As well as creating a V4 replacement for the Blackbird, Honda’s engineers have been working flat-out on a full-scale tourer using the same engine and chassis wrapped in completely different skin.
While the new Honda V4 was revealed as a concept last year, Honda has said nothing about this touring version, revealed here in official design drawings.
The bike appears to have more in common with the Pan-European than the firm’s new V4 sports bike, but almost all the mechanical parts are shared.
Unlike the current Pan, the new tourer’s V4 engine – expected to be a retuned version of the same motor as the sportier VFR1200 – is mounted transversely, with the crankshaft running across the bike. That means Honda has been able to use the same frame design, transmission and swingarm as the VFR, saving costs by creating two completely new machines on a common platform.
These illustrations appear to show the tourer has a slightly more stretched head angle – about 26° compared to the 25° of the sportier machine.
If the bike’s styling is familiar, you need to cast your mind back to the X-Wing concept bike in 1999. The new bike’s front-end design, with its distinctive shovel nose, two distinct, jutting side panels and V-shaped headlight is a carbon copy.
Moving further back, the bike’s shape becomes more contemporary Honda, with side fairing panels that ape the shape of the latest FireBlade and Honda’s MotoGP machines.
Changes compared to the sportier version are minimal. You’ll find conventional right-way-up forks rather than beefy upside-downers, although they still carry six-pot brake calipers suggesting the heavier tourer is also capable of some serious performance. The pegs are lower than on the sports bike, both for the rider and the
pillion, and removable luggage is neatly integrated into the design.
At the back, a remote adjuster for the rear shock is visible, although Honda is likely to also offer an electronic adjustment system similar to BMW’s ESA. And the firm’s semi-automatic, double-clutch gearbox is virtually guaranteed to be offered.
The new tourer, which could carry the Pan-European name, will go on sale in early 2010, costing about £13,000.