It was reported in April this year that Japanese automaker Honda was planning something big in the middleweight motorcycle segment for India. The reports claimed Honda was planning to foray into the affordable cruiser bike space here.
Subsequently, multiple reports claimed Honda would launch the Rebel 300 in India and that it would be pitted against Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Now a report in Gaadiwaadi claims Honda has patented the Rebel 300 in India.
Will it be launched in India? It is too early to comment. A report on Money Control had earlier confirmed that the model in question would not be the Rebel.
"We have the 300cc cruiser called Rebel selling in the US which also has a 500cc variant. So, it is not that we do not have any experience. This is a new category which is growing very fast not just in India but overseas as well and Honda needs a product solution for it," the publication quoted a source close to the development as saying.
So why has Honda patented the Rebel in India? Honda may have plans to bring the Rebel to India for benchmarking purposes. The new motorcycle is expected to share a lot of underpinnings with the Rebel range.
Honda's new cruiser bike will be an all-new product with inputs from its R&D team from India. Reports say Honda is planning to bring in a new type of bike having a characteristic similar to Ducati Scrambler.
The Scrambler is a tough-looking modern-day roadster — an area Honda is aiming for with the Rebel. Further details on the product are not available at the moment while the debut has been earmarked for 2020.
Honda motorcycles are popular in India for their quality and refinement. On the other hand, Royal Enfield motorcycles enjoy an iconic status in India, thanks to its retro style. Honda stepping into the middleweight motorcycle category is definitely not good news for Royal Enfield.