The most affordable Honda motorcycle in India is the new Honda Shine 100. It is also Honda's first 100cc motorcycle, designed and developed with lofty ambitions, to take the fight to the reigning king of the 100cc motorcycle segment, the hero Splendor.
These ambitions are not unachievable. Honda already has the Activa leading the sales charts for many years in the scooter segment, and on some occasions the Activa has also become the best-selling two-wheeler in India. However, the Shine 100 has a challenging mission: to make HMSI India the number one selling two-wheeler brand.
The Honda Shine name has been around for quite some time, and the new Shine is the 100cc version of its popular 125cc sibling. The bigger 125cc Honda Shine has been in the market since 2006 and is not only the best selling 125cc motorcycle in India but also the best selling Honda motorcycle globally. With that said, Honda has built a very strong brand with the Shine, and the 125cc Shine is instantly recognizable on the street, something budget-conscious and fuel-conscious consumers will recognize. So it was only natural that the new Honda Shine 100 looked almost identical to its big brother, at least at first glance.
Design & Features
On the street, the new Shine 100 could easily be mistaken for the 125cc Shine. This is because the body decals, the stance, and general proportions are fairly similar. Up close, though, the Shine 100 looks like a slimmer version of the Shine 125.
The seat is long and wide, which is typical of what customers expect in this segment, to provide a comfortable place for the family and to carry some cargo, when necessary. With a seat height of 786mm, it is accessible and easy for anyone to reach, and with a length of 677mm, the seat is wide enough for the driver and passenger to sit comfortably.
The headlight is a bulb type, and there are no fancy daytime running lights (DRLs), possibly a result of trying to keep costs in check. The keys are plain and basic but look well-designed. There is an electric push-button start, but the engine shutdown switch has been omitted. It is available in only one form, which starts automatically and quickly.
The five-spoke alloy wheels are shod with tube-type tyres, and braking is via a 130mm drum at the front and a 110mm drum at the rear. There is a Combined Brake System (CBS), but unfortunately no front disc brakes were offered, not even as an option. Overall, the new Honda Shine 100 is an attractive motorcycle.
Performance and dynamics
The Shine 100's riding position is upright and neutral, which is exactly what a typical commuter motorcycle should be. The rider sits on the bike, the seat is a comfortable place to be, the handlebars and controls are easy to reach, and the shifter is designed to shift up and down with the heel.
On the move, the Shine 100 immediately presents itself as a well-assembled bike. The small engine is smooth in performance and the four-speed gearbox with full gears is slick and precise. In numbers, the 98.98 cc single-cylinder engine produces 7.28 hp at 7,500 rpm and 8.05 Nm at 5,000 rpm.
The strong point is the engine optimization and the ride quality is also very good. Although the twin shocks offer no preload adjustment, we tested the Shine 100 on a few rip spots and the overall ride quality is very comfortable. Finally, the new Honda Shine 100CC should impress potential customers in the entry-level passenger motorcycle segment with its performance and dynamics.
Price and Rivals
Honda Shine 100 priced at Rs. 64,900 (former showroom), which is competitive and sits squarely between two 100cc Hero bikes, the HF Deluxe and Splendor Plus. A more affordable base variant of the Shine 100 with a soft start would likely make it more attractive to price-sensitive buyers in this segment.
Perhaps the top variant with optional disc brakes would have made the Shine 100 feel more premium than its competitors and offer better stopping power. However, the price is still competitive, slotting it below the Hero Splendor Plus, but just above the Hero HF Deluxe, its main competitors, along with the Bajaj Platina 100.
The King of India 100cc passenger motorcycle continues to be Hero Splendor, the best selling motorcycle in India. Now, Splendor is starting its roots with the Hero Honda CD 100 in 1984, the original "Fill It, Lock It, Forget It" motorcycle that swept the Indian motorcycle market. The CD 100 was built on Honda's 100cc four-stroke platform, which has since been carried over over the decades and evolved into what is now known as the Hero Splendor. Now, Honda and Hero split up more than a decade ago, in 2011. Somewhat surprisingly, it took Honda more than 10 years to produce a new 100cc motorcycle.
The question is, will the new Shine 100 be able to overthrow Splendor and take the lead in the 100cc class? Most importantly, how much fuel economy will the Shine 100 return? We still don't have an answer for that. Honda wasn't clear about the numbers claimed, saying it would have the best fuel economy numbers in the segment and during our first ride, we weren't able to test fuel economy numbers, with limited time available.
But that's what matters most, in the end: how much does the Shine 100 run on a liter of petrol? Apart from this important information, word of mouth will play a huge role in the Honda Shine 100's market performance, which will be crucial in the largest motorcycle market in the world.