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IN CONVERSATION WITH SAURABH JYOTI| ON HONDA XR 190L: THE SUCCESSOR

Honda Nepal has added another product in its arsenal with the introduction of the XR 190L. The XR 190L is all set to be the successor of the legendary Honda XL 185. Till date the XL 185 has a huge following, addressing this, Honda has launched the modern iteration of the XL 185, – the 184.4 cc” Honda XR 190L. The XR 190 has a bevy of features like spoked rims, long travel suspension, a reliable air-cooled engine and PGM-Fi(Fuel Injection) which makes it a perfect off roader. To talk more about this bike we had the chance to catch up with Saurabh Jyoti, Director at Jyoti Group of Companies and Chairman of Syakar Trading Company.

WHAT MAKES THE XR 190 L THE SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR TO THE ICONIC XL 185?

The distribution of XL 185 and XL 125 was initiated in Nepal in 1982. At that time, it was the epitome for the bikes in Nepal. When people used to see a bike in the street, they automatically thought it was a Honda, it was synonymous with bikes. It set a trend because at that moment, taking into consideration the poor road condition and environment, it was a go anywhere bike, so it was doing good in Nepal. But in 1998, the production came to halt in Japan. After that, the bikes from India started to enter in the Nepalese market, which was available for a lower price due to lower cost of production and mass production. Even though, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India had entered the market, there were no bikes in the off-road segment and the bike enthusiasts who wanted an off-road bike succumbed to a certain kind of void. So as to fill that void, many competitor brands started to emerge. But we didn’t have a product in that segment for a long time. Even the customers were demanding that Honda should re-introduce off-road bikes such as the XL185 and XL125. After a lot of research we identified the new XR 190L, in terms of specification and power to be of similar capacity with the XL 185 and suitable for Nepal’s road condition. I think that’s how the XR190L is a successor to the XL 185.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE USP OF THE XR 190L?

The XR190L is the first motorcycle in this segment with a PGM-FI (Fuel Injection) which makes it a capable all-terrain motorcycle. Whether you are riding here in the city or in an altitude of above 3000 meters, the performance of the bike will not be affected as the fueling is automatically controlled. In other bikes, the performance will drop by a significant 30-40% when you take it to altitudes above 3000 meters which is not a matter of worry in the XR190L. The PGM-FI is a new technology; there won’t be any problem even if you are riding it on an on-off road, high altitude or possibly anywhere. In addition to all that, Honda being an environmentally conscious company, PGM-FI gives you the right amount of fuel at the right time, which means the fuel combustion is on point with the throttle combustion and it’s less polluting as the bike won’t be using more fuel than it requires and will have lesser emissions. So, it is a key factor that separates the bike from others in the segment.

Other than that, the XR 190L has a high ground clearance but comes with a low seat height, which makes it suitable for short riders as well. With 12 liters fuel capacity, you won’t have to re-fuel every now and then during long rides. So, all-in-all the XR190L is an all-around motorcycle filling in the void many people have faced in this particular bike segment.

AS OF NOW, HONDA HAS TWO LINES OF OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES, THE CRF AND THE XR, WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER?

XR 150 is one of the highest selling off-road motorcycles, but it’s for entry-level motorcyclists who are looking to start exploring off-road/adventure riding. Whereas, the XR 190L can be assumed as an upgrade to the XR 150 in terms of power, technology and performance. And of course, if you are a professional rider and want more power, we have the CRF 250L for you. So they all are from different segment, ranging from the entry level to more advanced and professional level. The CRF 250 can sometimes be a little too extreme for new riders whereas the XR 190L is an on-off road bike which can be easily used on a day to day basis.

WHO DO YOU THINK ARE THE MAIN COMPETITORS OF HONDA IN THIS SEGMENT?

In this segment, Honda is already the market leader, so we don’t consider anyone as our competitor. We always work on improving our products in terms of technology, quality, durability and reliability. So, now along with launching new products we are also focusing on improving the after-sales service, spare parts and customer satisfaction which falls in our main priority list.

WHAT SALES FIGURE ARE YOU HOPING TO REACH THIS YEAR? HOW EQUIPPED ARE HONDA’S AFTER-SALES SERVICE OF THE XR 190L?

The initial sales target would be around 600 units annually which we aim to increase year by year. Regarding the after sales service, the product was only introduced after we had full preparation and trainings done for our service staffs and spare parts. So, the spare parts will be easily available and service staffs are well trained to service the XR190L. We will also be opening a few new service centers of big bikes exclusively. All the Honda Service Centers are fully capable to provide the after sales service to its customers.

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