Unicorn160: What’s the difference from the 0ld 149 cc 0riginal?

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The 0riginal 0ld Unicorn came to me for test on 23.April.2007 (eight years ago) when I was bikeguru at www.indiabike.com which is now (2015) defunct since two years. In the OWNERs MANUAL which everybody gets with the bike, the official model code for the 0ld Unicorn was/is written as CBF150Q. What was it like? What does the code mean? I guess CB stands for timing chain. Earlier, before timing chain, even Honda used push-rod engine (which all Bullets use even today), for which the code was CG, but by end of 1973, Honda of Japan switched over completely to timing chain engines. What does the ‘Q’ in CBF150Q mean? Does it mean Quantum Core? WTF is quantum core? I dunn0, I am stoopid. Other auto-journos would probably be as clever as me.

The eight year old Unicorn hard copy manual mentions a swept volume of 149.2 cc having bore X stroke as 57.3 X 57.8, giving a stroke/bore ratio of 57.8/57.3=1.008726. The Compression Ratio (CR) in the hard copy manual is given as 9.1.

At 18:00 hrs on Thu.19.March.2015 the new Unicorn160, as given in the website at http://www.honda2wheelersindia.com/CBUnicorn160/index.html

Has the same 57.3 mm bore as the old Unicorn 149cc, but the stroke is increased to 63 mm, giving it a stroke/bore ratio of 63/57.3=1.0994764, having a swept volume of 162.71 cc. The Compression Ratio (CR) is increased to 10.1. The power of this 160 cc new Unicorn is 10.82 kw=14.5 bhp=14.71 ps at 8000 rpm.

While the old hard copy manual of the old Unicorn does not give power, torque and rpm figures, the HMSI website http://www.honda2wheelersindia.com/unicorn/specifications.html currently (at the date mentioned above) gives max net power as 9.8 kw=13.14 bhp=13.33 ps at 8500 rpm and max net torque of 12.84 Nm at 5500 rpm, while the swept volume is shown as 149.1 cc.

While the bigger new160 Unicorn has slightly more power, that is 0.4 kw=0.536 bhp=0.544 ps, the most significant advantage of the new 160 Unicorn is that the max power is developed at 8000 rpm which is 500 rpm less than the old 149 cc Unicorn. Thus the Engine Life Factor (ELF) of the new160 Unicorn is 1.2376, while that of the old 149 cc Unicorn is 1.2928, which means the old Unicorn will have 4.46% longer life than new 160 Unicorn, which is relatively insignificant. Even though the 0ld Unicorn runs at 500 max rpm higher than new Unicorn, the 0ld Unicorn has a higher ELF because of the Lower CR. The max torque in the 0ld Unicorn happens at 5500 rpm as compared to 6000 rpm in the new 160 Unicorn, which is another contributor to the higher ELF and 4.46% longer life of the 0ld Unicorn.

The biggest advantage of the new 160 Unicorn is Low End Torque=L.E.T. With a stroke/bore ratio which is 9% higher than the old Unicorn, the new 160 Unicorn will have 9% better Low End Torque characteristics than the old one, which means the new 160 Unicorn will have 9% better traffic-ability and will require 9% less gear change-ing effort. This is as per Archimedes Law which is: Mechanical Advantage X Velocity Ratio==1. Always!

The new 160 Unicorn has a shorter 1324 mm wheelbase compared to 1340 mm of the old one. The new 160 Unicorn at 135 kg is also 11 kg lighter than the old 146 kg Unicorn.

While the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn runs of 18-inch tires, the new 160 Unicorn runs on 17-inch tires. Both have 240 mm disc brake in front and 130 mm drum brake in the rear. The 160 has a higher profile front tire (80/100) and a lower profile (110/80) rear tire as compared to the older Unicorn which has 2.75 x 18 front tire and 100/90 rear tire. This is NOT very significant, since the difference is very little.

So if both the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn and New 160 cc Unicorn are available which one to buy?

If you want 4.46% longer life, go for the 0ld 149 cc Unicorn. Is 4.46% important?

If you want 9% better and easier CiTY DRiVE-ABiLiTY, go for new 160 cc Unicorn. Is 9% important?

The difference in mileage/average will be less than 3% which is negligible and inconsequential.

The suspension on both is same so the ride quality (hardness/softness) will be same.

The difference is buying price will not be much, with the 0ld one costing slightly less.

Both bikes will be able to go above 100 kph. Top speed of both will be almost same.

Headlight power/brightness of both is 35 watts, so both will be equally bright.

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