Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Private Limited (HMSI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese Honda Motors Limited. The Honda group had been making two-wheelers in India since 1984 as a joint venture with the Hero group. They have established their own firm the Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Private Limited in 1999. The Honda brand is the second most popular brand in India. They have bikes with capacities 110 cc to 1300 cc in their Indian portfolio. The Honda Unicorn is a 150 cc commuter bike with sales over 10,000 units per month.
The Honda CB Unicorn launched in 2005 is priced Rupees 65,012 ex-showrooms. The original version had been with spoke wheels and having kick start facility only. To make the Unicorn more competitive certain modifications have been done in 2010.
The bike has a single standard variant with an electric starter and alloy wheels.
The Unicorn comes in colours of pearl igneous black, pearl sienna red and space silver metallic with graphics on the body. The console of the Unicorn is a combination console. The speedometer, the tacho meter and the single trip meter are analogue type and the fuel gauge is digital. There are low fuel and low oil indicators also on the console. The bike has a 7 Ah battery with multi reflector 35/35 watt head lamps, LED tail lamps and brake lamps, turn indicators and pass light.
The CB Unicorn is powered by a 149 cc, 13 bhp and 12 NM torque engine with carburetor type fuel system and digital CDI ignition. The 5 gear manual transmission has a wet multi plate clutch and chain drive for the final take off. The Unicorn gives mileages of 60 kmpl. The bike takes 6 seconds for 0 to 60 kmph acceleration and the top speed is 108 kmph.
The physical dimensions of the Unicorn are 2095 mm length, 756 mm width, 1100 mm height, 1340 mm wheel base and 179 mm ground clearance. The bike weighing 146 kg has a fuel tank of 13 (1.3 reserve) litres capacity. The Unicorn has advanced diamond frame type chassis with telescopic suspension at the front and mono shock suspension at the rear.
The Unicorn has 18″ alloy wheels with 2.75×18-42P tyres at the front and 100/90×18-56P tyres at the rear. The brakes are 240 mm disc type at the front and 130 mm drum type at the rear.
A smooth engine, the mono shock rear suspension and a comfortable riding position are advantageous for the bike. Absence of a digital console and outdated design are the weak points of the Unicorn. The competition comes from the likes of Bajaj Pulsar, the TVS Apache and the Honda CB Shine.