• Set the streets ablaze

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    honda20160628HONDA CB150R Streetfire

    Market leader Honda is yet again flexing its muscles by recently introducing a new product to compete in the cut throat 150-cubic centimeter segment. The CB150R, also known as Streetfire, is designed for riders who would like to move up from commuter underbone to a standard motorcycle. As what you’d expect from a proper “grown-up” bike, the Streetfire offers superior performance and better comfort. It also has the styling that seems to suggest that the person on the saddle is no longer a newbie.

    The CB150R Streetfire is powered by a liquid cooled 149.16-cc single-cylinder DOHC engine which churns out 12.9 kilowatts (17 horsepower) at 9,000 revolutions per minute and 13.8 Newton-meters of torque at 7,000 rpm. This writer had the privilege of having initial riding impressions at the Honda Safety Driving Center in Paranaque City and the latest offering from the Honda stable did not disappoint. Having the entire 2.4-hectare facility to myself, I was able to put the bike through its paces. Acceleration is phenomenal, even with a 200-pound rider on top. Tipping the scales at 136 kilograms, the Streetfire is not quite the lightweight but it did hide its heft well. Switching directions required little effort and handling is quite stable especially in the corners. You’d definitely want to make all those turns as the stock IRC 17-inch tubeless tires give excellent grip even when leaning at low angle. Just in case you overdid your leaning, Honda equipped the Streetfire with a 60-degree bank angle sensor which shuts off the engine in the event of a spill. Yes, this one comes with an electronic nanny. So much for “grown-up.”

    Besides the bank angle sensor, the Streetfire still has other technological features. It comes with Honda’s PGM-Fi fuel system that helps create balance between performance and fuel efficiency. After all, most 150-cc bikes are meant for daily commutes. All bulbs, including the headlight, are LEDs. Though I still prefer an analog tachometer, the full digital instrument panel on the Streetfire fits perfectly. The radiator comes with an automatic fan to ensure you keep your cool when stuck in traffic. This bike is also fitted with front and rear Nissin-caliper disc brakes, which makes it easy to lock-up the rear tire. I suppose adding anti-lock brakes to the mix wouldn’t hurt.

    Even with its compact dimensions, the overall riding position doesn’t feel cramped. The grips are lowered a bit and the pegs are set toward the rear to allow a rather aggressive stance. The muscular tank enables you to securely fasten yourself on the saddle and it can hold up to 12 liters of fuel as well. The seat is quite comfy and it will accommodate a passenger without much fuss. At 797 millimeters, most riders will be able to straddle it with both feet planted on the ground. As expected of bikes with the winged logo, clutch pull is light and the six-speed manual transmission is precise. There is also ample spacing between the gears so you don’t have to shift frequently when in urban traffic.

    The Honda CB150R Streetfire is available in two colors and has an introductory price tag of P 116,800. To know more about the CB150R Streetfire and other Honda products, visit www.hondaph.com.

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