rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Last updated on: April 21, 2013 12:20 IST

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

     Next

Next

How does Honda's cheapest entrant fare against Hero Splendor Plus, Bajaj Discover 100 and Suzuki Hayate?

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has launched yet another bike in the immensely popular and fiercely competitive volume-driven commuter segment of the Indian bike market. Named as the Dream Neo, this new entry-level motorcycle belongs to Honda's made-for-India 'Dream' series and comes as the lowest-priced two-wheeler offering of the company till date, which makes it absolutely worthy of all the hype that it is getting.

However, publicity does not necessarily translate into sales, especially when bigger and more experienced players like Hero Splendor Plus, Bajaj Discover 100 and Suzuki Hayate are there in the field to bring the 'newcomer' down.

We try to figure out how well exactly does Honda's new entrant stand up to this mighty pack of rivals and how large or little impact would the rivals experience on account of this newbie.

Courtesy


Image: Honda Dream Neo


     Next

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Design and appearance

The latest commuter bike from the Honda camp has been blessed with a new and refreshing look that helps it stand apart quite easily from the huge crowd of commuters that the Indian market offers. From the vibrant dual-tone sticker job that adorns the fuel tank and side panels, to the sleek and stylish silencer in black, to the trendy set of six-spoke all-black alloy wheels that get jacketed in tubeless tyres, to the smart instrument panel -- everything about the new Honda Dream Neo has a distinct style of its own.

If 'smooth' is what we call the dressing style of Dream Neo, 'sharp' would no doubt be the word for Suzuki Hayate. Greatly inspired from the Slingshot, the Hayate dons a bold and edgy outfit characterised by sharply cut features, electrifying body graphics spanning the fuel tank and rear fender, an analog-digital instrument panel that exudes a distinctly sporty feel and 5-spoke alloys that complement and complete the sporty look of the bike.

While Honda Dream Neo and Suzuki Hayate seem to be quite at par with each other in terms of styling attributes, both Hero Splendor Plus and Bajaj Discover 100 stand a level lower than their Japanese competitors, and it is not without reason.

For one, both the Splendor Plus and the Discover 100 are in need for a complete makeover; their body graphics, paint jobs, cuts and contours -- everything that was quite happening a while ago has now been outshone by far better looking rivals.

Secondly, both these bikes have been around for quite a long time in the same outfit and a thorough rework is needed to bring back that spark in their personalities. For now, however, it is traits like sporty alloy wheels, and the chrome plating on Splendor's silencer, and the exquisitely carved headlamp of Discover that justify the strong potential of these bikes to rival the new Dream Neo.


Image: Suzuki Kayate


Prev     Next

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Engine and performance

To power the new Honda Dream Neo, a 109cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SI engine that works on the cutting-edge Honda Eco Technology, also known as HET, has been employed by the Japanese automaker. With the highly advanced HET working round the clock, this powermill delivers fabulously and torque outputs of 8.25bhp at 7500rpm and 8.63Nm at 5500rpm respectively along with an unbelievably impressive fuel-economy of 74kmpl.

Neck and neck with the Dream Neo in engine performance, just like it was in the design category, is Suzuki Hayate. Powered by a 112.8cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC engine, the Hayate not only puts out power and torque ratings of 8.3bhp at 7500rpm and 8.63Nm at 5500rpm that are identical to those of the Dream Neo, but also gives a tough fight to the newcomer in the mileage arena with its 71kmpl offering.

Up next is Bajaj Discover 100 with its 94.38cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder mill that no doubt falls one step behind the two Japanese rides due to its lower power and torque ratings of 7.59bhp at 7500rpm and 7.85Nm at 5000rpm respectively, but at the same time takes a major lead over the two thanks to its fantastic 91kmpl mileage returns, as per the company claims.

Talking about Hero Splendor Plus; having been fitted with a comparatively smaller 97.2cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, OHC mill, the Hero bike, while on the one hand, outruns its Japanese rivals with its brilliant fuel-efficiency of 80.6kmpl (company-claimed), on the other hand, gets beaten to the last spot amongst the four due to much lower power and torque ratings of 7.4bhp at 8000rpm and 7.95Nm at 5000rpm respectively.


Image: Bajaj Discover 100


Prev     Next

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Price and brand value

Tying for the first place in this category with Honda Dream Neo is the participant from Honda's erstwhile partner, Hero MotoCorp. While Hero, with the most widespread network of dealerships in the country and an exceptionally good service quality, has been enjoying a fabulous brand value in the Indian market for years, Honda has marvellously succeeded in building itself a brand image that is trusted just as strongly over the short span of two years that it has spent in India after its break-up with Hero MotoCorp.

It has expanded its dealership network remarkably over the past couple of years to make it capable of rivalling that of its former partner and as for its technological know-how, the brilliance of the countless Hero Honda rides is proof enough for the excellence that the company masters in the field.

Even in terms of price tags, Honda Neo presents almost as good a deal as Hero Splendor Plus, having been tagged with a figure of Rs 43,150 which is just Rs 200 premium on the Rs 42,950 tag of Splendor Plus.

Bajaj Discover 100, in the meantime, occupies a medium position here, what with its price being marked at Rs 43,299 and its brand having to cope with a not-so-glorious resale reputation despite having a reasonably good service and dealership network in the country.

As for Suzuki Hayate, a price tag of Rs 44,147, which happens to be the biggest amongst the four in question here, and a brand image that is easily overshadowed by big players like Hero MotoCorp and HMSI together bring the bike down to the bottom of the line in this category.


Image: Hero Splendor Plus


Prev     Next

Honda Dream Neo versus the rest of India

Prev     More
Prev

More

Verdict

In terms of looks and overall engine performance, Suzuki Hayate is the one that comes the closest to the newly-introduced Honda Dream Neo, with Bajaj Discover 100 and Hero Splendor Plus proving to be a serious threat mainly when the discussion turns to the topic of fuel-economies.

However, from the viewpoint of those who value brand image above all, it is Hero Splendor Plus that can give a tough fight to the newbie.


Image: Honda Dream Neo


Prev     More