Honda is giving a strong hint towards its future by displaying an electric off-road motorcycle at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.
At this point, we have no technical details on the bike. Battery range, motor output, weight, suspension travel and all the other numbers that matter to off-roaders remain a mystery. There’s a full-sized aluminum twin-spar frame, Showa forks, Dunlop tires … and that’s about all we know for sure, when it comes to technical details.
It’s worth pointing out a couple of things, though. First, this Honda looks very similar to a Mugen prototype that debuted two years ago at the same show. Second, Honda isn’t the first to explore this territory. Made-in-the-USA Alta had a well-respected lineup of off-roaders before going out of business last fall. KTM has already been building electric dirt bikes for years (although they haven’t been sold here in Canada), and other smaller Euro offroad specialists have been doing the same. And, Yamaha has been showing off electric dirt bike prototypes for years, and even brought the TY-E trials bike to market—but again, that’s had little impact in North America.
However, if Honda does build this electric dirt bike, and does bring it to North America, you can bet we shall see some impact then. Big Red has the dealership presence and the racing cred to get people interested, for sure.