Tag: news

RANK TWELVE OF EUROPE'S BEST CB1000R CUSTOM BUILDS 

ON-LINE

  • New ‘HondaCustoms’ page celebrates 12 of Europe’s best CB1000R custom builds
  • Allows users to rank the bikes from 1 to 12, and share their choice via social channels
  • Free wallpaper download of their top bike – for desktop or mobile
  • Available in five languages

The Honda CB1000R, flagship of the Neo Sports Café range, has proven itself to be the perfect canvas for custom builders across Europe.

Honda are revisiting 12 of the continent’s best customised CB1000Rs, first shown last year at the Wheel & Waves festival in Biarritz, with a webpage giving users the chance to chair their own judging panel and ‘drag and drop’ the bikes in their order of preference from one to twelve. Having made their selection, users will be able to share their choice with friends via Facebook™, Twitter™ or WhatsApp™ .

Among the twelve CB1000Rs at www.hondacustoms.com are the Africa Twin-inspired ‘CRF1000 Africa Four’, the Monkey bike homage ‘Monkey Kong’ and the ‘Alfredo’ tribute to classic Freddie Spencer CBs of yesteryear. All twelve certainly merit a close inspection.

The Honda Customs page is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and once users have chosen their favourites, they’ll be able to download their number one choice as either a desktop or mobile phone wallpaper.

HONDA ANNOUNCES ANDROID AUTOTM INTEGRATION FOR GOLD WING SERIES

Honda is pleased to announce that Android AutoTM *1 will be integrated*2 with the current-model Gold Wing*3. Customers with AndroidTM smartphones will be able to enjoy application services seamlessly such as music, phone calls and messaging. The method to update software is planned to be available in the middle of June, 2020.

Since the GOLDWING GL1000 went on sale in North America in 1975, the Gold Wing series has evolved as Honda’s flagship model for over four decades. In October 2017, the all-new Gold Wing became the world’s first*4 motorcycle with Apple CarPlay integration*5. Navigation features to enhance the ride experience and application-specific services have been well-received by many customers.

Android Autois a simple, safe way to use your phone on the motorcycle. With simplified interface, and easy-to-use voice actions, it is designed to minimize distraction so you can stay focused on the road. Android Auto makes it easy to access your favourite music, media, and messaging apps on your motorcycle. With your Google Assistant on Android Auto, you can stay focused, connected, and entertained, keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebar, while using your voice to help you with your day.

With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration coming to more models, Honda plans to bring more comfort and convenience to customers’ motorcycle lifestyles worldwide.

For details on Android Auto, visit the official Android site at the following URL.

(https://www.android.com/auto/)

?Trademarks?

AndroidTM and Android AutoTM are registered trademarks of Google LLC. Apple CarPlay is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

*1 Android Auto is a mobile app developed by Google LLC to support driving. Android Auto requires an Android smartphone with Android 5.0 or later and the Android Autoapp. When you utilize it riding Gold Wing, connection with a Bluetooth® headset (sold separately) will also be required. App and communication costs may apply.

*2 Certified by Google LLC.

*3 Subjected Current Model after 2018 model: 2BL-SC79/SC79.

*4 Internal research by Honda (as of October 2017).

*5 Bluetooth® headset (sold separately) required for use with Apple CarPlay. App and communication costs may apply.

MONTESA 75TH ANNIVERSARY

Precedents

Montesa's history began in 1944, when the young industrialist from Barcelona Pere Permanyer Puigjaner, at the time 33 years old, started branching out from his industry of producer gas to the automotive industry, opening a new branch of his activities towards the motorcycle sector.

 

The gas generator industry was very representative of post-war life in Spain. During the Second World War (1939-1945) and amid Spain's reconstruction after the devastating Civil War (1936-1939), the shortage of fuel had paralyzed transport in Spain. This meant that the application of the producer gas system (a skillful procedure for obtaining fuel by burning almond shells) was an almost magical resource, be it for the propulsion of cars, trucks, or electric current generators.

 

Pere Permanyer learned about vegetable fuels through the family business, founded by his grandfather, which dealt in the import and distribution of coal. The Permanyer Coal Company acquired raw materials from the islands of Corsica and Sicily and transported it to Barcelona through two schooners of its own. A fleet of trucks then distributed the product throughout Spain.

 

Pere Permanyer Puigjaner was born in Barcelona on 21 July 1911. When he was only one year old, he moved with his parents to a new family home in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona, where the company was located. His integration in the area and his cooperation in the progress of the youth, as well as the development of the district during his years of residence there, made him worthy, in 1975, of the prize “San Martín de Oro with international transcendence”, awarded the District's Municipal Board. Although for some time he collaborated in the family industry under his father's orders, he soon showed a natural inclination towards manufacturing and a passion for mechanics.

 

As a child, the game of “Meccano” helped him develop a natural leaning towards industrial innovation. When he finished his studies in Industrial and Commercial Expertise in 1931, his interest drove him to develop one of his first youthful ideas: in anticipation of possible energy restrictions, he studied the propulsion system using gas generators applied to internal combustion engines. He traveled to Madrid, and then to London and Paris, where the system had been studied academically, to gather as much information as possible. In the French capital, he even drove a garbage truck powered by the gas generator system, to check its operation first hand.

 

During the Spanish Civil War, Pere Permanyer took over the management of a repair and reconstruction workshop for air force vehicles in Zaragoza. During this period, he developed a great friendship with Josep Antoni Soler i Urgell “Jasu”, with whom he shared the difficult years of the war. Permanyer was in charge of that workshop, which had more than 50 welders, mechanics, fitters, turners, carpenters, bodyworkers, and assemblers. The young director, then 26, developed a particular interest for the two-stroke engine of the German DKW vans, which would become the inspiration of his subsequent projects.

 

However, around 1944, with the foreseeable end of the Second World War, Permanyer realized that the supply of fuel would soon return to normal and, therefore, he would have to refocus his industry towards an activity other than producer gas, which was, in reality, an emergency resource, the result of the circumstances of the time. His first idea was to study a two-stroke engine for motorcycles, given the extraordinary demand for this type of light vehicles, and the complete lack of local manufacture and imports, due to two wars, the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 and the World War II of 1939-45. 

 

The beginning until 1945

His friend “Jasu”, well aware of Pere Permanyer's industrial potential, introduced him to his brother-in-law, Francisco X. Bultó, a big fan of motorsports and an expert biker. It was during June 1944 when, among the three of them, they decided to produce light motorcycles in Permanyer's workshops, at 408 Córcega Street, in Barcelona.

A Motobecane B1V2GR38 that Bultó had given as a present to his nephew Juan Soler Bultó (son of “Jasu” who would go on to become a prominent speed and test rider) would serve as the basis for the first prototype that started to appear in the streets of Barcelona at the end of October of the same year. With some improved features, the prototype was modified, and on February 11, 1945, it was registered for a team motorcycle regularity test, organized by the Real Moto Club of Catalunya with the XX anagram, the name of the brand still undecided on. The rider on the motorcycle was José Luis Milá, who sadly wouldn’t finish the test due to a failure in the ignition system.

This setback did not discourage the company in the slightest, in fact, it became yet another incentive to accelerate the technical evolution of the design, on which intense work was done. At the time, the difficulties of sustaining a mass production were enormous, so much so that even a true believer would have had trouble not giving up. Spain didn’t have the required auxiliary industry and the current political isolation of Spain made it extremely difficult to obtain the necessary raw materials and components.

During these years, one of the most desired components, and probably the hardest to obtain, was the magnetic flywheel for the engine ignition. Fortunately, Manuel Giró, who had a film projector manufacturing industry (Orfeo Sincronic S.A.- O.S.S.A.) had imported, before the war, some Bosch flywheels with the purpose, then rejected, of making motorcycles. Permanyer and Bultó bought the batch of 100 units for 22,000 pesetas and started to build the first hundred mass-produced motorcycles.

To acquire the necessary materials, given the particularity of these circumstances, Permanyer had to use his imagination and resources in a way that today would be seen as impossible. There were no means of production at all, and no specialized personnel. That is why he traveled almost non-stop looking for information to Madrid, Bilbao, and even abroad, and had to resort to picturesque maneuvers such as exporting Spanish wines from La Rioja to obtain, in exchange, a license to import the raw materials needed for the industry.

Meanwhile, Bultó was designing prototypes. His friend Carles Carreras, also an engineer, helped him with the first sketches. Those days, Bultó could only spend a few hours of “spare time” on the project, having to attend his own business, the company Barella y Bultó S.L., with a production plant in Vilanova y la Geltrú, (Barcelona) dedicated to the production of piston rings and cylinder sleeves for the automotive industry, sold under the brand name “Bolaco”.

In June 1945, three units of the new motorcycles were showcased at Barcelona’s Trade Fair. The name of the brand had been chosen, Montesa, selected after analyzing a wide variety of alternatives. It was the A-45 model, a motorcycle with a rigid frame, a 98 cc (45.6 x 60mm) engine and a three-speed manual gearbox. They also made a ladies' version and a version with rear suspension. The carburetors used were made by the French brand Gurtner, although later versions would incorporate one of their own making.

In the first balance sheet of the recently created company, on 31 December 1945, the partners were Pere Permanyer Puigjaner and his father, Marcelino Permanyer Grifoll, with 630,003.36 pesetas, which represented 89% of the company; and Francisco X. Bultó with 80,619.75 pesetas, who owned 11%.

Pere Permanyer was the company's first manager. The combination of his competitive and adventurous spirit present since the company's foundation, together with the need to test the motorcycles to complete their development, led to the organization, in July of 1945, of an ascent to the Caldes de Bohí spa. A place that had never been reached before with a motor vehicle, as there were no roads or paths, the only way to get there being through climbing, cross-country, or by animal traction. Five motorcycles reached the spa, and the riders, true heroes and forerunners of mountain biking, were Paco Bultó, José Luis and Alfonso Milá, J. M. Llobet “Turuta” and Juan Soler Bultó.

In November 1945, they took part for the first time in a speed race at the “First Motorcycle Prize of Montjuic”, where the local Montesa motorcycles proved to have an incredible performance, taking the first four places of the 100 cc class, to the great surprise of a large crowd of fans. The first place was won by J.M. Llobet, “Turuta”.

 

The start of mass production (1945-1947)

Mass production started on June 19, 1945, the first unit appearing on the market, with the chassis number MB-0001. The buyer was Pere Permanyer himself. The second unit was for Juan Soler Bultó, the third (the Lady version) for Ana Mª Villavecchia, the fourth for Carlos Carreras and the fifth for F.X. Bultó. The sale prices were 8,500 pesetas for the normal version and 9,000 pesetas for the lady's one.

In that first year of 1945, production reached a total of 21 units. And although there had been some attempts to manufacture motorcycles in Spain, none of them were serious enough for it to be considered as standard industrial manufacture. According to Francisco Herreros, author of the Encyclopedia of the Spanish Motorcycle, “the only one was the Madrid-based Soriano with its grand facilities and the full support of General Franco's regime, thanks to the political loyalty of its owners, but the quality of their products left much to be desired…”

There is no doubt that Montesa was the real first Spanish motorcycle factory, with mass production and a real industrial and exporting projection. On the year 1946, the company was focused primarily on increasing and improving its production, with the stimulus of a growing demand throughout the country. Meanwhile, when it came to competitions, Montesa took part in an international competition for the first time: it was on May 5 at the International Grand Prix of Barcelona, held at the Montjuic circuit, which ended with a spectacular victory in the 125 cc class race. That year, they also won the Spanish 100 and 125 cc Championships.

During the same year, 1946, some standard units were made with a 51.5 mm diameter piston and the same 60 mm stroke: the model, with 125 cc, was called B-46. In some of their units, they also tried using English Villiers engines, even though the project to import engines made by the brand for the series was later rejected.

Finally, at the beginning of 1947, the mass production of a new version was started, a model called B-46/49, with a new cylinder and head, externally larger, to create more of a square shape, whilst maintaining the same characteristics of 51.5 x 60.

The definitive industrial company was established on February 3rd, 1947 by public deed before the public notary Mr. F. Trias de Bes and assumed the name Permanyer S. A. de Industrias Mecánicas. The Permanyer family contributed 76.3% of the capital to the company and the Bultó family 23.7%. The total capital was 810,000 pesetas.

As the company continued to grow, more financial resources were needed. In November 1947, in the minutes presented to the Treasury, the intention to carry out a capital increase was declared, in which the Bultó family would contribute an amount equal to that of the Permanyer family. But this increase did not come to fruition, since the Bultó family withdrew, considering that the future business of Montesa motorcycles was not secure enough, in fact, there still was a clear deficit when it came to auxiliary industries in Spain.

Finally, on May 29, 1948, the necessary capital increase took place. Permanyer pledged his private assets and, together with 23 small shareholders, contributed the capital required to continue the company's expansion plan. The capital was set at 2,310,000 pesetas. The distribution of the shareholders remained as follows: Permanyer family 44%, Bultó-Marqués family 30.9%, Guixà-Arderiu family 13.6%, Milá family 9.5%, others 2%. At that time, 2 units were manufactured daily and the monthly turnover was 500,000 pesetas.

Orders for Montesa motorcycles continued to grow at a faster rate than production, but the priority was still to maintain and increase the quality of the product. The premises on Calle Córcega could not be expanded any further and arrangements were made to move to larger premises.

 

From the first international competitions to the production plant in Pamplona street

F.X. Bultó’s great passion and enthusiasm for motorcycle competitions and the company’s initial successes made him decide to take part in 1948, for the first time, in a race outside Spain. He chooses the “Tourist Trophy” of Assen, in Holland, as it was the most important event of the calendar that year. The news created great expectations in the Spanish press.

Four motorcycles were tuned to participate in the 125cc class race. A large group of fans and friends bid farewell to the riders and their companions at the El Prat airport, their departure attended as if they were members of a famous football team. The members of the expedition were: José-Vicente Muntadas, as manager, and Paco Bultó, “Turuta”, Leopoldo Milá, Alfonso Milá, Guillermo Cabestany and José-Antonio Romeu as riders, among which the four racing motorcycles were assigned, with no particular preference or prior decision.

Once they reached the race track, they noticed difficulties in setting the carburetor because it ran on 72 Octane gas. That’s why, against what was originally decided, they choose the four riders that weighed less to race. Later on, they would verify that the rider who had placed best, “Turuta”, was the one that weighed less out of all of them.

32 riders and 14 different brands of motorcycles took part in the race. The final classification was:

 

  • 1st Dick Renouy, Eysink-Villiers, at 98 km/hour (average)

 

  • 2nd Nello Pagani, Morini

 

  • 5th “Turuta”, Montesa, 95.5 Km/hour

 

  • 9º L. Milá, Montesa

 

  • 15º A. Milá, Montesa

 

Guillermo Cabestany had to retire early from the race, unable to finish it. Regardless, it is important to give credit where credit is due, and the reality was that they were competing with the experience and prestige of Italian and British brands, which had better resources and more experience in speed racing on the track.

In 1950, they rented a large three-story building in Pamplona street, no. 89, in Barcelona, this would prove a much better production plant for Montesa as it had more possibilities for expansion. Meanwhile, they also rented premises at 113 Ausiàs March street, where they established the company's offices. This was the moment they introduced a completely innovative model, the result of the creativity of the company's design team. It was called D-51.

The introduction of the X-48/49 “Montjuic” engine was a big step forward. This engine, already used in competition, began to be tested on test tracks in June 1948. It had a piston without deflector with a diameter of 54.2 x 54 race. The fuel tank, round instead of square, called for a change in color, the designers working with a variety of sketches. Ultimately, they would choose the color red, which would go on to be the characteristic color of the brand. The X-48/49 engine would be rejected because of difficulties in machining the cylinder. The clutch was changed to multi-disc wet clutch.

The new model was showcased at the Barcelona’s 1951 Trade Fair and marked the end of the use of parallelogram suspension, which was replaced by a telescopic fork. They also incorporated doubly efficient aluminum cast brakes. Several units of this model took part in the Andorra Rally on 16th and 17th of June 1951 and Leopoldo Milá, riding atop one of them, took the win.

A new departure in international competition led to F.X. Bultó and Guillermo Cabestany to participate in the 6 International Days held in Varese (Italy). Both of them were crowned in the hardest race, the 2000 km, winning the bronze medal.

Another important event during the same year was the first participation in the speed races of the Tourist Trophy of the Isle of Man on June 6th. The classification, in 125 cc race was:

1.- C. McCandless (Mondial)

 

2.- C. Ubbiali (Mondial)

 

3 – G. Leoni (Mondial)

 

4.- N. Pagani (Mondial)

 

5 – J.S. Bultó (Montesa)

 

6.- “Turuta” (Montesa)

The fact that it was the second brand to be classified (among the 16 registered), and the first with a 2-stroke engine, had a great impact on the specialized English press.

 

The first international fairs to the separation (1953-1958)

Technical development within the premises of the brand continued steadily and in February 1953 the Montesa Brío 90 was introduced, a finely detailed model with a racing heart that incorporated for the first time a carburetor at the rear of the cylinder, in addition to important modifications to the engine, which translated into greater power and acceleration.

In March 1953, Montesa took part in its first motor show outside Spain: it was the Geneva Motor Show, where Pere Permanyer personally unveiled the new Brío 90 model. They also came up with the brilliant idea of exhibiting some miniatures Montesa models (meticulously made by the artist Manuel Olivé) that caused great admiration among the public. The specialized press tested several Montesa models and the magazine reviews were very favorable.

Pere Permanyer was proud of this participation in the Geneva Motor Show, not only was it the first time that a Spanish motorcycle was showcased outside of Spain, but it was also incredibly unusual at that time to see Spanish industrial products being valued outside of our borders. This is especially relevant considering it was a time when Seat hadn’t even started producing cars. A more utilitarian concept model, the Brío 80, was showcased the following year at Barcelona’s Trade Fair. The new Montesa was equipped with smaller diameter wheels, larger balloon tires, and wider fenders. This model's ride was smoother and more suitable for riding with two passengers, a very common option those days.

In February 1954, a “Sprint” type motorcycle participated in two International speed Grand Prix, held in Sao Paulo (Brazil) competing against the most famous riders and brands. The success achieved began to cement Montesa's popularity throughout the world. The rider John Grace placed 7th in the Tourist Trophy of the Isle of Man, on this same year, with the Montesa “Sprint”. Yet another important success was made in the popular International Motorcycle Trophy of Monaco, with a Brío 90.

That summer, as a result of the experiences at the last Isle of Man TT, a new fairing was adopted for the “Sprint”, tested at the Spanish Grand Prix, which counted towards the World Championship. The brand placed 3rd and 4th, in the 125 cc category. The long succession of successes accumulated in the technical, racing and commercial aspects was endorsed worldwide in November 1954, at the London Motor Show, an exhibition held in the classic Earls Court Exhibition Hall, where Montesa exhibited its Brío 80 and Brío 90 models for 1955 and the “Sprint”.

Montesa's stand caused great interest and was one of the most visited in the great London exhibition center. J.P. Griffith, a reporter for the “Motor Cycling” magazine, after testing Montesa motorcycles, wondered: “What have I learned? Spain produces good motorcycles, and they work as well as they look”.

At the beginning of 1955, the new versions of the Brío 80 and Brío 90 were introduced to the public, incorporating an odometer and speedometer in the headlight, a light switch on the handlebars, a new two-seater saddle and a handlebar lock, the latter being a complete novelty in Spain. Pere Permanyer had brought the patent for this clever gadget at the Geneva Fair when he became friends with its inventor, Abraham Neiman (who would eventually become the owner of the multinational with the same name). To develop this product, Permanyer creates the Clausor Company, becoming its first president. The same year, brilliant results are achieved with the “Sprint”: 2nd and 3rd place in the 6th International Speed Grand Prix of Saarland, its motorcycles ridden by Paco Gonzalez and Enric Sirera. They also won the Speed Race in the Cuesta a la Rabasada, with José A. Elizalde, and later, in the International Grand Prix of Lyon, John Grace, with the 175cc version, will also achieve a spectacular victory by doubling the score of the second rider.

In June, Montesa returned to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, placing three motorcycles in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions in the 125cc race on the Clypse track. It was an extraordinary testimony of the brand's potential, praised by all the international motorcycle press.

On July 2nd and 3rd, the 24 Hours of Montjuic would be held for the first time. 88 riders took part, alternating in the driving of 44 motorcycles. Juan Soler Bultó and “Turuta”, took the first positions, in front of Guzzi, BMW, Triumph, etc., known for their superior engine displacement.

This year was the tenth anniversary of the company's foundation, and different commemorative events are held. The first of these events took place on 1 December, St. Eloy's Day, when all the company's personnel were treated to a trip to Montserrat including a banquet at the Hotel de la Colonia Puig, in the same area of the Montserrat mountain range, here the employees that had been there since the start were presented with gold badges.

On the 9th of the same month, the first National Convention of Official Montesa Distributors was held to mark the milestone. Here they presented the Brío 80/56 model, which had numerous improvements over the previous version, especially in the toolbox with lock, fuel gauge, removable sprocket, illuminated speedometer, etc.

The success of that first convention led to the periodic repetition of conventions by Montesa's Spanish and international distribution agencies, a system that allowed them to jointly discuss commercial projects and listen to problems, sales plans, and collective experiences that the attendees put forward up for discussion, strengthening communication channels between distributors and between distributors and the factory on all levels.

The celebrations ended that year with a tribute to all the brand's riders on 23 December at the Saló Rosa in Barcelona. The progress of the company was nothing but astounding, the commercial work and the success in international competitions making Montesa motorcycles known and admired all over the world.

Two new models were introduced: one with a clear racing features that incorporated 4 speeds and with the shifter integrated into the gearbox: the Brío 91, in 1956; and another the following year, with a touring aspect, the Brío 81, which incorporated a system to silence the intake, a flywheel to achieve greater smoothness and other features. With this model, the usual red color was abandoned in favor of the new “trout green”.

In the 1956 edition, Montesa won yet again the 24 Hours of Montjuic, this time with the Elizalde brothers, riding a special 142 cc bike. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places also went to riders of the brand. As the brand grew, the bike started to be exported in substantial quantities to many countries in Europe, South America, and the United States. But in 1958, the Spanish government decided to implement the National Stabilization Plan, which was extremely restrictive, to reduce inflation and eliminate the public deficit. The general cutback forced a business restructuring in most companies based in Spain, and Permanyer, given the circumstances, proposed to limit structural expenses, a limitation that also temporarily affected the competition department which, for the time being, and as a first provisional measure, had to suspend all its activities. However, F. X. Bultó did not accept this and decided to leave the company, arguing that competitions were the main reason for his presence in Montesa.

In this quandary, the large family formed by Muntadas, Cabestany, Rumeu, and the Milá brothers proved their unique dedication to Montesa, including his collaborator and faithful friend “Jasu”, who remained with Montesa as long as possible. The break-up was inevitable. The sale of the shares of Permanyer S.A. de Industrias Mecánicas owned by the Bultó-Marqués family was decided, and Pere Permanyer once again relied on his family and friends to face the new adversity. At the time, Permanyer was unaware that Bultó had already considered setting up his own motorcycle manufacturing company, even while he was still working hard at Montesa. When several members of the competition department “deserted” to join Bultó's new project, Permanyer was taken completely by surprise.

The situation was complicated for Montesa, but Permanyer faced it with his usual determination: he renewed the Board of Directors, placed Leopoldo Milá at the head of the technical department, and restructured all other departments.

Milá refused to continue with the “monobloc” engine project, which he had been working on with his former colleagues (and which would eventually serve as the basis for the future Bultaco Tralla 101) and wanted a fresh start, introducing his own ideas and philosophy when it came to what a design concept should be like.

While Milá was working on what would be the future Impala, they launched some evolutions of the existing models to the international market, such as the Brío 82, the Montesa 150, and, above all, the Brío 110.

 

In 1959 the first shipment of motorcycles exported to Japan was made, which was considered a spectacular milestone. Japan was a world power in the field of exports and its own country was an impregnable stronghold for other exporting countries.

Then a rumor spread that some Japanese technicians wanted to test the Montesa in their country, to examine it closely, and eventually to copy some of its details.

 

The Impala and the production plant in Eplugues (1959-1963)

Bultó and his team started their activity and named the new brand Bultaco, a composite of the founder's (Paco Bultó) surname and name, who imprinted his personal racing spirit from the very first moment on his new company. The appearance of a new unexpected competitor and the positive evolution of the market contributed to Montesa's reconsideration of the temporary abstention from competitions. On March 19th, 1959 the first confrontation between Montesa and Bultaco took place on a racing circuit. It was at the 15th Grand Prix of Montjuic, in the 125cc category. An exciting duel took place, amidst an atmosphere of enormous expectation, between the best riders of both brands: Juan “Tey” Elizalde from Montesa and Johnny Grace from Bultaco. At the end of a very exciting race, Montesa's rider won by a few centimeters across the very finish line.

