Honda Working on a Scooter/Motorcycle Hybrid for the US

09/21/2012 @ 6:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Honda Working on a Scooter/Motorcycle Hybrid for the US Honda Mid Concept 635x476

While the fact that Honda is set to bring a MotoGP-inspired sport bike to market stole the show during Honda CEO Takanobu Ito’s end-of-the-fiscal-year speech, the Honda CEO also let drop the fact that Big Red is working to bring to market a larger and more “torqueful” version of its Mid Series (note the caps) maxi-scooter concept, which will debut first in the American market.

You may remember the Honda Mid Concept, a 700cc maxi-scooter design that debuted at EICMA in 2010. Featuring a smooth and fuel-efficient 700cc twin-cylinder motor, the Mid-Concept gave rise to pragmatic bikes like the Honda NC700S & Honda NC700X, which used the maxi-scooter’s 700cc Integra motor in their design.

With news that Honda is working on an ever larger and more powerful “Mid Series” motorcycle, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding what Ito-san could actually be hinting at with his words — though the idea that the bike will be bigger than the Mid, suitable for commuting and touring, built in Honda’s flagship Kumamoto plant, and debut in the North American market, to us, gives a very clear idea about what is going on within the walls of the brand.

Knowing the context of the situation, it is pretty well defined that the Japanese brand is building a sizable scooter/motorcycle hybrid. There have already been photos circulating of a bike resembling the Honda Mid Concept maxi-scooter testing here in the United States, and Honda has been experimenting a great deal lately with crossover models lately for the American market. Still, this hasn’t stopped some publications from taking some interesting guesses at the bike’s final form & function.

Ranging across the spectrum, there is at least some evidence that Ito-san could be referencing a larger-displacement version of the Honda NC700S or Honda NC700X, both of which use the Mid Concept’s 700cc Integra motor.

However, we tend to stick to the theory that we will see something closer to the original maxi-scooter concept, than something like the NC700 series since he clearly reference the Mid Series concept, and not the two road bike. There is also the small issue of how larger versions of the NC bikes would even fit in Honda’s current line-up.

Our favorite conjecture is the misguided idea that Ito-san is referring to the recently leaked Honda CB500 or Honda CBR500, whose sole-link to this news is its middleweight displacement size. Unlikely to be produced in Honda’s Kumamoto plant (the same plant that builds the Honda VFR1200F), and also unlikely to break cover first in the North American market, we chalk this one up to poor reading comprehension.

Read Takanobu Ito’s statement below, and let us know your interpretation in the comments. We should have our answer in only a few weeks’ time.

“In the area of large-sized motorcycles, following the New Mid Series, Honda will introduce a series of large-sized models with a new concept, which enable customers to more easily enjoy daily commuting and weekend touring. This stylish new series will be equipped with a “torqueful” engine, low seat height which increases the ease of handling, and a comfortable ride with high stability in maneuvering. The production of the first model in this new series will begin in February 2013 at Kumamoto Factory, Honda’s global motorcycle production operation, and sales will begin from North America.”

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. L.. J says:

    Can’t wait to see it. Sounds great

  2. george tackles says:

    Any variator/belt-drive design will not be fuel efficient at Interstate speeds..whoever figures out a bike-oriented fluid coupling/auto trans drive same as most autos will be the champ..all these Maxi scoots with variators overheat and waste fuel over 70 mph..

  3. paulus says:

    “To each their own”…. but this is a bit of a mutt.
    B@stard love child of a VFR and maxi-taxi. Nasty

  4. Mormont says:

    george: The NC700 series is already available with a 6 speed, fully automatic DCT transmission.

  5. The AN650 Suzuki Burger DeLuxe has been available for quite a while now. How’s that working out in the USA?

    In some ways the NC700 is hugely disappointing. Do we actually want a gutless engine that won’t rev at all?

  6. Ben says:

    I think: the less 4-wheeled vehicles on the road the better. If stuff like this achieves that, so be it !

  7. Halfie 30 says:

    They already tried this with the DN-01….

  8. JoeD says:

    Honda has a track record of building without selling. Perhaps THAT is their Brand Identity rather than any one specific engine/bike configuration.

  9. MikeD says:

    Yawn. W/E. I’ll be here. lol.

    How about materializing this, Honda:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/electrofreeze/2073732765/in/photostream/

  10. Floyd says:

    it’s a fancy underbone

  11. alex says:

    gregory louganis

  12. Jimmy Smith JR says:

    What is this some sort of twisted version of Jensen Beeler’s Day Off……Beeeler…..Beeeler?

  13. Maksor says:

    @ george tackles why should a belt driven vehicle not be fuel effecient?¿/¿?¿ iᷰve got a mp3 500 and its very fuel avg 54 miles a gallon and a topspeed of 107 m/h iᷰm now in the states but i live in Europe where i do drive the topspeed a lot its more fuel effecient then a HD