Honda dreams big with its latest commuter bike Yuga. Ashley Baxter has the details

Honda has launched the Dream Yuga, the first of Honda’s famous ‘Dream’ range of bikes in India — in essence, a plain-Jane sibling of the CB Twister 110.

The Honda-typical beak-type headlamp and cowl are softened, with a smooth and simple look. Twin-pod instruments sit sheltered behind the cowl. The left pod houses a bold, easily read speedometer, with an odometer nestled in the middle, while the other houses the fuel level indicator and the basic telltale lights. There is no trip meter.

Angular rear-view mirrors on the matte black handlebar look smart. Unlike the more expensive Honda CBR150R, the Dream Yuga thankfully features a pass flash switch, while the high-beam button is push-operated.

Further aft, the eight-litre fuel tank tapers gently as it swoops back toward the riding seat, with fine horizontal ridges creating light knee recesses. The filler cap is a familiar, chromed Honda unit. Stylish side panels give the Dream Yuga some muscle, their boomerang shape mimicking the CB Shine closely.

The rear panels look smart, flowing from the side panels into a big tail lamp. A chunky, cast-alloy pillion grab bar is another attractive touch on the Dream Yuga.

The style factor is significantly upped by this bike’s lower half, where the front fork sliders, smart six-spoke alloy wheels, engine, exhaust system and full chain cover are all finished in black.

Overall quality is of high standards expected on Honda bikes, and gives the Dream Yuga a built-to-last feel.

The Dream Yuga deploys the same four-stroke, single-cylinder 109cc engine that powers the CB Twister. It uses a single camshaft to operate its two valves, while a carburettor meters fuel. Apart from a twin-pocket air-cooling system, the Dream Yuga engine uses an offset crank and a viscous-type air filter for better efficiency. The Dream Yuga engine is smooth and quiet right from idle, delivering a wide spread of power that makes riding the Honda easy. The bottom end offers a smooth, silken response, while throttle inputs in the mid-range are even more rewarding, laced with a hint of sportiness. The Honda remains smooth even high up in its rev range, although revving it up is of little use as the power then tails off very quickly.

The clutch is well-weighted and progressive. Like the Twister, the Dream Yuga also uses a four-speed gearbox, but the shift pattern has been changed to the archaic all-up pattern, with a heel-and-toe shift lever. Gearshifts are fault-free, a light tap being all that is required to switch cogs with a reassuring snick.

Well-chosen ratios ally with the torquey engine to make city commuting effortless. The Dream Yuga is flexible enough to pull cleanly from speeds under 30kph in top gear.

It accelerates from a standstill to 60kph in 7.69 seconds and boasts a true 95kph top speed. The performance is peppier than 110cc offerings from other manufacturers, although it understandably trails a little behind its sportier sibling, the faster CB Twister.

Honda’s Dream Yuga delivers a true-blue commuter bike experience, using a single downtube frame with its engine bolted in as a stressed member, while the rear swingarm is a rectangular unit. The wheelbase is 1285mm — slightly longer than the Shine — and the Dream Yuga shows off a long, well-padded, wide seat that easily accommodates two hefty adults.

The handlebar is positioned low and comfortably within reach. Good ergonomics make this a comfortable bike for riders of most heights. Telescopic forks and adjustable twin hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear work together and deliver good ride quality.

There’s a hint of firmness at low speed that’s evident over light ridges, but the suspension is adept at dealing with big bumps and potholes. It never bottoms out, not even with a heavy rider and pillion.

The Dream Yuga features 80/100 x 18-inch tubeless tyres at both ends on the alloy wheel variants, while the spoke-wheeled Dream Yuga comes with Tuff-Up tubes. The larger 18-inch rims improve the Dream Yuga’s ability to take on poor roads.

The Dream Yuga is light and steers easily at low speeds, without feeling nervy at higher velocities. Around corners, the high-grip MRF tyres and long wheelbase combine to impart a sense of confidence.

We wish Honda had granted the Dream Yuga a front disc brake, for its front and rear drum brakes don’t offer as reassuring a feel. We managed to stop the Dream Yuga from 60kph in 20.28 metres.

The Dream Yuga delivered good results, giving us 58.3kpl in the city and a highway efficiency of 61.8kpl. The Dream Yuga (Rs. 44,642 – ex-showroom, Delhi) then has what it takes to give Honda’s mass market innings a dream start.