This was a time of great racing victories for Montesa with motorcycles ridden by César Gracia, Enric and Jordi Sirera, Rafa Marsans, and the versatile Juan Ramón López de la Torre. However, the most significant development was the incorporation of a young rider of great strength in the specialty of motocross: it was Pere Pi, who would go on to play a fundamental role, first as a rider and then as a technician and creative, both in motocross and later on trial. His first race with Montesa was the 1st International Moto-Cross in Barcelona, held in the Pedralbes track, in February 1960.

Pere Pi took part with a standard Brío 110, equipped simply with knobby tires and a larger diameter sprocket to shorten its final ratio. The precarious conditions of his bike did not allow him to contend for the victory in equal conditions, but later on the same year, he would achieve several victories with a motorcycle of suitable “motocross” design, culminating by his victory in the II International Moto-Cross of Barcelona the following year.

That same year, 1961, Pere Pi won the Spanish 125 and 250cc Championships. In 1962 he renewed his victory in 250cc. On September 5th, 1961, the ceremony of laying the “first stone” of what would be the new production plant in Esplugues del Llobregat was held. Activity beginning the following year, and on April 19, 1963, the official inauguration ceremony took place, with the attendance of all official authorities. The new 10,000 m2. building, designed by the famous architects Correa and Milá, used prefabricated materials that were very innovative at the time.

Meanwhile, Leopoldo Milá was working intensely on the Impala project. One of the objectives of the project was to ensure the quality and reliability of the product, and to do this they had to subject the prototypes to extensive testing. It was with this in mind, that the idea of taking a motorcycle journey across Africa (Operación Impala), from South to North, where the most taxing travel conditions were assured, arose. The plan was risky and ambitious. Soon five volunteers would show up to carry out the plan: Oriol Regás, Tey Elizalde, Enrique Vernis, Rafael Marsans, and Manuel Maristany.

A journey to the African continent, by motorcycle, from Cape Town to Cairo, given the conditions of the time, was an epic adventure. The media followed the news eagerly. Three prototypes of the Impala model were thoroughly tuned, and with a supporting Land Rover, they set out on the adventure on the 15th of January 1962. In 100 days, they covered some 20,000 kilometers, with nothing more issues than the multiple incidents typical when traveling through inhospitable countries, through forests and plains, with no roads or highways, and with an incredible number of risks of every kind imaginable.

Leopoldo Milá's ideas were confirmed and the project was a complete success. The new Montesa Impala was a great technical, commercial, and racing success from the very beginning and became a design precedent for many years to come.

 

Even today you can see “Impalas” circulating the streets of Barcelona, which is totally unusual considering its product designed in 1961. Young bikers still compete for a chance to buy bikes of this model as if they were real treasures.

The Montesa Impala was awarded the ADI-FAD for the best industrial design in 1962. At the time, the company had 460 employees on its payroll, producing more than 11,000 units per year. The industrial concept of that time envisioned a very complete manufacturing: casting, presses, welding, complete machining of the engine, painting, assembly… The models that were manufactured, simultaneously, in the '60s, were Impala, Impala Sport, Comando, and the first mass production of a motocross bike (Impala Cross of 175 and 250cc) primarily for export. They also introduced a new model with a very advanced idea: the 4-stroke 60cc scooter, called Montesa Microsooter.

 

The period between 1963-1968. Motocross. The United States market.

In the following years, Pere Pi would win several Spanish Motocross Championships, with hard racing duels with the riders Oriol Puig-Bultó, first, and José Sanchez, later, both Bultaco riders. He also won many important international competitions, especially in France and Belgium.

The year 1963 was particularly brilliant for sports victories: Jordi Sirera was proclaimed Spanish Champion of Speed in 175cc and José Mª Busquets in 250 cc. The brothers Jordi and Enric Sirera won with a 250cc Impala Sport in the 24 Hours of Montjuic, while the team of Carlos Rocamora and Juan Ramón López De la Torre took second place with a 175cc Impala. Finally, Pere Pi is once again crowned with the Spanish 125cc Motocross Championship.

Victories were also achieved in other specialties such as Rallies, where the consummate specialist Oriol Regás had several wins, including the Cannes-Geneva-Cannes International Trophy. José Mª Arenas shifted between victories in speed and in hill climb races, which were very popular at the time. On this side, the Madrid rider J. R. López De la Torre managed to win the Spanish Regularity Championships in the years 1960, 1963, and 1964.

The North American market, with its great potential, created great expectations for exports. The importer from that country, Kim Kimball (associated with the popular film actor Steve McQueen) started his activity in 1963 by importing some Impala 175 Cross, called “Scrambler” in its American version. Beginning a small business from the garage of his house, he would soon have to expand to new and larger facilities.

Kimball himself began to participate in trials called “del desierto” (the most popular at the time), making the brand known throughout North America, beginning with California. His friend Dan Gurney, a famous motor racing rider, became part of Montesa Motors Inc., which ended up owning a network of 350 dealers around the United States. Other drivers joined the company as shareholders, Ritchie Ginther (first winner for Honda in a Formula 1 race) and Phil Hill.

Several Montesa motorcycles could be seen in numerous Hollywood films, such as “Big Jake”, “Freebie and the Bean”, “On any Sunday”, etc. Even the famous actor Steve McQueen, a friend of Kimball, enjoyed his holidays by racing, on his own, a Montesa through the Californian desert.

Another interesting anecdote was the gift that the astronaut Neil Armstrong found when he returned from his successful trip to the moon. Pere Permanyer, always impressed by big advances in technology, wanted a Montesa to be at his door, waiting for him upon his return.

In 1964, three German motocross riders were signed by the brand: Fritz Betzelbacher, Otto Walz, (the famous duo Otto and Fritz), and Georg Hauger, who achieved numerous victories in Europe. The popularity of motocross led Montesa to launch new models for clients who took part in competitions in this specialty. Thus, in 1966 the Impala Cross was followed by the Cross '66 (designed for the American market) and later by the Cappra 250.

In 1965, Montesa decided to explore the moped market, foreseeing the possible decline of the utility model motorbike during the following years. This was the beginning of the production of the Montesa Cycle, equipped with a 50cc engine and 3-speed manual gearbox (manufactured under a JLO license due to the impossibility of developing their own engine in such a short time). This engine will evolve in the following years, finally becoming one of their own design. This would be the year the rider Carlos Rocamora won the European Endurance Championship.

But top-level speed competition was not easy, as Japanese brands – which had grown enormously thanks to the potential of their domestic market – had entered this arena like a steamroller. This was the era of Mike Hailwood's unbeatable 6-cylinder Honda 250 and Luigi Taveri's 5-cylinder Honda 125. However, far from giving up, Montesa started developing a 125cc, rotary valve, (with the cooperation of the Italian specialist Francesco Villa) to compete on an international level.

Important results were achieved with this bike, like the Spanish Speed Championship with José Mª Busquets. The same year (during July) they won the 24 Hours Motorcyclists of Montjuic again, by the team made up by F.Villa and J.M. Busquets, who were riding a bike specially designed for the event. It was a 250cc with central exhaust and a 5-speed gearbox. Pere Pi was crowned champion, once again, in the 250cc motocross category. He also won the English Karting Championships in 3 categories.

This intense racing activity also included the “Hill Climb” category where Santiago Trías and Roberto Blanc are unbeatable. In motocross, Manuel Olivencia and Francisco Lancho were preparing to take over from P. Pi, but their results never seemed to be at the same level. On the other hand, in the area of international motocross, the Swedish rider Cenneth Loof finished atop a great season that ended, later on, with the same rider receiving the title of official importer of Montesa for Sweden.

Continuing the collaboration of F. Villa, a 250cc two-cylinder was designed to compete in speed races, with a rotary valve and mixed cooling (water for the cylinders and air for the cylinder head). The bike was a real “rocket”; it reached incredible speed, but its mechanical fragility meant that the only brilliant result was achieved in April 1967, at the Riccione circuit in Italy, where Walter Villa stood against Mike Haillwood, who had to work very hard to win with his powerful 6 cylinder Honda. The excellent performance in this race was widely commented by the Italian press.

In 1968 they started to manufacture the Cappra 250 and the 360 GP, with a completely different design than the well-known Impala style. The important sporting successes of these machines culminated in 1969 when they won the national championships of Belgium, France (with Jacky Porte, who had already won it in 67 and 68), Italy, Switzerland and also USA where J. de Soto and R. Nelson won the 250 and 500cc categories.

 

The beginning of trial

Trial was a very popular, especially in Great Britain, where the competition season began in early autumn, once the speed and motocross races were over, and it was an occasion for the great sportsmen to have fun in winter, competitively, alongside amateurs, in friendly and healthy competition.

John Surtees, for example, who was world champion in speed and later in Formula 1, was a regular in the winter trials, and the Irish Sammy Miller, who was an extraordinary speed racer, also did the same, with such success that he ended up committing himself fully to this specialty, and becoming an almost unbeatable rider. In 1964, Sammy Miller had won, with his Ariel 500 four-stroke, his sixth British Championship, and for the third time, the Scottish Six Days Trial (S.S.D.T.).

But he was not clear about his future with Ariel, so he proposed the idea to Bultaco (through the importer Don Rickman) of building a lightweight trial motorcycle with a 2-stroke engine. At the time, trial was almost unknown in Spain. The first trial competitions in Spain were the I Trial de Viladrau which was held at “Mas Noguer” in Viladrau on August 27th, 1961, and a year later, on September 2nd, the second edition held in the same place. Riders and fans of other specialties such as Juan Soler Bultó, Oriol Puig, Pere Pi, José Mª Busquets, Carlos Giró took part in it.

In October 1964, the International Federation sent an invitation to several European federations to participate in a course in Grenoble, with the objective of promoting trial. A team of Spanish riders went to participate. At the end of the course, a competition was held between the competitors, with the German W. Steiner winning with Triumph and Manuel Marqués taking third place. Pere Pi, who was the only representative of Montesa, did so with a slightly adapted motocross bike and qualified in 13th place. But this wasn't really a competition, it was a demonstration of what the penalty “zones” are like in a trial event and how the rules of this modality are applied on the ground.

All this was done to promote the practice of this sport. Something at which they succeeded, the 1st Tibidabo Trial being held on November 1st, 1964, organized by the Real Moto Club de Catalunya on the slope of the emblematic Barcelona mountain. So many fans registered that the organization was forced to close admissions when the safe limit of riders had been exceeded.

Riders from other specialties participated, such as Jaime Martínez de la Rosa (Go Karts champion, and father of the Formula 1 pilot), Tito Puig (father of the G.P. pilot Alberto Puig), Ramón Torras (the formidable racer from Sabadell). Pere Pi took part with a prototype adapted for this specialty, but knowing his limitations in competing with more experienced riders and better bikes, he showed up at the starting line with a jacket, tie, and “dress” shoes. The winner was Juan Soler Bultó with a Sherpa N and P. Pi was classified in tenth place. It was in the Trial of Manresa, on January 31st, 1965, when P. Pi finally achieved his first victory in a trial competition, ahead of Oriol Puig Bultó and Juan Soler Bultó's Bultacos and the other Montesa ridden by Otón Tena who placed sixth.

Sammy Miller managed to put together what would be the first Sherpa T, but Montesa didn't take trial very seriously yet and only made timid improvements that are tested little by little. In 1966, a prototype with an “Earles” type suspension began to be tested with a little more interest. Then, in April 1967, the first Montesa mass-produced trial bike was showcased at the Motorcycle Sector Exhibition in Barcelona. It was the 250 Trial, but only 44 units were manufactured.

That summer, intense training sessions were organized in the Viladrau district, with the objective of entering the start of the season with the best conditions possible. The model was introduced to competition in the 1st Trial in Sant Llorenç (Terrassa) on 1 October 1967. The winner is, again, Juan Soler Bultó with Pere Pi taking third place, an encouraging improvement. From that moment on a frenetic race took place led by P. Pi as a technician-racer, Jordi Ros and Leopoldo Milá, to develop a motorbike that could compete advantageously with the experienced Sherpa T that Sammy Miller had sponsored.

The expert French rider Christian Rayer is hired as a rider and tester, going on to win the French Championship. The first Spanish Trial Championship is held in 1968. Three trials are held, the first one in Valencia on February 11th and the surprising result of Pere Pi win, beating the experienced “bultaquista” team.

 

Pi also wins the other two races, the Spring Trial in Barcelona and the Madrid Trial, thus becoming the first Spanish Trial Champion. Montesa had finally created a competitive bike and its commercial name will be Cota 247.

Its innovative design with integrated tank and saddle earns the Adi-Fad Silver Delta for industrial design. This same year, the British rider Don Smith was hired and managed to win the European Championship, beating the mythical Sammy Miller and his Sherpa. His triumph was a blew everyone away.

In May 1968, Montesa made his official debut at the Scottish Six Day International Trial, with Cota 247 motorcycles ridden by Don Smith, Charlie Harris, and Pere Pi. Don Smith, in his first international contact with Montesa in the Six Days, placed third in the general classification, showing a clear view of the possibilities of the new Montesa Trial. The following year P. Pi was faced with a new tough competitor: the young Ignacio Bultó. In the final count of the 1969 Spanish Championship, they were tied on points, but in the play-off, Ignacio won by a minor penalty.

During the second participation in the S.S.D.T. (6 days of Scotland Trial) in May 1969, Montesa wins in the team ranking with Don Smith, Gordon Farley, and Lawrence Telling.

 

The height of trial and motocross in the 70s

At the end of 1968, and despite the fact that Walter Villa had won the Italian 125cc Championship, the decision was made to focus production towards the mountain bikes, then in full swing, and speed competition was abandoned. They also decided to diversify industrial activity, launching a “power tiller” in 1968 and an “outboard” marine engine in 1969.

In 1970, Benny Sellman and Christian Rayer won the Swedish and French championships respectively, while a young American hopeful named Kenny Roberts won the US Junior Motocross Championship with a Cappra. Yet another youngster, Yrjo Vesterinen, with a 247, wins the Finnish Trial Championship.

The British Formula IV Championship is won by a rider with a great future, using a 250cc Montesa engine in his car. It is Tony Brise, who unfortunately would meet his death years later in a plane crash with the late Graham Hill, while he was preparing to participate in the Formula 1 World Championship. That same year, two young and already established riders of British Trial teams joined the Montesa team: Ian Haydon and Rob Edwards.

But it was Gordon Farley who finally won the prestigious British Championship in 1971. By then, the sport of Trial is in full expansion, from England, to the whole world. Due to the technical participation of the Spanish industry – with Montesa, Bultaco and Ossa – trial ceased to be a kind of winter pastime and became a new sport with a great market and harsh competition. Its practice was supported by a great number of highly prepared international riders, while all over the world clubs organizing new trial events for the international calendar were making an effort to find new and harder circuits for the newly enhanced machines, generally Spanish, which were already being manufactured especially for the practice of trial.

With all this going on, trial competitions no longer take place only during winter but throughout the year, becoming real spectacles of showmanship and becoming events of massive public attendance all over the world. To satisfy the youngest “fans”, Montesa launched the Cota 25, a small reproduction of the Cota 247, making children's trial become incredibly popular, with races for children in areas specially designed for them. Jordi Tarrés and Alex Crivillé learned to ride a motorbike with those little Montesa.

To mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the company, Pere Permanyer hired the sculptor José Mª Subirachs to create a splendid monument, which would be placed in the courtyard of the Montesa production plant in Esplugues de Llobregat. The monument bears the signatures of all the workers of Montesa and consists of a “mass” of historical pieces welded together, which are held between two rectangular columns where the names of all the models made are inscribed.

A great international motocross rider joined the Montesa team at the end of 1971. It was the Finnish rider Kalevi Vehkonen. With the base of a Cappra 250 MX, he will achieve excellent results in the classifying tests for the disputed World Championship of motocross in 1972, it was also the first European motorcycle classified behind the Japanese bikes of Joel Robert (Suzuki), Hakan Anderson (Yamaha) and Silvain Geboers (Suzuki).

It is the year of the presentation of the Cota 123, the younger sister of the 247. In the first edition of the Trial of the Three Days of Santigosa, a competition organized in the style of the 6 Days of Scotland, Pere Pi wins with a motorcycle of this model, in spite of competing with Sherpas and Cotas of greater capacity. The Alguersuari-Escobosa team wins the European Endurance Championship by winning, in its category, the 24 Hours of Montjuic and the French “Bol d'Or”.

The decade of the 70s was a brilliant period for business, thanks to the success of the extensive range of trial models and the competitive motocross Cappra models. The best trial riders in the world were competing to enter the official Montesa teams, which were successively expanded with riders of the stature of Rob Shepherd, Geoff Chandler, Malcolm Rathmell, among others. Meanwhile, the Japanese manufacturers, who were already producing very competitive road motorcycles in terms of price, began to greatly improve their quality and performance, so much so, that they gradually earned the trust of the world markets and because of this, the British industry in the sector, which was until then the world's leading exporter of road motorcycles, entered a process of crisis from which it would no longer emerge.

Suzuki was the first Japanese brand to enter the international arena of cross-country competition and in 1970 won its first World Championship with Joel Robert. Yamaha and Honda would follow closely behind. The latter tested its first prototypes under the name Elsinore on the California cross tracks at the end of 1972, with the intention of entering the American market. It was becoming clear that the international competition was getting stronger, meaning that the company had to adapt its industrial structure to achieve maximum competitiveness. Strategically, Montesa planned a decentralization of its production centers trying to achieve greater efficiency and flexibility.

Thus, different societies are created: Dentex S.A. for the manufacture of gears; Tonova S.A. for the manufacture and assembly of engines; Comec S.A., which produces front suspensions and frames; Cyser S.A., which deals with marketing; and Motocicletas Montesa which, at the Esplugues facilities, carries out the final assembly of the motorcycles. The same production plant also houses the research, development, and competition departments. The group of companies has up to 650 employees. Meanwhile, in 1973, Benny Sellman won the Swedish National Trial Championship, Jean Marie Lejeune won the Belgian National Trial Championship and Felix Krähnstover the German National Trial Championship. But the Spanish championship resists itself, neither Jaume Subirá, Miquel Cirera, or Pere Ollé managing to overcome Manuel Soler with his Bultaco.

In 1974 the Cota 172 was displayed at the Paris Motor Show. It was designed based on the structure of the 123 but with 21 and 18-inch wheels and an engine “increased” to 153cc. This idea for a trial bike would prove to be the most successful later on, but at this time Montesa still preferred an engine with a larger capacity, and in 1976 the long-awaited Cota 348 appeared. The 125cc category is known for being a promotional category for young riders. That is why the brand came up with the idea of organizing the 125cc Montesa Trophy so all these young riders could use the Cappra 125.

The success of the event is so good and the number of entries so high that before the competitions themselves they set up a multitude of qualifying rounds and play-offs to determine which riders can make it to the final. This promotional formula will produce outstanding riders, such as Toni Arcarons who will win the 75cc and 125cc National Trophies in 1976 and the 250cc and 500cc Spanish Championships in 1980.

The motocross models evolve from a replica of the bike Vehkonen used in the 1972 season. Thus, the Cappra 250 VR from 1973 would give way to the first VR75 version, the Cappra 250 VA in 1975, and the VB in 1976. The unforgettable Fernando Muñoz, who won several Spanish 250cc and 500cc Championships in 1976 and 1977, is considered to be the Spanish rider in history who has achieved the best results in World Championship races. Michel Combes, the French 500cc champion is also an outstanding rider of this era. But Montesa's most important acquisition was the Swedish rider Hakan Anderson, who had an excellent season in the 250cc world championship of 1976, and the following year in the 500cc class, his most outstanding result being an individual victory in the Motocross of Nations which was held in France the same year.

Another of Montesa's most important victories was achieved by the Belgian Raymond Boven at the Grand Prix de Cross held on April 3rd, 1977 at the Sabadell-Terrassa circuit, when he won the first race and the absolute classification of the Grand Prix ahead of the KTMs ridden by Russians Moiseev and Kavinov, the Husqvarna of Carlson, the Maico of H. Maisch or the CZ of the Czech J. Falta, placing him at the top of the World Championship classification. In 1977, the young rider Carlos Mas joined the Montesa All-Terrain team. This was a specialty Montesa had not yet achieved any relevant championship as its riders, Casanovas, Sucarrats, and Bellsolá had not managed to surpass the superior skill of Narcís Casas. But that changed radically with Carlos Mas as he led his Montesa Enduro to victory in the Spanish Championship in 1979, a victory that he would renew six more times. The different versions of the Enduro 360H6 to 360 H7 were also a notable sales success and contributed to the popularity of the All-Terrain vehicle even at a time when Trial was the most popular specialty.

Anticipating the end of the popular off-road trend, a new touring model, the Crono, was introduced in 1978 in 75 and 125cc versions. In 1981 the Crono 350, a touring bike with a classic design, was released and in 1982 the decision was made to produce the Impala 2, a version with alloy wheels and electronic ignition, from the series that had been discontinued in 1972.

With the Cota 348 and later with the Cota 349, outstanding triumphs were achieved in trial, such as Malcolm Rathmell's victories in the Six Days of Scotland in 1979 and the historic first victory of a non-British rider in this event by Yrjo Vesterinen, with a Montesa in 1980. The American Marland Whaley was crowned Trial Champion twice in the United States, the last time in 1980 with a Cota 349 that is kept for display in the Museum of the foundation. Later Curt Comer in 1981 and Scott Head in 1984 would repeat this victory for Montesa.

But the most awaited victory came in 1980, with Ulf Karlson, who became World Champion with the prototype of what would be the future Cota 349. To understand the importance of this, one has only to look at the competitiveness of the World Championship at the time, the final classification including in its top 10 having drivers from six countries, with six different brands. Montesa would win the title of brands this year and next.

In 1982, Toni Gorgot joined the Montesa team and in 1983 achieved the first major victory that was completely Spanish in the Six Days of Scotland, proof that the Spanish bikes Montesa (with Rathmell and Vesterinen), Bultaco (with Sam Miller) and Ossa (with Mick Andrews) had won repeatedly. But in 1982, Gorgot was the first Spanish rider, with Montesa, who managed to inscribe his name in that legendary race, riding a “Cota 349”.

Montesa decided to introduce trial bicycles into the market, with the aim of diversifying the product. This new sport, called Trialsín by Montesa, is a real school for future champions. A. Codina, J. Tarrés, and M. Colomer will come from this school. However, at the end of the 1980s, Spain entered a strong economic crisis and the motorcycle sector was doubly affected by the growing competition of Japanese brands in foreign markets.

Bultaco and Ossa, Montesa's traditional competitors, are forced to close their factories. Other smaller factories had already closed. Thankfully, Montesa had anticipated this situation and before reaching it, it had made an enormous effort to acquire, outside of Spain, an endowment of super-modern equipment and machinery to improve its products following the most advanced technologies. Faced with the dilemma of abandoning or surpassing itself, the company secured bank loans for the aforementioned industrial renovation, necessary to manufacture a better product at lower costs, which would allow it to compete on the world market against the most technically advanced international industry.

The new technologies and the drop in sales figures due to the crisis meant that the workforce was reduced, but external conditions were not the best for accepting such a measure, which was necessary for the company's survival. There were strikes and little institutional protection at key moments (in 1980 there was a strike that kept the company inactive for 3 months, something that today seems inconceivable). The financial situation became critical, investments in new models had to be stopped and finally, the company went into receivership in September 1983.

Thanks to Montesa's solid commercial and industrial organization, it managed to avoid total closure by reaching an agreement with Honda Motor in 1982. Thus, a new company was set up, called Montesa Honda S.A. with the commitment, on the part of Honda, to market special versions manufactured under the acronym MH of the popular Cota 125, 200 and 349 models, which were distributed through its sales network in Europe.

For its part, Montesa Honda S.A. used Montesa's Spanish sales network to sell its units. The Esplugues plant started production of the Honda MBX model in a 75cc version to sell it in the domestic market. This agreement was completed on July 1, 1986, with the absorption by Montesa Honda, S.A. of the remaining Montesa facilities and workers. The shared capital was finally decided with 88% owned by Honda Motor and 12% by the Spanish partners. The objective of this company would be the production, distribution, and sale of motorcycles under the Honda and Montesa brands. Unfortunately, and totally unexpectedly, Pere Permanyer died on March 20, 1987, at the age of 75, and on April 3, a few days later, he was no longer able to preside the official inauguration of a “renovated” facilities in Esplugues. The President of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol, attended the event and spoke movingly in memory of Pere Permanyer Puigjaner, whom he cited as one of the most important faces of the Catalan industry.

On behalf of Honda, Mr. Kume, president of Honda Motor, attended. During the first year, the new company puts into production the Honda MTX 75/50, and in March of 87 what would become the very popular Honda Scoopy, both transferred from the production plant that Honda has in Belgium. In addition, the Cota 304/125, Enduro 360H7, Enduro 80, and Impala 2 models are produced with abundant success under the Montesa brand. In January 1987, the new Cota 335 entered the market, and in November of the same year, the Cota 307, which can be considered the first of a generation of Cota, with the “123” engine, a truly competitive model at World Championship level and one that would definitively displace the “348” base engine models.

Riders Philippe Berlatier in 1987 and Eddy Lejeune in 1988 both took the World Championship races with a Cota 307. With the introduction of the Cota 314 in October 1993 and especially the Cota 315 in 1997, an important step forward was taken in the competitiveness of the trial models. The engine, designed in Japan by HRC in collaboration with the Montesa competition department, allowed Marc Colomer to win the 1996 Trial World Championship.

