Honda fires up with new models
NATURAL disasters have not prevented Honda from releasing a huge range of new motorcycles.
The Japanese company may have been crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand last year, but it is releasing seven new models and six major model updates this year.
Honda has also expanded its car-derived dual-clutch transmission option to five models.
The new models are the Integra maxi-scooter, NC700X and NC700S naked bikes, Crosstourer adventure tourer and three small scooters (Vision 50, Vision 110 and Wave 110i).
Australia will not be getting the NC700X, Vision 50 or Wave 110i.
The Vision 110 is called the Dio NSC110 here and is already in showrooms.
The upgraded bikes are the CBR1000RR Fireblade sportsbike, GL1800 Gold Wing tourer, VFR1200F sports tourer, and three dirt bikes (CFR450R, CRF250R and CRF150R).
The return of the Integra nameplate to Honda comes in the form of a 670cc scooter with dual-clutch transmission, rather than a sporty car. It arrives early this year.
The most interesting newcomer is the Crosstourer due early this year.
It will target BMW’S longtime adventure tourer king, the R 1200 GS, as ridden around the world by actors Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman.
And like the BMW, it will have a sophisticated traction control system.
It will also come with option of dual clutch transmission and will have combined antilock braking, although how effective this is on gravel is yet to be seen.
Honda has also added two midsize motorcycles, the NC700X naked commuter and NC700S upright crossover, both with the option of dual-clutch transmission.
Australia will only get the commuter.
The updated Fireblade and Gold Wing arrive early this year, while the updated CFR models are already in dealerships.