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On the outside
When you first set your eyes upon the CB Twister, you’ll notice the sharply styled cues inspired from the European CB1000R. Most of its weight is focused forward and close to its centre of gravity. Clearly, there's nothing 'commuter' about its styling. The CB’s attractive black alloy wheels come with six ‘V’-shaped spokes. This black shade features on much of the bike including its front forks, handlebar, side and rear cowls, engine and stubby silencer. Honda is offering this bike with five metallic paint shades.
The Twister’s angular front fairing houses a bright headlight. The instruments are eye-catching, legible and neatly laid out. It gets a bold speedometer and fuel level indicator. The bike’s angular & functional mirrors are stylish and the smooth-to-operate switchgear feels solid but the bike lacks a pass-light flasher. Its soft palm grips and nicely shaped control levers add to the feeling of comfort.
The muscular fuel tank is attractive and can hold 8 litres; the sculpted section provides adequate thigh support but lacks a hinged filler lid. The tank’s front cowls can sometimes interfere with a tall rider’s knees.
Its side panels and seat merge seamlessly into the rear, and the rear grab bar integrates beautifully into the fairing. The tail is handsome, with a smartly tapered mudguard and red damper springs. The exposed drive chain is a sporty touch. This bike is easily the best looking in its segment; quality is excellent too and fit and finish are great - there’s enviable attention to detail.
The new Honda is powered by a four-stroke, single-cylinder engine that displaces 109cc and produces maximum power of 9bhp at 8000rpm. The Twister’s clutch feels light, is well weighted and returns positive feel during gearshifts. The bike follows the universal, one-down, three-up pattern.
The Twister has a soft, yet healthy exhaust note. Throttle response is instant and this light 108kg motorcycle leaps off the blocks complemented by its peppy, enthusiastic small-capacity engine. The power band is wide, vibe-free and silky smooth even when pushing high revs, and the Twister willingly chugs away in top gear (fourth) from speeds as low as 25kph. Performance is class-leading, with the 0-60kph dash achieved in a creditable 7.13 seconds. Top speed is adequate, a true 96kph on a flat roads.
The bike’s suspension uses telescopic forks up front, with a pair of hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear, along with a rigid, rectangle section swingarm.
From the saddle
Honda has got the ergonomics on this bike spot-on, with the riding posture comfortably upright and riding saddle perfectly padded. There are 17-inch wheels at both ends. Ride quality is set a touch towards firm, with handling taut and precise at all times. The Twister is perfect for quick manoeuvring through crowded traffic - it steers with a neutral and light feel. Cornering manners and straightline stability are commendable, as is braking. Brake feel at both the levers is progressive and reassuring.
The CB Twister is quite efficient too - it managed to run 57.2 kilometres on one litre of fuel in city conditions. It bettered this figure to 61.3kpl on its highway run.
Is it worth the money?
The CB Twister lends a new dimension to commuter bikes in India. Such handsome styling has been unheard of in this class till now and the CB Twister is good enough to embarrass even bikes in a class above. It’s easy to predict that this competitively priced motorcycle will be the one to beat in its segment.
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