Montesa wins the Trial World Championship in 2000 with the rider Dougie Lampkin (son of former World Champion Martin Lampkin), as well as taking the first three positions in the Championship with T. Fujinami second and Marc Colomer third. Doug Lampkin succeeded in winning four consecutive outdoor world championships (2000-2003). T. Fujinami, “Fujigas”, managed to do so in 2004, while Toni Bou, in his debut as a rider of the brand, won both the indoor and outdoor world titles in 2007. Laia Sanz, also a member of Montesa-HRC, has won the women's world championship since 2000.

 

Montesa, today

Montesa Honda's production plant was moved to Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, next to the company's commercial headquarters, in 2000. In this new phase, the plant specializes in the production of large-capacity motorcycles, such as the popular Deauville, Transalp or the XL1000V Varadero, the largest model ever made in Spain. In addition to the Honda models, the factory continues to manufacture trial motorcycles. In this regard, it is worth noting that the Cota 315R was the last Montesa model to be equipped with a 2-stroke engine.

Thus, taking advantage of the synergy of technology between Montesa and Honda, by 2004 the brand had already established itself as the great contender of the four-stroke in trial. It was in that year that it launched the revolutionary Cota 4RT, putting aside its production of 2-stroke trial mechanics. Montesa once again proved its tremendous insight into the future, and its commitment to society and the environment, with a motorcycle that is a technological benchmark that enjoys an excellent reputation for performance, quality, and efficiency.

The Cota 4RT was born taking advantage of Honda's technical experience with the CRF 250R cross, being a pioneer in Montesa selling a trial frame bike with PGM-FI electronic injection. It also does not use a battery, minimizing the weight of the assembly and simplifying its design. The 4RT has the advantages of a valve’s engine, compared to a 2T, such as its greater traction or not having to make a mixture for gasoline, while significantly reducing its level of emissions.

For the cycle part, it remained faithful to the aluminum chassis that had already been used on the Cota 311, 314R, and 315R for years, although it had a new design, as well as resorting to premium materials such as Showa suspension. Without a doubt, the quality of the components and finish of the bike is unquestionable. Highly valued for its great reliability and strength, the 4RT is very well regarded by trial enthusiasts.

After the 2007 world economic crisis, motorcycle sales plummeted and many of the national manufacturers were forced to close their doors forever. In 2010 the production of Honda motorcycles manufactured until then in the Santa Perpètua plant is moved to the brand's factory in Atessa (Italy). But far from giving up, Montesa knows the way to recovery once again and reinvents its industry. As of this year, Montesa Honda's production function is based on the manufacture of both Montesa and Honda trial motorcycles exclusively for the entire world, while also incorporating the manufacture of components for the various business areas of the Honda group (Cars, Motorcycles and Power Products). The Montesa Honda factory thus integrates industrial processes such as plastic injection, steel and aluminum welding, painting and assembly of motorcycles and components.

With a clear vocation for growth, in 2016, and without losing its signs of identity, Montesa decided to present the 4RIDE, a model that arrived on the market to recover a concept that the brand itself began with, models such as the trial version of the Cota 247 or the Cota 348 and that it consolidated with the Evasión. It was a motorcycle focused on trial-excursion. The 4RIDE takes up the adventurous side of Cota: more comfort with a wide, raised seat, greater range with a larger fuel tank, greater versatility by allowing you to carry some load and higher speed for riding in greater comfort. All this while maintaining the trial skills in technical steps as a fundamental premise.

On the other hand, the iconic Montesa Cota would celebrate its half-century of life in 2018, launching a special version of the Cota 50th Anniversary, based on the Cota 300RR. This is the only model of motorcycle marketed uninterruptedly in Spain since 1968. Its successful formula is based on R&D efforts and high technological quality, adapting to the market needs and the taste of trial riders at all times. That is how the Montesa Cota is the longest-lasting motorcycle manufactured in Spain and the only motorcycle, not a scooter, that has been in continuous production in Europe for five decades.

In 2019, Montesa surprised everybody with the announcement of the new Cota 301RR, a model that replaces the 300RR and aims to bring it even closer to the world champion competition bike. The 301RR is the most powerful mass-produced Cota. It is a motorcycle designed to compete, hence its name RR (Race Ready). The model has the proven experience inherited from the competition machines used by the Montesa riders in the World Trial Championship, from which it adopts most of its components and technical solutions.

In all its history, from 1945 to 2019, Montesa Honda has amassed a total production of 1,280,000 units, 445,000 units under the Montesa brand, and 835,000 units under the Honda brand. In its 75 years of history, Montesa can proudly boast of maintaining, year after year without interruption, the production of a model with the brand's emblem. This is, without a doubt, completely unprecedented in the motor industry at a national level, it being one of the longest-lasting motorcycle brands in the world.

Montesa currently manufactures the Cota 4Ride, Cota 301RR, Cota 4RT260, the Cota Race Replica & Honda RTL models exclusively for the entire world. It also manufactures components for the three divisions of the Honda group (cars, motorcycles, and power products).

Today, the Montesa facility is part of a conglomerate of companies of the Honda group, located in the town of Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, where, in addition to the Montesa Honda production plant and offices, the car and motorcycle division of Honda Motor Europe Spain, the financial division Honda Bank GmbH Spain, the Honda Safety Institute, the headquarters of the Repsol Honda Team de trial, the headquarters of HRC in Europe and the Honda Motor Europe Logistics Center are located.

Montesa is also an iconic brand at the sporting level, mostly thanks to the Cota, which has brought it more world titles than any other brand.

In May 1968 Montesa made its debut with the Cota 247 at the Scottish International Six Day Trial, with Don Smith coming in third. A year later, he won the team title. In addition, Pere Pi became the first Spanish Champion with the 247.

It is the birth of a mythical binomial in the world of motorsport: Montesa and trial. Montesa is a world reference in motorsport of all times, accumulating 70 world titles (22 of brands and 48 of riders). Toni Bou, Cota's best ally, has won the last 26 world trials championships – both Indoor (now called XTrial) and Outdoor (now called TrialGP).

Along with Toni Bou, who has been winning titles without interruption since 2007, there are 22 other riders: Ulf Karlson, 1; Marc Colomer, 3; Dougie Lampkin, 6; Takahisa Fujinami, 1; Laia Sanz, 8; Alfredo Gómez, 1 Junior; Matteo Grattarola, 1; Gabriel Marcelli, 1.

This is the best example of the quality and innovation of the products resulting from the Montesa-Honda alliance, applied to the most demanding market: high competition.

It is also worth mentioning that both Honda and Montesa are the only motorcycles in the World Trial Championship (outdoor and indoor) to be equipped with 4-stroke technology. The results obtained in both categories once again demonstrate the great reliability and competitiveness of these models, despite the handicap of competing against machines that are in theory lighter 2-stroke machines. From then until today, the successes obtained in competition only reinforce this philosophy.

But beyond the commercial and competitive successes, Montesa continues to be a brand that, 75 years later, continues to raise passions. Montesa's popularity among trial enthusiasts is considerable, but not only in this field. The Catalan brand continues to arouse the enthusiasm of many people who admire and value its historic models, which have now become collector's items and are much sought after by lovers of old and classic motorcycles.

In this sense, it is worth mentioning the permanent exhibition that the National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has been exhibiting in Terrassa since 2017, consisting of some 70 motorcycles – apart from bicycles and engines -, more than 400 graphic documents and various emblematic objects such as trophies, helmets, suits, drawings, posters, and advertising posters and audiovisual material, all of which are distributed over some 1,100 m2 of surface area. The exhibition, which is based on the collections of the Pere Permanyer Collection, deposited at mNACTEC, tells the history of Montesa from its beginnings, paying special attention to its most significant technical, social and sporting milestones such as Operación Impala, Operación Crono, the 24 Hours of Montjuïc, the various production plants, exports worldwide, advertising, etc., up until the creation of Montesa-Honda SA in 1986.

In 2014 the new Design Museum was opened in Barcelona, in an emblematic building built for this purpose called Disseny Hub, whose collection includes, in addition to a Cota 247, a Montesa Impala. The Impala, in particular, is considered to be one of the distinctive symbols of Barcelona. Its users have turned it into a living element, habitually present in the urban landscape. Far from going out of fashion, it is a motorbike that has been passed from parents to children and even grandchildren, becoming a true intergenerational vehicle.

The Montesa Impala has also generated plenty of literature with hundreds of articles in the press and half a dozen books on its history, technique, competition, travel stories, and interviews with related characters, as well as a documentary feature. It has even been reproduced in miniature at various scales, as a model for collectors and fans.

But if there is something that has been decisive for its recovery, conservation and promotion it is the Moto Club Impala, founded in Barcelona in 1997 by a group of Impala fans, with the aim of keeping the model alive. This association, which today has more than 400 members, carries out numerous activities every year among which the Impala stands out. The formula is well established: a route of about 200 km on roads with little traffic, where the Impala can show off its virtues – stability, comfort, reliability – all while its drivers enjoy the scenery.

In the image and likeness of the Impalada, but with a more trial-like spirit, an event was born in the year 2000 that periodically brings together all the Montesa fans of yesterday and today: the Montesada. This meeting organized by the Montesa Club and the Moto Club Tona is held every October in the town of Tona (Barcelona). The Montesada's program of activities is very complete and usually includes various exhibitions, excursions, displays, and, especially, a trial designed for all levels of riding in which those registered have the unique opportunity to ride alongside champions Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami.

History, technology, design, industry, competition, even lifestyle… Montesa continues to be fully active and present not only in our culture but also in the daily life of our society. We hope that it will remain so for many more years to come: Viva Montesa!

BACK TO WORK BONUS

The following bikes and saving offers have been specially selected, to give you the best social distancing solution for your daily commute. The Back to Work Bonus can be used towards the purchase price of your bike, riding gear, accessories or rider training.

SUPER CUB C125
0% APR Representative Plus additional £200 Back To Work Bonus

Easy. Simple. Style.
The new Super Cub C125 is a stylish evolution of a revolutionary machine that’s worked so hard for so many over the last six decades. Full LED lighting is a premium addition, as is the Honda Smart Key which controls the ignition and immobiliser from the rider’s pocket.

MSX125
0% APR Representative Plus additional £200 Back To Work Bonus

Mini-Streetfighter.
Unique, unconventional, with an attitude all of its own, the MSX125 may be compact and incredibly nimble, but it rides and feels like a much bigger machine. If you’re looking for serious fun, look no further than the MSX125.

MONKEY
0% APR Representative Plus additional £200 Back To Work Bonus

Funky Style.
When you first see a Monkey, you’ll smile. When you first ride a Monkey, you’re guaranteed to be wearing the biggest grin inside your helmet. Sure, it’s small enough to pack away behind a camper van, and wriggle through gaps in traffic nothing else will get through. But, really what the Monkey’s all about is the sheer, basic joy of riding. And we think there’s nothing wrong with that.

CB125F
0% APR Plus additional £200 Back To Work Bonus

Instant fun.
The Honda CB125F sets you free, putting the power of independence in your hands. Its tough OHC 2-valve, PGM-FI fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine is super-efficient, delivering 33 miles per litre (WMTC mode) and crisp acceleration from a standing start. All of this comes together to deliver an impressive range from the 13L tank, keeping you out of the filling stations and ahead of the traffic.

CB125R
Now available with £200 Back To Work Bonus

Freedom awaits.
Lightweight. Compact. Agile. The Honda CB125R is the perfect bike for first-timers with an urge to let loose in the city. Sharing its design ethos with the Neo Sports Café range, it’s packed with hard-edged Sport Naked style. And weighing in at just 125.8kg wet, the CB125R is an extremely easy machine to handle.

PCX125
Now available with £200 Back To Work Bonus

Modern Urban Commuter.
You’re busy and you need to be somewhere fast. The PCX is ready. There’s no waiting around for crammed public transport – just hit the start button and go. The PCX has always been renowned for its economy and practicality, but now, with a redesigned sportier look, it’s a real eye-catcher too. 

CB500F
Now available with £500 Back To Work Bonus

Pure thrill. Undiluted.
The CB500F is a motorcycle stripped back to its purest state. The tightly wrapped, aggressive new style shows off the machine’s parallel twin-cylinder engine. A redesigned fuel tank cuts down on bulk and provides increased capacity to allow you more time on the road. And full LED lighting adds a premium finishing touch.

CB500X
Now available with £500 Back To Work Bonus

The City is the new wild.
The CB500X is for the free-spirited, those who want to conquer the urban jungle. With its powerful two-cylinder engine and long-travel suspension, it was built for your adventures.

CBR500R
Complimentary Rear Seat Cowl, first 3 services for £149, plus additional £200 Back To Work Bonus

Drawn from the Fireblade.

Choose the biker you want to be. With its aggressive new looks and low-end power boost, the CBR500R frees you from all constraints. And it’s A2 licence ready

CMX500 REBEL
Now available with £500 Back To Work Bonus

Express your individuality.
The CMX500 Rebel is all about freedom for all motorcyclists, particularly A2 licence holders. With a strong, liquid-cooled, parallel twin-cylinder engine cradled in low chassis and updated suspension, lighting, comfort and instruments, it’s a stunning looking bike – a blank canvas – and one that’s ready for whatever your imagination has in store for it.

NC750X
Now with £500 Customer Saving, Plus additional £250 Back To Work Bonus

Bold and brave.

The NC750X is packed with strong new design and improved performance features. Built with a refined 750cc engine, long-travel suspension, and effortless Dual Clutch Transmission – it has everything you need to ride fearlessly towards adventure.

CRF1100L AFRICA TWIN
Now available with £1,000 Back To Work Bonus

For the ride of a lifetime.
Built without compromise and on experience of decades the new CRF1100L Africa Twin leaves the rulebook in its roost. The Africa Twin challenges limits. Go push some and find your true adventure.

Back to Work Bonus Term and Conditions: Customer saving offers available on eligible models between 01 June 2020 – 03 August 2020 at participating Honda dealers only and are at the promoter's absolute discretion. Saving amounts vary per model. Subject to availability. 

HONDA IS CELEBRATING THE PRODUCTION OF 400 MILLION MOTORCYCLES

  • Honda celebrating global production of 400 million units motorcycles and scooters
  • Milestone reached after 70 years of motorcycle production
  • First motorcycle factory outside of Japan opened in Belgium in 1963

Seventy years after the first Dream D-Type rolled out of the factory in 1949, Honda are today celebrating their 70th anniversary of motorcycle production having produced 400 million units world-wide.

Honda was founded in 1948. Motorcycle mass production at its first factory outside of Japan began in Belgium in 1963. Since then, Honda has expanded its global production in accordance with its fundamental principle of making motorcycles locally to supply demand, with 35 production facilities in 25 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Honda currently produces a wide range of exciting and dynamic motorcycles and scooters for the global market from funky 50cc commuters like the Dunk, to cutting edge off-road bikes like the CRF450R, to icons like the GL1800 Gold Wing, the new CRF1100L Africa Twin and the new 160Kw CBR1000RR-R Fireblade.

Since its foundation, Honda has continued to develop and produce products that meet the many and varied needs of its global audience based on the belief that ‘the purpose of technology is to help people’. This principle led Honda to achieving the 100 million-unit milestone in 1997, the 300 million- unit milestone in 2014, and today, the 400 million-unit milestone.

2018 saw Honda exceed annual global production of 20 million-units for the first time in its history and it continues to enjoy strong support from customers old and new across the globe.

Hondas continues to strive towards its 2030 vision to serve its worldwide audience with the ‘joy of expanding their life’s potential.”

Takahiro Hachigo, Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd

“For 70 years Honda has provided to customers worldwide motorcycles that make life easier and enjoyable. As a result, we have achieved our 400 million-unit milestone. I am grateful to all of our customers, and everyone involved in development, manufacturing, sales and service of our products. We will continue to do our best to provide attractive products that meet the needs and dreams of customers worldwide”

 

Honda’s 400 motorcycle million-unit journey – 

1948 Honda Motor Co., Ltd founded

1949 The Dream D-Type went on sale

1958 The iconic Super Cub and Super Cub C100 join the Honda range

1959 Honda becomes worlds largest motorcycle manufacturer

1969 The CB750 goes on sale

1975 The GL1000 Gold Wing goes on sale

1986 The XRV650 Africa Twin joins the range

1992 The CBR900RR FireBlade goes on sale

2001 The SH125i goes on sale

2009 The VFR1200F is unveiled at the Tokyo Motorshow – the world’s first dual clutch motorcycle

2014 The Honda Super Cub becomes the most produced motorcycle in history (87 million units sold in 160 countries

Marc Marquez becomes the youngest ever premier class world champion at 21yrs of age

2015 The Gold Wing celebrates its 40th Anniversary

2017 Fireblade celebrates its 25th Anniversary

2019 CB750 celebrates its 50th Anniversary

100,000 DCT equipped motorcycles sold in Europe since its introduction in 2010

Honda celebrate winning 25th Premier Class Constructors Championship

Marc Marquez wins 8th world title

 

Honda’s Global Motorcycle production

1963 Belgium

1967 Thailand

1971 Indonesia

1976 Brazil and Italy

1979 North America

1980 Nigeria

1992 China

1997 Vietnam

2001 India

2013 Bangladesh

 

Honda’s Motorcycle Production Milestones

1968 Honda reaches 10 million unit milestone

1984 Honda reaches 50 million unit milestone

1997 Honda reaches 100 million unit milestone

2004 Honda exceed 10 million unit annual motorcycle production

2008 Honda reaches 200 million unit milestone

2014 Honda reaches 300 million unit milestone

2018 Honda exceed 20 million unit annual motorcycle production

2019 Honda reaches 400 million-unit milestone

 

CBR1000RR FIREBLADE

CBR1000RR FIREBLADE From £99 a month 0% APR Representative and up to £2000 deposit contribution. At participating dealers.

Although the Fireblade has seen many changes and been through many evolutions over the last 25 years – each underpinned by the concept of Total Control – it still continues to define the Super Sport sector and offers riders an experience that’s uniquely exciting, whether on road or track.

CBR1000RR FIREBLADE SP

THE POWER OF BALANCE

The Fireblade SP is equipped with semi-active  Öhlins race-tuned suspension, Honda Selectable  Torque Control (with built-in Wheelie Control  and Rear Lift Control), Selectable Engine Braking, New ABS, Quickshifter (with Downshift Assist), and adjustable Riding Mode Select System. All this technology is derived directly from Honda’s RC213V MotoGP machine, meaning that the Fireblade SP is truly something special.

CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN

TRUE ADVENTURE

With a 1000cc parallel twin engine and addictive torque delivery, riding the Africa Twin has never felt so satisfying. With a choice of manual 6-speed or Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) allowing you to tackle the twisties and steep mountain passes with absolute confidence, the Africa Twin gives you absolute freedom and control wherever the adventure leads.

CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS

EXPAND YOUR ADVENTURE

With a larger 24.2 litre fuel tank, offering an impressive 310 miles range, the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports is here to take your adventures further than ever before. Sporting a taller screen, flatter seat and 20 mm more suspension travel, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports is a ride that's been upgraded in every department, to take your adventure sports experience to the next level.

CB1000R+

A NEW STREET IDENTITY

The CB1000R+ is available with these ‘factory-fit’ accessories: Heated grips, aluminium front fender panels, aluminium rear hugger panels, flyscreen with aluminium inserts, single seat cowl with aluminium inserts, radiator grille with CB1000R logo, and quickshifter.

MSX125

MINI-STREETFIGHTER

Unique, unconventional, with an attitude all of its own, the MSX125 may be compact and incredibly nimble, but it rides and feels like a much bigger machine. If you’re looking for serious fun, look no further than the MSX125.

HONDA HALO MODELS TO MAKE UK DEBUT AT ACTION-PACKED MOTORCYCLE LIVE

  • All-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade makes first UK appearance
  • UK premiere of CRF1100L Africa Twin & CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports
  • Latest addition to the GL1800 Gold Wing line-up makes UK debut
  • Honda models, including the new CRF1100L Africa Twin, available to test ride on and off-road
  • Test ride the all-new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports (Dual Clutch Transmission) DCT on our purpose-built rolling road

 

Introduction

Honda UK has revealed its grand plans for Motorcycle Live, where it will show off a trio of flagship models to show-goers for the very first time. True to form, Honda will display its vast range on an impressive stand at the NEC, which opens its doors on Saturday 16th November.

Crowning the Super Sport and Adventure families respectively, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CRF1100L Africa Twin have benefited from significant overhauls as they have evolved into the latest generation models. Various derivatives of both models will be on display at the show and the same goes for the GL1800 Gold Wing line-up.

Also carrying updates into the show are the CB1000R, CMX500 Rebel and SH125i. Elsewhere on stand will be the CB1100 RS 5Four, which will be joined by its creator, Guy Willison, on both weekends. Furthermore, a cross-section of models from the Super Sport, Street, Adventure, Scooter and Off Road ranges will be well represented; and from road to racing, Marc Marquez’s championship-winning RC213V will be display with the MotoGP star’s iconic eight-ball.

For 2019, the Honda stand takes on a distinct look and feel with interactive elements and a host of live features, which will be dotted in and around the plethora of bikes, such as the pop-up stalls housing Honda experience centres representatives and information hubs. Honda’s presence at the show will go beyond the stand, with opportunities for visitors to ride various Honda models.

Honda at Motorcycle Live 2019

Taking pride of place on stand will be the all-new 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade(s). Redesigned from the ground-up, the latest generation Super Sport motorcycle moves the game on significantly, drawing heavily on the RC213V-S to deliver unprecedented levels of performance. Nestled within the all-new aluminium diamond frame is the 1000cc inline four engine that benefits from HRC technology and an Akrapovic exhaust system.

From one model steeped in motorsport glory to another, the Africa Twin. Developed to conquer the fearsome Dakar Rally, the legend has lost none of its kudos in advancing to the latest generation. Still powered by a parallel twin and sporting the recognisable Tricolour scheme, the two versions channel the spirit of the original, doing so with a suite of modern technology that makes it as capable on road as it is off.

Adding a fourth string to the GL1800 range’s bow is the new Gold Wing DCT. The top-box-less Gold Wing made its UK debut at Motorcycle Live last year, however it was exclusively manufactured with a manual transmission. For 2020, the sleeker model is available with DCT, reflecting the transmission options offered on the Tour model. Complimenting the new derivative are range-wide improvements to the suspension and fuel-injection system.

Sure to steal plenty of attention is the CB1100 RS 5Four. Limited to a production run of just 54 units, this model starts out life as a standard CB1100 RS, before renowned bike builder Guy Willison applies his expertise, imparting a classic, Café Racer aesthetic to the already retro-inspired, air-cooled motorcycle. To complete the cosmetic transformation only the highest-grade materials are used – the sculpted handlebar fairing and single seat tail unit, both fashioned out of aluminium, are testament to the quality approach.

On-stand attractions won’t stop at the bikes. A live rolling road will provide the opportunity for visitors to experience first-hand the super-fast and super-smooth shifts of DCT, as well as the plush ride facilitated by the new Africa Twin Adventure Sport’s sophisticated Electronic Suspension.

Those interested in joining the Gold Wing community will be welcomed into the Gold Wing lounge for a full rundown on the model, courtesy of a Gold Wing specialist. Elsewhere, Honda Finance and the Q&A Tech Desk will help prospective and current Honda riders make the most of their ownership experiences. Current bikers can also share their passion for riding in the www.Hondaengineroom.co.uk video booth.

Pop-up stalls will house Ron Haslam Race School Experience and Dave Thorpe Honda Off-Road and Adventure Centres representatives; riders planning on visiting either, can take advantage of Motorcycle Live exclusive offers and enter the Honda Experience prize draw. Adventure-seeking riders will also have the chance to learn more about Austin Vince’s Mini Mondo trips.

As is customary at the show, there’ll be plenty of chances to ride a Honda away from the stand. Test the new Africa Twin’s mettle off-road in the Experience Adventure space or take to the road from the Test Ride base. Even those without a licence can get in on the riding action too, at the MCIA TryRIDE feature, where CB125Rs and Honda scooters will be available.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Head of Honda Motorcycles Neil Fletcher said: ‘Motorcycle Live is a huge event on the Honda calendar and we’re really looking forward to it off the back of a big EICMA. With two all-new flagship models in the Fireblade and Africa Twin, we can’t wait for the doors to open to the NEC so the British public can get up close to these amazing bikes for the first time.’

THE CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE AND FIREBLADE SP HEADLINE HONDA’S 2020 EICMA LINE-UP

  • The all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP are revealed, offering unprecedented levels of track-focussed performance
  • New frame and engine draw strongly on Honda’s RC213V MotoGP technology; peak power increases by 13% to 160kW
  • The perennially popular SH125i and SH150i are completely upgraded with new design, more power and storage space, and increased fuel efficiency
  • The CMX500 Rebel compact cruiser receives upgrades including full LED lighting, slipper clutch, gear position indicator and a new factory-fit accessories pack
  • The new CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports make their first European motor show appearance
  • New colour schemes and cosmetic updates for the CB1000R Neo Sports Café flagship

 

Honda today reveals its full 2020 European motorcycle line-up at EICMA in Milan. Headlined by a brand-new flagship model, the additions to Honda’s product range for 2020 span the worlds of racing, adventure, roadsters and commuters.

CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP

For 28 years the words ‘Honda Fireblade’ have been synonymous with perfect handling, balance and sheer riding enjoyment. For 2020, Honda starts a new chapter in the Fireblade’s illustrious history with a new machine that is ‘Born to Race’.

Heavily inspired by the RC213V MotoGP machine and its street legal RC213V-S counterpart, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is powered by the most powerful inline four cylinder engine that Honda has ever made. Sharing the same bore and stroke as the RC213V-S, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade delivers maximum power of 160kW @ 14500rpm and peak torque of 113Nm at 12500rpm while tipping the scales at only 201kg.

The CBR1000RR-R will also be available in an SP variant. Complete with second generation semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control featuring 43mm NPX forks and Öhlins TTX36 Smart-EC rear shock, new Brembo Stylema four-piston radial-mounted front calipers and the same rear Brembo monoblock caliper as used on the RC213V-S.

In both variants, a cutting-edge aerodynamic package – also influenced by HRC’s multiple championship-winning RC213V – works in tandem with a new Bosch six-axis IMU. This replaces the five-axis unit of the previous design, giving supremely precise calculations of yaw, pitch and roll to allow even finer control of bike behaviour for unprecedented levels of handling and outright performance.

In line with Honda’s mass centralisation philosophy, both the CRB1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP are equipped with a lightweight titanium Akrapovic exhaust end can. Both will be available in two colour schemes: an HRC-inspired Grand Prix Red and a Matte Pearl Black.

SH125i

The market leading SH125i is practically a brand-new machine for 2020. Building on a million-selling heritage stretching back to the SH50 introduced in 1984, for 2020 the SH125i is equipped with a more powerful and efficient engine mated to a sleek, restyled body that offers over 50% more storage space thanks to its redesigned frame.

A new four-valve ‘eSP+’ EURO5 compliant engine powers the 2020 SH125i. Providing more top end power and stronger acceleration, the new engine also returns even greater fuel-efficiency than the outgoing model. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) now joins Idling Stop as standard fitment.

The new redesigned frame not only improves handling, but also frees up extra and ever-useful internal storage space, with the SH now offering up to 28L of under seat storage. The inclusion of a USB charger, Honda Smart Key – which now operates together with the new Smart top box – and the optimisation of the rear suspension geometry enhance both practicality and comfort.

For 2020 the SH125i will again be joined by the SH150i, featuring all the same exciting updates and innovations.

CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports

The recently revealed CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports will also make their European motor show debut at EICMA.

Powered by a lighter more powerful 1100cc parallel twin engine – increasing both power and torque while meeting Euro5 requirements – both versions of the Africa Twin use a lighter, narrower frame, improving both agility and comfort. A first for Honda, the Africa Twin comes complete with a new 6.5in TFT colour touchscreen interface.

At the heart of each bike is a cutting-edge electronics package complete with a new six-axis IMU, which guides the Honda Selectable Torque Control, Wheelie and Rear Lift Control and Cornering ABS, while also allowing more intuitive gear shifts from the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) system.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin – available in Grand Prix Red and Matte Ballistic Black – is primed for off-road adventure, with rally style body work, a slender 18.8L tank, low fixed screen and tubed tyres as standard.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports stands apart from the base Africa Twin, coming fully equipped for the long haul with a five-stage adjustable screen, three stage cornering lights, tubeless tyres and a 24.8L tank. For 2020, the Adventure Sports comes with optional Showa Electronic Equipped Rider Adjustment suspension ensuring the perfect ride no matter the road conditions. It’s available in Pearl Glare White Tricolour and Darkness Black Metallic.

CMX500 Rebel

Honda’s A2 licence friendly 500cc parallel twin-cylinder compact cruiser receives a round of updates for 2020. Benefiting from revised suspension, full LED lighting – including a distinctively redesigned round headlight – a new gear position indicator, slipper clutch, more comfortable seat and new exhaust, the CMX500 Rebel is also now Euro5 compliant. The CMX500 Rebel S Edition comes in Matte Axis Grey Metallic with a new set of factory-fitted accessories, including headlight cowl, all-black fork covers and gaiters, plus a diamond-stitch style seat.

CB1000R

Honda’s flagship Neo Sports Café naked machine – the CB1000R – combines classic lines with a modern feel and exhilarating performance. Since its 2018 introduction, it has inspired a wide range of customisations, and for 2020, subtle cosmetic changes further enhance its premium look and commanding road presence.

Replacing silver accents, an all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. Colour changes to the rear spring and front brake discs are capped off with a striking silver racing stripe running up the spine of the fuel tank.

HONDA DOES THE DOUBLE AT MOTORCYCLE NEWS BIKE OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2019

  • Honda CB500X Best sub-500cc bike of 2019
  • Honda Super Cub C125 Best scooter of 2019

Honda topped two categories at the Motorcycle News Bike of the Year Awards 2019, with CB500X and Super Cub C125 claiming the Best sub-500cc bike and Best scooter, respectively. Receiving the accolades from such a recognised authority is a clear indicator of the pair’s class-leading attributes.

2018 marked the return of the Super Cub, the best-selling motorcycle of all time. Since 1958, over 100 million Super Cubs have rolled over production lines around the world. In its latest generation, it wraps modern running gear in an immediately recognisable aesthetic, that’s a clear homage to the original. Retained is the semi-automatic transmission, a model-defining feature, that enables clutch-less gearshifts. Channelling the spirit of the icon’s lineage, the new Super Cub C125 delivers on a nostalgic front, while also providing a great riding experience in urban environments.

Speaking on the Super Cub C125, MCN said: “There is something undeniably charming about Honda’s latest incarnation of the Super Cub, making it a worthy winner of this year’s Best Scooter.” “The latest Cub isn’t designed to be a solely practical solution, instead offering a stylish alternative to a conventional scooter that pays tribute to Honda’s original late 1950s design.”

Honda overhauled the CB500X for 2019, imparting a suite of revisions on the A2-compliant model’s chassis and twin-cylinder engine. Doing justice to these fairing-deep changes, such as the enlarged 19-inch front wheel, is a more aggressive, visual design that draws on Honda’s flagship adventurer, the Africa Twin. All the above enhance and promote the CB500X’s all-round ability, making it the consummate everyday bike.

MCN’s talked-up the CB500X: “It’s Honda at its best with typically brilliant ergonomics and idiot-proof, intuitive rideability. Few bikes are as easy to ride – light, nimble handling and an upright view make for a great bike for commuting and slicking through traffic.” “Finished and detailed like a bike costing twice the price, Honda’s six grand adventurer is an exceptional all-round machine.”

Acknowledging the two awards, Neil Fletcher, Head of Honda UK Motorcycles said, “Praise doesn’t come much better than in the shape of an MCN award. So, we’re delighted to be taking two home! The Super Cub name is synonymous with Honda and motorcycling, so I’m delighted it’s back in our model line-up and this award gives credence to its return. Whereas, the CB500X is better than ever thanks to a raft of upgrades, representing an incredibly capable all-rounder.

The Honda Super Cub C125 is available from £3,339 OTR (inc. VAT) or from £69 per month on a 37 month PCP at 6.9% APR Representative.

NEW CRF1100L AFRICA TWIN AND AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS TO ARRIVE IN EUROPE IN 2019

  • Honda’s celebrated adventure machine gains wide-ranging performance and technology upgrades
  • New Euro5-compliant 1100cc parallel twin engine produces top power of 75kW and maximum torque of 105Nm – increases of 7% and 6% respectively
  • 5kg lighter, with 10% improvement in power to weight ratio, thanks to weight reduction in areas including engine, frame and swing arm
  • All-new 6.5” TFT Multi-Information Display incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity, with touchscreen functionality
  • Four pre-set riding modes – plus two user-selectable options – offer scenario-specific tailoring of Power, Engine Braking, Honda Selectable Torque Control, (HSTC), Wheelie Control and Cornering ABS settings
  • HSTC, plus new Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control and Rear Lift Control functions are now managed by a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit; Cruise Control is standard fit
  • CRF1100L Africa Twin itself has even sharper off-road focus
  • CRF1100L Adventure Sports is more ready than ever for the long haul – and now available with cutting-edge Show EERA suspension as an option
  • Unique Dual Clutch Transmission still available on both models

 

The Africa Twin has evolved. Lighter, more powerful and bristling with cutting edge technologies, both the Africa Twin itself and its ‘Adventure Sports’ sibling have been thoroughly updated – with even clearer distinct identities – to give riders the optimal equipment to tackle any True Adventure from an off-road trail to a continent-crossing marathon.

Frame and engine

Set to arrive in Europe within 2019, the Africa Twin will now be powered by a new Euro5-compliant 1084cc parallel twin engine (up from 998cc). Comprehensive revisions to the engine, including revised valve lift, aluminium cylinder sleeves and a new exhaust control valve, bring even stronger performance, while meeting the stringent new Euro5 regulations for 2020. Maximum power output increases by 7% to 75kW @ 7500rpm, with maximum torque up 6% to 105Nm @ 6250rpm, while the motor retains its silky-smooth power and torque delivery and distinctive ‘throb’.

The power unit is held in a new frame with aluminium sub-frame – bolted rather than welded to the main frame. The all-new, lighter aluminium swingarm is based on the same design as the CRF450R moto-crosser, for even better rear wheel traction and rider feel.

Electronics and instrument panel

A comprehensive electronics package managed by a new six-axis IMU includes Ride by Wire and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) plus new features including Cruise Control, Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control and Emergency Stop Signals. Six riding modes are available: four have pre-set levels of power, engine braking and ABS characteristics for different riding scenarios: Tour, Urban, Gravel and Off-road; two User modes allow the rider to set their own preferred combinations of these parameters.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin comes equipped with a 6.5” TFT Multi Information Display touchscreen as standard. The level of information shown on the easy-to-use, sleek and slender unit can be customised to the rider’s preference; information is displayed clearly and concisely, digestible at a glance at any time of day. The TFT touchscreen is also compatible with Apple Carplay®, allowing riders to get directions, make calls, receive messages, and listen to music via the applications on their phone.

CRF1100L Africa Twin

Further sharpening its genuine off-road capabilities, the new CRF1100L Africa Twin itself has been slimmed down even further, with new striking rally-style body work, slimmer fuel tank and 40mm narrower seat, adjustable between 850mm or 870mm.

The low screen allows the rider to move forward and backward freely, whether seated or standing up; compact handguards and sump guard complement the sharper look, while also contributing to the overall 4kg weight reduction. The 10% increase in power to weight ratio brings a new level of dynamic performance.

CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports

Now sharing the same riding triangle as the Africa Twin itself, the CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports is fully equipped for the long haul.

The larger 24.8L tank with range of over 500km, broader front fairing, five stage adjustable screen, standard-fit heated grips and ACC socket bring even greater comfort and practicality.

Further rider-focussed technology upgrades come in the shape of new three-stage cornering lights – which create a wider beam of light as the bike leans over – and the option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) suspension.

Aligned to the four pre-set riding modes, and adjustable at will in the two User modes, the Showa EERA has three rear preload pre-sets, and utilises the six-axis IMU and balance-free valve technology in the front forks to provide the perfect suspension response no matter the terrain.

Dual Clutch Transmission

Honda has sold over 100,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles across Europe since the system – still unique in the motorcycle industry – first appeared as an option on the VFR1200F in 2009, and approximately half of Africa Twin customers choose it as an option.

The system has evolved consistently over the last decade. On the new Africa Twin’s DCT, the system’s ‘cornering detect’ function is operated through the IMU, allowing even more natural shift patterns when in automatic ‘D’ or ‘S’ mode.

Colours

The CRF1100L Africa Twin will be available in Grand Prix Red and Matte Ballistic Black Metallic, both of which include a striking new red sub-frame. The Adventure Sports version comes in Pearl Glare White Tricolour – reminiscent of the original classic XRV650 – and Darkness Black Metallic.

Over 87,000 Africa Twins have been sold worldwide since 2016. With this comprehensive round of upgrades – the development of which involved 21 new patent applications – Honda is aiming to attract thousands more customers to the myriad life-affirming experiences made possible by its ‘True Adventure’ flagship machine.

2020 HONDA AFRICA TWIN

Model updates: 

A major evolution for Honda’s definitive full-size adventurer: harder-edged off-road performance comes via lighter chassis, slim rally-style bodywork and revised riding position; weight is reduced by 5kg, while engine capacity is increased, boosting power and torque. It’s also EURO5 compliant. A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit now manages riding modes and HSTC as well as three additional systems – Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version. A full colour 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED headlights feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and cruise control is fitted as standard.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

1. Introduction

 

It’s been over three decades since the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name – launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin – was a brand-new machine from the wheels up, it fully inherited the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.

It was the balance between power and weight that was at the heart of the original bike’s appeal, just as it was for the new model. With its unique, athletic appearance, an enjoyable, usable engine and capable, comfortable chassis, the CRF1000L Africa Twin proved itself a true modern-day all-rounder and has been hugely popular with round-the-world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike.

2018 saw the Africa Twin, in both manual transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) form, receive Throttle By Wire (TBW) control plus 3 riding modes, expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) options, as well as intake and exhaust development for improved engine response and sound. The platform also expanded: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports – with the same updates but featuring improved wind protection, greater tank range and longer-travel suspension – extended the machine even further into long-range off-road territory.

Building on strong European (and global) demand for both models, with over 87,000 sold worldwide since its 2016 relaunch, 2020 is set to be a landmark year for the Africa Twin.

The touring comfort, technology and ability of the new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports* are further enhanced – and it adds the option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (SHOWA EERA). Meanwhile, the CRF1100L Africa Twin itself is comprehensively redrawn with an aggressive, compact rally style and even sharper off-road focus. It also packs more power and torque and is significantly lighter – in keeping with the first principles set out all those years ago.

 

*See separate CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports Press Kit.

 

 

2. Model Overview

The 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin has a sharply-renewed focus on off-road core ability, that brings with it the look – and feel – of a true rally machine. Smaller, slimmer and 5kg lighter, it offers even more athletic performance, thanks also to changes to the engine, which now produces 7% more peak power, 6% more peak torque and is much stronger everywhere in the rev-range. It’s also EURO5 compliant.

The frame has been completely revised and now features a bolt-on aluminium subframe. The swingarm, too, is aluminium and based on that of the CRF450R moto-crosser. And at the centre of the Africa Twin, the addition of a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) controls not only the 7-level HSTC but also (new for 2020) 3-level Wheelie Control, Cornering ABS (with off-road setting), Rear Lift Control and DCT cornering detection. An OFF-ROAD setting also joins the URBAN, TOUR and GRAVEL default riding modes.

Tailored for complete control, the riding position features a slimmer-section seat and higher-set handlebars. A full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen offers immersive engagement with the machine’s systems, plus Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are highly visible, improving safety, and cruise control is standard-fit.

 

3. Key Features

 

3.1 Styling & Equipment

 

  • Compact body style designed for off-road, with slim seat and high handlebars
  • Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen
  • Apple CarPlay® allows use of Apple iPhone® through the MID
  • Bluetooth connectivity, Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and cruise control

 

Aggressive and compact. Two words that sum up the Africa Twin’s taut new rally-style bodywork. And it’s for a reason – to work better off-road. The fixed screen is much shorter than before, to allow for easy scanning of the trail ahead and, while seat height remains 850-870mm, the handlebars now mount 22.5mm higher, giving a more upright riding position and comfortable control, whether standing or seated.

The tail section is slimmer and the seat itself is 40mm narrower, for easier ground reach; its shape has also been carefully contoured to allow easier back and forth movement. Low 825-845mm and high, 875-895mm seat options are also available as accessories.

New dual LED headlights are set higher, deliver a penetrating beam and also feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) that automatically adjust to ambient light intensity, improving safety, no matter the conditions. Knuckle guards are standard.

The full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen keeps the rider in control of all of the Africa Twin’s systems, with each of the riding modes­ selectable through the top left of the screen. The MID can also be customised to show various levels of information relative to the riding mode chosen and is easy to use even when wearing gloves.

It also incorporates Apple CarPlay®, allowing use of an Apple iPhone® through the touchscreen. Navigation apps can also be accessed and displayed and via a Bluetooth helmet headset calls can be made or received. The iPhone® itself plugs into a USB charging port on the right of the MID. Hands-free wireless Bluetooth connectivity is also an option for an iPhone® or Android device and all control inputs are made from the left-hand switchgear.

The front and rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal function. When braking suddenly over 50kph the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation.

 

For 2020 cruise control is now fitted as standard, to ease long-distance highway travel.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Capacity rises to 1,084cc giving 75kW peak power and 105Nm peak torque
  • Achieved through a new cylinder head, valve timing and lift, throttle body and exhaust
  • Manual transmission ratios and gear material optimised, saving weight
  • The muffler now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) for improved low-rpm sound and high-rpm performance 

The SOHC 8-valve parallel-twin engine’s essential architecture remains unchanged for 2020 but has a larger displacement of 1,084cc, up from 998cc. And as a result peak power goes from 70kW to 75kW @ 7,500rpm with peak torque going from 99Nm to 105Nm @ 6,250rpm. Significantly, the obvious increase in both power and torque makes itself felt from 2,500rpm all the way through to the redline.

To create the larger capacity, bore remains 92mm but stroke is longer at 81.5mm (from 75.1mm) with compression ratio of 10.1:1. The cylinder sleeves are also now aluminium. Along with other detailed weight savings in the transmission and elsewhere, the manual transmission engine is now 2.5kg lighter (at 66.4kg) than the previous design, the DCT version 2.2kg lighter at 74.9kg.

As before, the 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval create the engine’s distinctive throb and feel for rear wheel traction. The cylinder head however is completely revised, as is the larger diameter 46mm throttle body; the bore and cylinder pitches are also now aligned to create a smooth air intake profile. The ECU setting is new and the injector angle has been modified to deliver a more direct spray into re-shaped twin-spark combustion chambers.

Honda’s SOHC Unicam valve train is a feature of the MX competition-specification CRF450R and the low-set position of the cast camshaft contributes to the compact nature of the cylinder head. For 2020 the valve timing has been optimised and inlet and exhaust valve lift increased to 10.1mm inlet and 9.3mm exhaust (from 9.2/8.6mm).

To match and deal with the uprated intake efficiency and higher output (thus gas flow) the exhaust end-can now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) very similar to the unit fitted to the CBR1000RR Fireblade. It enhances both engine performance and efficiency as it opens at higher rpm and gives a pleasing exhaust note ‘pulse’ at lower rpm.

The crankcases are split vertically; the water pump is housed efficiently within the clutch casing with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head. Manual and DCT versions of the engine share common crankcases with only minor external differences; the water and oil pumps are both driven by the engine’s balancer shafts.

It’s a semi-dry sump design with in-tank lower crankcase oil storage. This allows a lower pan depth, keeping overall engine height low. As the pressure-fed pump is located within the tank where it delivers its oil from, there is no need for a pressure-feed passage. Secondary vibrations are neutralised by the mutually reciprocating motion of the pistons, while primary inertial and coupling vibrations are cancelled by the use of biaxial balance shafts.

For 2020 precision of the front and rear balance gears has been improved, allowing removal of their scissor gears; the addition of a crank pulsar ring adds misfire detection, important for OBD2/EURO5 compliance. In addition for EURO5 the 02 lambda exhaust sensors have been replaced with Linear Air Fuel (LAF) sensors in the downpipes to allow for much more accurate measurement of the air/fuel mixture ratio.

The aluminium clutch centre and pressure plate use ‘assist’ cams to ease upshifts and ‘slipper’ cams for deceleration and downshifting; the clutch diameter is now smaller and features reduced spring tension for lighter lever feel. The gears are also re-shaped and constructed from stronger material. A quickshifter remains available as an optional extra.

 

3.3 Engine & Chassis Management Electronics 

  • IMU-managed HSTC intervention levels optimised for off-road use
  • Wheelie Control features 3 levels and IMU management
  • OFF-ROAD joins the default riding modes TOUR, URBAN and GRAVEL
  • Two USER modes allow for complete riding modes customisation

 

The Africa Twin’s engine received the benefits of Throttle By Wire (TBW) control in 2018, allowing much finer management of engine output and character as well as expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for rear tyre grip; for 2020 the system has smartly evolved and now works in conjunction with a six-axis IMU*.

The system offers 4 levels of power and 3 levels of engine braking. There are still seven levels of HSTC but each level’s amount of intervention has been optimised to work with real-time input (yaw/roll angle and rate) from the IMU. The spacing of the levels has been optimised to allow the rider a finer choice of the amount of rear tyre slide for off-road riding. HSTC can also be turned off completely.

Wheelie Control is another new feature. Again, with the IMU measuring pitch angle and rate, and controlling engine torque via TBW, the rider can choose between 3 levels of input. Level 1 allows for intended wheel lift but suppresses any sudden movement. Level 3 stops any front wheel elevation and level 2 is mid-way between the two. Wheelie Control can also be turned off completely.

There are four default riding mode settings: TOUR, URBAN, GRAVEL and OFF-ROAD to cover most riding conditions and situations plus two customisable USER settings. Even within the default riding modes, it’s possible to change some parameters – HSTC between levels 1-7 (plus off), Wheelie Control between levels 1-3 (plus off) and DCT S mode shift pattern levels 1-3.

 

TOUR employs the highest level of Power (1), for touring loaded with pillion and luggage plus mid-range Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

URBAN suits wide-ranging riding requirements and uses mid-level Power (2) and Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS. 

GRAVEL delivers the lowest level of Power (4) and Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; in this setting, the rear brake ABS cannot be switched off.

OFF-ROAD uses lower-mid level Power (3) and the lowest amount of Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; the rear brake ABS can be switched off.

USER 1 & 2 modes offer the rider a choice of two distinct personalized setups – choosing between Power levels 1-4 and Engine Braking 1-3, and ABS on-road/off-road parameters.

 

*See the Chassis section 3.5 of this press kit.

 

3.4 Dual Clutch Transmission

 

  • Super-fast gear changes in either Manual Transmission (MT) or Automatic D and S modes
  • S mode (with 3 levels) revs higher and downshifts sooner than D, for more aggressive riding
  • G switch improves rear wheel traction when off-road
  • Incline detection adapts shift pattern depending on gradient
  • IMU allows corning detection function for improved shift timings

 

Honda has sold over 100,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles across Europe since the system first appeared as an option on the VFR1200F a decade ago in 2009. Testament to its acceptance in the marketplace, during the last financial year, DCT accounted for 48% of European sales on models where DCT was an option.

The unique DCT system delivers consistent, super-fast seamless gear changes, and very quickly becomes second nature in use. It uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging.

Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system pre-selects the target gear using the clutch not currently in use. The first clutch is then electronically disengaged as, simultaneously, the second clutch engages.

The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock and pitching of the machine is minimised, making the change feel direct as well as smooth.

The extra benefits of durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear) impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding and reduced rider fatigue add to DCT’s appeal

Three modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode offers three levels of sportier riding, as the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, and shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking.

In either D or S mode, DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers on the left handlebar. At an appropriate time, DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

DCT for the Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch accessed via the TFT touch screen display. Activating the G switch in any riding mode improves the feel for available traction and machine control by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.

 

Further functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of an incline to provide optimum control.

 

A new feature for the CRF1100L Africa Twin’s DCT system is cornering detection. When the IMU recognises the bike is cornering, the system subtly adjusts the shifting programme for the most natural gear changes.

 

3.5 Chassis

 

  • A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit is housed in the centre of the machine
  • Revised, lighter frame, with bolt-on aluminium subframe and lighter, more rigid CRF450R-style swingarm for improved rear wheel traction and feel
  • Cornering ABS provides sure-footed feel and features an off-road setting
  • New damping and spring rates for the front and rear Showa suspension

 

At the very heart of the Africa Twin’s elevated on- and off-road performance is a Bosch MM7.10 six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) tucked away at the centre of the machine, that measures – in real-time – roll angle/rate, pitch angle/rate and yaw angle/rate. It manages rear wheel traction via TBW and HSTC, front braking grip through Cornering ABS, front wheel lift through Wheelie Control and also adds Rear Lift Control.

In conjunction with the addition of IMU control for its 2020 evolution, the strength and rigidity balance of the steel semi-double cradle frame was completely re-examined by Honda’s development engineers to boost off-road ability – at the same time reinforcing its all-round on-road manners.

Rigidity around the steering head has been optimised to enhance feel for front end grip; the main spars are also slimmer and straighter and do away with the front cross pipe. Frame weight is 1.8kg lighter than before.

A bolt-on aluminium subframe (finished in red) replaces the integral steel structure of the previous design and is 40mm slimmer at a width of 195mm – crucial for easier ground reach. The aluminium swingarm is all-new, 500g lighter and based on the same design used by the CRF450R. Its improved rigidity improves rear wheel traction and rider feel.

