Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is looking at establishing a separate set of new dealerships under the Honda Big Wing name which will be dedicated towards sales and after sales of 300 cc to 500 cc bikes. In an one-on-one interaction with carandbike, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director, Sales and Marketing of HMSI said that the Honda Big Wing network, catering to premium Honda bikes will be expanded in strength to 50 as part of the pan-India footprint expansion plan. While some of the Honda Big Wing dealerships will cater to Honda's big bike line-up, including the Honda Africa Twin, Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, and even the Honda Gold Wing, some of the new Big Wing dealerships will be focused entirely on Honda's 300 cc to 500 cc bikes.
"Currently, the Honda Big Wing dealerships cater to all premium motorcycles from 300 cc, right up to the flagship 1,800 cc Gold Wing. These are the topline Honda Big Wing dealerships, but we're also looking at dedicated Big Wing dealerships which will cater to only the 300-500 cc models. Our plan is to increase the pan-India Big Wing footprint size to 50 touchpoints by the end of the current financial year, which is March 31, 2021," Guleria told carandbike during an one-on-one interaction.
The dedicated 300-500 cc Honda Big Wing dealerships will cater to sales, after sales and service of new premium bikes like the Honda H'Ness CB350 but will possibly also mean extending the range to new models within the CB350 family, as well as other 500 cc models, which are likely to be introduced at a later stage. Responding to a question about plans for a 500 cc model or family, Guleria was non-commital on a timeline for a new product launch, but indicated that the first priority will be to extend the Honda H'Ness CB350 platform.
Honda's 300 cc neo-retro model, the Honda CB300R, has been taken off the brand's website, and the model was not updated to meet the latest Bharat Stage VI (BS6) emission regulations. So far, there's no clarity on when HMSI will introduce the updated CB300R, but the mention of the up to 500 cc segment has left us wondering what could be HMSI's plan in the segment. Honda has already updated its 500 cc range for the international market, meeting the latest emission regulations, but for India, HMSI may be looking at leveraging some amount of localisation to make these models more price competitive if at all the existing 500 cc models are being considered.
One of the options will be to introduce the cruiser, the Honda Rebel 500. But considering the waning interest in cruisers in the Indian market, the more plausible option will be to look at introducing more versatile 500 cc models, like the Honda CB500X adventure tourer, powered by the same engine from the Rebel 500. The other option could also be to introduce an entire family of bikes on the 500 cc platform, encompassing the Rebel 500, CB500X adventure tourer, the full-faired CB500R, and the naked CB500F.