Sporty commuters in the form of scooters and underbones dominate the urban roads of most Asian cities. These bikes, mostly foreign to the eyes of the western world, combine the sporty styling of naked and sportbikes with the utility of scooters. Nearly all major Japanese manufacturers have an extensive lineup of sporty commuters or underbones specific to the Asian market.
Unsurprisingly, this segment accounts for a bulk of their sales, even in comparison to the predominantly premium segment in the European and the U.S. markets. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and India serve as key markets for most motorcycle manufacturers in Asia. In Malaysia, in particular, Honda has released a sporty commuter shod in MotoGP-derived livery in the form of the RS-X Repsol Edition. Limited to just 5,000 units, the RS-X Repsol Edition offers commuters the chance to own a MotoGP replica they can use on a daily basis to commute to school or work. It’s pretty cheap, too, at just RM9,550, or the equivalent of $2,191 USD.
The RS-X Repsol Edition is based on the humble RS-X underbone commuter. It’s equipped with a 149.16cc single-cylinder engine, and pumps out 15.8 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, and 10 ft-lbs of torque at 7,000 rpm. Sure, these power figures will ensure that this machine is left in the dust in contrast to the Honda RC213V, but hey, there’s no denying that it looks a lot faster than it really is, and in the urban jungle, I think it’s just right. While the RS-X surely doesn’t have speed and power on its side, it does have frugality and fuel efficiency.
It boasts Honda’s PGM-Fi electronic fuel-injection, and transfers power to the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission. Other features include front and rear disc brakes equipped with a rudimentary single-channel ABS system. A standard telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front, while a preload-adjustable monoshock takes the load at the back. A digital LCD instrument panel boasts a gear position indicator—something that’s a premium feature in the commuter segment, as well as all the basic riding information you could need. A 4.5-liter gas tank ensures ample range, and will likely last you several days, depending on the extent of your daily commute.