Honda CB200X-based dual-sport bike in the works

A design patent filed by Honda shows an upcoming bike that could carry the NX200 nametag, which the brand trademarked in India last year.

A recent design patent filed by Honda shows an upcoming dual-sport motorcycle based on the CB200X platform.

Honda is in possession of a 184.4cc, single-cylinder air-cooled engine that currently powers two of its motorcycles in India. It first kicked off with the Hornet 2.0 – a naked road bike – which was then followed up last year with the CB200X – a motorcycle with touring ambitions. While the CB200X is styled along the lines of an adventure tourer and gets some changes over the Hornet to make it a little more suitable for long-distance riding, our time spent riding the machine told us that it doesn’t quite do enough to back up its go-anywhere appearance.

Prior to the launch of the CB200X, Honda trademarked the NX200 nametag in India. NX is a prefix that Honda has historically used for serious single-cylinder dual-sport machines, and since the CB200X isn’t a hardcore off-roader, it makes sense that it wasn’t given the NX tag. But now, a recent design patent filed by Honda shows what could be the upcoming NX200.

Honda design patent details

The drawings show a dual-sport motorcycle that’s powered by the same 184.4cc engine seen in the CB200X. But around that engine, Honda has built a far more serious motorcycle. Certain elements are similar – the single-downtube architecture for the frame and the box-section swingarm design are shared with the CB200X. But the bike in the drawings features noticeably greater ground clearance, gets a high-mounted underseat exhaust exit, appears to have longer travel suspension, and quite importantly, rolls on wire-spoke wheels in off-road sizes (the front looks like a 19-inch unit).

This set-up points towards a motorcycle that’s far more serious in its off-roading ambitions than something like the CB200X. Its appearance also backs up this intent, with a long single-piece seat that, in dirt-bike fashion, extends quite far forwards. Other noteworthy elements include a sizeable sump guard and front windscreen, hand-guards, and a rather beefy looking rear luggage rack. Overall, the bike seems to sport quite a purposeful look, with straight lines dominating much of the bodywork. Defining factors are a tall stance and a beak-less front-end that’s similar to the Africa Twin.

On the features front, the drawings show a fully-digital instrument cluster, which will most likely be derived from the LCD unit seen on the Hornet and CB200X. Also like those two motorcycles, expect this bike to get LED lighting all-around and single-channel ABS.

Exhaust routing seems to be the only aspect of the engine that is externally different from the Hornet’s motor. The main engine block and the engine covers on both sides seem pretty much identical to the Hornet’s, and if the similarities extend to the output figures, then you can expect roughly 17hp and 16Nm from the bike in these pictures. While this engine does work well in the city, it’s not quite as smooth as most Honda motors, and we found it to be a little gruff in the higher reaches of its tachometer. Nevertheless, the healthy dose of pulling power available at low RPMs should make it reasonably well suited to off-roading.

Honda CB200X-based dual-sport bike: will it come to India?

The final question is about whether this motorcycle will make it to the Indian market. Considering it’s based on two motorcycles that are currently on sale here, there seems to be a good chance that the bike in these drawings will make it into Honda showrooms in India at some point in the future. After all, it seems poised to offer some competition to the Hero Xpulse 200 4V, which currently enjoys a little playground all to itself as the only off-road capable motorcycle in that price bracket.

While ADVs are all the rage in our country at the moment, dual-sport motorcycles like this one, with a relatively single-minded focus and uncompromising approach, aren’t necessarily hot favourites, usually owing to their tall seat heights and unfamiliar road manners. However, it’s worth noting that, visually, this Honda seems to have a seat height comparable to the Xpulse, whose perch is 825mm off the deck, which is not unreasonably high. The switchgear on the Honda also features the indicator switch above the horn switch, like most Honda motorcycles in India. Many of the Japanese brand’s overseas models have these two buttons inverted.

As far as pricing is concerned, this bike should sit in a similar ballpark to the CB200X – even though it will almost certainly be more off-road capable, it features a conventional front fork compared to the CB’s upside-down unit. So expect it to play in the same park as the CB200X, which currently retails for Rs 1.46 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This would make it roughly Rs 15,000 more expensive than the Xpulse 200 4V.

Do you find the idea of a CB200X-based dual-sport motorcycle appealing? Let us know in the comments.

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