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)