Tag Archives: Honda

2014 Honda CBR650F Preview

The best selling CBR600R used to be considered a great all-rounder, but over recent years has evolved into a more extreme supersports bike as the 600cc class became a dick waving contest between the big four Japanese manufacturers. All well and good, but not everybody wants, or can afford, a cutting edge track-focused bike – a lot of people just need something that they can use for getting to work during the week and the occasional bit of fun at weekends.

This is where the new for 2014 Honda CBR650F comes in. Although it shares the razor sharp looks of it’s sportier sibling, the new bike is designed to be a more affordable alternative better suited to every day use in the real world.

The bike will feature a steel frame, heavier but cheaper and more robust than the aluminium used in balls out sports bikes and the four cylinder engine is tuned to deliver more torque below 4000rpm. In another nod to practicality over performance, the CBR650F has also been designed to offer strong fuel economy while cruising at highway speeds.

Stopping power is provided by twin wavey discs at the front with dual piston callipers, and an ABS option is available.

With peak power in the mid-eighties, this bike isn’t going to win any races, but who cares? It’s not a track tool, it’s supposed to be practical, fun and affordable for the average rider, and we think it’ll sell extremely well.

More information from the Honda CBR650F page.

Honda NM4 Vultus Preview

These photos of the new NM4 Vultus from Honda might look like a sci-fi inspired concept bike that will never see the light of day, but if press reports are to be believed we can expect these machines to start rolling off the production lines in the near future.

The 745cc twin offers a laid back, low down riding position and looks that will convince other road users that their being tailed by a stealth-bomber when they see you coming in the rear-view mirror. Ignoring the future-shock appearance, the bike seems like it might fit nicely into the super-commuter category, for riders who need to do long distances in comfort and don’t need super-sports performance or handling. We wouldn’t be surprised if that engine is very softly tuned for fuel efficiency rather than raw power.

As you can see from the pics, one version of the NM4 Vultus comes with a set of panniers built into the bodywork, which also hints at a commuter market, as does the fact that the bike offers a choice of manual or automatic gear modes. It might look like something out of Neo-Tokyo, but this motorcycle will probably appeal to riders who need to grind their way to work through in the more mundane cities of the present day.

The NM4 Vultus will be priced at $1100 in the US, and word is that the American market will be getting a slightly smaller 670cc motor, while the larger version will be available in Europe. More information on the Honda NM4 official site.




A profile of Honda motorcycles

More bikers ride Honda motorcycles than any other make in the world, simply because the company manufactures more bikes than any other. With machines ranging from the 60 million selling Cub 50cc moped to the world conquering Fireblade superbike, Honda has a reputation for building motorcycles with rock-solid reliability and class-leading performance.

The company was founded by Japanese engineer, Sōichirō Honda, in 1948 and since then has grown into a massive multinational with revenues of $120 billion in 2009. In the early days, Honda was primarily interested in working on cars, but his plans were sidelined by gas shortages in the second world war, which gave him the idea of attaching a small engine onto his bicycle in order to create a more efficient vehicle.

Honda’s first mass-produced vehicle was the Cub moped, which would go onto become the longest running and most successful motorcycle in history – propelling the company to the enviable position of world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer by 1964. It would not be long before Honda led the way for the rest of the Japanese motorcycle industry to utterly demolish the long established industry leaders in Britain and America.

Right from the very beginning, Honda used motorsport as a means to achieve commercial success. In 1959 the company entered 5 motorcycles in the Isle of Mann TT race, using this as an opportunity to refine the design of the bikes and to raise the company’s international profile. Honda did not win a TT race until 1961, but this marked the beginning of decades of dominance in motorcycle sport for the company.

Some notable Honda motorcycles include the following models:

GoldWing – one of the most recognisable touring motorcycles on the market, the GoldWing was introduced in 1975 and is still in production, recently becoming the world’s first motorcycle to feature a built in airbag. The GoldWing is available with a variety of engine sizes ranging from 1,000cc to 1,800cc.

Fireblade – in 1992 Honda introduced a new generation of light but powerful supersports motorcycles. Not wanting consumers to focus on the engine size, which was smaller than 1000cc competitors, Honda marketed the new bike as the Fireblade, rather than the CBR-900. The Fireblade was arguably the machine which defined what we think of as modern sports motorcycles.

A Honda motorcycle that changed everything - the 1992 Fireblade
A Honda motorcycle that changed everything - the 1992 Fireblade

CBR600 – a consistently reliable high-performance mid-range sports bike which has been in production since 1987. Throughout numerous updates and redesigns, the CBR600 has remained a firm favourite with riders across the world, serving as a reliable workhorse whilst being sporty enough to provide high-powered thrills.