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Honda’s new US$900, 110cc, 164mpg CB Twister

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December 14, 2009

The CB Twister

The CB Twister

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One of the most important motorcycle launches of the year happened on Friday though you’re unlikely to read about it in any of the testosterone-infused websites – it was the Indian unveiling of Honda’s new fuel-efficient and low maintenance 110cc motorcycle model, the CB Twister. Honda sells a million motorcycles a year in India, and next year expects to sell 220,000 Twisters, based on its similar looks to the company’s CBR1000RR flagship, its low maintenance and its outrageous fuel economy (164 U.S. mpg and 197 U.K. mpg) and a price of just US$900.

Targeting the younger generation, CB Twister features a design from the school of large-capacity European motorcycles. CB Twister is equipped with a low-friction, high mileage, highly efficient air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder 110cc engine, which complies with India's emissions standard (BS-III) that will take effect in April 2010.

India is the world's second largest motorcycle market (behind China) with sales this year expected to top 8.6 million units, of which the 110cc category accounts for half.

The bike is the product of Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary in India, and not from Hero Honda, Honda’s local JV company, which owns the lion’s share of the Indian motorcycle marketplace.

The Twister is scheduled to go on sale in India at the end of February 2010 and will be seen for the first time in public at the Auto Expo 2010 to be held in New Delhi, India beginning January 5, 2010.

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15 Comments

Darn it. Why can't we get stuff like this in the U.S.? I've always wanted a small, light, fun motorcycle, rather than things like the 600cc crotch rockets the manufacturers love. Even 400cc models aren't available here. The only low triple-digit cc models available are motor scooters.

Gadgeteer
14th December, 2009 @ 07:15 pm PST

Its more like a moped on overly heavy bike chassis. This is the mode of transport Indians prefer as its cheap as walking with far less effort. But you'll have to put with the frustration of Indian road sense and must have a strong will to take the vibrations or limit yourself to 40kmph.

And BTW MPG Figures posted by Indian bike manufacturers are outrageous. It would be difficult to get these numbers even if you cruize at straight line at 40kmph for 2 hrs. Companies like Bajaj quotes mileage figures like 101kmpl. While the real bike manages a 65 after a lot of compromise.

Arun Murali
14th December, 2009 @ 07:35 pm PST

I want one

Michael Mantion
15th December, 2009 @ 12:00 am PST

Mr. Arun Murali. Its people like you who bring shame to our country. Its one thing to call a spade, a spade. I'll be the first one to back u if that was the case.

Indian bikes are pretty refined. FE figures are amongst the best in the world. And by the way, 65 kmpl is not bad at all. And anyhow, driving the bike which claimed a mileage of 101 in a city does give u abt 80-85. Personal experience. Which is not to say that i haven't driven higher capacity bikes. But even those made in India sport pretty good Fuel Economy figures.

40kmph? I suggest u drive a Honda Scooter named Aviator(as CB Twister is not yet available) which is just 100cc and even that will take u to 85 kmph. Smoothly. I agree that is not a very high figure, but as spirit of 76 said, sometimes fun is more important than jumping on a crotch rocket and zooming off. City traffic begs for a light, laid back bike.

Oh. We have the crotch rockets too in India. If u care to drive one. Tech is fast catching up but u see, manufacturers have to keep the market in mind. And there is a market for all types of bikes in India. From 110 cc to 1100 cc.

So i suggest u STFU!

Siddhanta Chandra Saxena
15th December, 2009 @ 04:45 am PST

I think Arun Murali has way over-stated the issues.

This sounds like a great product.

I have owned forty or fifty Hondas in this class of bikes. I have ridden them for 45 years. I rode a Honda 90 from Los Angeles almost to Canada, to northern ID, plus other long trips.

It is my impression that these small bikes do not have a heavy frame. I doubt that this one does.

I have never been bothered by vibration on these. On other bikes, yes... never these.

I know you CAN get incredible mileage with them without any special effort. A bike designed for it will probably do a much better job than the ones I have owned.

I can see a large sport bike rider would compare these to walking but in my opinion drag racing from signal to signal isn't transportation either. If you want commuter transportation I think you would be happy with one of these. But get a color you like because you'll have it for a while. These bikes last for years and years with proper maintenance.

I was chatting with a fellow riding an old Honda S90 (one of my favorites). He had 65,000 miles on it without opening the engine. I did lecture him on replacing the chain. I described graphically what would happen to his engine if the chain broke.

gab16
15th December, 2009 @ 09:21 am PST

Spirit of 76 you may want to check out this little American made 110cc http://www.kikker5150.com/hardknock.html

at $1499 it's a real kick for the money. I have no interest in this company other than I really like this little bike.

