Motorcycles at the Tokyo Motor Show
Date: October 25, 2007 11:26
Typically motorcycle manufacturers use one of several European motorcycle shows to unveil their new models and concepts to the public. However this year for the Tokyo Motor Show some of the manufacturers used the chance to show some new bikes in their home market. Honda did its part and brought out three all-new models for the show.
The big concept for Honda was the Evo 6. The Evo 6's prime draw is the exposed flat six cylinder engine that would no doubt be based on the engine in the Goldwing. Every part of the bike has a crisp, industrial style to it that gave the bike strong presence without being gawdy or overdone. Some touches I liked in particular were the very simple and elegant gauges and the triple exhaust tips. The cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds were also particularly well finished. This is one of the better looking engines Honda has put in a motorcycle for sure.
I believe another motorcycle publication referred to this as Honda's version of the Suzuki B-King (a Hayabusa-powered naked bike) but I see this more as a highly styled, semi-muscle bike. With the Goldwing engine this wouldn't be a light motorcycle but it would probably have strong straight-line performance to match the look.
I'm sure Honda would love to find another use for the powerplant in the Goldwing but who really knows if this is really meant for production. If I had to venture a guess, this says 'styling exercise' more than 'prelude to production' to me. As a styling exercise I'd call it a success, but of all the concepts Honda has done in the last few years I'm not tremendously excited about this one. I'd much rather see something come of the NAS concept of a few years ago.
The other two concepts from Honda were the CB1100R and CB1100F, both powered by a new 1100 cc air cooled 4-cylinder engine. Both of them are 'retro' models, no doubt designed to cash in on the current trend of motorcycling nostalgia. Both of these models look production ready enough to show up at dealerships next week. One would have to think that these were not so much concepts so much as they were preproduction models.
The star of the show in my opinion was the CB1100R. The CB1100R's retro styling and paint scheme was a nod to some of Honda's popular half-fairing sport models from the seventies and early eighties. There's little doubt that this bike will be very popular in Japan where a lot of people ride bikes that literally have not changed their styling since they originally debuted 25 or more years ago. Think of it as a futuristic CB1300 Bol D'or.
The front fairing looks a bit like C3PO but its still fresh and pleasant overall. Also notice the attention to detail on the twin exhaust pipes. They could have thrown something from the parts pin on there but they took the time to finish them rather nicely. Clearly a labor of love. For some reason Honda didn't put the bike on the main stage with the scooter concepts and the Evo 6 but maybe that was because they wanted people to be able to get closer to it since they plan to bring it to market.
The CB1100R's crib mate, the CB1100F, looks like the typical UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) but with a couple of styling touches to bring it up to date. The rectangular tank looks rather sharp as well as the clean industrial detail bits, but overall the concept does not really stand out. Perhaps that is what a potential rider of this bike would want but there are probably better choices for the money. Maybe this bike would do well in some of the other markets but I wouldn't recommend it for the USDM.
Unfortunately we missed most of Fukui-san's press briefing so we didn't get to hear many details about the concepts. We will try to find out through our motorcycle channels what models we can expect to see in production, and where they would be sold. I sincerely hope we'll get the CB1100R here in America.
Be sure to check out our full photo gallery of motorcycles from the 2007 Tokyo Motor show
Last edited by JeffX on
October 25, 2007 20:43