Honda’s ‘Crossover’ Becomes the VFR800X

As is the way with bikes these days Honda has released a further concept sketch of its new Crossover touring bike, now being referred to as the VFR800X.

It does looks pretty snazzy from the artwork and as with the CBR250R and CBR150R, it has been given the VFR1200 appearance which will be the distinguishing feature of Honda’s new range of machines.

At present there’s not much more to tell as no specs have been released but from the sketch we can tell this is a mid-range road focussed tourer, high on style, and hopefully high on tank range.  It’ll be a V4 and some web pundits are predicting traction control, automatic gearing etc, but that would most likely put this way out of the cost bracket of competitors.  The VFR1200 pricing is eye-watering enough, and Honda could very quickly kill the VFR800X with a mad price tag.  The bike and full details of its specs will be released at the Milan show which is fast approaching, so it won’t be long to wait before we find out if they have a winner on their hands.

The Honda CBR250R Reignites the 250cc Market

After the muted response to the VFR1200F, mostly due to the issue of its touring range, Honda seemed to be lying low while the likes of Ducati and Triumph dominate the headlines.  That is however until now.  It seems the Milan show will be Honda’s staging ground to retake the market lead with the CBR250R, its ‘Crossover’ the VFR800x, and a concept 1200cc machine.

Focusing on the CBR250R for now this looks to light a fire under just passed their test bikers everywhere, but especially in Europe where new regulations are due altering the size of engine new bikers can access.  It looks to challenge Kawasaki’s Ninja 250 and most likely will be priced competitively at around the £4000 mark.  Honda seems to have put a lot of thought into this bike to give it an all-round appeal and should be a huge hit.  Given its VFR styyling Honda apparently want to give its range a stand out look which, like or loath the VFR’s new shell, it makes a change from the homogeneous sports bike look blighting a number of companies at the minute.

Honda says of its new bike;

What was on our minds during the development of new CBR? It was to realize an attractive quarter model that can meet the demands of the times to come and provide customers all over the world with joy and at an affordable price. What we aimed at was the ‘Sport Quarter for One World, CBR250R.’

Our passion is embodied in various aspects of this motorcycle such as its displacement, frame size, driving stability, and riding position. These features were optimized for riders of all kinds, from beginners to experienced riders, so that they can feel the fun of maneuvering, which is fundamental to motorcycle riding.

A sporty feel that riders get the moment they mount and ride the motorcycle is pursued without sacrificing ease of use, in search of the optimum balance between the two. Nimble acceleration that can be felt the moment the throttle is opened, a feel of smooth rev-up in the high-speed range, linear vibration characteristics that do not discomfort riders, and a variety of equipment features such as a rear grip that provides a sense of comfort when riding in tandem-with this list of features, we are confident that customers will be satisfied without exception.


Below are specs for the bike as well as Honda’s promotional video.

You’ll find lots more details on the CBR’ s dedicated site at http://world.honda.com/CBR250R/index.html

Honda CBR250R Specs

Sales name CBR250R
Model type Honda MC41
Overall length × Overall width × Overall height (m) 2.035 × 0.720 × 1.125
Wheelbase (m) 1.370
Ground clearance (m) 0.145
Seat height (m) 0.780
Curb weight (kg) 161 (STD) 165 (ABS)
Riding capacity (No. of people) 2
Minimum turning radius (m) 2.5
Engine type CS250RE, liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC single cylinder
Displacement (cm³) 249
Bore × Stroke (mm) 76.0 × 55.0
Compression ratio 10.7
Fuel supply system Programmed fuel injection system (PGM-FI)
Starter type Self-starter
Ignition type Full-transistor battery ignition
Lubricating type Wet sump
Fuel tank capacity (L) 13
Clutch type Wet multiplate with coil springs
Transmission type Constant mesh 6-speed return
Transmission gear ratio 1-speed 3.333
2-speed 2.118
3-speed 1.571
4-speed 1.304
5-speed 1.115
6-speed 0.963
Reduction gear ratio (primary, secondary) 2.808 / 2.714
Caster angle/Trail (mm) 25º00´/ 95
Tire size Front 110/70-17M/C
Rear 140/70-17M/C
Brake type Front Hydraulic disk
Rear Hydraulic disk
Suspension type Front Telescopic
Rear Swing arm (Pro-link suspension system)
Frame type Diamond

Honda Has A Plan, the New CBR150R

Now it all starts to make sense, Honda has a plan, a vision of things to come.

The upcoming ‘Crossover’, and new concept bike due to appear at the Milan show, which may be a new Pan European in the style of the distinctive VFR1200F, are apparently just the beginning.

Honda is applying the VFR look to a lot of its range starting with two new bikes to entice the new riders thinking of taking to two wheels.

Many bikes are availble in different markets around the world and the image below is of the CBR150R from the Asian market, which is rumored to be finding its way to Europe in 2011.

