CMG reader Trane Francks is a native of Tokyo and kindly offered to send us a quick report from the ground on any new and exciting models he came across. Here’s a quick report from our new Japan correspondent on a trio of Honda concepts:
Honda’s “Enjoy Leisure” concept model, ‘Bulldog’, grabbed a lot of attention among the press at the 2015 Tokyo Motorcycle Show. The bike’s focus is to be a ‘lovable travel partner’ during its journeys, which suggests that this will not conquer the Dakar anytime soon.
The looks are quite utilitarian, but its specifications suggest less than full-on off-road capabilities. The bike has a 730 mm seat height, which should make it viable for a large number of riders. The 15″ hoops front and rear should make for a flickable mount, although one would think that sizing would significantly limit the available rubber. Give it some time before choices appear.
The rest of the bike is fairly pedestrian, with its conventional forks, box swingarm and bloody low clearance. It got a LOT of interest among the press and visitors, however, so despite having relatively humdrum specs, it may have a very interested audience.
Seat height: 730 mm
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, inline-twin
Displacement: 399 cc
Wheels: 15″ (front and rear)
Introduced at the Indonesia Motorcycle Show in October 2014, Honda’s SFA concept bike followed up with an appearance at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. The SFA (Small Fun Advance) features a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, single-cylinder engine with a whopping 150 cc displacement.
I spoke with a Honda rep who said that the concept was based on the idea of making a commuter bike that was both fun and light, but that didn’t skimp on the riding experience. With 17″ wheels front and rear, a single-sided swingarm and very sharp looking wheels, the bike looks to tick a lot of the boxes for riders in the Asian markets.
The Honda rep with whom I spoke suggested that the bike would be manufactured in India and sold throughout the Asian and East Asian markets.
CRF 250 Rally
Honda showed off its CRF250 Rally at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show shod with Michelin T63 rubber as a way of emphasizing the bike’s off-road capabilities. With 21″ skins on the front and an 18-incher on the rear, the availability of rubber will not be an issue.
The bike features fully digital instrumentation, with the main display indicating speed, RPM, etc., and a secondary display apparently being a GPS. Good for those Dakar tracks, I guess.
Honda is taking great pains to point out that although the base of the bike is the CRF250L, it is borrowing heavily in intention from the Honda works CRF450 Rally to create a bike worthy of adventure. The side panels, cowl and front screen definitely call to mind some hardcore riding, so let’s hope that the package, including its upside-down forks, don’t disappoint.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve
Displacement: 249 cc
Wheels: 21″ front, 18″ rear