The wait of the Honda 650F in India has begun since Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India (HMSI) has showcased the beauty at the last Delhi, Auto Expo held in 2014. Known for its agility and feasibility for touring the Honda CBR650F had instantly become the talk of the town ever since it was first unveiled in our country and Honda had later announced the future prospects of the bike.
Since then the News related to the development of CBR650F used to come every now and then. It was the closest call when in the month of February this year, Honda invited the media for the launch of multiple products and right before the launch there were leaked pictures of CBR650F floating on Internet. And when we reached to the venue where the launch event was scheduled we were shocked to see as there was no CBR650F and it was apparently removed at the last moment.
Reasons best known to Honda about the delay of the launch, we can only presume that the almost ready to launch bike was put on to hold only may be due to the announcement of"Benelli" entering into India with their array of products including with almost same specs model- TNT 600i and TNT 600 GT. Whatever the reason it might be Honda let the Benelli with their Indian partner DSK to launch their products first. The biggest benefit of letting the competitor take the initiation was, now Honda knows that at what price they should pitch their product against the rivals. Another advantage that Honda has, now they know how the market respond to the product. Based on these facts now Honda is good to go with its first ever mid sized sportbike in India. DSK Benelli has launched their TNT 600i and TNT 600GT at a price tag of Rs 5.15 Lacs and Rs 5.62 Lacs respectively (Both prices Ex-showroom, Delhi). The other competitors for Honda CBR 650F would be Triumph Street Triple and Kawasaki Z800, out of these two the Street Triple stands a little low because it has triple cylinder engine against the Kwaker and there is a considerable difference between the performance figure of these two. On top of that the Triumph Street Triple comes at almost same price tag what Z800 carries.
Now the potential competitors left for the Honda CBR650 F are Benelli TNT 600i/ 600GT and Kawasaki Z800. Between these two bikes there is a huge price gap, as Z800 comes at price Rs 8.05 against the Benelli duos which are available at a starting tag of Rs 5.15 Lacs. Still for those, the budget is not the criteria, Kawasaki Z800 is a prefered choice simply because they are not only getting more powerfull machine but also a time tested reliable motorcycle. But for those, budget is the main selection parameter and they want only 4-cylinder engine bike, the Benelli TNT 600 duos are the best buy. Coming to the pricing of Honda CBR60F it is expected that Honda will pitch it somewhere in between TNT600 and Z800. However, Honda has got one more vital advantage over their rivals, that they are going for localization while assembling the CKD parts of their CBR650F. The extent of localization is exactly not known but Honda is well capable of putting the entire project with max localization. This will give Honda a certain edge over the competetors, hence pricing is something that Honda can decide as per their liking.
We can expect that Honda can bring the overall cost of bike real close to the Benelli products but it is highly unlikely that Honda pass on this advantage to the customers by keeping the price of CBR 650F any close to TNT600 duos. Honda would like to keep a difference of around Rs 1.0 lakh between Benelli and CBR650F to maintain its premium image whereas on the other hand the same price will give a justification for being again around one lakh rupees cheaper than Kawasaki Z800. So, you can expect the upcoming Honda CBR650F to be priced at Rs 6.5 to 7.0 lacs (Ex-Showroom, Delhi).
I know it is all speculation, but conidering the above given logics it seems more practical and indeed posible. We are also keeping our fingers crossed as you all are and seriously hope that it becomes true. What's your take on this, do let us know about it?
By: Farhan Kashif