Honda CB Unicorn Review
Refreshed & ImprovedTuesday, October 22, 2013
Design and Style
Unicorn is the best seller of Honda in the 150cc segment of bikes in India. This bike has direct competition with others like Bajaj Pulsar, Yamaha FZ-S and its cousins Hero X-treme and Hunk. Will this bike be able to survive the rising competition in its segment? Let’s find out.
Design and Style
Unicorn was launched almost seven years back and till now it has received only few changes. The bike is certainly not as charming as its name but looks decent. There is a sense of familiarity in its appearance which should be rectified by Honda. Its headlight and mudguard are the same but now its new visor features chrome finish just above its headlight which adds premium touch to this bike. The 3D emblem of Honda on its big fuel tank looks classy with new graphics on its side panels. Its elevated silencer with heat shield complements the all black colour theme on this bike featuring black alloy wheels, engine and grab rail. It has a full size rear fender and tail light which adds muscularity to this bike with clear lens indicators and most importantly you can’t ignore its mono shocker at the back. It’s an elegant bike in terms of appearance but falls short of the rising demand for sporty looks.
When everyone is switching to digitization, Honda has decided to stick with its analogue instrument console which features in Unicorn. There are three circular dials in its instrument console and the biggest of them in the centre houses its analogue Speedometer, odometer and trip meter. The one on the left side features an analogue tachometer while on the right side you can notice a fuel gauge and other indicators.
Engine and Gearbox
An air-cooled, 4-stroke 150cc engine from Honda powers Unicorn. This mono cylinder SI engine pumps out a net power of 13.3 bhp at 8000 rpm while the torque production of this engine is 12.7 Nm which arrives at 5500 rpm. Honda serves this engine with a five-speed manual gearbox which has one gear down and four gears up-shift pattern.
Acceleration and Performance
The bike features one of Honda’s most acclaimed 150cc engines. Drive this bike once and you can’t stop admiring this engine. It is also available in other bikes like Hero Hunk and X-treme with different specifications. The most noticeable thing in this bike is the arrival timing of its torque. It’s available as early as 5500 rpm which avoids the lack of power and makes it efficient to move in bigger gears at slow speeds. There is no need of frequent gear shifting as this bike has a well distributed power band which can be effectively used with the help of perfect gear ratios. According to Honda, Unicorn does 0-60km/hr in less than 5 seconds which is quite possible due to its early availability of torque. This makes it matchless in city driving and it helps while overtaking on highways. The bike easily reaches 8000 rpm mark and can cross the speed of 100km/hr. This is a flawless engine in terms of refinement and vibrations and feels far better than others like Bajaj Pulsar150. With Unicorn, you enjoy linear power delivery with smooth gear transitions.
Honda CB Unicorn can return you a fuel economy of around 50-52km/ltr in city conditions while these figures may increase up to 5km/ltr on long stretches. These figures are quite respectable according to its weight and performance.
Comfort while Driving
Honda CB Unicorn has stepped seat which is very broad and long. This seat is very roomy and comfortable even with a pillion rider. The foot pegs are more commuters friendly and helps your knees to relax around its fatty fuel tank. Its handlebar weight is to provide extra stability and the plastic quality of the buttons on this handlebar is also satisfactory. You can have firm palm grip and the riding posture offered by this bike suits city as well as highway driving. You also may find its new toe gear shift lever sporty.
Storage Space and Safety Features
Honda CB Unicorn has under seat storage space and safety features like front leg guard, rear saree guard and powerful headlight which confirm you clear vision at night.
Suspension and Brakes
Unicorn was the first 150cc bike in India to sport a rear mono shock absorber. It still has it at the back and features telescopic forks at its front. However this mono shocker is not able to match the comfort quality offered by the one used in FZ-S. It has a very commanding braking system. The bike comes with standard front disc brake of 240mm and rear drum brake of 130mm.
Ride and Handling
Honda CB Unicorn is amazing in terms of ride and handling. It steers accurately and boosts your confidence at high speeds. It uses a strong chassis which along with its suspension system gives you an impressive ride. The bike has best in class ground clearance (179mm) and wheelbase of 1340mm. These two factors make this bike a gem as it feels really stable around sharp corners and gives you extra stability on highways. The bike can easily cross most of the obstructions on road and with its light handling and early torque building you can take it off road as well. Its tyres are big enough to keep it grounded and you always have the sense of control on this bike.
A new shade has been added with the launched of CB Unicorn - Pearl Siena Red. Honda CB Unicorn is available in three shades: Black, Pearl Siena Red and Forced Silver Metallic.
Honda has priced CB Unicorn at INR 64K (ex-showroom, Delhi (approx., may vary)). This bike is much cheaper than its rivals and even feels better than many of them in terms of performance, ride and handling. The engine used in this bike is also fuel efficient and refined. But for all these qualities, you will have to compromise on its aged looks and features. We won’t say it’s a complete value for money bike but yes, it’s a fine alternative which is easy on pocket and comes with a reliable engine.