In January, Honda launched the updated version of its maxi-scooter, the PCX 160 in the Asian market. With Thailand being the first to receive the updated model, rumors abound that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer will subsequently launch updated versions of bikes to feature the new engine.
With rumors of an ADV 160 yet to be confirmed, and those of a CBR160R and CB160R still a long way from even being conceptualized, there is a chance that yet another popular scooter in the Thai market will soon be update with the same 160cc engine found in the new PCX. The Honda Vario 160 is expected to debut sometime this year, starting out with the Thai market, and subsequently making its way to other Southeast Asian countries.
According to numerous Asian motorcycle publications, the new Vario 160 will come equipped with Honda's 157cc single-cylinder engine. Equipped with a four-valve cylinder head, and Honda's eSP+ system, this engine is rated at a healthy 14.7 horsepower. Now you may be wondering, why would Honda go through all the trouble of reengineering an already decent engine for the sake of one or two ponies? As it would turn out, power and performance isn't the name of the game when it comes to little scoots like these. Rather, it's emissions, efficiency, and of course, conforming to global emissions standards such as Euro 5 and BS6 in India.
While increasing displacement may seem to be a counterintuitive approach to achieving efficient and clean-running engines, having more power at a certain RPM, brought about by a slightly stronger engine, is a good way to optimize both efficiency and performance. That said, seeing the entirety of Honda's 150cc range of bikes eventually upgrade to the new 160cc mill isn't too far from reality.
Sources: Netral, iMotorbike