At the recent Honda Canada press gathering to discus the new 2008 models, we were given an update on how their CBR125R bike and starter package was doing.
According to Honda Canada’s Warren Milner (the driving force behind getting the bike into Canada), sales have been better than expected with the initial load of 1,500 units selling out within two months of their arrival. In fact they’d originally tried to get 3,000 units, but the factory was unable to deliver.
This won’t be the case for 2008, with 3,000 units already on their way and an option to bring in an additional 2,000 if they wish. If all these are sold (and Honda sees no reason why they won’t), the CBR125R will likely be the biggest selling bike in Canada – pushing out Yamaha’s BW50 scooter with current annual sales of 2,500.
As expected, the current starter package will be maintained for 2008 – although the MSRP on the bike will rise by $100, monthly payments will remain the same, with the $100 added to the down payment. Although Honda expects that other OEMs may try and get a slice of this new market, they’re confident that they can’t be beat on price – something likely to be very true as the CBR125R is actually sold at a slight loss.
They also plan to launch a model-specific race series based on the bike, connected to the Canadian Superbike national series and will launch the details at the upcoming Toronto Motorcycle Show in December.
So the next question is, where will this success lead Honda in the future? Well, they’re already looking into possible ‘step-up’ models – something sporty for under $5k and wrapped up in a similar package with good trade-in options for anyone with a CBR125R. No word yet on what that bike will be, but to keep costs down they alluded that it’ll most likely be a single in the range of 250 to 400 cc.