Honda X-Blade launched in India. Read the Honda X-Blade first ride review below to find out more…
Honda has recently launched the new X-Blade, its third offering in the already-crowded 160cc commuter segment. To be honest, this bike posed a lot of questions, both on Honda’s product strategy and on the bike’s fate as well. On the upside, the previous two 160cc contenders from Honda, the CB Hornet 160R and the CB Unicorn 160 have run out of steam so, the X-Blade becomes an important and necessary bike to refresh the portfolio. On the downside, however, as both the old bikes did not do much in terms of sales for the company, the fate of the X-Blade too, becomes uncertain, keeping in mind that all three models share the same engine.
Thankfully, the similarities end at the engine. The X-Blade is all-new as it shares no body panel or any other part with the old models. So, a plus for Honda there. On the whole, the bike looks quite sharp, a point furthered by the ‘Megatron-like’ headlight and sharp cuts and edges running through the entire bike. The matte-paint scheme makes it quite understated and a sculpted fuel tank give it good body proportions. The only odd element on the entire bike is the rather bulky exhaust which feels and looks more like an after-thought as it does not agree with the bike’s design.
There is a marginal improvement in the X-Blade’s power output at 13.93bhp whereas, the torque remains identical at 13.9Nm. While the figures might look mediocre on paper, it’s the ride which makes the case for the bike. It is surprisingly nimble through bends and speedy turns, despite being 6kg heavier than the CB Unicorn and the engine delivers enough punch in the mid-range which makes the bike quite fun to ride during the daily commute. Where the rev-happy engine shines, the gearbox mars the entire experience. Gear shifts are clunky, and several times I found myself stuck in false neutral. On the flipside, however, the well-spaced ratios make it easy to hold higher gears at low speeds, making it a true-blue commuter.
Priced at ₹79,059 (ex-showroom, Delhi), it sits right between the Unicorn 160 and the CB Hornet. While Honda’s pricing strategy may be on point, the bike is still unconvincing about its ability to surpass its siblings. We still feel that it is not radical enough to set up a new line of followers. If anything, the styling of the X-Blade is the only aspect which gets a special mention from us. Watch out for our in-depth Honda X-Blade review to find out more about this bike.