The Shine 100 is based on a newly developed engine and chassis platform.
With the Shine 100, Honda is venturing into a space that it has avoided since it embarked on its solo journey in India over a decade back – the 100cc segment. Honda already has numerous affordable 110cc bikes, but the cost targets of these budget motorcycles are so tight that Honda says it had to design a new engine and chassis to price this new bike as aggressively as possible.
With customer deliveries just about to start, Honda invited us to try out the bike. Since these are unregistered pre-production motorcycles, we were only permitted to ride them within the confines of Aamby Valley city. While that still leaves plenty to discover, it was enough to learn what this bike is about.
Honda Shine 100 comfort and ride quality
What you’ll immediately notice is that this is an exceptionally light and easy feeling motorcycle. Honda’s efforts to create a new diamond frame have resulted in a kerb weight of 99kg which is a full 13kg less than both Honda’s own CD 110 Dream Deluxe and Hero’s Splendor + and HF Deluxe. Featherweight notwithstanding, the riding position is absolutely neutral and upright and even 6’1” me could find plenty of space on this little bike with its low 786mm seat height. That probably has something to do with the long seat that smoothly flows into the fuel tank, which, in Honda’s own words, makes the Shine “ideal for comfortable multi-passenger long rides”.
The roads inside Aamby Valley city are quite nice, but on the few rough patches we could find, the Shine struck a good balance in its suspension comfort. It’s neither too soft nor too firm and the bike absorbs bumps quite well – although we’ll want to point it at some worse roads before making a definitive verdict. I also put Rishabh on the pillion seat and he found it quite comfortable; the Shine managed to retain its composure decently well without losing too much travel in the dual rear shocks. Where it did struggle a bit was when asking it to climb steep uphills with both our weights.
Honda Shine 100 engine, performance and mileage
This 98.98cc engine is based on Honda’s existing 110 unit from the CD 110 Dream and it shares the same 47mm bore, but the company says that many internal components have changed. With 7.38hp, it is about 0.6hp down on power compared to the Hero Splendor and HF Deluxe, but it makes the same 8.05Nm at 5,000rpm, which is 1,000rpm lower than the Heros.
The bike uses a 4-speed gearbox with an all-up shift pattern.
First and second gears are super short, as is the case with most basic commuters, so the Shine 100 will be able to climb steep slopes with plenty of load, but try doing this in 4th or even 3rd gear and the bike will struggle to the point of eventual surrender. This is to be expected given the modest power figures, but what’s nice is that the engine is very refined with only a few vibrations to be felt at higher revs. Our bike had barely run 150km, so with a few more kilometers and an oil change, the engine will only become smoother still. The gear shifts were also good enough and the clutch lever felt light and easy.
As for the all-important question of fuel efficiency, Honda claims that it will be segment leading, but at the same time the company refuses to share an official fuel efficiency number. It appears that customers will have to take Honda’s word for it, but hopefully it won’t be long before we can put this bike through a proper road test to find out for ourselves.
Honda Shine 100 design, fit and finish
Design wise, the Shine 100 looks similar to its bigger brother the Shine 125, but park them side by side and you will see that the 100 looks smaller and more diminutive. This is a good thing and it should restrict cannibalisation, something Honda will be keen to achieve as the Shine 125 is their bestselling motorcycle by far.
The stickers on the fuel tank and side panels as well as the small chrome garnish look good. As you’d expect, features are at a bare minimum and while you do get alloy wheels you also have to manage with tubed tyres and a front drum brake. However, the inclusion of a side stand down engine kill is nice. Nevertheless, a closer look shows that quality could be better. Some metal surfaces could do with a better finish and the right side plastic quarter panel has a surprising amount of flex in it. Then again, how much can you expect at this price?
Honda Shine 100 verdict
At an introductory price of Rs 64,900, the Shine 100 undercuts the cheapest Splendor by nearly Rs 9,000 and the equivalent electric start-enabled HF Deluxe by Rs 1,500. Such price aggression is new for Honda, but will it be enough to make a significant dent in Hero’s huge numbers? A lot of that will depend on how aggressive Honda is with its on-ground sales and marketing strategies and time will surely tell.