Honda Shine 100 first ride review: Back to the basics

₹64,900 onwards (ex-showroom)
4.5 out of 5
Pros
  • Alloy wheels
  • Refined engine
Cons
We go back to the basics with the Honda Shine 100 - the new no-nonsense commuter motorcycle from Honda that promises to be solid and simple. Can it wi
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The Honda Shine 100 is the two-wheeler maker's most affordable motorcycle on sale in India (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
The Honda Shine 100 is the two-wheeler maker's most affordable motorcycle on sale in India

The new Honda Shine 100 is the two-wheeler giant’s most affordable motorcycle on sale right now. And naturally, so, this is an extremely important product for the company. It marks Honda’s return to the 100 cc segment in over a decade, at least since the brand was Hero Honda and the Japanese giant is taking the fight to erstwhile partner Hero MotoCorp, one of the leaders in the 100 cc segment with the trusted Shine name, an all-new engine and chassis. Can Honda deliver yet another simple and solidly built product like it did before? Let’s find out.

This isn’t Honda’s first dabble in the mass-market commuter segment. The two-wheeler giant has had offerings like the Dream Yuga and CD110, both powered by 110 cc engines. But the 100 cc segment remained elusive to the brand since its split with Hero. The segment today commands a whopping 28 per cent market share and though it’s on a decline at the moment, Honda is confident it can still capture a substantial chunk with the new Shine 100.

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Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100 borrows several styling cues from the older Shine 125 bringing a familiar look to the motorcycle (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100 borrows several styling cues from the older Shine 125 bringing a familiar look to the motorcycle (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Design

Honda is banking upon the trust created by the Shine 125 - its bestselling motorcycle in India - to trickle down to the Shine 100 as well. The styling is all too familiar with the triangular halogen headlamp, slim fuel tank, five-spoke alloy wheels, and slender frame. The body graphics are also reminiscent of the larger Shine 125. The bodywork is simple and not too fancy and it’ll be difficult to tell the Shine apart from some of its rivals. However, as we’ve seen in the past, familiarity goes a long way in creating trust in the commuter segment. There’s a reason why the Hero Splendor or Bajaj Platina haven’t seen major updates over the years. So, keeping things familiar may not be a bad thing at all in the Shine 100’s case either.

The overall build is basic and so are the quality levels. But everything feels sturdy - from the switchgear to the pillion grab rail. The instrument console remains simple with a speedometer, odometer and other essential tell-tale lights. The Shine 100 is also the most affordable ICE motorcycle to get a self-start. The rearview mirrors are wide enough for a good view of what’s behind and the light kerb weight of 99 kg makes managing the Shine 100 very easy to manage on a standstill.

Honda Shine 100 Review
The feature list is basic with a halogen headlamp and taillight, twin-pod instrument cluster, and 5-spoke alloy wheels gracing the Shine 100 (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
The feature list is basic with a halogen headlamp and taillight, twin-pod instrument cluster, and 5-spoke alloy wheels gracing the Shine 100 (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the Honda Shine 100 are also on point. It gets a wide handlebar with centre-set footpegs that will keep you comfortable even after a day’s worth of riding. The slim fuel tank does take some effort to hold on to. For the pillion, there’s ample space and the same can also double up to carry luggage, which is a common factor with motorcycles in this segment. There are several hook points (not intentionally) as well to fasten a bungee cord on the motorcycle.

Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100's motor feels most refined at speeds up to 60 kmph. The engine is tractable enough and requires minimal gear changes (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100's motor feels most refined at speeds up to 60 kmph. The engine is tractable enough and requires minimal gear changes (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Performance

The Shine 100 is a classic example of why keeping things simple works out the best. Power comes from the newly-developed 98.98 cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine tuned for 7.2 bhp at 7,500 rpm and 8.05 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 rpm, while paired with a 4-speed gearbox. The motor comes with ESP and fuel injection and is now OBD2-compliant and E20 fuel ready, in line with the latest emission norms. So yes, it’s a modern-day package but the construction is pretty simple and so the cost of maintenance should be low as well.