Ground clearance remains 250mm, with wheelbase of 1575mm and rake and trail of 27° 30’/113mm. Wet weight is 5kg lighter, at 226kg.

With stroke length of 230mm the 45mm Showa cartridge-type inverted front fork offers long-travel bump absorption and features revised internal settings to improve both on- and off-road performance. Rebound and compression damping are fully adjustable. A cast aluminium top yoke and forged bottom yoke – joined by hollow aluminium stem shaft – clamp the fork legs with two bolts each top and bottom.

Similarly revised to match the front suspension the Showa rear shock delivers 220mm axle travel and features a 46mm cylinder and remote reservoir for stable damping control under extreme off-road riding conditions. Spring preload can be adjusted via a dial on the shock body; rebound and compression damping are also fully adjustable.

The swingarm pivot points’ inner plates now use 600MPa high-strength steel and the upper cross tube that connects them acts as the rear shock upper mount (through a pillow-ball joint) improving feel for rear wheel traction.

The IMU takes in lean angle, deceleration (from front/rear wheel speed sensors) and incorporates the slip rate of the front and rear wheels to manage braking pressure through the ABS; likewise if it detects sudden rear wheel lift, it finely controls brake force to maintain stability. When stationary the rear ABS can be cancelled for off-road riding.

As beFore, compact two-piece radial-mount four-piston calipers work dual 310mm ‘wave’ floating discs through sintered pads. The rear 256mm ‘wave’ disc features hole punching and shaping. 21/18-inch front rear (stainless steel) spoked wheels wear 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tyres. Block pattern tyres (Continental 90/90-21M/C 54S and 150/70B 18M/C 70Q, rated at 180km/h and 160km/h respectively) are approved for fitment.

 

 

4 Accessories

The range of Honda Genuine Accessories for the Africa Twin has been expanded with luggage options that includes premium (42L) aluminium top box and panniers plus large (58L) plastic top box and panniers, two seat heights (a lower 825-845mm and taller 870-895mm option), touring screen, radiator guards, engine guards and side pipes, knuckle guard extensions, heated grips and an ACC charging socket.

 

 

5 Technical Specifications

 

ENGINE

Type

SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam

Displacement

1084cc

Bore & Stroke

92mm x 81.5mm

Compression Ratio

10.1:1

Max. Power Output

75kW at 7,500rpm

Max. Torque

105Nm at 6,250rpm

Noise Level

73dB

Oil Capacity

4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)

FUEL SYSTEM

Carburation

PGM-FI

Fuel Tank Capacity

18.8L

CO2 Emissions

112g/km MT

110g/km DCT

Fuel Consumption

4.9L/100km (20.4km/L) MT

4.8L/100km (20.8km/L) DCT

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Starter

Electric

Battery Capacity

12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)

ACG Output

 0.49 kW/5,000rpm

DRIVETRAIN

Clutch Type

Wet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch

DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs

Transmission Type

6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)

FRAME

Type

Semi double cradle

CHASSIS

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2330mm x 960mm x 1395mm

Wheelbase

1575mm

Caster Angle

27.5°

Trail

113mm

Seat Height

850/870mm (low seat option 825mm, high seat option 895mm)

Ground Clearance

250mm

Kerb Weight

226kg (DCT 236kg)

SUSPENSION

Type Front

Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustments, 230mm stroke

Type Rear

Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 220 mm rear wheel travel

WHEELS

Type Front

21M/C x 2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim

Type Rear

18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim

Rim Size Front

21″

Rim Size Rear

18″

Tyres Front

90/90-21M/C 54H (tube type)

(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /

Metzler Karoo Street)

Tyres Rear

150/70R18M/C 70H (tube type)

(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /

AX41T Metzler Karoo Street)

BRAKES

ABS System Type

2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting

Type Front

310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads

Type Rear

256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-channel with rear ABS OFF mode.

INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS

Instruments

LCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display

Security System

Immobiliser, security alarm (optional)

Headlight

LED

Taillight

LED

Electrics

Daytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC and wheelie control)

 

** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

2020 HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS

Model updates: A major evolution for Honda’s AfricaTwin Adventure Sports: its sights are now set more firmly than ever on the far horizon, as a comfortable, long-haul, go-anywhere adventure machine. Engine capacity is increased, boosting power and torque, with EURO5 compliance, while weight is reduced by 5kg. A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit now manages riding modes and HSTC as well as three additional systems – Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version. Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA) is also now an option. A full colour 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED headlights feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) technology and Cornering Lights. Cruise control, heated grips and an ACC charger are also fitted as standard.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

1. Introduction

 

It’s been over three decades since the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name – launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin – was a brand-new motorcycle from the wheels up, it fully inherited the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.

It was the balance between power and weight that was at the heart of the original bike’s appeal, just as it was for the new model. With its unique, athletic appearance, an enjoyable, usable engine and capable, comfortable chassis, the CRF1000L Africa Twin proved itself a true modern-day all-rounder and has been hugely popular with round-the-world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike.

2018 saw the Africa Twin, in both manual transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) form, receive Throttle By Wire (TBW) control plus 3 riding modes, expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) options, as well as intake and exhaust development for improved engine response and sound. The platform also expanded: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports – with the same updates but featuring improved wind protection, greater tank range and longer-travel suspension – extended the machine even further into long-range off-road territory.

Building on strong European (and global) demand for both models, with over 87,000 Africa Twins sold worldwide since its 2016 relaunch, 2020 is set to be a landmark year.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin* is comprehensively redrawn with an aggressive, compact rally style and concentrated off-road focus. Meanwhile, the touring comfort, technology and all-round capability of the new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports are significantly enhanced – with the added option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA).

Both models also pack more power and torque into a lighter overall package – in keeping with the first principles set out all those years ago.

*See separate CRF1100L Africa Twin Press Kit.

 

 

2. Model Overview

 

The new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports shares the frame, engine and riding position of the off-road focussed CRF1100L Africa Twin, but has a role very much of its own: to offer riders real continent-crossing long-haul ability and practicality both on and off-road. This comes in the shape of a larger 24.8L fuel tank, extended wind protection (from both the fairing and fairing side panels), height-adjustable screen, large engine sump guard, aluminium rear carrier plus tubeless wheels and tyres. ACC charger and heated grips are also standard fit.

For optimum suspension damping front and rear the Africa Twin Adventure Sports is also available with Showa EERA as an option. Four default modes – SOFT, MID, HARD and OFF-ROAD – cover every type of riding situation, and there’s a USER mode for further fine-tuning. Rear spring preload can also be adjusted while stationary.

Just like the 2020 Africa Twin, its engine produces 7% more peak power and 6% more peak torque and is much stronger everywhere in the rev-range compared to the previous design. It’s also EURO5 compliant.

The frame too has been revised and now features a bolt-on aluminium subframe; the swingarm is aluminium and based on that of the CRF450R. And at the centre of the Africa Twin Adventure Sports, the addition of a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) allows control not only of the 7-level HSTC but also (new for 2020) 3-level Wheelie Control, Cornering ABS (with off-road setting) Rear Lift Control and DCT cornering detection.

Dual LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are highly visible, improving safety, and cruise control is standard-fit. The Africa Twin Adventure Sports also features three-stage Cornering Lights – also managed by the IMU – that automatically adjust the field of illumination depending on the lean angle.

Tailored for control and comfort, the riding position features a slimmer-section seat, which is also set 50mm lower than before. A full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen offers immersive engagement with the machine’s systems (including the Showa EERA) plus Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity.

 

3. Key Features

 

3.1 Styling & Equipment

 

  • Protective bodywork, height-adjustable screen and lower seat height
  • 24.8L fuel tank, aluminium insert panels, rear rack and engine bash plate
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with additional Cornering Lights
  • Cruise control, heated grips and ACC charger
  • Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen
  • Apple CarPlay® allows use of Apple iPhone® through the MID plus Bluetooth connectivity

Designed for the long-haul, the expanded front fairing offers plenty of wind and weather protection, multiplied by the 5-level height adjustable screen. The Africa Twin Adventure Sports now shares its seat height with the Africa Twin at 850-870mm (down considerably from the 900-920mm of the previous model). 

The tail section is slimmer and the seat itself is 40mm narrower, for easier ground reach; its shape has also been carefully contoured to allow easier back and forth movement. Low 825-845mm and high 875-895mm seat options are available as accessories.

The riding triangle is now common with the Africa Twin itself, giving an upright riding position and comfortable control. Large knuckle guards are standard, as are heated grips and ACC charger.

Holding 24.8L, the fuel tank offers a potential range of over 500km, thanks to fuel economy of 4.8L/100km (20.4km/L, WMTC mode). A large engine sump guard, aluminium insert panels and an aluminium rear carrier are included in the specification.

The new dual LED headlights deliver a penetrating beam and, for additional security, feature three-stage right/left Cornering Lights that use speed and lean angle (controlled by the IMU) to automatically adjust the area illuminated when cornering. Daytime Running Lights (DRL) also automatically adjust to ambient light intensity and give a bright, highly visible light at all times.

The full colour Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen keeps the rider in control of all of the Africa Twin’s systems and each of the riding modes­ are selected through the top left of the screen. The MID can also be customised to show various levels of information relative to the riding mode chosen, and is easy to use even when wearing gloves.

It also has Apple CarPlay® allowing use of an Apple iPhone® through the touchscreen. Navigation apps can also be accessed and displayed and via a Bluetooth helmet headset calls can be made or received. The iPhone® itself plugs into a USB charging port on the right of the MID. Hands-free wireless Bluetooth connectivity is also an option for an iPhone® or Android device and all control inputs are made from the left-hand switchgear.

The front and rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal function. When braking suddenly over 50kph the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation. Cruise control is fitted as standard.

 

3.2 Chassis

  • Six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit located in the centre of the machine
  • Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment now an option
  • Revised, lighter frame with bolt-on aluminium subframe
  • Cornering ABS provides sure-footed braking and features an off-road setting
  • New damping and spring rates for the standard Showa suspension
  • Tubeless tyres make for easy roadside repairs

 

At the very heart of the Africa Twin Adventure Sport’s elevated handling performance is a Bosch MM7.10 six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit tucked away toward the centre of the machine, that measures in real-time roll angle/rate, pitch angle/rate and yaw angle/rate. It manages rear wheel traction via TBW and HSTC, front braking grip through Cornering ABS, front wheel lift through Wheelie Control and also adds Rear Lift Control.

In conjunction with the addition of IMU control for its 2020 evolution the strength and rigidity balance of the steel semi-double cradle frame was completely re-examined by Honda’s development engineers to reinforce its all-round ability on- and off-road.

Rigidity around the steering head has been optimised to enhance feel for front end grip; the main spars are also slimmer and straighter and do away with the front cross pipe. Frame weight is 1.8kg lighter than before.

A bolt-on aluminium subframe replaces the integral steel structure of the previous design and is 40mm slimmer at a width of 195mm – crucial for easier ground reach. The Monoblock aluminium swingarm is all-new, 500g lighter and based on the same design used by the CRF450R. Its improved rigidity improves rear wheel traction and rider feel.

To tailor damping force front and rear – and spring preload to suit load and riding conditions – Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment is an option from new on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

Showa EERA adjusts damping force relative to riding mode selected and aims to deliver high-quality suspension reaction in diverse and opposite conditions – riding comfort at slower speeds and stability at higher speeds.

Input is gathered from stroke sensors plus Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). There are three road settings: SOFT has the lowest damping force for smoothest reaction, versatile MID operates as an all-round setting with HARD, using the highest damping force through low-to-high stroke speed, designed for sportier riding.

There is an OFF-ROAD setting that gradually raises front fork damping force as stroke speed rises and uses higher damping settings for the rear shock.

Rear spring preload can be electronically adjusted while stationary, through four default settings; 1) riding solo, 2) riding solo with luggage, 3) riding two-up and 4) riding two-up with luggage. A USER option allows for fine-tuning of damping force front and rear and 24 points of rear spring preload.

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports is also available with standard Showa suspension. With stroke length of 230mm, the 45mm cartridge-type inverted front fork offers long-travel bump absorption and features revised internal settings to improve all-round performance. Rebound and compression damping are fully adjustable. A cast aluminium top yoke and forged bottom yoke – joined by hollow aluminium stem shaft – clamp the fork legs with two bolts each top and bottom.

Similarly revised to match the front suspension, the rear shock delivers 220mm axle travel and features a 46mm cylinder and remote reservoir for stable damping control under extreme off-road riding conditions. Spring preload can be adjusted via a dial on the shock body; rebound and compression damping are also fully adjustable. The swingarm pivot points’ inner plates now use 600MPa high-strength steel and the upper cross tube that connects them acts as the rear shock upper mount through a pillow-ball joint.

The IMU takes in lean angle, deceleration (from front/rear wheel speed sensors) and incorporates the slip rate of the front and rear wheels to manage braking pressure through the ABS. Likewise if it detects sudden rear wheel lift, it finely controls brake force to maintain stability. When stationary the rear ABS can be cancelled for off-road riding.

Ground clearance remains 250mm, with wheelbase of 1575mm and rake and trail of 27.5° /113mm. Wet weight has been reduced by 5kg to 238kg, with DCT at 248kg. The Showa EERATM adds a further 2kg in both Manual and DCT guises.

As before compact two-piece radial-mount four-piston calipers work dual 310mm ‘wave’ floating discs through sintered pads. The rear 256mm ‘wave’ disc features hole punching and shaping.

To make puncture repair easier when on tour the 21/18-inch front and rear (stainless steel) spoked wheels wear tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T or Metzeler Karoo Street tyres, sized 90/90-21M/C 54H and 150/70R18 M/C 70H. Block pattern tyres (Continental 90/90-21M/C 54S and 150/70B 18M/C 70Q are also approved for fitment.

 

3.3 Engine

  • Capacity rises to 1,084cc giving 75kW peak power and 105Nm peak torque
  • Achieved through a new cylinder head, valve timing and lift, throttle body and exhaust
  • Manual transmission ratios and gear material optimised, saving weight
  • The muffler now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) for improved low-rpm sound and high-rpm performance

The SOHC 8-valve parallel-twin engine’s essential architecture remains unchanged for 2020 but has a larger displacement of 1,084cc, up from 998cc. And as a result peak power goes from 70kW to 75kW @ 7,500rpm with peak torque going from 99Nm to 105Nm @ 6,250rpm. Significantly, the obvious increase in both power and torque makes itself felt from 2,500rpm all the way through to the redline.

To create the larger capacity, bore remains 92mm but stroke is longer at 81.5mm (from 75.1mm) with compression ratio of 10.1:1. The cylinder sleeves are also now aluminium. Along with other detailed weight savings in the transmission and elsewhere the manual transmission engine is now 2.5kg lighter (at 66.4kg) than the previous design, the DCT version 2.2kg lighter at 74.9kg.

As before, the 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval create the engine’s distinctive throb and feel for rear wheel traction. The cylinder head however is completely revised, as is the larger diameter 46mm throttle body; the bore and cylinder pitches are also now aligned to create a smooth air intake profile. The ECU setting is new and the injector angle has been modified to deliver a more direct spray into re-shaped twin-spark combustion chambers.

Honda’s SOHC Unicam valve train is a feature of the MX competition-specification CRF450R and the low-set position of the cast camshaft contributes to the compact nature of the cylinder head. For 2020 the valve timing has been optimised and inlet and exhaust valve lift increased to 10.1mm inlet and 9.3mm exhaust (from 9.2/8.6mm).

To match and deal with the uprated intake efficiency and higher output (thus gas flow) the exhaust end-can now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) very similar to the unit fitted to the CBR1000RR Fireblade. It enhances both engine performance and efficiency as it opens at higher rpm and gives a pleasing exhaust note ‘pulse’ at lower rpm.

The crankcases are split vertically; the water pump is housed efficiently within the clutch casing with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head. Manual and DCT versions of the engine share common crankcases with only minor external differences; the water and oil pumps are both driven by the engine’s balancer shafts.

It’s a semi-dry sump design with in-tank lower crankcase oil storage. This allows a lower pan depth, keeping overall engine height low. As the pressure-fed pump is located within the tank where it delivers its oil from, there is no need for a pressure-feed passage. Secondary vibrations are neutralised by the mutually reciprocating motion of the pistons, while primary inertial and coupling vibrations are cancelled by the use of biaxial balance shafts.

For 2020 precision of the front and rear balance gears has been improved, allowing removal of their scissor gears; the addition of a crank pulsar ring adds misfire detection, important for OBD2/EURO5 compliance. In addition for EURO5 the 02 lambda exhaust sensors have been replaced with Linear Air Fuel (LAF) sensors in the downpipes to allow for much more accurate measurement of the air/fuel mixture ratio.

The aluminium clutch centre and pressure plate use ‘assist’ cams to ease upshifts and ‘slipper’ cams for deceleration and downshifting; the clutch diameter is now smaller and features reduced spring tension for lighter lever feel. The gears are also re-shaped and constructed from stronger material. A quickshifter remains available as an optional extra.

 

3.4 Engine & Chassis Management Electronics

  • IMU-managed HSTC intervention levels optimised for off-road use
  • Wheelie Control features 3 levels and IMU management
  • OFF-ROAD joins the default riding modes TOUR, URBAN and GRAVEL
  • Two USER modes allow for complete riding modes customisation

 

The Africa Twin’s engine received the benefits of Throttle By Wire (TBW) control in 2018, allowing much finer management of engine output and character as well as expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for rear tyre grip; for 2020 the system has smartly evolved and now works in conjunction with a six-axis IMU*.

The system offers 4 levels of power and 3 levels of engine braking. There are still seven levels of HSTC but each level’s amount of intervention has been optimised to work with real-time input (yaw/roll angle and rate) from the IMU. The spacing of the levels has been optimised to allow the rider a finer choice of the amount of rear tyre slide for off-road riding. HSTC can also be turned off completely.

Wheelie Control is another new feature. Again, with the IMU measuring pitch angle and rate, and controlling engine torque via TBW, the rider can choose between 3 levels of input. Level 1 allows for intended wheel lift but suppresses any sudden movement. Level 3 stops any front wheel elevation and level 2 is mid-way between the two. Wheelie Control can also be turned off completely.

There are four default riding mode settings: TOUR, URBAN, GRAVEL and OFF-ROAD to cover most riding conditions and situations plus two customisable USER settings. Even within the default riding modes, it’s possible to change some parameters – HSTC between levels 1-7 (plus off), Wheelie Control between levels 1-3 (plus off) and DCT S mode shift pattern levels 1-3.

TOUR employs the highest level of Power (1), for touring loaded with pillion and luggage plus mid-range Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

URBAN suits wide-ranging riding requirements and uses mid-level Power (2) and Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

GRAVEL delivers the lowest level of Power (4) and Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; in this setting, the rear brake ABS cannot be switched off.

OFF-ROAD uses lower-mid level Power (3) and the lowest amount of Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; the rear brake ABS can be switched off.

USER 1 & 2 modes offer the rider a choice of two distinct personalized setups – choosing between Power levels 1-4 and Engine Braking 1-3, ABS (on-road/off-road) and the damping and pre-load of the electronic suspension.

 

3.5 Dual Clutch Transmission

  • Super-fast gear changes in either Manual Transmission (MT) or Automatic D and S modes
  • S mode (with 3 levels) revs higher and downshifts sooner than D, for more aggressive riding
  • G switch improves rear wheel traction when off-road
  • Incline detection adapts shift pattern depending on gradient
  • IMU allows corning detection function for improved shift timings

 

Honda has sold over 100,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles across Europe since the system first appeared as an option on the VFR1200F a decade ago in 2009. Testament to its acceptance in the marketplace, during the last financial year, DCT accounted for 48% of European sales on models where DCT was an option.

The unique DCT system delivers consistent, super-fast seamless gear changes, and very quickly becomes second nature in use. It uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging.

Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system pre-selects the target gear using the clutch not currently in use. The first clutch is then electronically disengaged as, simultaneously, the second clutch engages.

The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock and pitching of the machine is minimised, making the change feel direct as well as smooth.

The extra benefits of durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear) impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding and reduced rider fatigue add to DCT’s appeal

Three modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode offers three levels of sportier riding, as the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, and shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking.

In either D or S mode, DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers on the left handlebar. At an appropriate time, DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

DCT for the Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch accessed via the TFT touch screen display. Activating the G switch in any riding mode improves the feel for available traction and machine control by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.

Further functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of an incline to provide optimum control.

A new feature for the CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ DCT system is cornering detection. When the IMU recognises the bike is cornering, the system subtly adjusts the shifting programme for the most natural gear changes.

 

4 Accessories

The range of Honda Genuine Accessories for the Africa Twin Adventure Sports has been expanded with luggage options that includes premium 42L aluminium top box and panniers plus large (58L) plastic top box and panniers, two seat heights (a lower 825-845mm and taller 870-895mm option), screen extender and deflector set, 4.5L tank bag, side tank pads, engine guards, side pipes and LED fog lights and centre stand.

 

5 Technical Specifications

ENGINE

Type

SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam

Displacement

1084cc

Bore & Stroke

92mm x 81.5mm

Compression Ratio

10.1:1

Max. Power Output

75kW at 7500rpm

Max. Torque

105Nm at 6250rpm

Noise Level

73dB

Oil Capacity

4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)

FUEL SYSTEM

Carburation

PGM-FI

Fuel Tank Capacity

24.8L

CO2 Emissions

112g/km MT

110g/km DCT

Fuel Consumption

4.9L/100km (20.4km/L) MT

4.8L/100km (20.8km/L) DCT

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Starter

Electric

Battery Capacity

12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)

ACG Output

 0.49kW/5000rpm

DRIVETRAIN

Clutch Type

Wet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch

DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs

Transmission Type

6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)

FRAME

Type

Semi double cradle

CHASSIS

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2330mm x 960mm x 1560mm (1620mm with screen in uppermost position)

Wheelbase

1575mm

Caster Angle

27.5°

Trail

113mm

Seat Height

850/870mm (low seat option 825mm, high seat option 895mm)

Ground Clearance

250mm

Kerb Weight

238kg (DCT 248kg)

With Showa EERATM 240kg MT (DCT 250kg)

SUSPENSION

Type Front

 

Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and damping adjustment, 230mm stroke

 

EERATM – Showa Telescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter of 45mm, and Showa EERATM with compression and rebound dumping adjustments, 230mm stroke

 

Type Rear

Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 220 mm rear wheel travel.

 

EERATM – Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic remote control preload adjuster and electric control unit with compression and rebound damping adjustments, 220 mm rear wheel travel

WHEELS

Type Front

21M/C x MT2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim

Type Rear

18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim

Rim Size Front

21″

Rim Size Rear

18″

Tyres Front

90/90-21M/C 54H (tubeless type)

Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street

Tyres Rear

150/70R18M/C 70H (tubeless type)

Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street

BRAKES

ABS System Type

2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting

Type Front

310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads

Type Rear

256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off mode.

INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS

Instruments

LCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display

Security System

Immobiliser, security alarm (optional)

Headlight

LED

Taillight

LED

Electrics

Daytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple® CarPlay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC, cornering lights, wheelie control

** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

HONDA CB500X COLLECTS TOP HONOURS IN A2 BIKE CATEGORY AT AUTO TRADER BEST BIKE AWARDS 2019

  • Honda’s compact adventurer beats stiff competition to coveted Auto Trader A2 bike award
  • Slipping effortlessly between the role of short-hop commuter to weekend tourer, the CB500X is the consummate all-rounder for the A2-licenced rider

The Honda CB500X was crowned Best A2 motorcycle at the Auto Trader Best Bike Awards 2019, as the Adventure model continues to collect plaudits for its all-round ability in its launch year.

Long-held as the class leader in the adventure-styled A2 segment by Auto Trader, the CB500X has gone from strength to strength following the introduction of the latest generation. Majoring in all-round ability; intuitive and user-friendly the CB500X earned a 4.6-star review from Auto Trader Bikes’ Senior Road Tester, Phil West, who formed one third of this year’s judging panel.

With design cues inspired by Honda’s iconic flagship Adventure model, the CRF1000L Africa Twin, the new 2019 CB500X cuts a more aggressive figure than its predecessor. The ‘ready for the wild’ adventure styling is reflected in the riding experience thanks to numerous upgrades to the chassis and lively twin-cylinder engine, which elevate the CB500X above the competition.

The Awards are now in their sixth year, with over 30 models judged by a panel of industry specialists. Reliability, running costs, appearance, practicality, performance and technical advancements were all considered by the judges as they selected the CB500X as the Best A2 bike.

Neil Fletcher, Head of Honda UK Motorcycles said: “We’re delighted to see the CB500X extend Honda’s winning streak at the Auto Trader Bike Awards into 2019, after walking away with prizes for the Gold Wing and X-ADV last year. At Honda we understand the importance of creating fun-focused and adaptable A2 models – the CB500X demonstrates those qualities brilliantly.”

Speaking on the winning bike, guest judge, Jon Quirk said, “upgrades to the styling, engine and chassis in the 2019 CB500X have made the might of Honda’s engineering prowess easy to admire, but even easier to live with. This all-rounder is as effortless to ride as it is desirable to own.”

