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Honda XBlade 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Feb 17 2020 Share this blog

The commuter segment has always been a keeper in terms of drivability and flexibility for the common Indian. Millions of people in India use motorcycles in the 110-200cc bracket for their daily commute and the main criteria in these bikes are mileage. “Hero Honda” was the go-to automaker for cheap commuters up until 2010, when both the brands decided to part ways. This created a vacuum in the most sought after segment and was the perfect time for both the individual brands to dominate it.

Honda took the shot and bought out a trio of motorcycles, which was based on the very successful CB Unicorn engine. The bike at hand is the Honda XBlade which is a head-turner courtesy of its quirky design language. Honda’s robust 160cc is smooth and provides a balanced riding experience. It is priced from Rs. 80,325 and is slated in between the sober CB Unicorn160 and the performance-driven CB Hornet. It takes the fight to the likes of Suzuki Gixxer 155 and Yamaha FZS in an all-out premium commuter face-off.

Pros

  • Butter smooth Honda engine

  • Easy riding dynamics

  • Comfortable uni-seat

  • Bold design cues

Cons

  • Mediocre engine performance

  • No rear disc brake

  • Subpar mileage figures

  • Still carbureted

What’s New

  • Revised graphics

What’s at the heart of this edgy motorcycle?

How well balanced are performance and Efficiency?

Honda has used the same 160cc as in the CB Unicorn160 and CB Hornet 160r but this one is tuned differently. Honda has tweaked the engine in XBlade to pump out more power than the CB Unicorn160. This is done to go with its edgy and futuristic design language. The tweaked carburettor setup now helps it pump out around 14 bhp of peak power and 14 Nm of peak torque which helps it sprint faster than the sober Unicorn160. The unit is devoid of any vibrations and that is courtesy of precise Japanese engineering.

This bike is the bridge between the CB Unicorn160 and the CB Hornet 160r and thus possesses a common set of features. The torque comes in linearly and is a high revving unit, but the engine doesn’t feel stressed out even over 8000 RPM. This helps it to be a smooth machine even in tight traffic situations. The mileage suffers slightly due to the XBlade’s high revving nature. But it isn’t much of a fuss, as you still manage to get north of 40 kmpl out of this edgy motorcycle. 

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 80,325(Std.)/

Rs 89,136(ABS)

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.1,02,700

Engine 

162.71cc Air-cooled Single Cylinder SI Engine

155 cc Air-cooled 2-ValveSOHC Engine

149 cc Air-cooled 2-Valve SOHC Engine

Power 

13.93 bhp

@ 8500 RPM

13.90 bhp

@ 8000 RPM

12.23 bhp

@ 7250 RPM

Torque

13.9 Nm

@ 6000 RPM

14 Nm

@ 6000 RPM

13.6 Nm

@ 5500 RPM

Fueling

Carburettor

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

ARAI Mileage figure(kmpl)

45.0

50.58

50.94

Fuel tank capacity(Litres)

12

12

12

It has an ARAI certified 45 kmpl which is above-average for a commuter offering but still lags behind its competition. Both Suzuki and Yamaha provide more than 50 kmpl in their offerings. Suzuki Gixxer is the more balanced performer of the lot due to its precise fuel-injected setup and lighter kerb weight.


How linear is the acceleration in XBlade?

XBlade has an impressive sprint run record and this is due to the sweet combination of smooth-revving engine and slick-shifting gearbox. The gearbox tends to get a bit clingy at times but it has that one sweet spot in every gear which helps this edgy motor cross the 60 kmph mark in a swift 5.3 seconds.

This is impressive for the fact that Honda has managed to achieve it despite being on the heavier side. XBlade performs at its best with the carburettor setup and it would have been beyond competition if Honda equipped it with a Fuel-Injected setup. The gearing is short and thus helps you reach its sweet 80-90 kmph quite fast.

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Transmission

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

0-60 kmph

5.3 s

5.85 s

5.97 s

Top Speed(kmph)

110

115

116

Top speed is not the XBlade’s forte and thus it has the least top speed of the lot at 110 kmph. This is not a deal-breaker as most commuter bikes tend to lose their composure after 100 kmph. Yamaha FZS has the maximum top speed with 116 kmph and is complemented with its wider tires. Gixxer 155 comes a close second with similar top speed figures and both the competitors slide in at the top end of the performance commuter segment.


How confidence-inspiring is the braking setup?

Braking duty is taken care of by a disc-drum setup which does its work pretty well. The front petal disc is slotted and thus has better heat dissipation which helps in an optimum braking performance even through extended riding situations. The single-channel ABS unit is clipped onto the front disc.

ABS intervention is natural and comes in when it detects wheel lock. But it is not of much help as the rear drum tends to lock-up under hard braking. Braking is, however, linear and induces a heightened level of confidence.

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Front / Rear

Disc/Drum

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

276

N/A

282

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

130

N/A

220

80-0 kmph(m)

45.42

31.47

36.44

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

But the Disc/Drum duo is not as efficient when it comes to stopping distance as the XBlade needs the most tarmac to come to a standstill. Suzuki Gixxer 155 and Yamaha FZS have an edge over here due to its all-disc setup. All the bikes have a single-channel ABS unit.

How well are handling and comfort balanced in 2020 XBlade?

