Tag

Honda

Browsing

A patent application spotted by Ben Purvis at Cycle World hints at Honda expanding its variable valve timing technology on its two-wheeled offerings, with designs of a sophisticated VVT system could come to a new CBR model.

Filed in June 2018, the patent application (not yet an actual US patent, mind you) is a restatement of a Japanese patent that dates back to 2017, and in it Honda describes a mechanism where “an internal combustion engine is provided with a variable valve operating apparatus.”

This is it, the final countdown. The new year is already starting its first hours in other parts of the world, and we won’t have long to wait until 2019 is upon us here in the United States of America.

So, allow us to squeak in just one more “2018 in review” type of story, as I wanted to share with our readers the most important motorcycles that we saw this year – and also got to ride.

The list is an interesting one, as not only is it comprised of a number of machines that lead their segments, but also we picked motorcycles whose debuts carried gravitas for the industry.

As such, these are the motorcycles that defined 2018 model year, and now we only have a matter of hours to begin seeing the bikes that will shape 2019 for motorcyclists.

Today is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means many of you awoke from your food coma, and headed to the stores for Black Friday start to your Christmas shopping.

That is right, the holiday season is upon us, and that means that we should be publishing some sort of Holiday Gift Guide for you, where we pretend to be journalists while taking a small commission from the links we funnel you towards.

It is a sad practice, and one that fills our inbox around this time of year. I wonder how many hundreds of dollars are traded for whatever last scrap of journalism that remains in this industry…it’s probably best not to think about it.

Don’t worry, we have a remedy. A real item you would want to have in your garage, and it is not some garbage tire pressure gauge from a company that bought a bunch of advertising from us this year.

This is a superbike. A real superbike. A WorldSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR SP2 superbike. It is one of the Triple M Honda CBR1000RR SP2 superbikes that PJ Jacobsen raced in the 2018 World Superbike Championship.

For the 2019 model year, we say goodbye to the Honda CBR650F, a fine enough machine in its own right, but one that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and instead we say hello to the Honda CBR650R, which gets a more aggressive styling and a bevy of features, to help it earn that “R” designation at the end of its name.

Easy to sport is that the new bodywork, which draws a direct line to the Honda CBR1000RR superbike, the Honda CBR650R comes also with a sportier riding position, and the electronics and feature package to match.

Next up on our analysis of the EICMA show in Milan are the Japanese brands: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

You can usually count on the Big Four to bring out some popular new bike launches and intriguing concepts to EICMA, and this year...well...the Japanese brands phoned it in, for the most part.

Before we get into Jensen's complete feeling of disappointment, I first have to apologize because I failed you as a publisher. Much of the disappointment that comes from the INTERMOT and EICMA shows comes from the implications of the Euro5 emissions standards. As a publication, we should have prepared you  better for this reality, and we didn't.

There is very little incentive right now for a motorcycle OEM to release a new model. Euro5 comes online for new models in 2020, and for existing models in 2021, which means that many of the motorcycle brands are holding onto their new bike launches for those model years.

As such, the 2019 model year is very much a "development year" for the industry. This doesn't change the fact that the Japanese brands had a weak showing in Milan, especially compared to the Europeans, but at least it explains why...for the most part.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

Yesterday, we brought you photos of the Honda CRF450L Rally concept – a machine that Big Red was quietly debuting at the EICMA show in Milan.

And now today, thanks to our friends at American Honda, we have not only a bunch of new high-resolution photos for you to drool over, as well as a few details on this machine.

Before we get to it though, we want to make an above-the-fold plea to anyone who might be reading in Honda factory back in Japan…

Please Honda, please pretty please, make this motorcycle a production model. Don’t change a thing. Just build it. Thank you.

When the Honda CRF450 Rally debuted for rally raid competitors in 2012, there was a cry for a production model of this Dakar-ready dirt bike. It took a while, but Big Red finally answer…sort of.

The Honda CRF250L Rally wasn’t exactly the bike that we expect to see in 2015, and it took over a year (and many, many teasings) for the concept to become a reality for the 2017 model year.

The 250cc platform was an interesting choice for Honda to make for its race-replica dirt bike, especially with the underwhelming debut of the CRF250L model, and thus the want for a 450cc version continued.

Now with the potent CRF450L on the market, it looks like that idea is starting to take shape…though, you would hardly know it from the Japanese brand’s actions at EICMA.

Honda is making waves in the World Superbike paddock for next season, as HRC has pulled its support from the Ten Kate team, and is instead creating a factory team inside the garage of Althea and Moriwaki, who will jointly run the Red Bull Honda WorldSBK racing effort.

Contracted to HRC, Leon Camier will remain on the Honda CBR1000RR SP2 next season, and he will be joined by Ryuichi Kiyonari. Possessing the correct passport, this news means that the 2019 season will mark nearly a decade’s worth of time since Kiyonari last started a World Superbike race.

As we understand it, Althea Racing will run the logistics and hospitality of the new Honda WorldSBK team, while Moriwaki will handle what happens in the pit box and out on track.

Where this news leaves the Ten Kate team remains to be seen, though the championship is currently without representation from Suzuki, Aprilia, and MV Agusta – the latter making its plans to leave WorldSBK racing clear, earlier this year.

We are not sure how big the market is for a 125cc adventure-tourer, especially in the European Union. Close to zero, perhaps? Yet, we are very excited about the Honda CB125X concept (along with its fraternal twin, the Honda CB124M concept).

Maybe the Honda CB125R platform is the wrong starting point for this project, but we like where the Honda Motor Europe R&D team finished with this build.

The CB125X is a clean and attractive motorcycle, and we would romp through every river crossing we could find on this small-displacement thumper.