As well as claiming a new trophy, Honda also collected further accolades, with a total of 4 nominations in the categories of Best A1, Naked, Sports and Scooter.

The Honda CB500X is available from £6,069 OTR (inc. VAT) or from £95 per month on a 37 month PCP at 6.9% APR Representative.

To find out more about the Honda CB500X, click here

HONDA CELEBRATES 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD GRAND PRIX PARTICIPATION

Since its beginning, Honda has strived to reach the pinnacle in its motorsports challenges. In 1954, to realize his dream of becoming the world's best company, founder Soichiro Honda declared the company's entry into the Isle of Man TT in the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), the premier class at the time. For the next five years, Honda developed the racing machines, and on June 3, 1959, became the first Japanese Motorcycle Manufacturer to enter the Isle of Man TT. Since Junzo Suzuki, Naomi Taniguchi, Giichi Suzuki and Teisuke Tanaka rode their RC142 racing bikes in the 125cc class, 60 years have passed. 

Honda's history of challenging the pinnacle of motorsports is not limited to the two-wheeled category; In 1964, Ronnie Bucknum raced his RA271 in the premier four-wheeled racing category, the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), at the German Grand Prix. Not only has Honda continued to compete at the pinnacle of motorsports, it has competed in the various two and four-wheeled racing categories to hone its technologies and nurture its people. Sharing the fun, the joy, and the thrill with it customers. 

On this 60th year since the Isle of Man TT marking the beginning of Honda's motorsports history, Honda will be holding numerous “Honda Racing Anniversary Year” events to commemorate its history, and share its joy with all its customers and motorsports fans who have supported its racing activities for six decades. These events aim to share Honda's purpose and history in racing with the current, and next, generation. 

Images from Honda's first world grand prix races

Honda Racing Anniversary Year events

WGP 60th anniversary ceremony

Ceremony commemorates Honda's 60th anniversary of its entry in the Isle of Man TT, with special guests. 

Time and date: 11:45am, Friday, June 28
Venue: Repsol Honda Team hospitality area, TT Circuit Assen paddock
Speakers: Jorge Viegas (FIM President) 
Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna Sports C.E.O)
Kunimitsu Takahashi (1961 German Grand Prix winner, first Japanese to win a grand prix)
Freddie Spencer (Became the youngest champion by winning the 1983 GP500 class, the first to win both the GP250 and GP500 classes, in 1985)
Mick Doohan (Winner of five consecutive GP500 class championships, from 1994 to 1998)
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
Tetsuhiro Kuwata (Honda Racing Corporation Race Operations Director)

Racing machines will display WGP 60th anniversary logo
The WGP 60th anniversary logo will appear on the RC213V factory bikes competing in the MotoGP class, and also on racing machines competing in the FIM Superbike World Championship, the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race (Round 5, FIM Endurance World Championship), other road racing, trial and motocross categories, and four-wheeled categories. 

Moto3 60th anniversary livery
Honda Team Asia, competing in the Moto3 category, will race their machines at the Dutch TT (From June 28) with livery from the RC143 that gave Honda its first WGP win in 1961.

WGP 60th anniversary demonstration run
Demonstration runs of the RC142 (replica) entered into the Isle of Man TT, and the NSR500. 

Time and date: 1:21pm – 1:26pm, Sunday June 30
Venue: TT Circuit Assen race track
Bikes / riders: RC142 (replica from 1959 Isle of Man TT / Kunimitsu Takahash
NSR500 (1989 model) / Mick Doohan

Demonstration runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Celebrating Honda's 60th anniversary of WGP racing, demonstration runs of the RC142, NSR500, and RC213V racing bikes, and the McLaren Honda MP4/4 (winning machine of the 1988 Formula One Driver' and Constructors' championships) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 4 – 7, United Kingdom).

Celebration events will also be held at the Suzuka 8 Hours and the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix. Details will be announced on Honda's website, etc.

HONDA AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED 

Honda UK has today unveiled its full plans for the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the electrifying stand design, the exciting activations on stand and the dazzling array of two and four wheel machines on the famous hill climb.

Dave Hodgetts, managing director at Honda UK commented: “Honda has been a sponsor of the Goodwood Festival of Speed for over 20 years and we have continually brought something new for visitors to see over the years. This year is no different as we now turn our attention to electrification and the arrival of the new Honda e next year. Our stand this year is called Club EV – a destination for future thinking motoring enthusiasts that showcases the joy of going electric and focuses on our electrification journey, welcoming all visitors to the electric vehicle club!”

Stand design
Taking its cue from the face of the new Honda e, the front of the stand’s first floor, which faces the famous hill climb, will be a direct representation with two large circular windows representing the headlights. This first floor will solely house the new Honda e Prototype, making Goodwood visitors the very first in the UK to see the car.

Keeping the stand design simple to reflect the car’s ethos, the ground floor will showcase Honda’s electrification journey before visitors head upstairs to the first floor to see the new Honda e Prototype in the Club EV lounge. Honda is keen to ensure all visitors get up close and personal with the car, so the first floor area will also have eight virtual reality headsets which will immerse visitors into the interior of the car.

Bringing to life Honda’s bold ambition to have 100% of European automotive powertrain sales electrified by 2025, visitors will enter the stand between two CR-V hybrids before journeying from 1972 to 2019. Visitors will take in the 1972 Civic; then the 1999 Insight, where Honda’s hybrid journey started 20 years ago; and finally the pinnacle of Honda’s hybrid technology, the 2019 NSX, which makes its UK debut at Goodwood. 

Bringing a shot of motorsport to the stand’s electrified theme will be the Mugen Shinden hachi, a battery-powered zero emissions racing motorcycle. Designed and engineered for the TT Zero Class entry at the Isle of Man TT, the Shinden has claimed six victories, thirteen podium-finishes and set four course records since 2012. The 2019 Isle of Man TT saw Shinden’s latest triumph; lapping the 37.73-mile road course at a record average speed of 121.9mph.

Stand activations
As always with Honda at Goodwood, it’s not just cars and bikes to look at – the stand features a host of interactive features to engage and excite. The first is the wobble board, which puts to test Honda’s motto that difficult is worth doing. On average, the Honda team can only stay balanced on a wobble board for 63 seconds, so Honda is challenging visitors to see if they can do better. 

Alongside the 1972 Civic are classic games from the 1970s, Space Invaders and Asteroids and opposite the Insight is a game to relive the TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which was at peak popularity in 1999, the same year as the Insight launched.

Further exploring the hybrid electric theme, there will be an F1 themed racing wall alongside a couple of simulators where visitors can recreate the experience of driving an F1 car at Suzuka in Japan.

Two and four wheel machinery on the hill
F1 fans are in for an absolute treat with Honda specially bringing over from Japan the famed McLaren-Honda MP4/4. Arguably one of the most successful F1 cars ever, the MP4/4 won, and took pole position in, 15 out of the 16 races in the 1988 season. Alongside this iconic car, Honda drivers will be piloting the new Honda e Prototype and the NSX up the famous hillclimb over the course of the four day event. 

To celebrate 60 years of Honda racing, five motorcycles will take to Goodwood’s famous hill, the earliest of which will be the 1959 RC142. Two championship-winning motorcycles in the shape of Marc Márquez’s 2018 RC213V and the 1989 NSR500 are set to follow, with five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan riding the latter. Bringing proceedings on the hill up to date will be a pair of 2019 Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2s which compete at the Isle of Man TT and in the British Superbike Championship.

Making its return to the Festival of Speed hill climb after a three year absence, the Mugen Shinden hachi will put on a dynamic display as it charges up the 1.16-mile course throughout the weekend.

Honda’s F1 activity at Goodwood
Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon will be in attendance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as a special guest of Honda. Alex will pilot the Honda e Prototype in the famous hillclimb on Sunday 7th July. This one-off exclusive drive will take place in the first-glance batch at 10:45am.

This running of the Honda e Prototype will be the ultimate showcase of the advanced technology of Honda’s electrified powertrain, in the hands of one of the most promising young drivers in Formula 1 today.

HONDA MOTOR EUROPE MARKS 50 YEARS OF HONDA INLINE-FOURS AT WHEELS & WAVES

  • Twelve customised CB1000Rs from across Europe on display at France’s leading motorcycle festival
  • Inspirations include the Honda Monkey, a Le Mans-winning Honda race machine, the Africa Twin and the original Honda CB750
  • 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of first sales of the seminal CB750 – acknowledged as the world’s first superbike
  • CB1000R is the flagship of Honda’s ‘Neo Sports Café’ family, which mixes modern and classic design influences to unique effect

Honda Motor Europe this week returns to the Wheels & Waves festival on this, its 8th edition, to celebrate 50 years of Honda’s inline-four heritage, since the seminal CB750 first went on sale in 1969.

 1969 CB750

Now an International event with overseas editions in Japan and the United States, Wheels & Waves (W&W) is a custom bike show with a difference. Not just about bikes, W&W also celebrates surfing, skateboarding and amazing music all set to the stunning backdrop of Biarritz on France’s Basque coast.

50 years after the original superbike went on sale, Honda will celebrate its inline four CB heritage at W&W with a range of the best European customisations of its Neo Sport Café flagship, the CB1000R.

The Honda Neo Sports Café Range, which now includes the CB1000R, CB650R, CB300R and CB125R, are not simply retro vintage motorcycles, but rather neo-classics – modern motorcycles showcasing classic design styles combined with modern techniques.

The twelve unique heart-stopping custom creations from Spain, France, Switzerland and Italy that explore the myriad custom possibilities for the CB1000R, will be joined on the Honda stand by an original 1969 Honda CB750, documenting 50 years of continued development and heritage of Honda’s inline fours.

In 1969, the Honda CB750 was a revelation. Pushing the boundaries at every level, not only was it the first mass produced inline-four 750cc motorcycle, but it was also the first motorcycle produced with an electric start and a disc brake as standard. Originally developed for the American market, with an ultra-competitive price point of only $1495, the CB750 set the tone for the next 50 years of motorcycling and is rightly heralded as the first ‘Superbike’.

Some of the highlights on the stand include three CB1000Rs from Honda Spain’s ‘Dream Garage’ dealer customisation contest. One of them, the ‘Alfredo’, a Freddie Spencer-inspired CB1000R from Hakuba Motos, also took part in the Punks Peak sprint race in the hills above Jaizkibel Hondaribia, which marks the start of the five day festival.

 

Alfredo

Switzerland are represented by two very different takes on the CB1000R. CB1000R-adical by Fuhrer Moto and Gannet Design – a full on, aggressive streetbike complete with bespoke camo paint by Walter Oberli and carbon wheels by Rotobox, was joined by the Africa Four CRF1000R – a merging of concepts and ideas from across Honda’s current range, complete with gold wheels, a CRF450R front end and unique HRC-themed paint scheme.

 

CB1000R-adical

Honda Italy showcases three bikes in Biarritz, one of which, ‘The Tribute’ – a stunning golden CB1000R – was inspired by the original colours of the 1969 CB750. Four custom CB1000Rs from France complete the line-up, including a striking all black edition built by local Biarritz dealer 3C Motos.

DISCOVER THE LATEST HONDA BIKES

CBR650R – CBR500R – CB650R NEO SPORTS CAFÉ – CB500F – CB500X

CB650R NEO SPORTS CAFÉ

Sleek, urban design for a modern lifestyle. 
The adrenaline hits the moment you set eyes on the CB650R Neo Sports Café. You feel your desire take hold. Anticipation rushes through you. This is a bike that delivers excitement and inspires you to push your limits. With compact, retro-minimal Neo Sports Café styling, full LED lighting, an addictive four-cylinder engine, and a sharp-handling chassis, it's flawlessly designed and impressively equipped. Take the CB650R on a ride today to experience the perfect combination of power, style, and performance.

CBR650R

Chase the rush of the racetrack. 
The engine roars as you tear down the tarmac, leaning into corners and weaving through curves. Whether you're cruising through city streets or ripping up the racetrack, the CBR650R gives you an exhilarating kick. The four-cylinder engine delivers intense power, and the sharp-handling chassis keeps you in control. Honda Selectable Torque Control maintains rear wheel traction to enhance stability, and Showa SFF USD forks ensure superior suspension response. Modern full LED lighting and a digital LCD display enhance the bike's hard-edged RR sports style. This is a bike built for competition, and you're a born competitor. Make every ride a race with the CBR650R.

CBR500R

Everyday racetrack style. 
If you're passionate about racing, you know that there's nothing like the exhilaration of the racetrack. The CBR500R, with its bold, ultra-aggressive design and powerful parallel twin-cylinder engine with Assist/Slipper Clutch, lets you enjoy the thrill that you're dreaming of with an A2 licence. Inspired by the CBR1000RR Fireblade, this bike has racing in its DNA. High-speed manoeuvrability has been optimised, and the muffler is tuned to produce an exhilarating exhaust note. Full LED lighting provides superior illumination, and a clear negative-display LCD dash makes it easier than ever to check all your stats on the go. Live fast with the CBR500R.

CBR500X

A bike for urban exploration. 
Experience the city like never before. The CB500X has the strength and agility to take on the excitement of the dynamic concrete jungle. Its compact crossover form merges tough construction with an aggressive stance, giving you a bike with off-road capabilities and urban style. A parallel twin-cylinder engine with Assist/Slipper Clutch delivers easily manageable power that won't disappoint, and the adventure-ready chassis keeps you secure and comfortable while cruising. Full LED lighting and a new LCD instrument display amplify the bike's contemporary edge. There are adventures waiting just outside your door. Rediscover the city today on the CB500X.

CB500F

Raw, stripped-down, fierce. 
A sharp, fresh aesthetic; an efficient, compact design; street fighter style—the CB500F is an updated roadster with modern appeal. The minimal, clean lines show off the parallel twin-cylinder engine. Full LED lighting and an LCD instrument display pump up the modern aesthetic. The muffler has been tuned to produce a quintessential crisp exhaust note. This bike has everything you need and nothing that will slow you down. It's an instant classic. Get the pure motorcycle experience with the CB500F.

Complimentary Datatool Tracker

Every rider wants their bike to travel the world – but not without them on it. Having your bike stolen can be a nightmare, and to make things worse only around 40% of stolen bikes are recovered.

That’s why we’re including a Datatool TraKKing Adventure GPS Tracker with every new Honda bike at participating dealers.

And because we understand you can’t put a price on peace of mind, it comes fitted at no extra cost.

How it works

  • TraKKING Adventure activates automatically when your bike is stationary, and monitors it for signs of unauthorised activity. 
  • If movement is detected TraKKING Adventure will send you an SMS. 
  • If you confirm a theft is taking place, TraKKING Adventure will enter alert mode and notify both the dedicated 24/7/365 Vehicle Monitoring Team and the Police.
  • Thanks to the instant notification of theft, recovery of the stolen bike is far more likely than when a theft is reported several hours after the event. For more on how TraKKING Adventure works check out the video below:

All on your phone

Best of all, TraKKING Adventure can be easily managed from your smartphone. Free iOS & Android apps allow you to remotely access your account, and to locate your bike at any time. It's free to download on iOS & Android and charges just £9.95 a month on a 12 month contract for access to the app and 24-hour call centre.

It also includes a highly sensitive 3D accelerometer which can detect the difference between a fall in a car park and a high speed impact. SMS notifications can be sent to emergency contacts in the event of a high G impact.

The unit has been designed from the ground up to be motorcycle and scooter friendly with a waterproof casing design and ultra-low current draw (0.4ma) to minimise battery drain.

CB4 ‘Interceptor’ concept adds futuristic extra dimension to Honda’s EICMA line-up

The 2017 Honda stand at EICMA will again feature a Design Studio area show-casing the design work of Honda’s R&D facility in Rome.

This year’s exhibit is the CB4 ‘Interceptor’ – the result of ongoing research around the ‘Neo Sports Café’ design theme which first bore fruit in the ‘CB4 Concept’ shown at EICMA in 2015. The new concept model adds an evocative ‘Sport Endurance’ tone to the original design language of the CB4 Concept, creating a new perspective on the world of the Café Racer, on which the series is based.

The colour scheme is “total black”, combining elegance and sportiness while leaving room for a futuristic technology integrated into the flowing design lines. The front of the bike features a fan used to convert the motorcycle’s kinetic energy to power the touch-screen located on the tank. The screen provides constant connectivity, to allow the rider to follow the road through digital maps, make emergency calls or simply to connect devices.

2018 HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS

It’s been 30 years since the legendary Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name – launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin – shares no common part with the forerunner it inherits the essence and spirit of what made the original so good.

The balance between power and weight is the Africa Twin’s secret, then and now. The renewed machine has proved itself a modern-day all-rounder, popular with casual tourers and off-road adventurers alike (plus all riders in between) because it offers enjoyable and usable engine performance in a chassis that works as well on-road as it does off.

For 2018 Honda is building on the Africa Twin’s strengths, and its success. The base model CRF1000L Africa Twin receives a host of detail upgrades to both manual transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) options that enhance the riding and owning experience, while the new CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports version extends the platform even further into long-range off-road ready territory.

Overview

Side-by-side with its sibling, the CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports is obviously taller, with a flatter seat profile and more upright riding position. The fairing and screen offer more wind protection and a large sump guard and side pipe fully protect the machine. An extra 5.4L fuel capacity extends range beyond 500km, while heated grips and an AC charging socket add comfort and convenience.

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ comprehensive abilities start with its engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road, over long-range tours, short commutes and all points in between. As such, it provides an optimum balance between power, torque, mass and physical dimension.

The four-valve 998cc parallel twin Unicam unit’s tractable and usable all-day performance belies its extremely compact dimensions. They are the result of clever packaging touches such as housing the water pump within the clutch casing, and using the engine’s balancer shafts to also drive water and oil pumps. As a result, longitudinally, it is the same length as Honda’s popular 500cc engine, and its short height contributes to the Africa Twin Adventure Sport’s 270mm of ground clearance.

For 2018, a modified airbox improves the power unit’s mid-range response, as does a lighter balancer shaft weight. A revised exhaust serves up an even more evocative howl as revs rise and also contributes to the improved performance.

A significant addition to the Africa Twin platform for 2018 is its new Throttle By Wire (TBW) system, which brings with it 3 riding modes to adjust engine character and output to suit riding conditions. Also new is an extended range of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) input.

The unique DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) version features the standard manual mode – allowing the rider to operate gearshifts through triggers on the left handlebar – and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel economy and comfort cruising whilst S mode gives three different, sportier shift patterns to choose from. The DCT is also fully equipped to operate in an off-road environment and off-road functionality is enhanced by the G button. Pushing the G button in any riding mode modifies the control of the clutch system to give a more direct drive. 

The semi-double cradle steel frame provides the ideal balance of high-speed stability matched to genuine off-road ability by combining sheer strength with flexibility. The engine is mounted on 6 engine hangers, which keeps vibration to a minimum, avoiding the need for steering dampers. The new lithium-ion battery saves 2.3kg on the 2017 Africa Twin’s lead unit, and the Adventure Sports version shares several detail changes made to improve the platform’s off-road ability and durability.

Fully adjustable 45mm Showa inverted forks, fully-adjustable rear shock, dual radial-mount Nissin four-piston brake calipers and 310mm ‘wave’ style floating discs are unchanged for 2018. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are constructed from stainless steel. In addition to the standard dual-purpose 90 front/150 rear rubber, block tyres are also approved for fitment.

Dual LED headlights maintain the original Africa Twin’s presence and the seat height adjusts 20mm from the 900mm to 920mm (both respectively 50mm higher than the standard model). The 24.2L fuel tank – and the engine’s fuel efficiency of 21.8km/l (WMTC in DCT mode) – provides a range of over 500km.

The 2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports will be available in one 30th anniversary Tricolore paint scheme to celebrate the XRV650’s launch in 1988.

Key Features

Chassis

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ steel semi-double cradle frame provides nimble on-road manners plus high-speed stability matched to genuine off-road ability, agility and strength. Ground clearance is 270mm (20mm more than the Africa Twin) with wheelbase of 1575mm and rake and trail of 27.5°/115. Wet weight is 243kg (253kg DCT).

With stroke length of 252mm (up 22mm on the standard Africa Twin) the 45mm Showa cartridge-type inverted front fork offers excellent long-travel performance and control; rebound and compression damping are fully adjustable. A cast aluminium top yoke and forged bottom yoke – joined by hollow aluminium stem shaft – clamp the fork legs with two bolts each top and bottom.

Matching the supple front suspension the Showa rear shock delivers an extra 20mm travel, at 240mm. Its upper mount is set low for mass centralisation and it features a 46mm cylinder remote reservoir for stable damping control under more extreme off-road riding conditions. Spring preload can be adjusted via a dial on the shock body; rebound and compression damping are also fully adjustable.

There are some other updates shared between both Africa Twins that off-road riders are sure to appreciate: the rider’s footpegs are now wider, and feature beefed-up steel mounting plates. The pillion footpeg hangers have also been redesigned to allow more room for the rider’s feet when standing and the instruments are angled at a shallower angle to allow the rider to see them easily from a standing position.

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ styling is less minimalist than the Africa Twin; the dual headlights are shared but it has a larger fairing matched with an 80mm taller screen to offer greater wind protection. It also features heated grips as standard plus an AC socket.

A large sump guard is unique to the machine and protects the underside while the front side pipes guard the bodywork. Brushed aluminium cowling panels add tough appeal and class; the rear mudguard and stainless steel rack are also easily removed. Aluminium side cases will be available.

For extended off-road use the seat features a flatter profile – and is 50mm taller – than the standard CRF1000L Africa Twin. It adjusts 20mm to either 900mm or 920mm (compared to 850mm and 870mm); there’s also a rear side pocket tucked away on the right. To match the raised seat height the handlebar position is 32.5mm higher and pulled back 5mm.

The rear indicators now also offer an Emergency Stop Signal function. At a minimum speed of 53km/h, with either brake working, if negative acceleration of a minimum of 6.0m/s2 is detected the hazard lights flash, warning other road users a hard stop is in process. At the same speed the threshold is reduced with ABS in play – for wet conditions ­– to a negative acceleration of a minimum 2.5m/s2.

The indicators now also auto-cancel. Rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation.

Compact two-piece radial-mount four-piston calipers work dual 310mm ‘wave’ floating discs through sintered pads and serve up consistent stopping power and feel on-road or off. The rear 256mm ‘wave’ disc features hole punching and shaping to deliver secure braking performance. Lightweight two-channel ABS can be turned off for the rear caliper only.

Like the CRF450R Rally, the CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports uses 21/18-inch front rear spoked wheels, wearing 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tyres. The spokes are manufactured in stainless steel, for improved durability and ease of care.

Block pattern tyres (Continental 90/90-21M/C 545 and 150/70 B18M/C 70Q, rated at 180km/h and 160km/h respectively) are now approved by Honda for fitment to take full advantage of the Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ off-road abilities.

Engine Management Electronics

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ 998cc SOHC 8-valve parallel-twin engine’s 2018 upgrade sees it receive Throttle By Wire (TBW) plus riding modes and expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).

The use of TBW greatly expands the choices available to the rider to manage engine output, feel and rear wheel traction to suit different riding conditions. Whereas the 2017 Africa Twin had 3 Levels of HSTC, plus OFF, the new system features 7 Levels – from Level 1, for aggressive riding off-road on block pattern tyres, to Level 7 for maximum sense of security on slippery, wet tarmac. It remains possible to turn HSTC completely OFF.

There are also 3 levels of Power and Engine Braking available.

In a set-up first used on the RC213V-S – Honda’s street legal version of its MotoGP racer – three riding modes offer pre-set combinations of each parameter, suitable to different riding environments and scenarios:

TOUR employs the maximum Power (1), mid-range Engine Braking (2) and high HSTC (6).

URBAN uses mid-level Power (2) and Engine Braking (2) and high HSTC (6).

GRAVEL mode allows the lowest level of Power (3) and EB (3) with high HSTC (6).

A fourth mode – USER – allows the rider to set and save his or her preferred combination of Power, EB and HSTC levels. Both riding mode and level of HSTC can be changed at anytime using the controls on the left hand switchgear.

Engine

Alongside the new engine management electronics for 2018, the airbox now features a 20mm longer funnel length, matched with redesigned exhaust internals to significantly boost mid-range response and sound. The 2-1 downpipe now feeds gas flow through two catalysers (rather than one) into a simplified, smaller volume (4.6L to 4L) muffler that houses two chambers rather three.

Peak power of 70Kw still arrives @ 7,500rpm, with 99Nm torque @ 6,000rpm. Bore and stroke are set at 92 x 75.1mm, with compression ratio of 10.0:1; the 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval create the engine’s distinctive throb and feel for rear wheel traction.

Good ground clearance – crucial to off-road performance – starts with a compact, short engine. So the crankcases are split vertically; the water pump is housed within the clutch casing with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head. Manual and DCT versions of the engine share common crankcases with only minor external differences. The water and oil pumps are driven by the engine’s balancer shafts; for 2018 300g has been shaved from the balance weight, reducing inertia by 306g/cm2, further adding to the character and feel of the power delivery.

