The Bangladeshi sport bike market sees more offerings from new brands almost every year now. However, since the birth of this market, Japanese brands have been dominating the industry.
One of the most sought-after sports bikes in Bangladesh of the last decade is the Honda CBR 150R. In this review, we delve into the features and attributes of the 2023 CBR, particularly focusing on the Thai variant, which has been the most preferred one among local bikers. The unit in pictures is owned by Tanzir Ahmed Fahim. In the past, we've tested the previous generation CBR.
Short for 'Cross Beam Racer,' the 2023 CBR 150R carries over its dynamic visuals from the mighty CBR250RR. The aggressive styling and sheer size similar to the larger 250RR have given this 150R a road presence far superior to any other 150cc sport bike in Bangladesh.
Even the headlight unit, with its now separate DRLs, helps the bike with its bold appeal. The DRLs also serve as integrated indicators, giving it a modern look. The Thai variant stands out in terms of features and performance when compared to its Indonesian counterparts.
For example, it comes with a more advanced central locking system. Other than that, both Indonesian and Thai CBR variants offer a Slipper and Assist clutch system that makes it a breeze to manage the clutch while shifting gears.
Speaking of gears, the new CBR retains a reverse LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) with a sporty user interface that also displays gear indicators. However, the non-conventional switch placements make the riding experience similar to that of driving a friend's new European car– you'll never get the indicators right!
Besides, the lack of an engine kill switch can be inconvenient, especially in traffic. Despite its bold appearance, the CBR weighs a mere 139kg. Hence, pairing up with the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 4-stroke, 149.1 cc engine, the CBR boasts impressive results.
The maximum power of 17.1 bhp at 9000 rpm and 14.4 Nm of maximum torque at 7000 rpm produced is enough to have fun with.
According to Fahim, who recently switched from a Yamaha R15 V3, the "acceleration is similar to the previous bike." The Thai variant also has a distinctive exhaust note that's richer than the other variants.
For suspensions, the CBR comes with SHOWA USD forks in front and Pro-Link Monoshock with a swingarm in the rear. It also comes with Nissin Brake Calipers, which, combined with optional Dual-channel ABS, give impeccable stopping power and safety.
"The brake performance is something I really appreciate; it feels better than the V3." Fahim mentioned, "In terms of handling, it's nimble and easy to manoeuvre, which I find comparable to the V3."
But he complained about the 130/70R/17 rear tyre being not wide enough for the dimensions of the bike, which otherwise, would have ensured even better stability. But for that to happen, mileage had to be sacrificed.
Under the large tank cover of the CBR is a 12-litre tank. During daily rides within the city, the CBR gives a competitive mileage of 40 km/l.
The CBR is also reputed for its ride comfort. Despite the USD suspension, the 782mm low seat height results in a more upright position ensuring more comfort. Yet, for riders below average height, manoeuvring the bike in traffic would still be cumbersome.
The 2023 Honda CBR 150R combines stunning aesthetics, advanced features and exceptional performance. There aren't too many things to complain about. However, common complaints with owning a CBR include spare parts shortage and excessive pricing.
Looking past these issues, the CBR, especially the Thai variant with its unique specification, is the most comfortable and the safest choice for Bangladeshi motorcyclists with the desire to experience the thrill of open roads.
Engine: 150cc liquid-cooled, DOHC 4-stroke
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power: 17.1 bhp at 9000 rpm
Torque: 14.4 Nm at 7000 rpm
Price: Tk 5.80 lakh