Rumours are flying about Honda’s new parallel twin sportbike; supposedly, the machine has displace the KTM 690 Duke in the European Junior Cup.
While Honda hasn’t really said much about the bike officially, they did say they’ve got an exciting new sport machine for the series. Everyone seems to figure it’s going to be the CBR500.
Hell For Leather has gone a step further, by publishing a list of specs for the machine. These aren’t backed by any official factory release, so you’ve got to take them with a grain of salt.
According to Siler and Co., the new Honda will have a 470cc liquid-cooled, parallel twin motor, six-speed transmission, 46.9 bhp, 30 lb/ft of torque, a 31-inch seat height and a 105 mph top speed. Wet weight is supposed to be 430 lbs (dry weight is 401 lbs, but that figure’s only useful if you have to push your motorcycle after running out of both gas and oil, then drain your rad and remove your battery … )
They say the machine will run on a 120/70-17 tire in front and a 160-60-17 unit in rear.
If HFL is right, the new 500 will sit in a market segment that’s been empty of competition for a long time, with the demise of Kawasaki’s 500 Ninja and Suzuki’s GS500. It’s been devoid of any innovation for even longer than that; those bikes were relatively unchanged, with the exception of bodywork addition and subtraction, for most of their production runs. Furthermore, the CBR500 (like the new Ninja 300) will take advantage of new European learner laws, that allow riders to get their hands on more powerful machines than previously permitted. Supposedly, that was the whole reason for the new baby Ninja.
HFL says their source (inside Honda Europe, they claim) gave them information indicating this machine will be imported to Canada and the U.S., which was a big question on the minds of anyone interested in this bike. We’ll have to wait and see if they really know what they’re talking about.