New Bikes

Honda CB150R is the production 150SS Racer

Concept makes the leap to production

REMEMBER Honda’s 150SS Racer concept? Well this is the production version and it’s remarkably similar to the original show bike.

First revealed at the Bangkok show in March this year, the 150SS Racer didn’t immediately look like a candidate for production. Carbon fibre disc wheels, a rear view camera and angular styling all gave it the feel of an attention-grabber rather than a real production bike. But stripped of some of its more extreme elements, it’s just been unveiled in production form as the CB150R.

It’s intended for the Asian market and isn’t likely to appear in Europe, but its styling is very much in the mould of European concepts like the CB650F-based CB4 and last year’s CB1100 TR. As such, it adds hope that Honda might also make production bikes based on those machines.

Yoichi Mizutani, president of Honda’s Thai subsidiary A.P. Honda Co., Ltd, said: “The new sport bikes, produced for Honda customers today, have been carefully designed to be perfect. I’ve named five ultimate elements for the model. First, the developers of the RC211, RC213V-S and the supersport series such as CBR600RR are the experts in sport bike who could perfectly transfer the DNA of sport bikes to the new CB150R.

“Second, the new 150cc engine which has been developed for top riding performance with excitement. Third, the meticulous design of the body that has shifted the center of gravity to be close to the rider, to make the vehicle to be lighter and easier to control. Fourth, the spec of the model is that of a big bike, including upside-down front suspension, X-ADV 750, radial mount 4 pot calipers, and ABS with G Sensor that have been borrowed from CBR1000RR. Last but not least, we have worked with Japanese leading accessory brands such as Moriwaki, G’Craft, and Kitaco to design special items to make the CB150R even more outstanding.”

Suchart Arunsaengroj, Vice President of A.P. Honda Co., Ltd., said: “The sport bike market in the country has gradually expanded and grown continuously. As the market leader in Thailand’s motorcycle market for 29 consecutive years, Honda has never stopped improving and developing our motorcycles to meet the changing demands of the riders. The introduction of Modern Café is to set a new standard and a new trend in the motorcycle industry, both in Thailand and worldwide.

“The positive feedback has been an unprecedented phenomenon in Thai market. Only two days after releasing the teaser, the clip has created high engagement, with about one million views. Within five days, over 1,000 units have already been pre-booked even though the customers have not yet seen the actual model. This has reflected the confidence that customers have for Honda brand – as the leader in sport motorcycle category in Thailand for 18 consecutive years with cumulative sales almost reaches 1.5 million units.”

Technically, the bike gets a four-valve, 150cc DOHC water-cooled single, 6-speed gearbox and complies with the latest Euro emissions limits. Its 41mm USD forks come from the X-ADV, as does the front brake. The lights are all LED.

In Thailand the bike costs £2,322 in base form. The ABS version is £2,555. There will also be a limited edition CB150R Street Café version, costing £3,146 and limited to 500 examples, and a 1000-off limited edition CB150R Scramble Café costing £2,757. In October Honda will launch ‘Moriwaki edition’ of the bike as well.

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