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Honda Reveal Concept CB, Type II, CRF And Grom | Osaka Motorcycle Show | NEWS

A host of Honda's at the latest Osaka Motorcycle Show reveal plans for what may soon be in production.

Concept CB Tweaked As It Nears Production

The Concept CB – effectively a preview of the next-generation Honda CB1100 – has been revealed for a second time with tweaks that show the bike is edging closer to being a production reality.

When the Concept CB made its debut at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, there was little doubt that despite its ‘concept’ tag it was actually a lightly-disguised version of the next production CB1100, and the tweaks made for its second showing at the Osaka Motorcycle Show only reinforce that impression.

As well as a new, red paintjob instead of the original yellow, the bike has gained new lights – with a full LED headlight and larger indicators – and new, round mirrors.

The seat has been redesigned, replacing the original suede with much more practical quilted vinyl and there are barely-noticeable changes to the exhaust end can and heat shielding; the sort of changes that would only be made for practical production purposes, since there’s no significant visual alteration.


Otherwise, the bike retains the same CB1100-based, air-cooled, four-cylinder engine and a chassis that appears to be much like the current production bike’s frame. The suspension also looks largely unaltered, with the majority of the updates being cosmetic. The most notable change over the existing CB1100 is the reshaped fuel tank, allied to a redesigned side panel and airbox cover. Tubular steel grab rails replace the aluminium ones of the current bike and overall there’s a more convincingly retro vibe to the bike’s appearance.

We’d expect the final version, which Honda has already revealed will be capable of meeting the tougher new Euro4 emissions regulations that will be mandated in Europe from next January, to appear at shows later this year.

Honda Concept CB Type II

While the Concept CB is close to the production version of the next-generation CB1100, Honda’s newly-unveiled ‘Type II’ concept hints at a more aggressive version that could also be offered.

Far less production-ready than the Concept CB, the Type II borrows bits from other bikes as well using parts from aftermarket suppliers to reinterpret the next CB1100 into a café racer.

Honda’s existing CB1300 is the donor for many of the parts. The wheels are taken from the latest-spec Japanese model CB1300, although they’ve been given polished rims and spoke sides to set them apart from the stock ones. The big, aluminium swingarm and Ohlins remote-reservoir rear shocks are also from the bigger CB. At the front they’re joined by bigger, gold-finished forks and Brembo radial brake calipers.

Like the more retro Concept CB, the Type II also gets a full LED headlight and the tank from the next-generation CB1100, albeit finished in bare aluminium.

Unique parts for the bike include the slotted side panels, carbon fibre airbox covers and heel guards and an exhaust system from Over Racing. The seat is new and loses its pillion spot in favour of a humped rear cowl. Lower bars and bar-end-mounted mirrors complete the transformation.

The impression is that the Type II is less a pre-production bike like the Concept CB and more an example of the sort of modifications that owners might choose to make to their own CB1100s.


CRF250 Rally In Near-Finished Form

It’s been a year since we first saw Honda’s concept for the CRF250 Rally and now the project has advanced to the point where it’s nearly ready for production.

Officially, the bike you see here is still a prototype, but there’s little doubt that the showroom version will be much the same as this.
Just like last year’s concept, the CRF250 Rally prototype is heavily based on the CRF250L, sharing its engine, frame and suspension. The main changes are all visual, focussing on adding a Dakar Rally-style look inspired by HRC’s CRF450 Rally machines.

The prototype has dropped the earlier concept’s rally-style instruments in favour of the digital display from a Honda MSX125 Grom, suitably modified to reflect the CRF’s 10,500rpm redline. A universal bracket above the clocks can be used for a smartphone or sat-nav system.

Below sit a new set of headlights, mounted in a carbon fibre surround – although you can be sure that will turn to plastic by the time the prototype reaches production.

Otherwise the styling is virtually unchanged since last year’s concept. Some of the body panel attachments and shut-lines have changed, reflecting alterations made for ease of production, and the rear light and licence plate bracket is now the stock CRF250L unit instead of a bespoke one.

It’s likely that the final version of the bike will be revealed towards the end of this year, ready to go on sale as a 2017 model. One question still hangs over the engine capacity, since the single-cylinder unit is similar to the motor used in the CBR300R, suggesting it would be easy to use that longer-stroke 286cc motor instead of the CRF250L unit, bumping power from 17kW to 22.7kW and torque from 22Nm to 27Nm.


HRC Builds A Grom

Any news of an HRC-made production race bike is bound to be interesting although the latest creation from Honda’s legendary racing division is rather less exotic than the RC213V-S.

Yes, it’s a racing version of Honda’s newly-facelifted MSX125 Grom, but despite its diminutive stature it’s still a proper race bike. Honda’s HRC Trophy is a one-make series in Japan, and the MSX125 is set to be its new standard race bike, replacing the fully-faired NSF100 mini-bike from next year.

Apart from the race bodywork, the HRC MSX125 gains a quick shifter and switchable fuel mapping for different riding modes. It also gets a pitlane speed limiter and race exhaust. The HRC-made machines will be on sale to budding racers hoping to take part in the Japanese series later this year.