Small, fuel-efficient and affordable – the new CB Twister. Honda expects the Twister to be a hit in India.
A 109cc air-cooled 4-stroke Single powers the Twister, producing a claimed nine horsepower that’s divvied out via four-speed transmission. The mind-boggling claim on the HMSI website is the small engine’s 70 kilometer per liter fuel efficiency, which converts to a too-good-to-be-true/has-to-be-a-typo 160 mpg (at least to our American mpg sensibilities). The chassis sources a front fork with twin rear shocks, a single 240mm front rotor and rear drum braking system and 17-inch wheels.
The Twister sports a modern look, mimicking, as Honda puts it in a press release announcing its new bike, “a stylish design from the school of large-sized European motorcycles.” Honda itself states the bike is targeted to the “younger generation.” It is priced at 42,000 Rupees, which converts to approximately $900.
The Twister will make its Indian debut at the Auto Expo 2010 in New Delhi on January 5th. For more information check out HMSI’s Honda Twister microsite.
If it’s not headed here, what makes the new Twister newsworthy in the US? Well, it serves to contrast the American and Indian markets.
For starters, India buys motorcycles – a whole lot of them. Honda cites industry-wide motorcycle sales in India from January through November of 2009 topped 7.9 million units – making it the second-largest market behind China. HMSI sales alone are 980,000 units. Even more impressive, as the world-wide motorcycle market has contracted in 2009, the aforementioned Indian sales figures represent a 14% growth (HMSI sales up 10%).
MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) data for 2008 lists total US sales at 1.1 million. Year-to-date estimates for 2009 show almost a 40% drop as of the end of September. US sales for 2009 won’t even come close to hitting the million unit threshold – barring a Christmas miracle of made-for-TV-movie proportions.
Honda expects to sell 220,000 of its new little street bike annually in India.