Honda to debut Concept Bikes at Tokyo Motor Show

Honda Neowing Concept Whether Honda Motor Co., Ltd will showcase successors to the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR motorcycles at either the 2015 EICMA Show in Milan or Tokyo Motor Show 2015 remains to be seen, the company has in the meantime released some info and pictures for two of its concept bikes that will debut at the latter event.

The bikes are a 250cc sports and a 3-wheel urban traveller type known as the Neowing. While there’s not much information has been released by Honda for the 250cc concept, it is believed the new bike is the rumoured CBR250RR with either Parallel Twin or Inline Four engine.

Honda CBR250RR

Honda has tagged the 250cc bike as a “Light Weight Super Sports” concept, and judging by the photo, it seems the Japanese manufacturer is crafting strategies on how to blow away the competitions’ existing 250cc variants in the market segment.

Designed with the key phrase “strong presence”, this next-generation super sport concept model features a look possessing a sense of speed derived from its long nose and low crouching position. The combination of surfaces – creating a sense of hardness and solidity – and sharp edges, emphasize the aggressive look. Moreover, the exterior featuring matte-black-based low-contrast graphics underlines its beauty and eye-catching form.

Will this be a sign of Honda making a return to its history of making high-revving small-displacement sportbikes (with up to 72hp to match a 500cc/650cc bike’s performance) for hardcore Honda riders and brand loyalists?

The concept shown here has a different chassis from the ones used in Honda’s existing CBR250R and CBR300R, which bode well for the machine being substantially different from what is on the market now as offered by the competition.

While there’s not much detail that can be revealed on the actual engine specs due to the extensive full fairing coverage, it is to be noted that this 250cc concept features a pair of inverted front forks, which for now none of the Japanese manufacturers including Honda have included for their existing 250cc street bikes.

The Neowing concept is a 3-wheel motorcycle and Honda seems to follow in the footsteps of its Japanese rivals to start exploring the idea of producing multi-wheel concept bikes after the Yamaha Teseract, which leads to actual production of the Yamaha Tricity scooter, and further concepts such as the Yamaha 03GEN-f and Yamaha 03GEN-x.

Team Green too has explored this idea with the Kawasaki J Concept while Italy’s Piaggio has its MP3 500 maxi-scooter, and with Honda now pursuing the idea with its Neowing that looks to be a gas/electric hybrid leaning three-wheeler.

The Neowing has two wheels in the front, with the rider in a motorcycle-styled sitting position. From the looks of the design concept, the Neowing is able to lean through bends and corners very well. The Neowing features a hybrid power plant, which uses a four-cylinder boxer engine, along with an electric motor.

Honda describes the Neowing concept project with the following statement: NEOWING is an unprecedented three-wheeled vehicle that offers the cornering feel and sporty ride of a large-sized motorcycle while realizing excellent stability at low speeds. This vehicle is equipped with a hybrid system that combines a horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine and electric motors to generate plentiful torque for powerful acceleration.

With the adoption of an original Honda linkage mechanism on its front wheel, this concept model proposes new values with advanced styling that emphasizes the mechanical fascination of a two-wheeled motorcycle model.

And then, there’s the question that has always been asked about 3-wheel bikes – is it really a motorcycle in the first place? True bikers will say no. But if the price is right, it may attract buyers who may not take to motorcycles due to their 2-wheel design but a 3-wheel machine like the Neowing may change their mind. Only time will tell.

Text: Philip Chong

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