The Honda CB Shine SP is a smart looking 125cc commuter over rivals but is also priced at a hefty premium over the competition which does not make it a VFM proposition.
The 125cc executive commuter segment is for the progressive owner who wants decent performance, fuel economy and low running costs in a compelling package. For the longest time, Honda has been ruling this segment with the CB Shine; but, recent years saw the competition closing in on the Shine’s dominance. So did the CB Shine start losing its sheen? Nevertheless, Honda being proactive has launched the better looking and premium CB Shine SP in the country, an eventual replacement to the outgoing model. Positioned a notch above the outgoing CB Shine, does it live up to the popular moniker and offer something better over rivals? We do a quick spec comparison to find that out.
Design – While the design language is extremely neutral for all models in this segment, the Honda CB Shine SP comes with several interesting bits and striking body graphics. A glance at the Shine and you know of its premium position with the contoured lines, gloss black windscreen, 5-spoke alloys and the golden finished side panel. Honda has done a splendid job with the saree guard on all its new offerings that instantly gives a sporty appearance to the bike. With a clear edge over rivals, it is the Yamaha Saluto that comes close to the Honda in terms of good looks with sharp lines, black alloy wheels, striking colours and a contrast silver finished side panel. Both the Bajaj Discover and Hero Glamour show their age and feel decidedly commuter-ish.
Dimensions – The Yamaha Saluto and Bajaj Discover are the longest motorcycles in this comparison measuring 2035 mm, while the CB Shine SP is marginally smaller at 2007 mm. The Glamour is the smallest in length at 2005 mm. Nevertheless, the Shine SP is the widest at 762 mm, followed by the Discover at 760 mm and Glamour at 735 mm. In terms of wheelbase, the Bajaj Discover is ahead of its rivals by a healthy margin measuring 1305 mm, followed by the CB Shine SP that gets a wheelbase of 1266 mm. Both the Saluto and Glamour share the same wheelbase length of 1265 mm. The riding position is upright and relaxed on all bikes with raised handlebars and centre set foot pegs.
Features – All offerings are quite bare bones when it come to additional features and manage to offer only the essentials. The Glamour and Shine SP do manage to spice things up with a digital display that offers better readability. The Discover gets Nitrox charged rear suspension for improved ride quality while the other motorcycles get regular twin shock units. All bikes get tubeless tyres with the Discover also getting 30 percent wider rubber for better stability. A front disc brake is offered as optional on the top-end trim of all offerings, but Honda goes one up over rivals and offers the Combi Braking System (CBS) on the CB Shine SP for improved stopping power.
Powertrain – All bikes in this comparison draw power from a 125cc single-cylinder air-cooled motor but are tuned differently. While the Shine and Discover lead with a higher power output, the Glamour and Saluto fall back by a small margin. Power-to-weight ratio makes a major difference here with the Saluto being the lightest at just 113 kgs, which makes it quite peppy and the lack of power isn’t really felt while maneuvering in the city, but the top end is lacking. The Bajaj Discover offers the right power-to-weight ratio and is the second lightest commuter in this comparison weighing just 120.5 kgs while offering 11 PS at 8000 RPM.
The Hero Glamour and Honda Shine SP essentially use the same motor but the Shine SP is tuned to offer 11 PS as opposed to the 9.1 PS found on the Hero. The new Shine undoubtedly gets the better version of the two and is also more refined while weighing 1 kg lighter than the Glamour. In terms of fuel efficiency, the CB Shine SP returns 65 km/l while the Glamour returns the lowest fuel economy of 55 km/l. Yamaha prides with the Saluto’s mileage of 78 km/l, whereas the Bajaj Discover returns the higher claimed figure of 82 km/l, making it quite the package on paper.
Verdict – At a starting price of a little over Rs. 71,000/- (on-road, Mumbai), the Honda CB Shine is indeed better than the regular Shine but you do pay a hefty premium over its closest rival, the Hero Glamour. The Yamaha Saluto happens to be cheaper in comparison but also compromises on power in favour of fuel economy. The Bajaj Discover does not to have a unique proposition to offer, save for the claimed fuel efficiency figure. Despite the premium appeal and a 5-speed gearbox, the CB Shine SP feels exceptionally overpriced; but, if the dealer is ready to throw in a good discount, the new CB Shine SP would be a compelling option over rivals.