YukonJack
15th December, 2009 @ 09:59 am PST

200 MP (imperial) G? I want to believe it.

Gizmag Team - how about checking with Honda Japan or US for confirmation of this performance - and when it might become available elsewhere -

Stuart21
15th December, 2009 @ 08:17 pm PST

You are all getting me wrong. These bikes sell in Million and I have experiance owning some of them. The problem is they sound green and are not really green. The engine design strategies dates back to 80's and pollution standards for bikes in India are low.

As long as there are bikes like this which show so much poise for low price no one will buy bikes which can put out better technology. India is very technology agnostic cause manufacturer's always launch something cheap but good looking(add more plastic cladding).

And this bike shares the engine with a bike named "Shine" which has vibration issues over 40kmpl. So look before you post.

Arun Murali
29th December, 2009 @ 09:32 pm PST

The problem with a bike like this is that will have a narow appeal. Scooters will suffice here in the states for the low horsepower crowd who have no shifting talent. People who can shift will buy Ninjas, Rebels or V-Stars. This is the land of 100kmph so a 50 or 150cc scooter will suffice for side roads. My wife outgrew her 150cc scooter in three short weeks and landed on a Rebel. I doubt this little beauty would have lasted much longer.

kz1000st
7th January, 2010 @ 10:38 am PST

Back in the late seventies I had a Honda 125 Trials bike that I modified to qualify for use on US roads. I don't know how light it was but it had a lot of aluminum components. When I road it off-road, it was light enough that if it got to a place that it could not carry me, I carried it! As a road machine, I used it all week on one skinny tank around town. Wish I still had it! I bet it got similar mileage to this bike or pretty close!

Will, the tink
7th January, 2010 @ 02:23 pm PST

Anyone! please explain why these motorbikes like the one reviewed above along with the others we see in Asia are not sold in the USA? i do NOT like the small tired Vespas, Yamahas, etc that are more scooter than motorbike. Thanks!

Facebook User
15th January, 2011 @ 10:49 am PST

@Hank Miller: That's because this bike is manufactured and marketed just in India by the Honda subsidiary Honda Motor and Scooter India (HMSI). So.. I guess those models are exclusive to here. People in the USA seem to like commuter bikes though.. I just read Gadgeteer's comment too.

Asad Ullah Khan
28th September, 2011 @ 06:21 am PDT

The reason these bikes, along with things like the high MPG diesels from Europe, DON'T see the US shores has largely to do with Californias tough and unreasonable emission standards. As does Left Wing California, so does the USA. Don't get me wrong--we NEED emission standards. I lived in Southern California in the smoggy sixties, and it HURT to breath sometimes. But replacing a "clean" V8 that consumes three times the fuel with a slightly less clean diesel can LOWER overall smog production. Same with the tiny bike motors. If one replaces a 38-45 mpg 'Clean" big bike with one of these, even though the little engine is "dirtier" a lower amount of smog dirty air will be produced. Way to legislate stupidity Californicate!

PickleMan Pickles
7th June, 2012 @ 12:00 pm PDT

@PickleMan Pickles

"Left Wing California" has nothing to do with it. Emissions standards are rated in emissions output per mile, so it doesn't matter(from an emissions perspective) if you are driving a gas V8 or a turbo-diesel. A diesel producing three times the mpg(highly dubious, I've never seen that) of a gas-powered engine in the same vehicle has to comply to per-mile emissions requirements- plus particulate and sulfur emissions peculiar to oil-burners-, so the mileage is immaterial, since people will still be driving approximately the same distances. A separate tax(gas-guzzler) is applied to low-gas-mileage vehicles, which have nothing to do with their emissions. That said, it is obvious that lighter, smaller vehicles will exceed the emissions standards, but not linearly or in direct proportion to their weight/engine size. Diesels have been difficult to adapt to passenger or light-duty vehicles in comparable performance iterations, mainly because of sulfur and particulate emissions, not CO2 or NOx or CO issues. Traditional diesels aren't just "slightly less clean" than their gasoline counterparts.

Vivek
28th May, 2013 @ 05:33 am PDT

I know this is a old article, but Vivek does not have it quite right. Emissions are NOT based on particles per mile. It is in fact based on, In the US, pounds or particles of a item ( like carbon dioxide) per megawatt-hour. Which is why you can have 500--1000 hp super cars in California as long as it does not exceed limits per megawatt of energy produced.

So logically its hard to image a 4 stroke honda engine using less then a 1/5 of a gallon to go 20 mile to work will produce more "bad" emissions then a mini-van, Pickup of SUV that uses at least a full gallon.

I know we are in love with gas (ah oui mon cheri, you smell so terribly but burn so bright!...umm) but couldn't a engine like this one be converted to use CNG (compressed natural gas) or something similar (syn gas). You don't get the distance, but its just for work, emissions would be better and fuel cheaper. Just a thought.

telocity
15th May, 2014 @ 01:57 pm PDT
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