive review. The saddling position is upright and the position of the footpegs is the same as hornet 2.0. Still feels comfortable as the motorcycle is meant for soft roading.

 

Suspension Setup

Front USD
Rear Monoshock

CB200X gets USD (Up-side Down Forks) at the front, they are light in weight than the conventional forks, which helps the motorcycle to be planted while covering twists or ghat sections at a relatively higher speed. We also tried crossing speed breakers at 30+ speeds no sudden shocks were felt, which defines the built quality, we don’t recommend doing this. They get gold-plated paint which reminds me of the Africa Twin but it also suits the CB200X. While the rear Monohock does not offer comfort as good as the front, which results in stiff ride quality and ruins the overall suspension setup.

Performance 

Engine

The motorcycle was designed to travel long distances with having touring DNA, even though the CB200X is comfortable but lacks when performance is concerned. Initial pickup is adequate having a torque of 16N-m @6000rpm, overtaking on highways involves a little task if on higher gear at lower rpm, say 4000, switching it to a lower gear gives the confidence, torque is evident till 3rd gear. Since the CB200X is touring focused it deserved 6th gear which could make cruising on triple-digit speeds easier. It struggles to stay above 110 km and we found 95-100kmph to be the sweet spot, even though the motorcycle can be pushed above 120kmph but vibrations are evident over 110 and it feels like stretching it unnecessarily. But the engine feels refined as Honda engines are famous for. The fuel tank remains unchanged and can incorporate 12 Liters of fuel. ARAI mileage of the CB200X was not disclosed by Honda, but we can expect somewhere similar figures to Hornet 2.0 as it’s mechanically the same.

 

Tires and Brakes 

Rear
Front

CB200X gets offroad tires, or oftenly known as button tires, these are sourced from MRF. They are MRF Zapper having, 110/70-17  at the front and at the rear having 140/70-17 (both tubeless). Cornering with these tires was a task, but due to deep thread patterns, water in the monsoon could easily exit thus maintaining grip and offering a more planted ride. While Brakes are relatively good, sourced from NISSIN, coupled with Dual Petal Disc bakes, it gets Single channel ABS.

 

Colour variants & Price

The CB200X is offered in three variants:

-Sports Red, Matte Selene Silver Metallic, Pearl Nightstar Black

Priced at 1,44,500 (ex-showroom Mumbai)

Technical Specification

Should you buy CB200X?

The CB200X was a good attempt to introduce the new segment of Urban Explorer but, should have included few features like Dual-channel ABS, 6-th gear, new rear suspension the suspensions have been borrowed from Hornet 2.0 Honda could have tweaked the rear suspension a bit making it more comfortable. The motorcycle does wonders on highways and can be a mile muncher, etc as we mentioned above. But Honda must have cut down these to keep the price low. CB200X can be your daily and as well as a weekend tourer as long as you are comfortable with above mentioned missed features. Riding wise the risers do a phenomenal job and the riding position is probably the best in the segment of 200cc. Lighting setup will need auxiliary lighting from past experience of hornet 2.0. Also, this cannot be your secondary motorcycle, it’s rather better to have a higher capacity motorcycle as a secondary. Essentially it is a hornet with Adventure makeover. If you’re someone who loves to go on highway trips and if you want a budget-friendly motorcycle it can be a good option, but not at all for offroading. Honda has given air damps on the side but the engine is engineered in such a way that we never encountered engine heat even in stop-and-go traffic. Knuckle guards are integrated with winkers, knuckle guards are meant to safeguard your hand in the event of a crash, in that case, winkers make it riskier. Moreover, the cost of changing it as a spare will increase due to indicators. Overall rating

  • Design- 7/10
  • Performance- 6/10
  • Handling/agility- 9/10
  • Braking- 6/10

Overall for CB200X- 7/10

Click here for more Road Test reviews.

Follow us on Youtube, Instagram for more details, and do comment your thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.