Four-valve cylinder heads, fed by PGM-FI fuel injection, each employ twin spark plugs and dual and sequential ignition control for even combustion. Honda’s SOHC Unicam valve train is a feature of the CRF450R and the low-set position of the cast camshaft contributes to the compact nature of the cylinder head. The inlet valves are 36.5mm in diameter, the exhaust valves 31mm.

The engine uses a semi-dry sump and in-tank lower crankcase oil storage. This allows a lower pan depth, reducing overall engine height. As the pressure-fed pump is located within the tank where it delivers its oil from, there is no need for a pressure-feed passage; again saving weight and space.

Secondary vibrations are neutralised by the mutually reciprocating motion of the pistons, while primary inertial and coupling vibrations are cancelled by the use of biaxial balance shafts. The front balancer shaft uses two weights, the rear only a single weight in order to save weight.

The aluminium clutch centre and pressure plate use ‘assist’ cams to ease upshift and downshift (with light lever feel) and ‘slipper’ cams for deceleration and downshifting. The six-speed gearbox uses ‘pierced’ shape dogs for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear, allowing use of a smaller, lighter clutch. Oil gathering ribs on the main journal side of the primary gear ensure consistent lubrication for the gear, damper spring and primary sub-gear.

The lightweight six-speed manual gearbox uses the same shift-cam design as found on the CRF450R to ensure positive changes, and is equipped with an aluminium assist slipper clutch.

New for 2018 a lithium-ion battery is 2.3kg lighter than the lead unit of the 2017 Africa Twin, and offers greater longevity, both in terms of life and the ability to hold onto a charge when left.

A quickshifter is available as an optional extra. 

Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

Honda’s unique DCT delivers consistent, super-fast seamless gear changes, and very quickly becomes second nature in use. It uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging.

Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system pre-selects the target gear using the clutch not currently in use. The first clutch is then electronically disengaged as, simultaneously, the second clutch engages.

The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock and pitching of the machine is minimised, making the change feel direct as well as smooth.

The extra benefits of durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear) impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding and reduced rider fatigue add to the DCT’s appeal.

Three modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode offers three levels of sportier riding, as the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, and shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking.

In either D or S mode, DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers on the left handlebar. At an appropriate time DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

DCT for the Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch positioned on the right side of the instrument panel. Pushing the G switch in any riding mode improves traction and machine control by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.

Further functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of an incline to provide optimum control.

Accessories

A full range of genuine Honda accessories are available for the CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports, including:

  • Touring bags
  • Rubber pillion footpegs
  • DCT foot shifter
  • Fog lamps
  • Wheel stripes
  • Alarm system
  • Centre stand
  • Sump guard
  • Two types of lower seat
  • Quickshifter
  • Tank Bag
ENGINE
Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Displacement 998cm3
Bore & Stroke 92.0 x 75.1mm
Max. Power Output 70kW/7,500rpm (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque 99Nm/6,000rpm (95/1/EC)
FUEL SYSTEM
Fuel Capacity 24.2 litres
Fuel consumption (WMTC mode) MT: 21.7 km/l (WMTC)
DCT: 21.8 km/l (WMTC)
DRIVETRAIN
Clutch MT: Wet, multiplate with coil springs, Aluminium Cam Assist and Slipper clutchDCT: 2 Wet multiple clutches
Gearbox / Transmission Type Constant mesh 6-speed MT / 6-speed DCT with on and off-road riding modes
Final Drive O-ring sealed chain
FRAME
Type Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear subframe
CHASSIS
Dimensions (L x W x H) 2,340 x 930 x 1,570mm
Wheelbase 1,580mm
Seat Height (STD position / Low position) 900/920mm
Ground Clearance 270mm
Kerb Weight 243 kg (MT), 253kg (DCT)
Turning Radius 2.6m
SUSPENSION
Suspension (front) Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with hydraulic dial-style preload and damping (compression & rebound) adjuster, 252mm stroke, 224mm axle travel
Suspension (rear) Monoblock cast aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustment, 240 mm rear wheel travel, 101 mm stroke
WHEELS
Wheels Front Wire spoke with aluminium rim
Wheels Rear Wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front 21M/C x MT2.15
Rim Size Rear 18M/C x MT4.00
Tyres Front 90/90-21 tube type
Tyres Rear 150/70-R18 tube type
BRAKES
ABS system type 2-Channel with rear ABS off switch
Type Front 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Type Rear 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 1-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT model with additional slide type 1-piston caliper
INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
Instruments Rally style negative LCD instrument display including: Riding Modes, Speedometer, Tachometer, Fuel, Gear position, ABS, HSTC, Odometer, Trip and Clock
Headlight Dual LED (1 High/1 Low)
Taillight LED
Indicators LED

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

2018 HONDA X-ADV

It’s not often in the world of motorcycling that a fresh line of thinking emerges to create a new breed of machine. But Honda specializes in innovation, and the tradition continues with the X-ADV.

The process: consider the attributes of the average adventure-style motorcycle – great go-anywhere appeal, an upright riding position giving superb visibility and a remarkable all-round usefulness, work or play. Then regard the typical commuter; it might be a scooter or bike but it’ll be easy to manage, nimble and loaded with convenience, efficiency and useful storage space.

Combine the two together, and something interesting emerges. The machine will have a tough, stylish SUV image. It will be fully at home navigating the urban sprawl and will be loaded with all of the premium features that enable easy life in the big city. And it’ll have the engine power and chassis ability to inject every ride with the promise of adventure.

With styling created at Honda’s R&D centre in Rome, the Honda X-ADV is the machine the engineers have built. Like nothing else that’s come before, it outlines a new sense of two-wheeled independence, reinforcing a rider’s innate desire to cut loose, to travel and enjoy new experiences. And it captures the essence of two-wheeled freedom in an exciting new form.

Overview

With its stylish, rugged body and elevated stance the Honda X-ADV puts an off-road ready attitude and intent right out there. And the tough looks are matched to practicality; the frame has been designed to allow 21L of storage capacity under the seat. The X-ADV is also equipped with a 5-way adjustable screen, tapered aluminium handlebar, Africa Twin hand guards, Rally-style instrument display and centre stand. A Smart Key system delivers day-to-day convenience.

Long travel suspension front and rear absorbs the hits, backed up by rugged 17-inch/15-inch front and rear spoke wheels and block-pattern tyres. Dual radial-mount four-piston calipers provide ample braking power with ABS control. 

Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is standard equipment and for X-ADV application selects lower gear ratios for smarter response in D mode; 3 levels of S mode are available with shift patterns to allow sportier riding. For 2018 a G switch has been fitted to enhance the off-road performance.

Perfectly matched to DCT, the X-ADV’s 745cc twin cylinder engine puts out strong low-to-mid range torque, delivering attention-getting acceleration from very low rpm. It returns 27.9km/l (WMTC mode) and now features 2 Level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), which can also be turned off.

Also available for 2018 is a 35kW version allowing A2 licence holders to enjoy the X-ADV. This new version can easily be converted to a full power version at the appropriate time at a Honda dealer.

Key Features

Equipment & Styling

The X-ADV’s styling was conceived and developed by Honda’s R&D team in Italy, to express the spirit of adventure in every design stroke. The craggy vertical line described by the front fairing combines sophistication with ruggedness. An upscale character line extends front to rear via the angled fairing and side covers. The silhouette is deliberately upright, with a short, condensed body style to further highlight the adventure look.

Commuting or touring, the X-ADV’s screen adjusts without tools through 5 positions from low to high for greater wind and weather protection. The total height difference is 136mm, with an 11° rake between the highest and lowest points. All lighting is LED, and the slim twin headlights (divided by mesh grill), compact indicators and dual lens rear light add distinct on-road presence to the X-ADV.

A large square CRF450 Rally-style instrument display is cohesively laid out and shows all the information a rider needs around a large central digital speedo and circular tacho. The most visually checked information is sited up top in the line of sight, with everything else arranged in logical order on either side.

All engine-related warning lights are located along the bottom. A separate display, just above the aluminium off-road style taper handlebar shows status of the parking lock and indicators.

Tough plastic hand guards – the same design as used on the CRF1000L Africa Twin – deflect wind and rain on the road and protect the levers and hands from impact off-road. A shot-peened 2.5mm thick aluminium bash plate guards the X-ADV’s underside.

The 21L underseat luggage space accepts a full-face adventure-style helmet and is illuminated with an integral LED; its textured surface delivers uniform illumination without glare. A 12V power socket is also located under the seat. A centre stand – with tilt sensor – is fitted as standard and allows the X-ADV to be parked on an incline without fear of toppling.

The X-ADV uses a Smart Key, which lives in the rider’s pocket and does away with the need to use a key for ignition, fuel cap and seat. It has two switches: Smart function on/off and ‘answer back’, which flickers the indicators for identification from a distance.

With the Smart Key present one push of the knob-type main switch powers it up and makes it possible to turn, giving the rider control of the ignition/steering lock and, via two rocker switches, the fuel cap and seat. It also illuminates when pushed – or from the answer back function of the Smart Key – with a blue light. An immobiliser is fitted as standard and a clutch mechanism in the main switch stops the handlebars unlocking by force.

Available as options are two top boxes: the 45L will take two full-face helmets, comes in four colour options and is equipped with a backrest. The smaller 35L box features aluminium-look paint and will take one full-face helmet. A rear rack, front bars, leg/foot deflector shields and floor plates are also available.

The X-ADV is available in five paint options:

  • Candy Chromosphere Red – new for 2018
  • Digital Silver Metallic
  • Matt Bullet Silver
  • Pearl Glare White – a Tricolour image reminiscent of the Africa Twin
  • Grand Prix Red – reminiscent of the CRF off-road family look

    Engine

    The X-ADV’s 745cc, liquid-cooled SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine is designed to deliver low down punch from low rpm up through the mid-range. Combined with the DCT’s lower ratios, it provides smart and instant acceleration both from standstill and 30km/h. Peak power is 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm with maximum torque of 68Nm @ 4,750rpm. For 2018, the rpm limit has been raised to 7,500rpm to allow natural use of the engine performance into a higher rpm range.

    For A2 licence holders a 35kW version is now available, which can be easily converted to the full power version by a Honda dealer at the appropriate time. Equally, it will be possible to restrict the full power version to 35kW by a Honda dealer replacing the standard throttle body and remapping the ECU. In most riding situations the restriction of peak power is not noticeable and the 0-100m acceleration time is identical to the full power version.

    Another addition to the X-ADV for 2018 is Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). It features 2 Levels; Level 1 allows some rear wheel spin – on gravel or dirt for instance – while Level 2 provides confidence-inspiring traction on slippery roads. Level 2 is the default from ‘ignition on’, and a push of the button on the left handlebar changes the setting to Level 1. Pushing and holding the button turns HSTC off.

    Bore and stroke is set at 77 x 80mm and this relatively long-stroke architecture (and specially shaped combustion chambers) combine with the high-inertial mass crankshaft to produce the large amounts of torque. Twin balancers counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct ‘throb’ delivered by its 270° firing order.

    PGM-FI optimises the exact fuel/air ratio and ignition timing required for a complete and clean burn; the X-ADV engine is EURO4 compliant with CO2 emissions of 81g/km and fuel consumption of 27.5km/l (WMTC mode), providing an approximate 300km plus range from the 13.1L fuel tank.

    Dual Clutch Transmission

    Honda’s DCT has found ever-growing popularity on every machine it’s been fitted to, and is standard equipment on the X-ADV. The system uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit.

    There are two automatic modes plus the MT mode for manual gear changes. Specifically for the X-ADV – and delivering acceleration to deal with the cut and thrust of busy traffic – standard automatic D mode selects lower ratios compared to other DCT-equipped machines.

    The S mode (which shifts up and down at higher rpm than D mode for a sportier ride) offers three levels of performance to suit rider preference; each level is programmed with a progressively more aggressive response for the X-ADV. The selected level is stored, and acts as the default S mode for subsequent rides. It is also displayed on the dash.

    The X-ADV’s off-road functionality is now also enhanced by the G switch positioned on the right side of the instrument panel. A feature already enjoyed by Africa Twin riders, pushing the G switch in any riding mode improves traction and machine control by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.

    Chassis

    The X-ADV uses a tubular steel frame that enables roomy underseat storage space married to a narrow 450mm wide rear seat unit. Rake and trail is set at 27°/104mm with wheelbase of 1590mm. A 39° steering angle (and turning radius of 2.8m) makes the X-ADV maneuverable in tight traffic. Long travel suspension –153.5mm up front and 150mm from the rear – is matched to 162mm of ground clearance. Wet weight is 238kg.

     The 820mm seat height and wide handlebar set at 910mm ensure an upright riding position and high eye point, giving great visibility and control and the seat’s contours allow for easy ground reach.

    For handling rough terrain, the 41mm cartridge-type USD fork adjusts for spring preload and rebound damping. The spring preload adjustable rear shock is a single tube split pressure design and operates the aluminium swingarm – constructed from a machined-hollow cross member and U-shaped (in cross section) arms – through Pro-Link.

    The 17-inch front wheel and 15-inch rear use stainless steel rust-resistant spokes and contribute to the X-ADV’s ability to comfortably soak up rough terrain. Block-pattern tyres add to the ride quality and L-shape valve stems make checking air pressure easy. Tyres are sized 120/70 R17 and 160/60 R15 front and rear.

    Dual radial-mount opposed four-piston calipers grip 296mm discs and work through ABS.

    ENGINE
    Type Liquid-cooled, L2, SOHC
    Engine Displacement (cm³) 745cc
    No. of Valves per Cylinder 4
    Bore ' Stroke (mm) 77 x 80
    Compression Ratio 10.7:1
    Max. Power Output 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm
    Max. Torque 68Nm @ 4,750rpm
    Oil Capacity 4.1L
    FUEL SYSTEM
    Carburation PGM-FI
    Fuel Tank Capacity 13.1L
    Fuel Consumption 27.5km/l
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Starter Electric
    Battery Capacity 12V-11.2AH
    ACG Output 420W @ 5,000rpm
    DRIVETRAIN
    Clutch Type Wet multiplate Hydraulic / Wet multiplate Hydraulic Dual clutch (DCT)
    Transmission Type 6-speed
    Final Drive Chain
    FRAME
    Type Steel Diamond
    CHASSIS
    Dimensions (LxWxH) 2245x910x1375
    Wheelbase 1,590mm
    Caster Angle 27°
    Trail 104mm
    Seat Height 820mm
    Ground Clearance 162mm
    Kerb Weight 238kg
    Turning radius 2.8m
    SUSPENSION
    Type Front Adjustment
    Type Rear Prolink with Rear Shock Preload adjustment
    WHEELS
    Rim Size Front 17 inch
    Rim Size Rear 15 inch
    Tyres Front 120/70 R17
    Tyres Rear 160/60 R15
    BRAKES
    ABS System Type 2 Channel
    INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
    Instruments Digital
    Headlight LED
    Taillight LED

    All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

    ** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

    2018 HONDA NC750S

    The NC750S is an exceptionally user-friendly motorcycle: easy to ride and easy on the pocket in terms of both initial purchase and running costs. It attracts riders of all ages including both experienced riders looking for a capable and economic motorcycle to tackle the city traffic, as well as new, younger riders stepping up from smaller machines looking equally for performance, economy, practicality and pleasure from their first ‘big’ motorcycle.

    And that’s exactly what they get from the NC750S. Its parallel twin-cylinder engine packs the low-to-midrange with effortless torque; capacious storage space where the fuel tank normally sits and the option of Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission set it apart from the crowd of mid-sized naked machines.

    When combined with a compact form, low seat height, confidence-inspiring chassis and exceptional fuel economy, the result is a uniquely accessible and practical motorcycle.

    Overview

    Like the NC750X and Integra, the NC750S is built around a 745cc twin cylinder engine which puts out strong low-to-mid range torque, delivering strong acceleration from very low rpm and returns 28.6km/l (WMTC mode). The engine’s forward-leaning position both lowers the centre of gravity for stable handling, and creates space for a storage compartment where the fuel tank is normally positioned. The 790mm seat height and compact chassis create confidence-inspiring ground reach.

    The NC750S’s DCT features a natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel around an on/off throttle. In addition to the most fuel efficient automatic D Mode, for sportier riding there are 3 levels of S mode.

    Also available for 2018 is a 35kW version allowing A2 licence holders to enjoy the NC750S. This new version can easily be converted to a full power version at the appropriate time at a Honda dealer.

    Key Features

    Equipment & Styling

    Leading the NC750S design philosophy is the phrase ‘Sensual Performance’ and the riding experience is enhanced visually and aurally. The small headlight and clear-smoke lens taillight inject a distinct presence. A unique selling point of the NC750S remains hidden in plain sight – the 21L storage compartment (where the fuel tank would normally be found) that easily holds a full-face helmet.

    The instruments use a negative LCD display; information includes odometer, trip meter, gear position, fuel efficiency and consumption gauges and optional heated grip temperature. A ‘wave’ style key gives a further premium feel.

    The colour of the rev-counter bar display can be changed by the rider; a total of 9 options are available. It is also possible to have colours change according to gear selected, rpm range or (for the DCT version) riding mode.

    ECO and SHIFT mode are further options when riding with the display set to a single colour or (on the DCT machine) the mode-dependent setting. ECO mode turns the display to light blue if riding with good fuel efficiency, and green if riding even more economically. SHIFT mode sees the colour change to orange if engine rpm exceeds a level pre-set by the rider.

    For 2018 the NC750S is available in 3 colour options:

    • Graphite Black/Pearl Brown
    • Graphite Black/Blue Metallic
    • Candy Chromosphere Red

    The range of genuine Honda Accessories include a specifically-designed new rear rack, a 35L top box, 29L panniers, inner bags, centre stand, 5-stage heated grips, U-lock and AC charging socket.

    Engine

    The design of the NC750S’s liquid-cooled, SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine ensures punchy performance in the low-to-mid range. Its relatively long-stroke architecture and specially shaped combustion chambers combine with the high-inertial mass crankshaft to produce large amounts of effortless torque from very low rpm. Peak power is 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm with maximum torque of 68Nm @ 4,750rpm. For 2018, the rpm limit has been raised to 7,500rpm to allow natural use of the engine performance into a higher rpm range.

    For A2 licence holders a 35kW version is now available, which can be easily converted to the full power version by a Honda dealer at the appropriate time. Equally, it will be possible to restrict the full power version to 35kW by a Honda dealer replacing the standard throttle body and remapping the ECU. In most riding situations the restriction of peak power is not noticeable and the 0-100m acceleration time is identical to the full power version.

    Twin balancers counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct ‘throb’ delivered by its 270° firing order. Bore and stroke is set at 80 x 77mm. By keeping the number of parts to a minimum, the engine is kept light, efficient and reliable and where possible components are made to do more than one job; the camshaft drives the water pump, while one of the balancer shafts drives the oil pump.

    A lightweight pentagon-shaped muffler uses two chambers joined by a hole-punched link pipe, which works with a final resonator chamber to create a deeply distinctive sound and exhaust pulse. The built-in catalyser has a two-layer structure for cleaner emissions.

    The NC750S engine is EURO4 compliant with CO2 emissions of 81g/km and fuel consumption of 28.6km/l (WMTC mode) providing a 400km plus range from the 14.1-litre underseat fuel tank.

    Dual Clutch Transmission

    Honda’s DCT technology is now in its eighth year of production and gaining popularity year on year on all of the machines that feature it as an option. DCT uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit.

    The DCT system features two automatic plus the MT mode for manual gear changes. The standard automatic D mode is for general or highway riding and maximum fuel economy. S mode – which shifts up and down at higher rpm than D mode for a sportier ride – gives three levels of sports performance.

    Some riders prefer to ride higher gears, some lower and the three modes make it possible to tailor gearbox response to riding style. The selected level is stored, and acts as the default S Mode for subsequent rides. It is also displayed on the dash.

    The DCT used by the NC750S features “Adaptive Clutch Capability Control” that manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted. This adds a natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel when opening or shutting off the throttle for a smoother ride. Further refinements include fast operation of the N-D switch on turning on the ignition and a control system in AT mode for gauging the angle of ascent or descent and adapting shift pattern accordingly.

    Chassis

    The rugged steel diamond frame delivers the high levels of rigidity required for agile, responsive handling in a variety of conditions. It’s also ideal where space is at a premium, since it takes up very little volume but offers superb riding dynamics. Rake is set at 27° with trail of 110mm, wheelbase of 1,525mm and front/rear weight distribution of 48/52. Kerb weight is 217kg (227kg with DCT).

    Seat height is 790mm and the ergonomics put the rider firmly in control, with handlebars just a relaxed reach away. The width of the handlebars offers excellent leverage at all speeds and with 35° of steering lock – plus low centre of gravity – the NC750S is perfect for cutting through the busiest city streets. Passenger comfort is ensured by twin grab handles.

    41mm telescopic forks feature 120mm stroke. The rear monoshock also has 120mm travel and operates through Pro-Link, which offers the balance of a soft initial stroke for dealing with low-speed bumps and excellent overall control.

    Up front 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper offer plenty of easy to modulate stopping power, complemented by the rear 240mm wavy disc and single-piston caliper. Lightweight two-channel ABS provides powerful and confident braking even on slippery or wet road surfaces.

    Forged aluminium L-shaped rim valves make checking and adjusting air pressure easier; cast aluminium front and rear wheels – sizes 17 x 3.50-inch and 17 x 4.50-inch – wear 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17 tyres.

    ENGINE
    Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve, SOHC parallel 2-cylinder
    Displacement 745cc
    Bore x Stroke 77mm x 80mm
    Compression Ratio 10.7 : 1
    Max. Power Output 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm (95/1/EC)
    Max. Torque 68Nm @ 4,750rpm (95/1/EC)
    Oil Capacity MT: 3.7L DCT: 4.1L
    CO2emissions 81g/km
    FUEL SYSTEM
    Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
    Fuel Tank Capacity 14.1L
    Fuel Consumption MT: 28.6km/l (WMTC mode)DCT: 28.6km/l (WMTC mode-Tested in D-Mode)
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Starter Electric
    Battery Capacity 12V/11.2AH
    ACG Output MT:420W/5000rpmDCT : 450W/5000rpm
    DRIVETRAIN
    Clutch Type MT : Wet multiplate clutchDCT: Wet multiplate hydraulic 2-clutch
    Transmission Type MT: 6-speed Manual TransmissionDCT: 6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission
    Final Drive Chain
    FRAME
    Type Diamond; steel pipe
    CHASSIS
    Dimensions (L'W'H) 2215mm x 775mm x 1130mm
    Wheelbase 1520mm
    Caster Angle 27°
    Trail 110mm
    Seat Height 790mm
    Ground Clearance 140mm (minimum)
    Kerb Weight MT: 217kgDCT: 227kg
    SUSPENSION
    Type Front 41mm telescopic fork, 120mm stroke
    Type Rear Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 120mm travel
    WHEELS
    Type Front Multi-spoke cast aluminium
    Type Rear Multi-spoke cast aluminium
    Rim Size Front 17M/C x MT3.50
    Rim Size Rear 17M/C x MT4.50
    Tyres Front 120/70-ZR17M/C (58W)
    Tyres Rear 160/60-ZR17M/C (69W)
    BRAKES
    ABS System Type 2-channel ABS
    Type Front 320mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads
    Type Rear 240mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single-piston caliper and resin mold pads
    INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
    Instruments Digital speedometer, digital bar-type tachometer, clock, bar-type fuel meter, two trip meters, gear position indicator, ‘instant’ and ‘average’ fuel consumption and coolant temperature warning light.
    Security System HISS
    Headlight BULB TYPE : 12V; 60W x 1 (high) / 55W x 1 (low)
    Taillight LED

    All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

    ** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

    2018 HONDA Integra

    The Integra – launched in 2012 as one of three models in Honda’s New Concept (NC) platform – takes its name from the fact that it integrates the comfort, style and convenience of a scooter with the dynamic handling and engine performance of a motorcycle.

    Equipped as standard with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), for 2014 its torque, fuel-efficient twin-cylinder engine was increased in capacity from 700cc to 745cc. Sharper styling, improved ergonomics and handling complemented the extra power and performance.

    2016 saw the Integra receive upgrades that included 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valves (SDBV) front forks, 3-level S mode for the DCT, full LED lighting and LCD instruments.

    The Integra’s evolution continues for 2018 with refinements to the DCT and additions to the engine’s electronics package, further enhancing one of the most individual two-wheeled machines in the Honda range.

    Overview

    Fittingly, for a machine that breaks the mould the Integra’s flowing style is all its own and the LED headlight and taillight inject a visible touch of class. The LCD instruments – with variable colour display – can be personalised and present a premium image. Two Special Edition (SE) colour schemes, in a new grade of paint with a unique metallic lustre, add further appeal.

    The Integra’s 745cc twin cylinder engine puts out strong low-to-mid range torque, delivering strong acceleration from very low rpm. It returns 28.6km/l (WMTC mode) and now features Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), which can also be turned off.

    The DCT features a more natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel around an on/off throttle. For sportier riding, there are 3 levels of S mode for gear changes in AT mode and raised rpm upper limit for downshifts in <mt mode.</mt

    Also available for 2018 is a 35kW version allowing A2 licence holders to enjoy the Integra. This new version can easily be converted to a full power version at the appropriate time at a Honda dealer.

