Twist, bend and turn
One of the best looking models in the 110cc segment, the CB Twister boasts perfect fit and finish
The 110cc CB Twister is a commuter motorcycle that looks like no other Indian commuter bike to date. Honda claims that it has perfected every aspect of its new motorcycle but sales-driven companies usually have much to say at the time of a product launch. Therefore, it took a no-holds-barred road test to tell you what's true, and what's not.
When you first set your eyes upon the CB Twister, you won't believe it's a commuter bike. Sharply styled with cues from the designed-in-Europe CB1000R, Honda's new 110cc motorcycle does without the clutter of many decals.
Much of its mass is concentrated forward and close to its centre of gravity. Six ‘V'-shaped spokes frame the CB's attractive black alloy wheels, the same shade coating much of the bike including its front forks, handlebar, side and rear cowls, engine and stubby silencer. Honda is offering five metallic paint shades with its new bike.
A bright headlight nestles within the Twister's angular front fairing, which houses smartly laid out instruments in an eye-catching and legible format. The Twister gets a bold speedometer and fuel level indicator. It has a pair of angular, functional mirrors and smooth-to-operate switchgear but the bike lacks a pass-light flasher. Soft palm grips and nicely shaped control levers add to the feel-good factor.
The Twister's eight-litre fuel tank is muscular and attractive, providing adequate thigh support but lacks a hinged filler lid. The tank is home to a set of nice front cowls, which can sometimes interfere with a tall rider's knees.
The CB Twister's side panels and seat merge seamlessly into the rear, and Honda's stylists have come up with a design master stroke which is evident in the brilliant manner in which the rear grab bar integrates into the fairing. The tail is handsome, with a smartly tapered mudguard and red damper springs. A sporty touch to the CB is its exposed drive chain. And Honda has provided its latest bike with a maintenance-free battery.
The CB Twister leads the way with excellent overall quality, perfect fit and finish, as well as enviable attention to detail.
The CB Twister is powered by a four-stroke, single-cylinder engine that displaces 109cc and produces maximum power of 9bhp at 8000rpm. Its twin valves operate via a high-lift camshaft with a twin-pocket air jacket being part of this efficient air-cooling system.
A highlight to Honda's new engine is its long intake funnel, leading from the carburettor to the combustion cavity. The crankshaft sits offset in the interest of good utilisation of combustion energy, and friction-minimising methods like rocker arms equipped with roller bearings are standard. The CB Twister deploys a viscous type air-filter unit for good breathing, while its silencer-mounted catalytic converter launders emissions.
This new Honda has a light clutch feel and a well-weighted and positive feeling gearshift quality. Shifting is in the universal, one-down, three-up pattern via a toe-only shift lever.
The Twister has perfectly spaced gear ratios and a soft, yet healthy exhaust note. Throttle response is instant and this light (108kg) motorcycle benefits a peppy, enthusiastic feel that belies its 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 surface, at which point the speedometer needle hovers just over the 100kph mark.
The Twister comes with a different frame. As with a single downtube frame, the CB also deploys its engine as a stressed member but sends a pair of arms down from its steering column pivot to hold the engine. Suspension is telescopic forks up front, with a pair of hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear, along with a rigid, rectangle section swingarm.
Honda has got the ergonomics on this bike spot-on, with the riding posture comfortably upright and riding saddle perfectly padded. The CB Twister comes with 17-inch wheels at both ends, and our test bike came shod with a pair of tubeless MRF tyres that offered excellent traction.
Ride quality is set a touch towards firm, with handling taut and precise at all times. Perfect for quick manoeuvring through crowded traffic, the CB Twister steers with a neutral and light feel. Cornering manners and straightline stability are commendable, as is braking.
The Twister comes with the option of a 240mm disc brake; our disc brake-equipped test bike came to a halt from 60kph in 17.33 metres. Brake feel at both the levers is progressive and reassuring.
Honda's reputation as a world leader in motorcycle technology is not without reason. The CB Twister managed to run 57.2 kilometres on one litre of fuel in city conditions, despite its admirable performance. It bettered this figure to 61.3kpl on its highway run.
If there is a problem that Honda has to urgently address, then it is to reduce the long waiting period for its bikes. The CB Twister will surely add to that list, while on its way to becoming a huge blockbuster for its manufacturer.
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