In Asia and Europe, motorcycle manufacturers have been rolling out small-capacity, retro-style machines to satisfy the growing fashion-conscious entry-level market. This definitely works to the favor of manufacturers, too, as there is definitely a “retro-tax” being implemented on these stylish machines. I mean, there’s definitely a reason why the Yamaha XSR700 costs $800 USD more than the MT-07, despite the two being identical beneath the skin.
That being said, there haven’t been as many retro-inspired bikes in the market as there are today. Honda, particularly Wuyang-Honda, the Japanese company’s Chinese subsidiary, has released the 2022 CB190SS, a beginner-friendly retro-modern roadster. Unlike Honda’s other CB naked sportbikes which follow the company’s Neo Sports Café design language, the CB190SS employs more traditional styling, accentuated by wire-spoke wheels. It, too, brings a flavor of modernity thanks to LED lights, a digital instrument panel, and premium-looking inverted forks.
It’s clear to see that Honda has paid close attention to the finer details when it comes to the fit and finish of the CB190SS. The roadster gets a very slim build, giving it a classic café racer aesthetic. The tail section, in particular, is cropped and features a one-piece, two-up saddle. The fuel tank sits atop a faux carburetor, for that authentic classic bike appeal. It gets an analogue-digital instrument panel housed in an asymmetrical circular pod which sits slightly off-center on the handlebar. Last but not least, the large, circular headlight gets full LED lighting, lending itself for a modern appeal.
On the performance side of things, the CB190SS is very docile and approachable. Equipped with an air-cooled, fuel-injected, 184cc, single-cylinder motor, it pumps out the better part of 17 horsepower. This much power is far from being adequate for use on U.S. freeways, however, it’s just right for urban duty, especially in China and neighboring Asian countries’ dense urban cities. It retails in China for CNY 16,980, or the equivalent of $2,656 USD.