    Key Features

    Equipment & Styling

    ‘Sensual Performance’ directs the Integra’s style; what the rider feels, sees and hears. The compact LED headlight ­– with its crisp white light – and running lights form a strong visual presence. Mounted on the edge of the rear cowl, the clear-lens LED taillight works with the stubby exhaust muffler to give a compact feel to the Integra’s rear. On the footboards, stainless steel integrates within the redesigned rubber floor mats, exuding quality.

    The instruments use a negative LCD display. Information includes odometer, trip meter, gear position, fuel efficiency and consumption gauges, (optional) heated grip temperature plus 3-stage S mode display.

    The colour of the rev-counter bar display can also be changed by the rider; a total of 9 options are available. It is also possible to have colours change according to gear selected, rpm range or (for the DCT version) riding mode.

    ECOSHIFT mode are further options when riding with the display set to a single colour or (on the DCT machine) the mode-dependent setting.ECO mode turns the display to light blue if riding with good fuel efficiency, and green if riding even more economically.SHIFT mode sees the colour change to orange if engine rpm exceeds a level pre-set by the rider.

    A new ‘wave’ key features the Honda Ignition Security System (HISS). If the ID chip embedded in the key and the ID in the Engine Control Unit (ECU) do not match, the engine will not start.

    The Integra is available in four colour options:

    • Candy Chromosphere Red
    • Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
    • Matt Alpha Silver Metallic (Special Edition)
    • Matte Majestic Silver Metallic (Special Edition)

    The two SE paint options use a metal-look finish. This special paint uses brilliant flakes aligned in parallel with each other and differs to standard metallic paint in creating a solid texture with high contrast, offering varying impressions depending on the viewing angle. The SE colours also have extra accent stripes, wheel rim stripes and a different engine cover finish.

    Genuine Honda Accessories include a specifically-designed new rear rack, a 35L and 45L top box, 29L panniers, inner bags, 5-stage heated grips, U-lock and wind deflectors.

    Engine

    The design of the Integra’s liquid-cooled, SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine ensures punchy performance in the low-to-mid range. Its relatively long-stroke architecture and specially shaped combustion chambers combine with the high-inertial mass crankshaft to produce large amounts of effortless torque from very low rpm. Peak power is 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm with maximum torque of 68Nm @ 4,750rpm. For 2018, the rpm limit has been raised to 7,500rpm to allow natural use of the engine performance into a higher rpm range.

    For A2 licence holders a 35kW version is now available, which can be easily converted to the full power version by a Honda dealer at the appropriate time. Equally, it will be possible to restrict the full power version to 35kW by a Honda dealer replacing the standard throttle body and remapping the ECU. In most riding situations the restriction of peak power is not noticeable and the 0-100m acceleration time is identical to the full power version.

    Bore and stroke is set at 80 x 77mm. Twin balancers counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct ‘throb’ delivered by its 270° firing order. By keeping the number of parts to a minimum, the engine is kept light, efficient and reliable and where possible components are made to do more than one job; the camshaft drives the water pump, while one of the balancer shafts drives the oil pump.

    A lightweight pentagon-shaped muffler uses two chambers joined by a hole-punched link pipe, which works with a final resonator chamber to create a deeply distinctive sound and exhaust pulse. The built-in catalyser has a two-layer structure for cleaner emissions.

    The Integra engine is EURO4 compliant with CO2 emissions of 81g/km and fuel consumption of 28.6km/l (WMTC mode) provides a 400km plus range from the 14.1-litre underseat fuel tank.

    Dual Clutch Transmission

    Honda’s DCT technology is now in its seventh year of production and gaining popularity year on year on all of the machines that feature it as an option. DCT uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit.

    The DCT system features two automatic plus the MT mode for manual gear changes. The standard automatic D mode is for general or highway riding and maximum fuel economy.S mode – which shifts up and down at higher rpm thanD mode for a sportier ride – gives three levels of sports performance.

    Some riders prefer to ride higher gears, some lower and the three modes make it possible to tailor gearbox response to riding style. The selected level is stored, and acts as the default S Mode for subsequent rides. It is also displayed on the dash.

    The DCT used by the Integra features “Adaptive Clutch Capability Control” that manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted. This adds a natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel when opening or shutting off the throttle for a smoother ride. Further refinements include fast operation of the N-D switch on turning on the ignition and a control system in AT mode for gauging the angle of ascent or descent and adapting shift pattern accordingly.

    Chassis

    The Integra’s rugged steel diamond frame delivers the high levels of rigidity required for agile, responsive handling in a variety of conditions from busy urban to open road. Rake is set at 27° with trail of 110mm, wheelbase of 1,525mm and front/rear weight balance of 50/50. Kerb weight is 238kg.

    41mm telescopic forks feature 120mm travel and use Showa Dual Bending Valves, with ratios optimised for both compression and rebound damping. This allows the generation of damping force in proportion to piston speed – from the low speed range – improving ride quality and comfort. Increased compression damping provides more progressive firmer suspension response and helps reduce dive under heavy braking. Grey Alumite caps add a finishing touch.

    The rear monoshock features a spring preload adjuster and also has 120mm travel. It operates through an aluminium swingarm with Pro-Link that offers an optimised balance of a soft initial stroke, for dealing with low-speed bumps, and excellent overall control.

    Up front the 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper deliver plenty of easy to modulate stopping power, complemented by the rear 240mm wavy disc and single-piston caliper. Lightweight two-channel ABS provides powerful and confident braking even on slippery or wet road surfaces. 6-position span-adjustable front and rear brake levers make it possible to perfectly tailor reach for individual hand sizes.

    Cast aluminium front and rear wheels – sizes 17 x 3.50-inch and 17 x 4.50-inch – wear 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17 tyres. Alongside the frame and suspension they inject the Integra with ‘proper’ motorcycle handling and feel, very much one of its unique selling points. Forged aluminium L-shaped rim valves make checking and adjusting air pressure easier.

    ENGINE
    Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve, SOHC parallel 2-cylinder
    Displacement 745cc
    Bore&Stroke 77mm x 80mm
    Compression Ratio 10.7 : 1
    Max. Power Output 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm(95/1/EC)
    Max. Torque 68Nm @ 4,750rpm(95/1/EC)
    Oil Capacity 4.1L
    Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
    CO2emissions 81g/km
    FUEL SYSTEM
    Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
    Fuel Tank Capacity 14.1 litres
    Fuel Consumption 28.6km/l (WMTC mode-Tested in D-Mode)
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Starter Electric
    Battery Capacity 12V/11.2AH
    ACG Output 448W/5000rpm
    DRIVETRAIN
    Clutch Type Wet multiplate hydraulic 2-clutch
    Transmission Type 6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission
    Final Drive Chain
    FRAME
    Type Diamond; steel pipe
    CHASSIS
    Dimensions (L'W'H) 2215mm x 810mm x 1440mm
    Wheelbase 1525mm
    Caster Angle 27°
    Trail 110mm
    Seat Height 790mm
    Ground Clearance 135mm
    Kerb Weight 238kg
    SUSPENSION
    Type Front 41mm telescopic fork, 120mm stroke
    Type Rear Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 120mm travel
    WHEELS
    Type Front Multi-spoke cast aluminium
    Type Rear Multi-spoke cast aluminium
    Rim Size Front 17M/C x MT3.50
    Rim Size Rear 17M/C x MT4.50
    Tyres Front 120/70-ZR17M/C (58W)
    Tyres Rear 160/60-ZR17M/C (69W)
    BRAKES
    ABS System Type 2-channel ABS
    Type Front 320mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads
    Type Rear 240mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single-piston caliper and resin mold pads
    INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
    Instruments Digital speedometer, digital bar-typetachometer, clock, bar-type fuel meter,two trip meters,gear position indicator,‘instant’ and ‘average’fuel consumptionandcoolant temperature warning light.
    Security System HISS
    Headlight LED
    Taillight LED

    All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

    ** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

    2018 HONDA CB1000R

    Motorcycling has seen many shifts in riders’ expectations of their bikes – what they do, how they look and how they make them feel – over the last decade. And Honda has never been afraid to apply its technology, engineering and imagination to create motorcycles that inhabit new spaces in the marketplace.

    The new CB1000R is one such project.

    The 2018 CB1000R stands out from the crowd by moving away from the standard super sports-derived big naked formula to create a motorcycle that melds exhilarating function to a form that offers a radically fresh, visually stunning two-wheeled aesthetic. It’s a motorcycle that looks, feels and performs very differently from what’s gone before.

    In creating this new identity, Honda’s development engineers have re-assessed the hard-core Sport Naked-Streetfighter underpinnings of the existing CB1000R, elevated its performance parameters and added the unexpected. Steered by retro- industrial minimalism, they have stripped everything back, moved away from ‘RR’ inspiration and instead used a host of textured metal finishes and an ultra-minimalist look under the design theme of ‘Neo Sports Café’. The result is a machine with a unique identity, a fusion of Sport Naked and bare-boned Café Racer inspirations.

    Freshly conceived from the wheels-up, the CB1000R has been designed to be exciting to ride – and fully capable of chasing much more focused machinery down on a twisting back road – while instilling an innate pride of ownership. Whichever way it’s approached – aesthetics, emotions, performance, technology – the new CB1000R is a hard motorcycle to ignore.

    Overview

    The 2018 CB1000R elegantly combines more with less. It gives its rider a huge amount of usable engine performance, with the control of a cutting edge Supersports machine, while the innovative, minimalist styling injects it with a whole new attitude.

    Its four-cylinder engine has been tuned to make 16% more peak power at just over 10,000rpm and 5% more torque right through the mid-range, where it’s most useful – and most fun. It is also 4% shorter geared, to extract even faster acceleration from the power-up. In fact through the first 3 gears, up to 130km/h the CB1000R rides harder than the CBR1000RR. An assist/slipper clutch adds control.

    With the increase in output comes Throttle By Wire (TBW) with 3 preset riding modes plus a USER setting. Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) work together across the presets to offer optimum benefit to the rider dependent on conditions. The exhaust transmits a raw-edged howl as revs rise.

    The 2018 CB1000R is 12kg lighter than the outgoing design, making for a 20% improvement in power to weight ratio. It’s also smaller, yet has a more relaxed riding position. And supporting the radical new look is a box section mono backbone steel frame, with Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD suspension up front and a Showa monoshock at the rear. Radial-mount front brakes, ABS and a 190-section rear tyre complete the chassis’ upgrade.

    Key Features

    Chassis & Styling

    The 2018 CB1000R’s styling takes a bold – and distinct – new direction that deliberately marks it out of the Naked bike mainstream. Every aesthetic detail of the CB1000R has been finessed, and the overall design, its style and powerful stance, merge retro minimalism with the elevated performance package of the engine and chassis.

    Its proportions are now much more compact, with a trapezoid silhouette. The overhang of the distinctly-styled round headlight is 90mm shorter and the swingarm-mounted rear numberplate/mudguard unit (a first for Honda) allows for an extremely short, sculpted aluminium tail unit incorporating neat under-slung pillion hand holds.

    Conspicuous by its absence is plastic – there are only 6 exterior parts constructed from that material, the largest being the svelte front mudguard. By contrast, what really makes its presence felt is the use of premium metal finishes throughout the machine, drawing on the long, café racer tradition: parts such as the burnished aluminium radiator shroud and airbox cover, the machined engine cases, cylinder head and sprocket hub, and the lustrously painted flangeless steel fuel tank.

    All lighting is LED and the thin round headlight (with its metal-tone painted rim) employs a horseshoe-shaped light ring as well as distinctive two-bar light signature. The rear light is also a semicircular light bar that fills in solid when the brakes are applied. The T-shaped instrument panel – finished in the same metal-tone paint as the headlight rim – integrates into the top yoke, minimising bulk and the ignition switch is positioned at the front of the fuel tank.

    The CB1000R has a new a mono-backbone steel frame. It uses split-tightening aluminium pivot plates – which save 2.5 kilograms – to grip the signature single-sided swingarm, which is 14.7mm shorter at 574.2mm.

    Rake is set at 25° with trail of 100mm. Wheelbase is 10mm longer at 1455mm with wet weight of 212kg – 12kg lighter than the outgoing model. Weight bias is 48.5%/ 51.5% front/rear. Helping the CB1000R’s side-to-side agility, the crank centre height is 5mm higher.

    The rider triangle is relaxed, with a ‘natural crouch’ afforded by the 12mm wider tapered aluminium handlebars sited 13mm higher than the previous design, matched to a seat height 5mm taller at 830mm. The flangeless fuel tank too is broad-shouldered but heavily cut-away to allow plenty of knee room.

    The adjustable front fork is a Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP). It contains all the damping function in one leg, reducing weight, while delivering compliance, comfort and control across a broad range of riding conditions. The Showa rear shock adjusts for spring preload, compression and rebound damping.

    Up front dual radial-mount four-piston front calipers bite 310mm floating discs, matched to a twin-piston caliper and 256mm rear, and 2-channel ABS. A 190/55 ZR17 rear tyre sits on a 6.0-inch rim, replacing the 180/55 ZR17. The front tyre remains a 120/70 ZR17.

    A ‘CB1000R+’ version will also be available, with even greater aspirational appeal. It comes with quickshifter, heated grips and a range of premium accessories that flesh out the CB1000R’s styling: metallic meter visor and seat cowl, front fender panel, hugger panel and radiator grill.

    Engine

    The 2018 CB1000R’s 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine – which shares its architecture and layout with the CBR1000RR Fireblade – has been re-worked to provide a healthy increase in both power and torque: 107 kW @ 10,500rpm and 104Nm @ 8,250 rpm compared to the outgoing model’s 92 kW@ 10,000rpm and 99Nm @ 7,750rpm. Bore and stroke remain 75mm x 56.5 mm but compression ratio is up 0.4 to 11.6:1 and the pistons are now forged (rather than cast) like the CBR1000RR SP. 

    The engine has also been tuned to deliver its torque with strong character especially in the 6-8,000rpm range, where it bulges significantly, generating an exciting and engaging riding experience. It’s also a useful aid for rapid roll-on acceleration in real-world overtaking conditions. The redline begins at 11,500rpm and the rev-limiter cuts in at 12,000rpm.

    Development concentrated on improving gas flow into, through and out of the cylinder head. Valve lift is higher with inlet at 8.5mm and exhaust 8.1mm (as opposed to 7.9/7.8mm). A 44mm diameter throttle body (up 8mm) feeds larger diameter inlet ports; the shape of the combustion chambers is also revised. The airbox, ducting and air filter are also brand new and present a much more simplified and smoother route for airflow into the engine, reducing pressure loss all the way from the outer ducts to the throttle body.

    Allied to the boost in outright performance numbers is an important 4% reduction in gear ratios, which greatly improves acceleration through the gears between 30-130km/h. The new assist/slipper clutch is lighter at the lever and helps manage hard downshifts.

    A new exhaust also adds to the CB1000R’s mid-range muscle and weight reduction. It’s a 4-2-1 design, feeding via 4 short catalysers into a main chamber, which then feeds a dual chamber muffler. A link pipe joins the 2 main pipes just before the catalysers, boosting torque from 5,000rpm up. At 11.2kg it’s 4.5kg lighter. The exhaust note has been tuned internally, meaning that as the revs rise past 5,500rpm it takes on a significantly deeper, more raw tone.

    Throttle By Wire (TBW) has also been added. This allows the rider maximum control over what is a powerful engine wrapped in minimalist motorcycle, via 3 preset riding modes plus 1 USER mode (selected from a switch on the left handlebar).

    There are three levels of Engine Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) available; HSTC can also be switched off.

    Three riding modes offer different combinations of each parameter.

    RAIN mode employs the lowest Power setting, medium amount of EB and high HSTC. The lower levels of power and torque are focused on the first 3 gears.

    STANDARD mode uses the middle setting for Power, HSTC and EB. It knocks a little output out of first and second gear, and uses a power curve that sits just below that of SPORT mode, with reduced torque at partial throttle openings. It also allows for small rear wheel slides and the front wheel leaving the ground.

    SPORT uses high Power and lowest levels of EB and HSTC to deliver 100% power through all six gears, maximum torque at all throttle positions and minor intervention from HSTC.

    The USER mode allows the rider to choose between the 3 settings for each parameter and save the setting for future use.

    Other information available to the rider is a shift-up indicator on the top right corner of the dash, which either flashes white with increasing frequency as rpm passes the preset value or goes yellow-amber-pink as a visual guide to change up. Further functionality options in that space are an ECO riding indicator, gear position indicator and riding mode indicator.

    The new engine out performs its predecessor in fuel efficiency, returning 17.2km/L rather than 16.9km/L (WMTC mode)

    Accessories

    A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are ready to customise the 2018 CB1000R. They include:

    • Quick Shifter
    • Heated Grips
    • ACC socket
    • Instrument Visor
    • Seat Cowl
    • Aluminium front Mudguard Panel
    • Aluminium rear Hugger
    • Alcantera rider and pillion Seat
    • Wheel rim Decal
    • Engine Case Protector
    • Tank Pad
    • Tank Bag & ATT
    • Rear Seat Bag & ATT

    ‘CB1000R+’ version will also be available with a wide range of ‘factory-fit’ accessories including heated grips, aluminium front fender panels, aluminium rear hugger panels, flyscreen with aluminium inserts, single seat cowl with aluminium inserts, radiator grille,with CB1000R logo, and quickshifter.

    ENGINE
    Type Liquid-cooled DOHC In-line 4 cylinder
    Valves per cylinder 4
    Engine Displacement (cm³) 998cc
    Bore and Stroke (mm) 75mm x 56.5mm
    Compression Ratio 11.6:1
    Max. Power Output 107kW @ 10,500rpm
    Max. Torque 104Nm @ 8,250rpm
    FUEL SYSTEM
    Carburation PGM-FI
    Fuel Tank Capacity 16.2 litres
    Fuel Consumption 17.2km/litre
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Starter Electric
    Battery Capacity 12V/8.6AH
    DRIVETRAIN
    Clutch Type Wet, multiplate clutch
    Transmission Type 6-speed
    Final Drive Chain
    FRAME
    Type Steel mono backbone
    CHASSIS
    Dimensions (LxWxH) 2120mm x 789mm x 1090mm
    Wheelbase 1455mm
    Caster Angle 25 degrees
    Trail 100mm
    Seat Height 830mm
    Ground Clearance 135mm
    Kerb Weight 212kg
    SUSPENSION
    Type Front Showa SFF-BP USD fork
    Type Rear Pressurised Seperation Type
    WHEELS
    Rim Size Front Cast aluminium
    Rim Size Rear Cast aluminium
    Tyres Front 120/70 ZR17
    Tyres Rear 190/55 ZR17
    BRAKES
    ABS System Type 2 channel
    Front 310mm double disc
    Rear 256mm single disc
    INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
    Instruments LCD
    Headlight LED
    Taillight LED

    All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

    ** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

    2018 HONDA CB125R

    Take motorcycling down to its bare essentials and often less equals more. Which, for anybody considering his or her first motorcycle is a good thing: the fundamentals of an easy-to-ride machine, with engaging real-world engine performance and super-agile handling are all you need. Wrap those fundamentals in a distinctive new style, and add a host of premium specifications, and the result is a great place from which to begin a two-wheeled career.

    Honda understands this formula well, and for 2018 has created the CB125R. Part of a distinctive new family using Honda’s new ‘Neo Sports Café’ styling – which includes the CB1000R and CB300R, both new for 2018 – it distills all of the excitement of two wheels into a compact, lightweight form.

    Fun to ride, a joy to own and representing a bold new direction for Honda’s entry level machines, it has many of the premium features found on its larger capacity siblings. The CB125R injects a freshly new style on to Europe’s city streets with a minimalist, bare-boned attitude.

    Overview

    The CB125R may possess big bike looks but it weighs just 125.8kg (wet), making it an extremely easy machine to manage. Its free-revving liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine delivers strong low-to mid-range acceleration and it offers a unique new presence, aimed to engage and inspire young riders.

    A brand new frame mixes pressed and tubular steel; it both looks good, and provides a tuned rigidity balance that gives great feedback. The CB125R also features high specification 41mm USD forks, preload adjustable monoshock, radial-mount 4-piston front caliper, IMU-based ABS and full-size Dunlop radial tyres.

    Valuable features more usually found on much larger machines such as the tapered aluminium handlebar, LCD instrument display and full LED lighting, exude quality and add to the pride of ownership.

    Key Features

    Chassis & Styling

    The CB125R’s styling is unique to the machine, and a deliberate reduction, putting the machine’s blacked-out hardware on display. It follows the ‘Neo Sports Café’ design language of the new CB1000R: minimalist and brutally neat, it brings a new harder-edged attitude to Honda’s entry level range. The cutaway tail unit is minimalist in the extreme, and holds the nylon rear mudguard mount; both rider and pillion footpeg hangers are aluminium.

    The CB125R’s frame – which also helps underpin its minimalist style – is constructed with tubular and pressed steel; the swingarm is manufactured from steel plate, irregularly shaped in cross-section. Both are designed to achieve high longitudinal rigidity and control torsion from wheel deflection without excess rigidity or weight.

    The chassis’ core strength is anchored by the pressed steel swingarm pivot plates and swingarm, allowing the tubular steel lattice frame to deliver agile handling with stability and feedback; rake and trail are set at 24.2°/90.2mm. High specification 41mm USD forks also complement the CB125R’s handling, with compliant damping and supple spring rate.

    The single rear shock offers 5-step spring preload adjustment. A 51.6% front/48.4% rear weight bias provides a positive feel for front-end grip and easy steering which is also helped by the low, 125.8kg wet weight and compact 1345mm wheelbase.

    The aluminium fat bar-style handlebars turn through 40° and the 2.3m turning circle guarantees easy passage in jammed city traffic. Seat height is 816mm.

    The front 296mm hubless floating disc is worked by a radial-mount Nissin 4-piston caliper, the rear 220mm disc a single-piston caliper; both are modulated by 2-channel ABS. The high specification system works through an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to give precise front to rear distribution of ABS operation depending on the vehicle behaviour. The 150/60R-17 radial rear tyre is matched to a 110/70R-17 radial front.

    A thin (23.5mm) lightweight (230g) full function LCD instrument display provides speed, engine rpm, fuel level and gear position, with warning lights arrayed across the top. Full LED lighting – including indicators – adds a further premium feel and contributes to mass centralisation. The headlight uses a dual bar light signature, upper for low beam and lower for high beam and the taillight is the thinnest ever mounted on a Honda motorcycle

    The 10.1L fuel tank is hidden underneath an angular cover and shrouds and houses an aircraft-style filler cap. With fuel economy of 48.4km/l (WMTC mode), the CB125R can cover over 480km from full.

    Engine

    The CB125R’s compact 124.7cc SOHC 2-valve liquid-cooled single cylinder engine (derived from the CBR125R) is designed to be responsive in real-world road riding conditions. Peak power of 9.8kW arrives @ 10,000rpm, with peak torque of 10Nm delivered @ 8,000rpm.

    Bore and stroke is set at 58 x 47.2mm, with compression ratio of 11:1. PGM-FI fuel injection delivers crisp throttle response across the rev range. The exhaust is underslung and exits through a dual-chamber muffler.

    The 6-speed gearbox offers an even spread of gears for strong low to mid-range acceleration; the CB125R will reach 50km/h in 11.4s.

    ENGINE
    Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 2-valve SOHC single cylinder
    Engine Displacement (cm³) 125cc
    No. of Valves per Cylinder 2
    Bore and Stroke (mm) 58mm x 47.2mm
    Compression Ratio 11.0:1
    Max. Power Output 9.8kw/10000rpm
    Max. Torque 10Nm/8000rpm
    Oil Capacity 1.3L
    FUEL SYSTEM
    Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
    Fuel Tank Capacity 10.1L
    Fuel Consumption 48.4km/L (WMTC Mode)
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Starter Electric
    Battery Capacity YTZ6V 12V 5Ah MF
    ACG Output 250W/5000rpm
    DRIVETRAIN
    Clutch Type Wet, multiplate with coil springs
    Transmission Type 6-speed
    Final Drive O-ring sealed chain
    FRAME
    Type Inner Pivot Diamond Frame
    CHASSIS
    Dimensions (LxWxH) 2015mm x 820mm x 1055mm
    Wheelbase 1345mm
    Caster Angle 24.2º
    Trail 90.2mm
    Seat Height 816mm
    Ground Clearance 140mm
    Kerb Weight 126kg
    Turning radius 2.3m
    SUSPENSION
    Type Front 41mm telescopic inverted fork
    Type Rear Single-damper
    WHEELS
    Rim Size Front 17M/C x MT3.00
    Rim Size Rear 17M/C x MT4.00
    Tyres Front 110/70R17M/C 54H
    Tyres Rear 150/60R17M/C 66H
    BRAKES
    ABS System Type Front & rear independent ABS with IMU
    INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
    Instruments LCD Display
    Headlight Lo:13W Hi: 8.8W (LED)
    Taillight Stop: 2.5W Tail: 0.4W (LED)

    All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

    ** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.