Honda Shine 100 First Ride Review: Back to Basics


The new Honda Shine 100 is the most affordable motorcycle currently on sale from the two-wheeler giant. Naturally, this is an extremely important product for the company. It marks Honda’s return to the 100 cc segment in more than a decade, at least since the brand was Hero Honda, and the Japanese giant is taking on erstwhile partner Hero MotoCorp, one of the leaders in the 100 cc segment. One, with the trusted Shine name, an all-new engine and chassis. Can Honda offer another product that is as simple and strong as before? Let’s find out.

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Sameer Fayaz Contractor

Updated on:
May 1, 2023 at 12:03 am

The Honda Shine 100 is the most affordable motorcycle sold by the two-wheeler maker in India (HT Auto/Kunal Thale)
Honda Shine 100 is the most affordable motorcycle sold by two-wheeler maker in India (HT Automotive/Kunal Thale)

This isn’t Honda’s first foray into the mass-market commuter market. The two-wheeler giant offers products like the Dream Yuga and CD110, both powered by a 110 cc engine. But since parting ways with Hero, the 100 cc segment remains out of reach for the brand. Today, the segment holds a whopping 28 percent market share, and although it’s currently in decline, Honda believes it can still capture a sizeable share with the new Shine 100.

The Honda Shine 100 borrows several styling cues from the older Shine 125, bringing a familiar look to the motorcycle

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

Honda Shine 100 – Design

Honda is banking on the trust built up with the Shine 125 (its best-selling motorcycle in India) and seeping it into the Shine 100. The triangular halogen headlights, slender fuel tank, five-spoke alloy wheels and slender frame are all too familiar. The body graphics are also reminiscent of the larger Shine 125. The body is simple and unfancy, and it is difficult to distinguish the Shine from its competitors. However, as we’ve seen in the past, familiarity goes a long way in building trust among groups of commuters. There’s a reason Hero Splendor or Bajaj Platina haven’t seen a major update in years. So in the case of the Shine 100, familiarity probably isn’t such a bad thing either.

The overall build is basic, as is the level of quality. But everything feels solid – from the switchgear to the rear seat armrest. The instrument cluster is kept simple, with a speedometer, odometer and other important indicators. The Shine 100 is also the most affordable internal combustion engine self-starting motorcycle. The mirrors are wide enough to provide a clear view of what’s behind, while a light 99kg curb weight makes managing the Shine 100 from a standstill very easy.

Ergonomic, the Shine 100 will keep you comfortable over long distances

Ergonomic, the Shine 100 will keep you comfortable over long distances (HT Automotive/Kunal Thale)

Honda Shine 100 – Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the Honda Shine 100 are also important. It has a wide handlebar with center set footpegs to keep you comfortable even after a day of riding. The slender fuel tank does take some effort to grip. For the rear seat, there’s plenty of room, which can also double as luggage, a common factor for motorcycles in this segment. There are a couple of hook points (not intended) as well as bungee cords to secure the bike to the bike.

Honda Shine 100 – Performance

Shine 100 is a prime example of why keeping it simple works best. Power comes from a newly developed 98.98 cc single-cylinder fuel-injected engine producing 7.2 bhp at 7,500 rpm and peak torque of 8.05 Nm at 5,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed gearbox. Equipped with ESP and fuel injection, the motor is now OBD2 compliant and ready for E20 fuel, meeting the latest emission standards. So yes, it’s a modern package, but with a very simple structure, so maintenance should also be low.

The engine impresses with its low- and mid-range performance, which is where most of the power is concentrated. Keep it under 60km/h and the bike feels great and can handle almost anything. The long-ratio four-speed transmission makes the engine super tractable, allowing for minimal gear changes. Shifts feel firm without being too cumbersome, and at the same time it uses heel-and-toe shifters like other traditional commuters.

Go beyond that and you’ll immediately see the lack of improvement. The vibrations are most pronounced at speeds above 70 km/h, where you can clearly feel vibrations around the pedals and handlebars. The engine is also loud at higher speeds, and not very well. The pressure is very noticeable and it really affects your riding experience. Small displacements are also more noticeable when climbing hills. This rider is on the heavy side and I did find the uphills stressful, even for an average build rider with a backseat. But that’s pretty much the only nitpick I want to make with the motor. It pretty much does what it says and at a decent pace, it should keep the owner comfortable.

Honda Shine 100 – Handling and Ride Quality

The Shine 100 isn’t a corner carver by any means and can be a little wobbly in tight corners. The slender frame and slender tires aren’t designed for cornering, but on most curvy roads the bike offers enough power to handle it with ease. The Shine 100’s ride quality is also impressive. Slim telescopic forks and dual shocks in the rear do a good job of keeping you comfortable. The rear feels slightly stiffer, while the 677mm seat length is more than enough for the rider and rear seat.

With a seat height of 786mm, the Shine 100 is also easily accessible. This will appeal to riders of all sizes without compromising the 168mm of ground clearance. We rode mostly paved roads with occasional bumps, and the bike navigated most ups and downs with ease. Ground clearance should also be enough to handle some nasty bumps. Stopping performance comes from drum brakes at both ends, with a combined brake system fitted as standard. Feedback on the brake levers was average at best, and we wish the brakes had a sharper bite.

Honda Shine 100 – Fuel Efficiency

Honda Two-Wheelers India is yet to reveal the fuel efficiency figures for the Shine 100, but claims it is segment-leading. Most commuters in this space offer around 65-70 kmmpl and the Shine 100 should be on par with that. However, we’ll have a clearer picture of this once we test the motorcycle ourselves in real-world conditions.

Honda Shine 100 – Price

The Honda Shine 100 is priced at ¥64,900 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for a single fully loaded model. This makes it several thousand rupees cheaper than the Hero Splendor+ and HF Deluxe, while also being 100 less than the Bajaj Platina in the segment. Honda backs the motorcycle with a three-year warranty, with the option to extend it for another three years.

Honda Shine 100 – Verdict

The Shine 100 brings a lot of familiarity to appeal to conservative buyers. The Shine name, familiar design language and simple motor are all things we appreciate about this bike, and so do our customers. Motorcycle keeps the template simple and allows clients to use it however they want. The Shine 100 ticks all the right boxes for a reliable and efficient utility commuter motorcycle. The pricing is also just right, which will play a big role in helping buyers decide. However, we are now eagerly waiting to see if the Shine 100 earns the trust of customers, which will be very important.

First published date: May 1, 2023 at 12:03pm CST

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