There’s a new 160 on the block, and this one looks like it’s from the fu­ture

Evo India - - CONTENTS - Words: Ajinkya A Nair | Pho­tog­ra­phy: Sachin S Khot

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?

What’s new?

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.

All good?

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 theor­di­nary. 4: You get a haz­ard light tog­gle in­stead of the usual head­light switch





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