Biker Boy: Foolproof, bulletproof bike
The Honda RS150R is an economical everyday motorcycle good for newbies
You can see why people love motorcycles such as the Honda RS150R - they are easy to operate and maintain, going the distance without gorging on fuel.
Nearly 60 years ago, when Honda first introduced the Super Cub, it attracted a legion of fans who wanted a bulletproof motorcycle for daily commutes.
The RS150R, which sounds racy with its RS tag, comes from the same lineage but it fits the image of a modern and improved everyday bike.
LOOK & DESIGN
The chiselled RS150R proudly displays the HRC racing colours, while ventilation slits on the bodywork cool the engine parts.
Look at the bike's front, just below the headlamp, and you will notice some similarities to the sportier Honda CBR600RR - there appears to be a familiar slot that leads to an airbox.
The RS150R's exhaust pipe is visually exciting, with a modern cover and end cap.
The four-stroke bike is not intimidating - hands rest naturally on the handlebar and feet are firmly on the tarmac.
Cockpit space is generous, but it may take some getting used to as your knees are not able to grip the fuel tank.
The 149cc and fuel-injected bike has an underseat 4.5-litre fuel tank.
POWER & HANDLING
There is not much power or top speed to the RS150R, but that is to be expected even for its rival, the Yamaha Sniper 150.
With around 15.6hp and about 14Nm of torque, the RS150R, which has a double overhead cam design on its single-cylinder engine, is an excellent bike for newbies.
At 5,000rpm, its digital speedo with an analogue tachometer read about 65kmh in sixth gear - yes, you will need to work the revs to hit higher speeds on the water-cooled bike. But you will not lose control when you accidentally twist the throttle too keenly.
The electric and kick-start RS150R's strengths lie in its ability to conserve fuel while still having some "oomph" in real-world situations, particularly in city start-stop riding.
The throttle response is not jerky, and the bike is designed to turn on a dime.
When traffic comes to a crawl, the RS150R cruises between vehicles and makes directional changes easily due to its compact size and light 123kg body weight.
But keep an eye out for nasty bumps - its rudimentary suspension will protest and jolt if you find yourself going over one. The key is maintaining a smooth throttle hand while leaned over in bends.
The Nissin-equipped RS150R requires more grip on the brake lever for better braking action as it lacks initial bite.
What was initially thought to be a faulty fuel gauge turned out to be the RS150R's fuel economy at work - the fuel gauge dropped by only a bar after close to 50km of riding.
One distraction is the placement of the horn on the left side of the handlebar. When reaching for the turn signal button with your left thumb, you may end up sounding the horn.
The Euro 3 spec RS150R needs little technology - its main purpose is to get from points A to B cheaply.
You cannot go wrong with the RS150R if you are looking for fuel economy or ease of operation.
- Make & model: Honda RS150R
- Capacity: 149cc
- Engine: Fuel-injected and water-cooled single-cylinder
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Machine price: 4,600, inclusive of 15 per cent Additional Registration Fee.
For more details, contact Boon Siew Singapore at 6339-9002.