After a long waiting period, Honda Philippines Inc., the premier distributor of Honda bikes in the country, finally launched its line-up of big bikes at Shangri-La at The Fort, Taguig City last December 9.
The company joined the likes of Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha for fierce competition in the high-displacement bike segment, as three brands have been in the market for a while now.
HPI president Daiki Mihara said the company saw a demand for leisure bikes, and believed the country’s high growth rate made them decide to bring in the big bike line-up into the Philippines.
“Honda big bikes have seen action in many different countries. Now is the time for the Philippines to enjoy the power and innovation of these motorcycles,” Mihara said in a statement.
The big bike line-up is sold in Honda’s newly opened flagship store located in EDSA corner Harvard Street in Makati City, and the company announced that premium stores will be also be launched in Cebu and Davao in January.
A total of 10 models are previewed in the launch event, but HPI brought eight models into Philippine shores as of time of writing, and all 10 are classified under four categories: Traveler, Sport/Racer, Roadster and New Adventure.
Leading the line-up is the most coveted and the most extreme track ready-superbike, the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, which is known and loved by enthusiasts and fans alike. Inspired by its MotoGP incarnation, the Fireblade receives performance tech such as selectable torque control and riding mode select system to name a few, and is the lightest and fastest in the line-up, with a 1.0-liter engine capable of producing 189 hp at 13,000 rpm. The writing of the cheques for the Fireblade, however, will have to wait as HPI will bring this crown jewel only by January. It will cost P1.350 million.
Sitting alongside the Fireblade is the CBR500R for the mid-displacement class, with a 471cc engine capable of sports bike performance without sacrificing ride comfort, and with an aerodynamic design to boot. It will cost around P379,000.
Under the New Adventure category includes the CRF1000L Africa Twin, a modern, road-legal interpretation of the NXR-750 that won the Paris-Dakar rally in the late 1980s. The Africa Twin name is a reference to the old adventure bikes that bear the name in the 1990s. It features a liquid-cooled 998cc parallel twin engine with selective torque control to ensure smooth power delivery in any road condition, and a suspension setting that can take any punishment on any surface. It will be priced at P845,000.
While the Africa Twin was built for pure off-road experience, the CB500X was built to be an all-rounder that can be enjoyed off and on-road, and is priced at P379,000. The 471cc in-line engine makes for better fuel efficiency, and is also suitable for long distance travel.
The Traveler category includes the X-ADV, which Honda calls a crossover bike. Designed to be a scooter that can also be taken off-road, the X-ADV features a tubular-steel chassis and a 745cc twin-cylinder engine, with to a dual clutch transmission. It features a 41mm upside-down fork, an adjustable rear shock, and a 162mm ground clearance to give the bike an edge on any surface. This bike will cost a hefty P799,000.
The retro CB1100EX falls under this category as well, having returned to Honda’s line-up after being killed off by Honda in 2014. The characteristic design of the CB-series bikes reflects on this model – a vintage body design, wire-spoke wheels, abundance of chrome trim, and a DOHC 1.14-liter four-cylinder engine patterned after the 1983 CB1100F. With no electronic aids, this bikes stays true to its classic gentlemanly roots. Hold on to your cheques – this bike won’t be available until January alongside the track-ready Fireblade. It will cost P810,000.
Featuring under the Roadster category is the Rebel 500, which does both laid-back cruising and high speed riding, utilizing the same 471cc parallel twin-cylinder found in the CBR500R, and is priced at P369,000. A matte finish and blacked out exterior trims make it stand out from other cruiser bikes.
Lastly, the new naked CB650F shows off its sporty design under the roadster category of bikes. It features a 649cc DOHC in-line four paired with six-speed gearbox, two channel anti-lock brake system and adjustable Showa suspension system.
“This will be a new chapter for Honda bikes in the Philippines, where more riders enjoy the roads more than ever before,” Mihara told Fast Times.