Honda CB Shine SP vs Honda Livo: Comparison Review

Published On Jul 25, 2016 By Janak Sorap for Honda Shine SP

With 110cc commuters getting closer than ever before to 125cc motorcycles, we thought it would be a good idea to ride the Honda Livo and CB Shine SP back to back and see how close they are!

Browsing through brochures and scratching your head to choose your first motorcycle? The modern buyer in the commuter segment aspires for more than just the ‘kitna deti hai?’ question. It needs to be stylish, modern and appealing, yet not burn a hole in your pocket. Manufacturers are offering multiple variants of their existing products today, and with this, the price gap between the 110cc and 125cc has reduced noticeably. And interestingly, it’s the more premium variants of the 110cc segment that are priced closer to the 125s that are doing well, especially with urban buyers.

This can confuse maybe not all but many buyers as to which bike to go for. And Honda’s recent success in these segments needs no introduction. Which is why we’ve decided to take two of their ‘premium’ products, namely the Livo, which is a rather stylish 110cc motorcycle, and the CB Shine SP, which is the more premium, five-speed gearbox equipped version of the Shine. And riding the bikes back to back has been quite a revelation!

Design & Features:

Honda CB Shine SP: 8/10

Honda Livo: 6/10

The CB Shine SP and Livo share design cues in several ways. Both bikes get trapezoidal headlamp units that are accompanied by blacked-out visors for added effect. While the CB Shine SP comes with a set of graphics on its body panels, the Livo shows off its edgy tank extensions. Moving to the rear, the Livo’s tail light sits inside a body coloured cowl with an alloy grab rail. The CB Shine SP, on the other hand, gets a combination of body coloured as well as matte finish plastics surrounding the tail light and get a soft PVC coated grab rail that offers more grip and comfort to hold. The Livo comes with 6-spoke alloys compared to split 5-spoke alloys on the CB Shine SP. Both bikes come with a stubby exhaust with part chrome and part matte metal heat shield.

The CB Shine SP’s semi-digital unit instrument cluster sits between the chrome handlebar and include an analogue speedometer along with a digital odometer, trip meter and fuel gauge. The Livo gets a black powder coated handlebar with an analogue instrument console. It gets two attractive hexagonal pods, one for the speedometer and the other for a rather large fuel gauge. Switchgear and handle grips are the same on both bikes. However, while the CB Shine SP has the choke knob conveniently located under the left side switchgear, the Livo has it positioned conventionally on its carburettor. Honda has given both engines a matte black treatment.

Engine & Performance:

Honda CB Shine SP: 7.5/10

Honda Livo: 6.5/10

Talking about performance, the CB Shine SP is powered by the 125cc air-cooled single cylinder engine from the CB Shine. Its outputs are 10.6PS of power at 7500rpm and 10.3Nm of torque, produced at 5500rpm. The Livo on the other hand, uses the same 110cc air-cooled single cylinder engine as Honda’s more affordable Dream series of commuters. The powerplant offers 8.3PS of power at 7500rpm and 8.6Nm of torque at 5500rpm. The Livo’s engine is mated to a 4-speed gearbox while the CB Shine SP gets a 5-speed unit. Considering the outputs, it is quite obvious that the CB Shine SP is quicker, and has the fifth cog to offer a more relaxed ride on highways.

That said, the Livo’s engine feels slightly more refined and has a relatively stronger mid-range. Its ratios feel adequate for the city and highway both, while the Shine SP’s gear ratios are slightly different. The Shine’s first three ratios are shorter to enable better commuting in traffic, while taller fourth and fifth allow it to stretch its legs better on open roads. We’ve had both motorcycles in our long term fleet for some time now and noticed that the CB Shine SP faced cold starting issues almost daily, though the issue went away once the engine warmed up. Considering the difference in displacements, both bikes have different cruising speeds. While the CB Shine SP can comfortably cruise at close to 80kmph, the Livo starts feeling stressed after 65kmph.

Ride, Handling & Braking:

Honda CB Shine SP: 7/10

Honda Livo: 7.5/10

Ride comfort is one of the most crucial aspects for commuters like these two. Typical 110 or 125cc commuter buyers spend a fair amount of time riding these bikes, and Honda has taken care of this by offering ergonomic riding postures with long flat seats and wide handlebars on the Livo and Shine SP both. The CB Shine SP has a slightly shorter wheelbase which makes for better manoeuvrability in traffic. Both the bikes are shod with skinny looking 80/100 R18 MRF tyres at either end. The tyres offer good grip though and offer a confident feel at most times.

In terms of braking, both bikes get a disc-drum setup. The CB Shine SP we have is the top of the line variant with CBS (Combined Braking System), wherein application of the rear brake also actuates the front brake. We found the Livo’s braking performance to offer better feedback and progression in comparison to the CB Shine SP, which could have offered more feel. In terms of suspension, both bikes use the same telescopic forks up front and 5-step adjustable, spring-loaded hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear that offer a comfortable ride on various surfaces.

Fuel Efficiency:

Honda CB Shine SP: 8/10

Honda Livo: 5/10

Efficiency is one of the biggest deciding factor for commuter buyers, and the two Hondas here use the Japanese manufacturer’s patented Honda Eco Technology (HET). Honda claims the technology improves combustion efficiency, and during our tests the CB Shine SP returned an overall mileage of 63kmpl while the Livo, despite its smaller engine and lesser output, managed 64kmpl, which is nearly identical. Taking into account their tank sizes of 10.5 litres for the Shine SP and 8.5 litres for the Livo, the former will let you ride it 661km before you need a refill, as compared to 544km for the latter. 

Verdict:

Honda CB Shine SP: 8/10

Honda Livo: 6.5/10

The two motorcycles here are a great example of how commuter motorcycles have evolved over the years. More so in the case with the 110cc segment that’s inching closer to the slightly larger 125s. Proof of the same is the fact that most 10-year old 100cc commuters would be termed as extremely boring today, but not something like the Livo. In fact, with its design, performance, refinement levels and similar efficiency, the Livo is too close to the CB Shine SP for comfort.

It’s the pricing that’s the major differentiating factor between the two then. The Livo is priced at Rs 56,004 ex-showroom Delhi, while the CB Shine SP retails at Rs 64,932. The difference of almost 9,000 rupees is a rather large amount of money for commuter motorcycle buyers. So if you are in the market for an affordable commuter motorcycle that’s more of a workhorse, we suggest you opt for an entry or mid-level 110cc motorcycle.

But if you are willing to stretch your budget for a more premium 110cc commuter like the Livo, considering a 125 might not be a bad option either. We say that since a 125 is slightly larger, more powerful and more stylish in terms of the design. Also, you get more features and better technology (like CBS in the Shine SP’s case) apart from a larger fuel tank that offers a better range between refills. And that’s besides the fact that the difference in fuel efficiency is not exactly glaring either.

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