You can see it’s been ‘VFRed’ and a 25cc engine size drop will make it road legal for learners.  Supposedly following on from that, and catering to a market that was all but crushed a few years back a 250cc version will be appearing as well.  The only image of it seems to be from a magazine and was found by CMG Online (well spotted)

This bike would give a natural stepping stone for new riders restricted to 33bhp for two years, and will compete head on with Kawasaki’s Ninja 250.

So just as we all wondered what Honda is up to with sudden announcements and curious bike concepts, it seems it’s all part of the plan.

The New Honda ‘Crossover’

RTWW will admit confusion when the first details of this new bike from Honda were announced.  Orginally talked about as an adventure bike, though the drawing that came with that showed a bike not suitable for adventuring in the BMW GS sense.

Now Honda insiders are calling the bike the ‘Crossover’ and saying that it is a 800/900cc V4 bike, unique in its styling and ready to ‘crossover’ several motorcycle roles.  A bike for everyday use but not ignoring other qualities.

Suddenly it seems they may have something very tempting up their sleeves.  A new image of the front end of the bike is interesting to say the least showing a neat fairing,  stacked lights, and apparently a raised dash bringing instruments higher into the riders field of vision.

So it seems this bike is an all-round tourer and, should they fix the small fuel tank issue that has plagued and overwhelmed a lot of the good press around the VFR 1200F, Honda could be pulling the covers off something fantastic in Milan.

 

Honda’s official statement reads;

Honda today released a second design sketch of the mid-range crossover motorcycle that expands its V4 engine configuration offering.   The image shows the front face of the motorcycle, with a fairing design that improves high speed stability as well as engine cooling; and an innovative ‘floating’ instrument panel to put the gauges in the rider’s field of vision for improves safety.   This crossover is a midrange capacity motorcycle – Honda will also reveal at EICMA a new concept motorcycle using the 1200cc V4 engine first seen in the VFR1200F, to further prove leadership in this evocative and powerful engine configuration.

This mid-range machine is an exciting new approach – a crossover machine that represents the best aspects of two separate biking genres.   It will have the flexibility and exciting attitude of a Naked performance machine, with the more comfortable upright riding position and design cues inspired by adventure bikes.  With the low centre of gravity of a performance bike it is great fun to ride, and because of its wide handlebars and upright riding position it is both easy to manoeuvre and comfortable . Honda research had revealed that customers want a machine that has both a unique style and is also fun to ride in all conditions throughout the year.

Honda has delivered this customer request. The final production motorcycle will be shown for the first time at the EICMA show in Milan from 2nd November 2010, when pictures, the date for production and date of availability in dealer will be revealed.

Honda Teases its New ‘Adventure’ Bike

Honda Honda Honda, what are you up to?

Just released from Honda HQ is a teaser image of what Honda insiders have apparently described as their new adventure tourer bike.

Now adventure means something different to different people but these days for bikes, it’s a rugged, expensive fairing free bike i.e. the new Triumph Tiger, BMW F800GS, Yamaha Super Tenere, and of course the king of adventure the BMW 1200 GS.  The sketch Honda has released appears to be the much rumored Pan European replacement which did the rounds last year then promptly disappeared.  One of the concept images MCN drew up is below.

This new bike is to be unveiled at the Milan bike show in November, and it’s supposed to be a V4, like the controversial VFR1200, but oddly not a 1200cc bike ….huh?

Another rumor is that Honda will show a concept bike designed to be a GS challenger, but it’ll be a concept far from production with 2012 being the target year.  It would seem Honda have been caught out by the awesome efforts and innovations of Triumph, BMW, Ducati, and other Japanese counterparts this year.

Or perhaps they’ve caught the same virus as Harley Davidson  : P

The Holy Grail of Fuel Economy

A lot of bikers own multiple motorcycles.  Some for fun, some for off road, some for sport, and some for commuting.  It’s the last category that’s of interest to Allert Jacobs, who in his pursuit of better fuel economy for his Honda Innova 125i has added a little DIY flair.  Almost doubling the Honda’s already light fuel sipping to a reported 214 MPG, he’s created a great everyday commuter for those who want every gallon to count.  Not too sure if it’s completely safe in a crosswind, or if you wouldn’t attract some odd looks, but hey, you can’t have it all.

Honda Innova 125i

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Suzuki GSX1250FA ST to Challenge the Triumph Sprint GT

Perhaps in response to the Triumph’s recently launched Sprint GT Suzuki has added the GSX1250 ST to its range of bikes.

A couple of months ago Suzuki debuted the new GSX1250FA putting it out there as a fantastically priced challenge to other sports tourers such as the new Honda VFR1200 and RTWW featured it here.  Just a couple of weeks ago Triumph unveiled its new Sprint GT a more touring biased upgrade of its hugely popular Sprint ST (details here).  However luggage accessories that come as standard with the Triumph were optional on Suzuki’s bike.  This has now changed with the GSX1250FA ST which is fully laden with top box and panniers for £7499.

The Suzuki’s competitor, the 2010 Triumph Sprint GT

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