Report: Joshua David
Luther; Photography: Mohd. Nasir
Life is a race where you must compete to survive and every move you
make is being watched. The only way you actually get ahead of competition is by
doing something different or doing the same things differently. At this point,
what I want you to do is close your eyes and imagine you are running a
marathon. The finish line is in your sight. You are breathing heavy, every
muscle in your body is aching and there are three runners besides you. All the
runners are running neck to neck, each one trying to beat the other. Finally
you push yourself forward and break the finish line first. That’s what it felt
like when I was riding the new Honda CB Unicorn 160. The bike just gives you
the feeling that it wants you to go faster, that it is capable of doing it and
all you need to do is push it harder.
The CB Unicorn 160 is a real treat to ride. The vehicle is not only
light but zippy as well. If you live in a city like Delhi, you will know the
burden of commuting in traffic. It is exhausting and frustrating to the point
of weeping. What Honda has offered in the CB Unicorn 160 is a tonic for the
nerves. Riding this bike is like gliding over a breeze. At the heart of the
Unicorn is a new 162.71cc, air cooled, 4-stroke, SI engine which produces
14.5bhp @ 8000rpm and 14.61Nm of torque @ 6000rpm. The engine is very chirpy
and produces a decent amount of power for its class of motorcycle. The fact
that you can push it to its limits and take it a little further than that, is
what excites me. On the mileage front the bike gives approximately 62kms to the
litre and can achieve a top speed of 106kmph.
Every aspect of this bike has been thought out carefully, from the
aero aero dynamic design, bold
styling and engine performance to the light weight of the bike.
Negotiating through traffic is not a pain any more thanks to its
light Kerb weight of just 135kgs, which is 10kgs lighter than the previous
model. If you compare the new CB Unicorn 160 to the previous version of the
bike we have a faster bike thanks to the lighter weight combined with a slight
bump up in engine performance. The front tyre is a tubeless 80/100 R17 while
the rear tyre is a tubeless 110/80 R17. The tyres give the bike a commendable
stance and the six spoke alloys just add to the sporty appeal this bike
carries. The Unicorn 160 has a wheelbase of 1324mm while the ground clearance
stands at 150mm, which is decent enough to get you through those dreaded
potholes that come free with Indian roads. The Honda CB Unicorn 160 has a
5-speed manual transmission, which is as smooth as sliding over butter. The
Unicorn has been offered with a new Combined Braking System (CBS). We tested a
CBS version of the bike and I found it to be as efficient as Honda has claimed.
The bike had a better stopping distance and while breaking, it felt as stable
as a banyan tree planted to the ground.
The Honda Unicorn 160 has been styled to look very aggressive, from
the edgy new headlight to the front cowl and even the turn indicators. Every
aspect of the new Unicorn has been designed to make it look more aggressive. The
Unicorn 160 comes with a new ‘H’ shaped LED taillight which gives the bike a
distinct Honda look and adds a touch of class as well. The bike has a new
sporty looking digital speed-o-meter. The display is clear and bold making it
easier to glance and register while riding at higher speeds. The switch gear
has been placed ergonomically and is convenient to use, however I felt that the
quality of plastics used could be improved. The bike has a broad saddle and the
riding position is comfortable to say the least. The heptagonal side view
mirrors provide good visibility of the rear and reduce the driver’s blind spot.
One of the reasons why so many Indians prefer a Honda bike is thanks
to the engineering and build quality the company offers. Like its predecessors
and other offerings from Honda, the Unicorn has a sturdy build quality along
with well engineered front telescopic and rear spring loaded hydraulic
monoshocks which make the ride pleasurable. I felt the suspension was mildly stiff
and it made for a smooth ride. Speed and agility is what defines the new CB
Unicorn 160, cornering this bike at 60kmph felt like a breeze and the grip
provided by the tyres just added to the fun. Handling the bike was like pushing
a shopping cart through the mall, it just felt so light and zippy. The new CB
Unicorn 160 (CBS) has been priced at Rs. 74,414 (ex-showroom Delhi) and this
bike is worth every rupee of that!
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