Honda CB Unicorn 160 review
- Published On: 29 March 2017
- 3 min read
The new Unicorn makes more power now and looks a whole lot more modern.
The Unicorn has been one of Honda’s mainstays in India. The very first Unicorn dominated the important 150cc segment for quite some time. But, over time, this venerable motorcycle was starting to feel a bit long in the tooth in terms of styling, as well as several other key factors when compared to newer, superior rivals. Honda decided to give its Unicorn a shot in the arm to help boost sales and, hopefully, dominate the charts once again.
On the outside
The CB Unicorn 160 is not a new motorcycle from the ground up. The basic blueprint of this bike remains close to the original. New bits add up to make the 160 a refreshing looking package though, and give it a snazzier appearance.
The new headlamp looks quite smart, with clear lens turn indicators on either side. The headlamp unit is complemented by a pilot lamp. The dual-tone front mudguard is neatly designed. The upright handlebars are familiar, with simple-looking switchgear mounted on them. The bike’s instrument cluster is now all-digital, sleek looking, minimalistic, and very functional. It displays all the important readouts - a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, dual-trip meters, fuel-level indicator and clock.
Move to the bike’s side, the CB Unicorn 160 has a nice play of different textures and a balanced mix of lines and curves which lead to the seat, rear cowl and swingarm. This gives the new Honda motorcycle a nice, flowing yet strong and purposeful stance. The all-black engine, with smart bright red 'Honda' engraving stand out.
Honda has made several important updates to this powerplant as well. Apart from the obvious design changes visible on its exterior, Honda has made no compromise as far as refinement is considered. Start the CB Unicorn’s 162.71cc, four-stroke, carbureted motor, and you're greeted with a familiar Unicorn engine sound, now with a little more grunt in the exhaust note. There’s also less vibration from this new air-cooled engine. Honda claims the motorcycle will take you up to 106kph. It does take time to build speed further once you're in the higher 90kph range. Reaching there though is no problem at all for this peppy motorcycle.
From the saddle
You sit upright on the CB Unicorn 160 like you do on the older bike – the Unicorn is well suited for city riding. Once you're astride the motorcycle, it is easy to settle into a comfortable position. The seat is longer now, with more room for a pillion. It even has different seat material, making it better suited for longer runs. The long stance of the motorcycle, combined with well-tuned suspension gives it a nice ride quality, keeping it planted on the road at all times. Bringing the CB Unicorn 160 to a stop is now easier – it comes equipped with Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS).
Is it worth the money?
Honda has taken the Unicorn package, which was great to begin with, and made it slightly better. The new 160 manages to retain the character of the old bike, including an air of maturity and level-headedness. It has the same remarkable quality with most of its parts, apart from an engine that is so refined, all the while offering good comfort. It’s definitely one for city commuters.