The engine impresses with its low and mid-range performance, which is where most of the power is concentrated. Keep it under 60 kmph and the bike will feel sublime, ready to tackle almost anything. The long ratio four-speed gearbox makes the engine super tractable allowing for minimal gear changes. The gear shifts feel solid and not too clunky while it uses a heel and toe shifter like other traditional commuters.

Move beyond that and you will see the lack of refinement immediately. Vibrations are most apparent at speeds over 70 kmph and you feel them notably around the footpegs and handlebar. The engine too gets quite vocal at higher speeds and not in a good way. The strain is quite apparent and that does sour your riding experience. The small displacement is also more apparent when climbing gradients. This rider is on the heavier side and I did find it stressful to climb uphill, which will also be the case for an average-sized rider with a pillion. But that’s pretty much the only nitpick I’d like to make from the motor. It does nearly as told and at decent speeds, it should keep the owners comfortable.

Honda Shine 100 Review
The ride quality is impressive and so are the ergonomics of the Shine 100. It is no corner carver though (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
The ride quality is impressive and so are the ergonomics of the Shine 100. It is no corner carver though (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Handling and Ride Quality

The Shine 100 is not a corner carver by any means and gets a little wobbly around a sharp bend. The slender frame and slim tyres aren’t exactly designed for cornering action but on most curved roads, the bike offers sufficient ability to handle itself with ease. The Shine 100 also impresses with its ride quality. The slim telescopic front forks and twin shock absorbers at the rear do a fairly good job of keeping you comfortable. The rear feels slightly stiffer while the 677 mm seat is long enough to accommodate the rider and pillion.

The Shine 100 is also pretty accessible with a seat height of 786 mm. That’s inviting for riders of all sizes, without compromising on the ground clearance at 168 mm. We were largely riding on paved roads with the occasional rough road and the bike made its way through most undulations with ease. The ground clearance should be good enough to tackle some nasty bumps as well. Braking performance comes from drum brakes on either end with a combi-braking system as standard. The feedback on the brake lever is average at best and we would’ve liked a sharper bite from the braking setup.

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Honda Shine 100 Review
Honda has not disclosed the official fuel efficiency figures on the Shine 100 (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
Honda has not disclosed the official fuel efficiency figures on the Shine 100 (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Fuel Efficiency

Honda Two-Wheelers India has not revealed the fuel efficiency figures on the Shine 100 but claims to be segment-leading. Most commuters in this space offer about 65-70 kmpl and the Shine 100 should be on par with the same. However, we will get a clearer idea of the same once we test the motorcycle in person in real-world conditions.

Honda Shine 100 - Price

The Honda Shine 100 is priced at 64,900 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for the single fully-loaded variant on sale. This makes it more affordable than the Hero Splendor+ and the HF Deluxe by a good few thousand rupees, while also undercutting the Bajaj Platina 100 in the segment. Honda is offering a three-year warranty as standard on the motorcycle with the option to extend the same by an additional three years.

Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100 ticks all the right boxes of a no-nonsense commuter motorcycle. It now needs to win the trust of its customer (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 Review
The Honda Shine 100 ticks all the right boxes of a no-nonsense commuter motorcycle. It now needs to win the trust of its customer (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 - Verdict

The Shine 100 brings a lot of familiarity with itself in the quest of appealing to a conservative buyer. The Shine name, familiar design language and a simple motor are all things we appreciate about the bike and so will the customer. The motorcycle keeps the template simple and that allows customers to utilise it as they please. The Shine 100 checks all the right boxes when it comes to a no-nonsense commuter motorcycle that’s reliable and efficient. The pricing too is on point and that will play a big role in helping buyers make their decision. However, we now eagerly wait to see if the Shine 100 can win the customer’s trust, which will make all the difference.

First Published Date: 01 May 2023, 12:03 PM IST
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