Bajaj V12 vs Honda CB Shine SP 125 have a lot of things in common and the fight between both giants has never been this intense!
The 125cc segment in the Indian automotive market is far more different than what it is worldwide. There, the game is more about performance for people who are just entering the motorcycling market. Here in India, the commuter layout of the product offers buyer more punch over the 100cc motorcycle in every manner. Let it be design or performance. The market is ruled by Hero Motocorp with the highest sales in the category with the now discontinued Ignitor and now there are the existing Glamour twins and the Super Splendor. However, Honda’s CB shine has taken the position some time earlier and returned it back to Hero again.
There is a new player in the market with a very successful package that we saw with a higher capacity engine last year in the form of a 150cc. The V15 was a tremendously good package and had all the things required in the category with patriotism attached. There is something waiting for it in this segment and that is the premium CB Shine SP. Both bikes are quite similar but then again they are different. We pit them together to tell you which is the best.
When it comes to the design the V12 looks very different than all its peers. The motorcycle has a cruiser stance with a large tank that is shaped differently than anything else in this segment. The front can be a mismatch for some people, but the predator inspired headlight also does the job quite well. The rear is minimalist with a large LED tail-lamp. Shine SP on the other hand is very conventional in design. With a small fuel tank, stubby and short stance.
The rear has a proper tail-piece and there is a non-led chunky tail-lamp offered. The headlight of the Shine SP has been well crafted. What works in the V12 favor over its rival is a large exhaust, a side panel, which has the unique badge and the Vikrant insignia on the tank which makes it truly stand out.
Speedo and Switches
When it comes to the switches, both motorcycles miss on an engine kill switch and provide with the usual functions. There is pass light switch on both these motorcycles. Speedo on both motorcycles offer the usual tell tale lights, odometer, speedometer and both miss on tachometer. Shine offers a digital meter which showcases trip meters and fuel gauge, which is now missing on the 125cc variant of the V series.
Both have upright riding position but the V12 offers a more commanding position as it has slightly rear set pegs, raised handlebars and distance between the seat and handlebar is slightly higher. The CB Shine SP has typical front set footpegs and upright position with raised handlebars that are more front biased. While CB Shine SP offers a longer seat, the V12 is just about does the job and is regular in size when compared to the larger typical seat on the Shine SP 125. V12 offers a cowl which can turn the bike into single seat to make it look cool too. Both bikes offer good visibility RVM positioning for rider. Grab rail for pillion are chunky and good to hold on both motorcycles.
Engine and Gearbox
When it comes to performance on the road, both motorcycles offer a subtle amount of low-end torque and a healthy mid range. Surprisingly the top-end power on both motorcycles is good as there is a 5-speed gearbox seen on these motorcycles which helps extract power or cruise at higher speeds in a stress free manner. However, the overall rideablity in the Shine SP is down a bit because of the extremely tall gearing on offer along with wider powerband on offer. V12 counters that with a narrow power band and slightly shorter and more apt gearing and does the job in the city extremely well and on the highway.
Roll on the throttle in both motorcycles in any gear and any speed, it is the V12 which emerges forward while the Shine SP does catch up, it takes a bit of time to get into the power band. There are similarities in one case, and that is, surprisingly, Bajaj does all of this, with a lot refinement, less vibrations and while providing a good throaty exhaust note too.
Dare we say both motorcycles offer similar level of refinement this time as both motorcycles tend to offer a wee bit of vibration when pushed hard. Comparison is more apparent this time as both engines have same air-cooled, 2-valve layout on offer. Both bikes offer around 55 km/l in the city and 60 km/l on the highway.
Dynamically, it is a close call again. Both motorcycle are different when it comes to chassis and suspension setup. The Bajaj uses a dual cradle frame while the Shine SP uses a single down tube frame. The Shine SP is 9 kgs lighter than the V12 and offers better prospect on paper. However, the V12 does not reflect it weight when it comes to handling the bike in the city or in the corners. It remains nimble in the city and agile while cornering. The fat knobbly tyres on the V12 and slim tyre on the CB Shine SP do their job well, but the V12 offers a small amount of ability to take off-roads and beaten paths quite well. The fatter front forks and gas charged suspension over the Shine SP, does give it a more taut feel and flawless feel over any kind of road.
Highway stability and the ride quality is compliant on both these motorcycles. The Shine SP feels more conventional to ride and does its job really well. However, the sportier motorcycle is the V12 with a good engine and chassis combo. Shine offers CBS and disc brake as option while drum brakes on both end are offered with the V12. V12 lacks both of them, but Bajaj says it will introduce it soon. Both bikes do a great job at bringing the bike at halt at any given speed.
Bajaj V12 vs Honda CB Shine SP 125 Review, Verdict
Overall, the Shine SP does a great job this time and gets very close to the new offering despite being a product in the market for some time. V12 uses the advantage and gets the motorcycle spot on too. A commuter comparison hasn’t been this close as both are equal good in many areas. This is a big feat for Bajaj as the engine is refined and offers stress free commuting with its product. Bajaj goes one notch and prices the V12 quite aggressively and under cut its rival seriously while offering more bang for the buck in every way and hence it win this comparison.
Bajaj V12 Price: Rs. 70,604
Honda CB Shine Sp Price: Rs. 74,146
On-road price Mumbai
Bajaj V12 vs Honda CB Shine SP 125 Review