Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has taken the wraps off its latest commuter motorcycle called the Dream Neo. This new model will slot in under the Dream Yuga in Honda’s burgeoning commuter bike line-up that also includes the upmarket CB Twister.
In line with the conservative tastes of most commuter buyers, Honda has played it safe with styling with a simple bikini fairing to shroud the smart angular headlamp. Instrumentation is neat with a speedometer and a large fuel level readout presented in an easy-to-read layout. Riders will like the comfy palm grips and switchgear that is shared with other Honda bikes. The designers have tried to differentiate the Dream Neo from its competition with funky graphics for the fuel tank and side panels. Sadly, the 8-litre fuel tank makes do with a hinge-less filler cap. As has become the norm, much of the Neo’s cycle parts come finished in black and the effect is quite good. Styling at the tail is nothing out of the ordinary either though the tubular grab rail looks really outdated.
The Dream Neo uses a carburettor-fed, four stroke, single-cylinder, 109cc engine that is equipped with the Japanese marquee's latest Honda Eco Technology (HET). This technology incorporates improved combustion, a cleaner spark thanks to a Nickel-plated spark plug and optimised inlet ports. HET also uses lower tension piston rings, improved oil seals and lighter engine components to reduce friction. This technology is targeted at improving fuel efficiency.
Peak power is 8.25bhp at 7500rpm while torque is at 0.85kgm at 5500rpm. This engine comes allied to a four-speed gearbox with shifts in an all-up pattern.
The Dream Neo deploys a single downtube, tubular frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. Suspension is a combination of telescopic forks up front and rear springs that are allied to a sturdy rectangular section swingarm. Drum brakes and 80/100 x 18 inch tyres are the norm both front and rear. Interestingly, the base variant (kick, spoke) comes with MRF tuff-up tubes while the middle (kick, alloy) and top-spec versions (electric start, alloy) come with MRF tubeless tyres.
Prices for the Dream Neo range from Rs. 43,150 (ex-showroom, Delhi) to Rs. 47,240 which puts it at par with the Splendor Pro and Passion X Pro from Hero Motocorp, Suzuki Hayate, TVS Star City 110 and Mahindra Pantero. Given the competitive pricing, promise of good fuel economy and Honda’s strong brand equity in India, the Dream Neo has the potential to becomes one of the top sellers in the massive volumes, budget end of the motorcycle segment.