When Honda first teased the bike – that eventually came to be known as the CB200X – everyone one, including me, got a little too excited hoping for an entry-level adventure bike. However, that is not what this is as it is a CB after all and not a CRF or NX. While Honda’s CB range is quite extensive, they are mostly meant for the road. However, this one has a little X in its name and let me tell you what that’s all about.
Honda CB200X: design
The X, in this case, has resulted in some big cosmetic changes. Firstly, they’ve added a semi-fairing that looks the part and the front end borrows heavily from the CB500X, with sharp lines and long shrouds on both sides. The 200X also gets a windscreen that looks nice and does a fairly decent job of wind protection while giving the motorcycle a taller stance.
More ADV-like touches come in the form of knuckle guards that have the LED turn indicators neatly integrated – something you find in exotic ADVs like the Ducati Multistradas. Honda has also made sure the fairing flows nicely with the fuel tank and that has resulted in changes to the outside of the 12-litre tank. This CB also has a redesigned belly pan, but it is made of plastic and is purely a cosmetic element. From the rear, the bike looks identical to the Hornet 2.0 with the unique X-shaped LED tail-light.
Honda CB200X: features
Sadly, there haven’t been any additions to the features list and the bike still uses the simple digital display that’s missing Bluetooth connectivity. Like on the Hornet 2.0, this negative LCD display has five levels to adjust brightness, two trip meters, a battery voltage meter and a gear-position indicator. The hazard light switch is quite useful, to be sure, but it turns off when you switch the ignition off. The CB200X is also missing features like a USB charging socket or a more practical touring-style grab rail with easy luggage mount points.
Honda CB200X: handling and ride
The handlebar has been raised 61mm and brought closer to the rider by 50mm. The seat is about 23mm longer and padded differently to aid comfort – it sits slightly higher at 810mm as a result. The foot peg placement wasn’t too aggressive on the Hornet 2.0, which is why it works in this format. I quite like the upright riding position and feel it works rather well with the easy-going nature of this bike. The taller handlebar results in the front-end feeling slightly less connected, but it is a small price to pay for the added comfort that comes with this riding position. The bike also sifts through traffic well and doesn’t feel big or cumbersome.
The CB200X is 5kg heavier than the Hornet, but at 147kg, it is still very light and hasn’t lost its agility. The block-pattern tyres will probably help to an extent on rough terrain, but the grippier Maxxis tyres that the Hornet comes with would have been better. With 167mm ground clearance, the CB200X can definitely do some mild off-roading, but to the same extent as the Hornet as the suspension and wheel sizes remain unchanged. However, if you plan on taking it off-road a lot, it’d be best if you remove the main stand as it hangs a bit too low.
The ride quality is similar to the Hornet’s and is set-up slightly firmer than most sub-Rs 2 lakh Hondas. The front does have some give, but the rear could have been slightly softer in this application. Slowing this bike down does require a good pull at the brake lever but it gets the job done. The X gets single-channel ABS, like the Hornet, but a switchable system would have been nice at this price point. However, this does mean that you can slide around the rear wheel for fun.
Honda CB200X: engine and gearbox
As for the engine, it’s the same air-cooled, two-valve unit as the one on the Hornet 2.0. We had the opportunity to test that bike a few months ago and it took 14 seconds to get to 100kph – not a class-leading number – but it isn’t bad. Given that this is the same bike underneath, albeit slightly heavier, we can expect similar performance.
The 200 in the name is a bit misleading because this is still a 184.4cc motor. Nevertheless, this engine sounds refined at idle, but a bit stressed as you get higher in the rev range. That being said, the vibrations are well isolated and you get hints of them through the foot pegs near the redline. Like on the Hornet, the CB200X’s punchy low and mid-range is enjoyable. Despite missing a six-speed gearbox, it does around 95kph without feeling like it’s working too hard, but anything above 110kph is when it starts to struggle.
It may look like a long-distance tourer, but like its naked sibling, the city is where this powertrain excels. The engine is tractable and lets you carry very low speeds than you are used to, in higher gears. Pair that to the light clutch and you have a really good motorcycle to take on traffic.
Honda CB200X: should you buy one?
The Honda CB200X is now available at motorcycle dealers here in Singapore, though no word from official Honda distributor Boon Siew Honda yet. We suspect being an India domestic model, the CB200X will not be something we see being sold through the authorised channels. Initially sensing in the market, with COE at an almost all-time high of S$9,601, there is quite a premium placed on the Honda CB200X hovering at around S$16,000-S$18,000 on the road. While that is quite a gap for similar equipment, it does buy you additional road presence thanks to design elements like the proportionate fairing, the windscreen and the neat knuckle guards. You are also seated in a more upright and comfy manner and that certainly has its advantages as well. Ultimately, these are the reasons to consider buying this motorcycle.
Honda CB200X Review: