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The Honda CR Electric prototype is perhaps one of the biggest stories we have seen so far this year, as it shows a very serious effort by the Japanese brand to bring an electric model to one of its most important motorcycle segments.

Very few photos and details made it out of Tokyo when the Honda CR Electric prototype, except for our rather in-depth analysis of the bike for our A&R Pro readers. If you will allow the modest plug, that story itself is worth the modest price of admission that helps support the site.

Back to the machine, we have a little more news to report, as we have proof that the electric dirt bike is indeed a runner, as the motorcycle took some exhibition laps at the first round of the All Japan Motocross Championship.

After Alvaro Bautista’s runaway success since joining the WorldSBK series, winning all six main races and all three Superpole races, mostly by a significant margin, the FIM has made the first move toward balancing out performance.

Starting from the next round at Assen, the Ducati Panigale V4R is to lose 250 revs, while the Honda CBR1000RR, which has struggled badly since the start of the year, is to given an extra 500 revs on the maximum rev limit.

The electric motorcycle segment is beginning to mature. We know this because word from Japan has Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha collaborating together on various standards for electric motorcycles.

If it doesn’t immediately strike you as such, this is incredibly big news.

The move sees the Big Four creating a consortium that will work together to bring homogenized battery, charging, infrastructure, and other items into reality so that there can be interoperability between the brands and less confusion in the marketplace. 

Are you ready? For the revolution? That is what is happening in Japan right now, at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. We say this because Honda just debuted an electric dirt bike prototype that looks the business.

The Honda CR Electric prototype was co-developed with Mugen, a company with close ties to Honda. In fact, beyond the fairings, you would have a hard time distinguishing the Honda CR Electric prototype from the Mugen E.Rex that re-debuted this week as well.

Both bikes use an aluminum twin-spar frame, and look very "Honda" in their approach to building a dirt bike. It also doesn't surprise us to see that Nissin supplies the brakes for both efforts, and the same goes for Showa on the suspension side. What would you expect though, considering the close ties these brands have to Honda?

This is a project that is very much still in the family, and in the case of Mugen, that phrase is meant literally, as Mugen was founded by Soichiro Honda's son.

With Mugen spending the last eight years competing in the Isle of Man TT electric race, and racking up five race wins in the process, the tuning brand has built a cache of EV experience. Surely, this is where the Mugen-Honda connection is at its strongest. Together, these two companies are forging a new era of motorcycle design.

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Did you feel that? The company that made the four-strokes the standard in motorcycle engine design just moved the earth a little bit further, releasing today the Honda CR Electric prototype.

The electric motorcycle is a 250cc equivalent dirt bike from Big Red, and broke cover at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in Japan.

Not too many details are known at this time, beyond what we can see…but there is certainly a lot to digest when looking at this machine. 

If you believe the latest internet gossip, a new updated Honda Africa Twin is on the way. The news comes from UK site BikeSocial, which says that the potent adventure bike will get a displacement bump for the 2020 model year, among other upgrades.

More specifically, the 2020 Honda Africa Twin is said to target a new displacement of 1,080cc, which should be good for a 5hp increase in peak power, bringing the machine to just shy of 100hp.

Perhaps more importantly though, the new displacement size will help the Africa Twin deal with the power-sapping Euro5 regulations, which will make tailpipe emissions for motorcycles much more stringent going forward.

Hello from cold and rainy Southern California, where we will be swinging a leg over the Honda Super Cub in order to find out if you really do meet the nicest people on a Honda.

This iconic motorcycle changed the American motorcycle industry in the 1960s , offering a break from the 1%’er image that dominated the two-wheeled landscape at the time.

Though the model has evolved over the years, Honda has been churning out the Super Cub continuously since 1958, with production spiking in the late-1990s and hitting the 100 million unit mark in 2017.

This makes the Honda Super Cub the best all-time selling motorcycle in the world…and now it is coming back to the United States.

If you looked very carefully at the Repsol Honda 2019 livery, you could see a difference. A touch more black under the tail. A dash more white on the tank, and a different line here and there. But other than a large sticker celebrating 25 years of collaboration between Repsol and HRC, the differences were almost impossible to see.

And why should they change? In the previous 24 seasons together, Repsol and Honda have won the premier class championship 14 times, a strike rate of nearly 60%. Marc Márquez, Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, and Alex Crivillé have all become world champions wearing Repsol colors.

Repsol Honda riders have a combined 168 wins, 427 podiums, and 177 poles between them. So why ditch that in pursuit of novelty? The Repsol livery is proven, and it is timeless. And so it stays as it was, no matter how much the crowd bays for change.

There was much talk of this long shared history at the Repsol Honda team launch in Madrid. Mick Doohan and Alex Crivillé were present, standing alongside Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo on the stage, a conscious callback to an era when the Repsol Honda team dominated the 500cc era, and two riders won almost every race they started.

There was much talk of a “Dream Team”, both in reference to the 500cc pairing of the late 1990s, and to the two men who will race in MotoGP in 2019.

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.