Meet the Bulldog
HONDA displayed its Bulldog concept at the 42nd Tokyo Motorcycle Show in Japan last week.
The Bulldog concept is sensible in that it shares the same engine, frame and swing-arm as the other top-selling CB500 models; it will go twice as far on a litre of fuel and when it tips over, the rider won’t need help to get it upright again. If this bike does appear outside Japan, it will almost certainly be with the 471 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin motor used in the CB500 range.
It makes a lot of sense as a workhorse for the masses, let alone an adventure tourer capable of going long distances in dealer-sparse environments.
Honda’s PGM-F1 fuel injection system is deeply loved in Asia, where its fuel economy is the stuff of not just legends, but word of mouth grass-roots marketing. In Japan, meanwhile, legislation forces the use of Honda’s 400 cc twin-cylinder powerplant, and this is the engine currently used in the concept bike.
Because the Bulldog is built with liberal lashings of common sense, it may yet become a cult machine for those with a practical, sensible bent or with a limited budget.
The common sense bits
Instead of a big shiny enamel-painted tank and lots of bits waiting to be damaged the first time the bike topples over in a carpark or an asphalt road (where the vast majority of adventure bikes spend the vast, vast majority of their time), the Bulldog has replaceable panels on the tank, and crash bars covering the engine and headlights.
The crash bars are standard fare for adventurer bikes but tank panels on a small capacity bike are a first. They’re not really tank panels on one side, but the lid to a storage box in the left side of the tank (see image above).
Just the same, replaceable tank panels might make the cost of ownership more affordable, not to mention a convenient anchor point for a range of ingenious attachments just waiting to be invented.
The Bulldog’s purpose is emblazoned in large lettering on the muffler guard which reads “tough dog for your trip” and presumably Honda has built the bike with the Asian touring marketplace in mind.
While the Bulldog was developed as a touring bike, I suspect its biggest potential marketplace might not be so much in the field of leisure motorcycles, but as a practical workhorse capable of carrying far more than its maker had ever planned — the rear carrier, mounting points on the sides of the fuel tank and headlight carrier rack will make it an ideal pinch hitter for many tasks across Asia where the scooter is doing double duty as the family car. — Gizmag.com.
Honda’s Bulldog is a concept bike built with lashings of common sense that could yet see it become the two-wheeled truck of Asia.