Say hello to the brand-new Honda Shine, the company’s first 100cc commuter motorcycle. Well, believe it or not, this is Honda’s first-ever 100cc 'basic' commuter ever since it parted ways with its ex-partner Hero MotoCorp nearly a decade ago. That is a bit of a surprise, isn’t it? The Splendor had been the cash cow of the now-defunct Hero Honda brand for decades. And while Hero took the Splendor brand name with them and continued to mint money, Honda did, erm, nothing for the segment.
You might think that Honda was sleeping all this time but that's far from the truth. According to the company, they expected the 100cc customers to gradually move to the 125cc segment. That hasn't happened though. Commuter or 100-110cc motorcycles still have a lion's share of around 33% in the 2W motorcycle category at the moment. Now, Honda has 110cc offerings on the market in the shape of the CD110 Dream and Livo, but they hardly matter. And that’s because 110cc motorcycles only contribute around 15% to the overall 100-110cc sales. It’s still the 100cc basic commuter, or the Splendor, that rules the roost in the entry-level segment. So, Honda has now finally realised that it can't neglect this segment anymore, which is why the Shine 100 is here.
Honda Shine 100: Design & Features
Since the Shine sits at the bottom of the commuter food chain, it’s a no-frills, bare-bones motorcycle. The whole purpose of this motorcycle is to provide comfort, convenience, reliability, low maintenance costs, high fuel efficiency, and simplicity to the end user. And that’s exactly what the Shine does, at least on paper. It looks quite basic and anonymous. You won’t turn many heads because of its design and appearance. Albeit, that doesn’t mean it looks downright cheap. The Shine 100 has a rather simple and fuss-free design. There are five colour options, but all come finished in a base shade of black, and then you can choose between red, green, blue, golden, and grey graphics on top. The paint quality is acceptable and you can’t really ask for more in this regard.
Dimension-wise, it doesn’t look puny or insignificant. It’s 1,955mm long, 1,050mm tall, and 754mm wide, all of which make it only slightly smaller than the bigger Shine 125. The wheelbase stands at 1,245mm, which is 40mm less than the elder Shine. The ground clearance is decent at 168mm. Honda says the whole purpose was to make the motorcycle more accessible and easy to use for the target audience, and to that effect, they have kept the seat height to just 786mm while the motorcycle weighs all of 99 kilograms! The riding triangle is also quite relaxed as you sit upright and all the controls feel spot-on. It also has a 677mm long seat that’s not only wide and comfy but is also cushioned adequately - as in not too soft or too firm.
If you talk about features, there’s nothing to report here, honestly. You get halogen lamps all around, the instrumentation is basic, featuring twin analogue dials for speedo and fuel gauge along with other tell-tale lights. There’s no start-stop system to save the last drop of fuel either. The plastic quality is again okay, but there are some rough edges in terms of overall fit and finish. However, at this price point, it’s difficult to expect superior quality.
Also read: 2023 Honda Trail 125 Bike Unveiled Globally, Gets Engine Update and New Features
Honda Shine 100: Engine Performance & Fuel Efficiency
For the Shine 100, Honda has developed a brand-new 98.98cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine, which puts out 7.6bhp @ 7,500rpm and develops 8Nm of torque at 5,000rpm. It’s mated to a 4-speed gearbox. In typical Honda fashion, the engine is extremely refined at idle and pulls cleanly as you get going. There’s decent poke at low revs and the performance is adequate. The progression is linear, the clutch action is light, and the gear shifts are smooth. We rode the motorcycle in a closed-off section of the road at Aamby Valley, so there wasn’t much space to wring it by the neck. However, it does feel strained if you ride it like that. Vibrations also creep in if you try to max out in each gear. Interestingly, the performance doesn’t really taper if you’re riding two-up or are going up an incline, at least not in the first two gears. That said, if for some reason, you break the momentum, you’ve to slip the clutch a fair bit to get going again. What also helps the little Shine’s case is its featherlight weight. It can even pop its front wheel if you aren’t careful! On the whole, it’s an effortless and easy-going motorcycle.
Honda hasn’t yet revealed the ARAI or claimed fuel economy of the Shine 100, but they say it will return ‘segment-best’ fuel efficiency. So, you can expect around 65-70km to a litre on a good day. The tank capacity is 9-litres, meaning you just have to: Fill it. Shut it. Forget it.
Honda Shine 100: Ride & Handling
The Shine 100’s cycle parts aren’t anything to write home about either. You get bare basic stuff on this front as well. Like its elder sibling, the 100cc derivative incorporates a diamond frame, along with slim telescopic front forks, thin tyres with 17-inch alloy wheels, twin spring shocks at the rear, and drum brakes on both wheels. There’s no ABS on offer, and you’ve to make do with CBS or combined braking system.
The handling is wieldy and predictable. The steering is light and you can throw it around like a toy, it feels effortless, all the time. Squeezing in and out of gaps comes naturally to it, and the front end is quite stable. The suspension is softly sprung, so the ride quality, for its segment, can be called plush. However, if you get carried away, especially around corners, it feels a little twitchy and the grip from the tyres isn’t something that will inspire confidence. Similarly, the brakes just about feel okay, as they lack the initial bite and the feel is quite wooden. Plus, braking on loose surfaces is a bit unnerving because, no ABS.
The Shine 100 isn’t an extraordinary product, and nor does it do anything revolutionary for its segment. However, much like its rivals, it is an honest-to-God commuter motorcycle that does what it promises. It’s an easy, effortless, frugal, and comfortable commuter.
Ultimately, everything in this segment boils down to the affordability, reliability, and overall cost-effectiveness of the product. And, in this regard, the Shine 100 has the measure of its rivals. In fact, priced at Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom), it undercuts its main rival a considerable amount.
Now all that remains to be seen is if the market accepts the Shine over its arch-rival, the Splendor. That being said, given the brand pull and trust customers have in Honda, this shouldn't be a big hurdle in the way of the baby Shine.
- Honda Shine 100
Engine: 99cc / Single-Cylinder / Air-Cooled
Power: 7.6bhp @ 7,500rpm
Torque: 8Nm @ 5,000rpm
Price: Rs 65,000 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi)
X-Factor: An honest-to-God commuter that does everything without any fuss.
Also read: New Honda 350cc Bike Likely to be Launched by November 2023; Could be a Cruiser
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