Honda Shine 100 first ride review | Should the Splendor Plus be worried?
After catering to the Indian market for over two decades, Honda has finally stepped in with its 100cc motorcycle segment with the all-new Shine 100. Launched at ₹64,900 (ex-showroom), this is a bike that's designed in Japan and developed in India for the Indian market. It deploys a brand new 100cc engine and promises to deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world and the 100cc motorcycle segment contributes to nearly 1/3rd of all two-wheeler sales to it, so the Shine 100 is an important bike for the big H. We got astride this new commuter to see how it performs and if it really has the creds to take on the fierce competition that it's going to face.
Honda Shine 100 design
The Honda Shine 100 isn't a motorcycle that will turn heads and grab eyeballs, courtesy of its non-offensive design. It is styled similar to its bigger sibling, the Shine 125, which is a proven product and that's why Honda has played it safe with the Shine 100's styling. Only a few bits set both bikes apart from each other. The Shine 100 gets a flatter seat that's neatly integrated into its skinnier tank and an aluminium grab rail at the back. At the front it gets a similar but more headlight flanked by orange indicators instead of the clear plastic units on the Shine 125. It also does away with the blacked out finish on the engine and boasts a satin finish on the exhaust guard unlike the look-at-me chromed unit on the Shine 125.
Honda is offering the Shine 100 in dual-tone colours, with black being the base with a choice of green, red, blue, gold and grey decals. It rides on smaller 17-inch wheels and omits tubeless tyres. Overall, I won't mind having the Shine 100 as my daily companion, because it isn't a bad looking motorcycle, at all.
Honda Shine 100 engine
The Honda Shine 100 is powered by a four-stroke, 98.98cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that’s good for 7.5bhp at 7500pm and 8.05Nm of peak torque at 5000rpm. This is an all-new power plant that had its R&D done both in Japan as well as India.
As is typical of any Honda, thumb the starter and the Shine 100 comes to life with a refined exhaust note. But once you start riding, the power plant gets vibey and transmits a lot of vibrations through both the footpegs as well as the handlebar once past the 35kmph mark.
Because of its good mid-range, the engine feels tractable and revvs nicely till the redline. This makes for a relaxed riding experience especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The clutch feel is light and the gears shifts are tactile as well. What I do have a problem with is the placement of the gear lever itself, it feels a little raised and making shifting a bit awkward.
While the brand hasn't given away any details of it yet, it claims that this engine will deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency on the Shine 100. That remains to be tested once the official figures are out, in the real world.
Honda Shine 100 ride and handling
The Shine 100 is underpinned by a diamond frame to aid structural rigidity.It gets telescopic forks at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear. Its braking duties are handled by a 130mm drum brake at the front and a 110mm drum brake at rear and this setup is the Shine 100's Achilles heel. While it offers a good amount of feedback, it lacks the bite to slow down the bike even at normal speeds. After rigorous use, there's a prominent fade in the system. Considering the loads that the Shine 100 will be subjected to, this is an area where the Shine 100 really needs an upgrade.
What the Shine 100 excels at is the ride quality. It feels plush and does a very good job of soaking up almost everything without unsettling the riders. The riding position is upright, commuter friendly and comfortable to accommodate tall riders rather well. The seat is wide, roomy and has a fair share of cushioning to ensure a pleasant saddle time for hours. The cluster gets a rather basic twin pod layout, but it displays all the info that you'll ever need including a fuel indicator, the speedo and a check engine light amongst other warnings.
The steering is light and the bike feels compliant even at high speeds. But because of its soft suspension, the Shine 100 isn't the sportiest bike to ride around. Although it doesn't feel dangerous, the skinny tyres don't offer much confidence when you're really belting it, especially around the bends.
Overall, the new Shine 100 is a very comfortable cruiser and although it is built to a price, it does feel solid.
Honda Shine 100 verdict
Priced at ₹64,900, the Shine 100 undercuts its arch rival, the Hero Splendor Plus, by a cool ₹7000. It is a good overall package, when looked at through the commuter lens, because it ticks the right boxes in terms of being affordable, very comfortable and feeling solidly built.
The engine, although not as refined as a few other rivals like the Hero HF Deluxe, is tractable and doesn't feel underpowered even when riding one up. The ride quality will be the Shine 100's USP, especially in the rural areas where there are no roads at all. What it really needs though is a set of stronger brakes and if Honda works on that, I'll highly recommend the Shine 100 to the average Joe who's looking for a no-nonsense everyday companion that will last long.