Milan bike show: Honda’s retro minimotos

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Never mind the CBR600F and Crossrunner – these exquisite minimotos were the bikes grabbing MCN’s attention on the Milan show Honda stand.

The six bikes are mini-me versions of Honda road and race bikes from years gone by. They’re not just painted Chinese minibikes either – each has it’s own chassis crafted to look like the original, with the correct exhaust design and even Honda footpegs.

There’s a replica of the 1976 Honda RCB1000, which dominated that year’s World Endurance championship (and also debuted Honda’s first CBS combined braking system), and a scaled-down 1979 NR500 – the oval-piston four-stroke GP contender that failed to get on terms with the contemporary two-strokes dominating at the time.

Moving forward a few years, there’s a copy of the 1989 Honda NR750 concept bike – you can tell it’s not the mega-bucks road bike from the tiny headlights. There’s a replica of the 1990 NSR250R (the R7L model, for two-stroke buffs), and the final bike is a 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, complete with a replica of the belly-pan pipe.

Sadly Honda isn’t producing the tiny gems – they’re one offs, built for corporate willy-waving at bike shows.

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Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging