Is Honda’s Neo-Sport Café a New Retro-Styled CB1000R?

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If we had to guess at a unifying theme for this year’s new bike launches, it would have to be “what is old is new again” as several brands are working on modern-engineered retro-styled motorcycles for the Tokyo and Milan expos.

Big Red is throwing its hat into the ring for this game as well, teasing what it calls the “Neo-Sport Café” on its YouTube channel. The videos center around Honda’s design and engineering team working on a new motorcycle, which will debut next month at the EICMA show in Milan.

In the teaser videos, we see a retro-looking motorcycle, with modern flares, such as an LED headlight, single-sided swingarm, and bazooka shaped exhaust can.

And then of course, there is the name” Neo-Sport Café and Honda’s description that it is true to “the spirt of the café racer.

All of these elements point to a new Honda CB1000R variant for the 2018 model year – one that blends new and old into one machine.

A single-sided swingarm has been a staple of the Honda CB1000R design since the bike’s debut in 2008, and the four-cylinder engine is likely a retuned version of what is in (or has been in) the Honda CBR for the better part of the last decade.

Using the CB1000R as a launching point, Honda’s design team could make quick work of the streetfighter model, and turn it into some a little bit more “heritage” in nature.

The big point of interest though is Honda’s choice of name of its teaser campaign, as “Neo-Sport Café” connotes something more than just a naked CBR.

Will Honda look to blend segments, offering a sort of streetfighter / café racer mashup to enthusiasts? One should note that streetfighters really are the modern day equivalent to the café racer movement.

It is hard to say, but the new Neo-Sport Café concept should be an interesting one to see in Italy. Watch the videos below, and leave your thoughts down in the comments.

Neo-Sports Café Teaser #1:

Neo-Sports Café Teaser #2:

Source: Honda Motor Europe (YouTube)

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.