Honda’s 150SS Racer concept has been turned into a production bike called the CB150R – just as we predicted.
A 150cc, four-valve, water-cooled single is the driving force behind the bike, but its styling is what really matters. The trellis frame is bolted to the same 41mm upside-down forks used on the X-ADV, which also lends its radial brake caliper.
Prices in Thailand, where the bike will initially go on sale, start at around £2300 and rise to just over £3100 for the highest-spec version. ABS is a key option, and there will be limited edition ‘Street Café’ and ‘Scramble Café’ versions.
European sales of the bike are unlikely, but the 150SS Racer concept shared styling cues with European-focussed concepts like the CB650-based CB4 from 2015 and last year’s CB1100TR. By going to production, it adds hope that Honda might also make production models inspired by those machines.
Yoichi Mizutani, president of Honda’s Thai subsidiary A.P. Honda Co., Ltd, said: “The new sport bikes, produced for Honda customers today, have been carefully designed to be perfect. I’ve named five ultimate elements for the model. First, the developers of the RC211, RC213V-S and the supersport series such as CBR600RR are the experts in sport bike who could perfectly transfer the DNA of sport bikes to the new CB150R.
“Second, the new 150cc engine which has been developed for top riding performance with excitement. Third, the meticulous design of the body that has shifted the center of gravity to be close to the rider, to make the vehicle lighter and easier to control. Fourth, the spec of the model is that of a big bike, including upside-down front suspension, X-ADV 750, radial mount 4 pot calipers, and ABS with G Sensor that have been borrowed from CBR1000RR. Last but not least, we have worked with Japanese leading accessory brands such as Moriwaki, G’Craft, and Kitaco to design special items to make the CB150R even more outstanding.”
Suchart Arunsaengroj, Vice President of A.P. Honda Co., Ltd., said: “The sport bike market in the country has gradually expanded and grown continuously. As the market leader in Thailand’s motorcycle market for 29 consecutive years, Honda has never stopped improving and developing our motorcycles to meet the changing demands of the riders. The introduction of Modern Café is to set a new standard and a new trend in the motorcycle industry, both in Thailand and worldwide.
“The positive feedback has been an unprecedented phenomenon in Thai market. Only two days after releasing the teaser, the clip has created high engagement, with about one million views. Within five days, over 1,000 units have already been pre-booked even though the customers have not yet seen the actual model. This has reflected the confidence that customers have for Honda brand – as the leader in sport motorcycle category in Thailand for 18 consecutive years with cumulative sales almost reaches 1.5 million units.”