Handling is commendable in the XBlade as the suspension setup is towards the stiffer side. This helps the bike to be planted at all times and even during hard cornering. But it does take a toll on the riding comfort and it is mostly due to the rear mono-shock setup which is set to be stiff from the factory. The short handlebar helps you flick the bike swiftly and thus cater to involving riding experience.

Comfort is well-catered for in the XBlade with the comfortable and well-padded seat that is wide and helps in long commute hours. The handle-bar is short and gives in for an upright riding stance. The footpegs are well-positioned in line with the body line and don’t result in sore riding experience.

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Chassis 

Diamond

Single-Downtube

Diamond

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

80/100-17

100/80-17

100/80-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

130/70-17

140/60-17

140/60-17

Front Suspension

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Rear Suspension

Adjustable Mono-shock

7 Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

7-Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

Seat height(mm)

582

795

790

Ground Clearance (mm)

160

160

165

Kerb Weight(kg)

140(Std.)/142(ABS)

140

137

Starting System

Kick/Self

Self

Self

XBlade is the only bike that provides both, a kicker and self-start that gives a rider the flexibility to use both methods. It has the least seat height which helps it to be ridden by riders of varying height. The use of thinner tyres make it less stable than the others at high speeds, but most riders seldom take it to that extent.

How is “one look enough” for the Honda XBlade?

This is by far the most dramatic 160cc motorcycle out there. Honda has implemented a robotic concept for the XBlade and this is visible from the headlamp unit alone. The lighting setup is LED and headlights are designed to look like the “smiling” robot.

A windshield is also included with the bike that helps resist windblast upto an extent. It turns heads for sure but will put riders in split about its extreme looks. The taillight is designed sharply as well and flaunts in the shape “T”. The rear tyre hugger gives it a cleaner look and makes it more practical.


Aesthetic Features

  • Muscular engine shrouds

  • Uniquely designed LED headlamp

  • Alloy wheels

  • Dual exit exhaust unit

  • Rear tyre hugger

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Length (mm)

2013

2020

1990

Width (mm)

786

800

780

Height(mm)

1115

1035

1080

Wheelbase(mm)

1347

1335

1330

It has a longer wheelbase as compared to its counterparts and thus helps it stay stable at high speeds. The bike is higher than the rest but due to its low seat high gives it a more accessible approach for riders of varying height.

What are the safety and class-leading features available?

Honda has bundled the XBlade with a healthy bunch of features both in safety and modern tech. Safety is taken care of by a Single-channel ABS unit which doesn’t intervene natural braking and the bright LED headlights and taillights make it an attention grabber which in turn helps it to be visible on the open roads.

The instrument cluster is all-digital and bright even in the harshest of sunlight. The split setup gives it a futuristic look while retaining functionality. There are a lot of plastic bits trimmed in carbon fibre finish that gives it a polished and upmarket look.

Motorcycle

Honda XBlade

Suzuki Gixxer 155

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 80,325(Std.)/

Rs 89,136(ABS)

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.1,02,700

Features

Dual exit muffler

LED Taillamps

Adjustable Rear Suspension


Belly cowl

TFT Digital Instrument Cluster

Midship Muffler


Rear tyre hugger

Dual-Exit Exhaust 

Rear tyre hugger


Full digital instrument cluster

Split-Seat

Attention seeking Chrome treatment


Muscular tank shrouds

Rear Tyre Hugger

Under-cowl


Split LED Headlamp

Standard ABS and Rear Disc

Negative LCD Instrument Cluster

The XBlade is hands down, the funkiest looking motorcycle of the lot. Suzuki and Yamaha both have a more mature and modern take on its design, but Honda has gone all out with the design. It lines up perfectly on the borderline of overdone and edgy and will not be of everyone’s taste.

How does the competition stack up against this edgy Honda?

Honda XBlade vs Suzuki Gixxer 155

Suzuki had gone forward and updated its most successful motorcycle for India with a host of visual and mechanical bits. This made it much more desirable and thus a tough competitor for the XBlade. If we pitch in about the pricing, Honda has an edge here, being Rs. 10,000 cheaper. Other than that, Gixxer 155 is the clear cut winner with impressive performance figures and a fun riding experience. Suzuki Gixxer 155 is the one for us here, as it has the punch to back up the Rs. 10,000 premium. Honda XBlade is outdated and should work on its line-up to provide a more desirable package.


Honda XBlade vs Yamaha FZS

Yamaha FZS, as always is the “Lord of the streets”. The muscular stance and wider tyres give it a streetfighter stance that is hard to not drool for. It is the best combination of looks and performance available in the performance commuter segment and Yamaha was able to achieve it with years of perfection. Honda has backed the XBlade with formidable engineering and killer looks, but it still doesn’t cut it to surpass the FZS.

Whom is the Honda XBlade for?

Honda has put forward a very unique proposition with the XBlade and took the bold route as far as design is concerned. It is the “love it” or “hate it” type but is back with a very robust 160cc motor that has proved it’s worth again and again in various offerings from Honda. It is the bridge that fills up the void between the sober Unicorn and the performance-oriented Hornet. It is an edgy offering and will cater to a select set of people but is a comfortable commuter underneath those sharp lines. As an overall package, the likes of Suzuki Gixxer 155 and Yamaha FZS provide a more well-sculpted package that has a fine balance of accessible performance and muscular looks and we believe that Honda will soon come up with a worthy competitor against the duo.