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You vote for Honda to turn concept into reality

Published: 08 July 2001

Your reactions to Honda’s new concept sports bike suggest Honda should go ahead and put it into production.

While there are dissenting voices, the majority think it’s a work of art and one they’d be delighted to sling a leg over.

Posting in the Talk News part of Talk Bikes (see link, right) Woods said: " Lurve the new style Honda, might be tempted away from Suzuki with the look of that beastie. "

And beemerider said: " Works for me! If you build it, I will buy it. "

Tex raved: " Fan-bloody-tastic. Now this is a great bike. Even if it lost the fancy front end nonsense (please keep the rear as it is) then this is a bike that could be built and I would want to be right at the front of the queue. Anyone that cannot see the raw, visceral sensual appeal of this bike has clearly not got a single red corpuscle to call their own. "

Of course, there are contracy opinions, notably, Oddball’s: " Yuk.. Looks a lot like one of those mopeds you see in the 'no self respect' part of Carnells… "

See the link, right, to see what others are saying and add your own view.

Here’s how we reported on it on Wednesday: If you thought Hondas were reliable, predictable and perhaps just a little short on sex appeal… here’s the bike that proves they can do gorgeous and radical as well as anyone else.

The " New American Sports " has been unveiled by Honda’s American division, and aims to show how the firm’s superbikes of the future could look.

Honda has broken with the norm of wrapping the bike in all-enclosing plastic, sacrificing aerodynamics to show off the mechanical detail of the bike.

The engine is the 996cc, 90 degree V-twin from the VTR1000 FireStorm, which makes.

But style was the design team’s primary goal. Martin Manchester, the project leader at Honda R&D America, said: " This concept bike takes a new direction in motorcycling, a path that emphasises the aesthetics in the execution and creation of a sports bike. Performance always takes a high profile in motorcycling, but we were looking to reinforce the emotional attachment that owners have with their bikes. "

Even if you put aside the bike’s radical shape, the materials alone are enough to make your mouth water. Everywhere you look, there’s carbon fibre, titanium or billet aluminium, sculpted into intricate and delicate shapes.

The front suspension features a massive, single-sided fork made of a combination of aluminium and carbon fibre. While this gives the right-hand side of the bike a clean, uncluttered appearance, it looks a bit chunky from the left – but there are some technical advantages. The front wheel spindle is mounted on an eccentric adjuster, like the chain adjusters used on single-sided swingarms – this allows the bike’s wheelbase and trail to be altered to tweak the handling characteristics.

The single-sided fork means the bike can only have one front brake disc – but what it loses in number it more than makes up for in size. The disc itself is a huge, rim-mounted affair, and it’s gripped by two sets of four-pot calipers.

The swingarm is a single-sider as well – give the bike an incredibly clean look. It’s made of spindly alloy castings, with the chain running through it – so the overall effect is similar to Ducati’s MH900e.

Since the engine is straight out of the VTR1000, it is strong enough to be used as a stress-bearing member. That means the bike can use a version of Honda’s trademark pivotless chassis design, where the frame rails stop before they reach the swingarm pivot.

The frame itself is aluminium. While the chassis is relatively conventional, there are still plenty of innovations on the bike. Take a look in front of the engine and you’ll notice there doesn’t appear to be a radiator. That’s because it’s tucked under the seat – like the Benelli Tornado’s design.

Although Honda hasn’t given away much about the bike, it appears that the huge inlet ducts either side of the nose feed air back to the radiator rather than the airbox.

It isn’t just the radiator that’s hidden – there doesn’t appear to be an exhaust pipe either. The manifolds from the cylinders actually run into a collector box and silencer hidden in the aerodynamic bellypan, and the gasses exit from a small hole on the right hand side.

Honda is currently holding focus group studies in the States to gauge potential customers’ reactions to the design.

If the bike is received well enough, a production version could be built in limited numbers for sale to the public.

What do you think of this radical new Honda? Follow the link, right, to be taken to our Talk Bikes bulletin boards and have your say. Honda will be watching.

Remember, you have to be a registered motorcyclenews.com user to post. Registering is free. Click on Log In at the top right of the page for details.

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