There’s a new 160 on the block, and this one looks like it’s from the future
Honda’s latest premium commuter, the X Blade, tested
IT’S QUITE A GATHERING NOW, IN the 160cc class of motorcycles. And here we are, blessed with another one. This time, from the Jap giant, Honda. Sure, they already have the CB Unicorn 160 and the CB Hornet 160R. So can the X Blade fit in the already tight gap between the two?
The styling, for the most part. From the pointy “robo-faced” LED-headlight to the sharp T-shaped taillights, the X Blade looks futuristic. The X gets a heavily sculpted fuel-tank with sleek shrouds, and a twin-port exhaust. Although it packs the same engine as the CB Unicorn 160 and the CB Hornet 160R, the figures lie more on the Unicorn 160 side of things. Then comes the instrument cluster which is pretty standard, except that it also has clock, service due and gear position indicators. In fact, Honda has also added hazard lights!
How does it ride?
The motor delivers a relatively vibe-free experience unless you really wring the throttle. It makes slightly more power than the CB Unicorn 160, ideally to make up for the gained weight. It keeps you happy within the city, thanks to its punchy nature in the lower end of the spectrum and mid range. And you can chug around the city at low speeds. However, if you push it, the power tapers out and so does the refinement. The bike is happiest when cruising at 80kmph in the fifth cog. Another thing you notice in traffic is how light the front end is on the bike. It’s easily flickable and tips in quickly. The super soft front forks add to the ease.
Well, no. That very front end gets quite scary when you’re out on the highway and even the slightest of input unsettles the motorcycle. Also, ABS is given a miss, which is just not acceptable.
If you ever find yourself wanting the mild mannerism of the CB Unicorn 160 with the styling of the future, the X Blade fits the bill perfectly. At `79,059, you get a pretty sweet deal too.
1: Instrument cluster is packed with information. 2: Motor packs good low-down grunt. 3: The T shaped tail lamp looks different and out of the ordinary. 4: You get a hazard light toggle instead of the usual headlight switch