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honda goes small and eco

If you haven’t noticed in the past few weeks, I’ve hit Honda hard about my feeling that they are forsaking brilliant innovation for bland mediocrity. Today I learned about this:

It’s the CB Twister 110. Yes. 110 as in cc’s. It won’t be sold in the States. It’s made for India, where eight times more bikes are sold annually than in the USA. If I was Honda, I’d focus on that market in a big way, too.

“Sure,” you might think, “but why the tiny motor?” In India, they are still relatively poor and it isn’t about power and style in a bike, it’s about economy and affordability. This bike will sell for the equivalent of $900 (?!) and gets over 160 miles per gallon (!?). It’s a 109cc air-cooled thumper with drum brakes (yes, really). It’s got a four-speed tranny. It weighs less than 250 pounds filled with fluid and gets about nine horsepower. Giddy up all the way to your telemarketing job.

It’s a scooter that looks like a sportbike and I bet Honda sells over a million of them in the next few years.

Maybe this is why we aren’t seeing huge motors and bling-bling billet baloney lately. There’s too much money to be made by building a cheap scooter for a million city dwellers in the Far East. And at only nine hundred bucks? Wow. I want one for my daughter.

Bring it here, Honda! Sell them to college kids and urban dwellers who would rather ride than take the bus. At that price and with that mileage, with that sporty look…. dudes… Don’t forget us!


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