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Honda's Wild Concepts for Tokyo Show

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Honda EVO6 - 2007 Honda Tokyo Motor Show Concept Bike
The EVO6 is a concept bike Honda will unveil at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, which utilizes the Gold Wing's Flat Six.
In anticipation of the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, scheduled for October 27th - November 11th, Honda has revealed images of some exciting prototypes. At this point we're just being teased with a handful of pictures and model names, but our imaginations are buzzing toward redline as we inspect photos of the six-cylinder naked EVO6 and retro versions of the four-cylinder CB1100R and CB1100F.

EVO6

The attention hog in this group is the wicked-looking EVO6. Unless we're way off base, this naked beast is a Gold Wing Flat 6 stuffed into a pure Honda chassis with a single-sided swingarm and very Honda aluminum wheels. Considering Suzuki's release this year of the massive B-King and spy shots circulating of a ZX-14-powered Z1400 from Kawasaki, it makes sense that Honda would consider taking the plunge into the large-displacement naked class. Are they testing the water by releasing these pictures? Most likely.

The inverted fork on the EVO6 appears to feature a standard braking system, so the design/concept has likely been around for a while - or are Honda engineers looking at ways to cut costs? Who knows with Honda. What we do know is MCUSA Editorial Director Ken Hutchison is already giddy over EVO6.

"Overall this bike looks absolutely bad-ass," said Hutch with his eyes glued to the EVO6's gnarly exhaust configuration. "We know what the potential is here from the days of the one-off production Rune mega cruiser powered by the same Wing motor. This thing is smooth and powerful. Nothing laid down a smoky burnout like that bike did."

CB1100R

Honda CB1100R - 2007 Honda Tokyo Motor Show Concept Bike
Riders can take a walk, or shall we say ride, down memory lane if the retro-styled CB1100R makes it to production.
Tugging at the nostalgic heartstrings of many riders will be the new CB1100R. Taking its retro styling cues from the original racebike design, the Tokyo concept CB sports a tubular steel frame, dual shocks, inverted fork and radial mount brakes. In this concept the air-cooled Inline-Four motor appears to serve as a stressed member of the frame, with a braced aluminum-looking swingarm and classic dual piggyback shocks. Check out the five-spoke gold wheels. That is vintage Honda cool.

The air-cooled motor will likely be based on the historic CB mills of the past with a hint of performance squeezed out to make sure there's something worthy behind the old-school appearance. It should have a widespread appeal among vintage Honda CB loyalists, so no doubt the Japanese marque would sell a couple handfuls if the price was right.

This bike has the potential to become a cult icon in a short period of time. Honda has proven they are willing to produce functional retro-racers when they unveiled the Dream 50R back in 2005. They've also sold the retro-looking CB1300 Super Four and Bol D'Or in Europe. Given the success of retro bikes offered up from Triumph and Ducati, why shouldn't the world's biggest motorcycle manufacturer get a piece of the nouveau-vintage pie?

If you're interested in how the original CB1100R ran, check out our Memorable Motorcycles article, which records our vintage correspondent, Frank Melling, racing the Historic Endurance Racing Team Honda CB1100R at the "Bikers' Classic" festival in Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

CB1100F

Honda CB1100F - 2007 Honda Tokyo Motor Show Concept Bike
Those wishing for a return of the traditional UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) might be in luck with the CB1100F, which Honda has announced it will display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.
Vintage Honda meets modern technology if this bike comes into play. While not as flashy as the EV06 or the CB1100R concepts, it certainly has the potential to appeal to street riders who miss the era when bikes were more simple and straightforward. As with its "R" sibling, CB1100F's air-cooled motor will likely be based on the historic CB mills of yesteryear.

Concept bikes have a spotty history of never seeing the production light of day, but it would be interesting to see what the CB1100F could do with a budget-oriented MSRP. Could it fill a niche as the retro UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle), which seems to have fallen by the wayside due to more and more radical designs like, well, the EVO6?

Stay tuned as we wait for Honda to fill in the world on its grand plans.


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