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A Letter from David Hatch - Motorcycle Experience

Hi everyone,

A couple of brand new Honda’s (CB1100A and VFR1200X) were dropped off here recently and my buddy Gilbert and I couldn't resist going on a pre ride with both motorcycles over the long weekend. 


A lot of folks have been asking me what I thought of the VFR1200X. Well, the big impression with this motorcycle, has got to be the terrific engine. Hands down. I mean, the V4 engine sounds great in this configuration (new cams and ECU programming) and the torque is terrific everywhere up and down the rev range. The fly by wire throttle delivers superb feel and the sound from the single pipe is sweet. The adjustable suspension pieces are a nice touch here and the handling is superb. Everything has been nicely calibrated to allow both single and two up riding. I really like how this bike handled. Linked anti lock braking is standard and totally up to the job while the crossed laced spoke wheels were perfect for the pavement.  And they managed "ok” on the hard-packed dirt roads we explored.  To make your touring life easier, the VFR1200X comes with a really nifty adjustable, on the fly, windscreen, heated grips, hand protectors, a hand 12 volt power socket for your GPS. You can also order the optional hard bag luggage system with internal liner bags. The system is top drawer, however there were a couple of minor gripes. The saddle was a bit of a let down - it’s been sculpted to allow for riders with a shorter inseam to be able to reach the ground. Great for shorter riders.. not so great for my glutes! After a couple of hours of riding, I found myself thinking that if I owned this motorcycle, I’d probably swap the saddle our for something with more cushion. The other tiny pet peeve?  I don’t know if it’s my aging eyes, but I really found the instrument pod a tad lacking.  Maybe it was because I was jumping back and forth with the CB1100A. A retro standard motorcycle with two great sweeping analogue gauges. I dunno. Not a huge deal. But I’d love to see a bigger info screen on this puppy. Overall though, I loved the VFR1200X. If you are looking for a bike that can pretty much take you anywhere as long as the road is mostly paved. A motorcycle with lots of room to stretch out and move around. A motorcycle with a great suspension set up that delivers great handling when the road turns twisty. If you like throaty, torque loaded engines with unique character that delivers plenty of power across the width of the power band, then this is the bike for you!



Also, don't forget that we will be once again throwing a party for fans of our TV show at the end of September and you are all invited to ride out and join in the celebration! That’s right, our Prince Edward County based motorcycle television show will play host on Saturday, September 24 at the Hillier Creek Estate Winery just south of Trenton, Ontario in the heart of the County’s wine region. As you know, our long running TV show, which is shot primarily in Prince Edward County has been on the air for over 27 years, and as the show's presenter, I’m looking forward to playing host down in the County from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Once again the Honda Canada demo ride crew will be on hand providing motorcycle demo rides and party favours. Plus this year I’m happy to announce that we’ve partnered up with the local, Eastern Shield chapter of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group and they will be on hand with a large vintage motorcycle display.

Meanwhile in Episode 4, my riding buddy Norm Wells and I ride through the valley of fire east of Las Vegas, Nevada and wind up stealing home plate. Then during this weeks “Red Adventure”, former professional road racer turned expert enduro rider, Toni Sharpless looks at under armour. While on the subject of body protection, our resident riding Instructor Clinton Smout will stop by this week to discuss the riding shoulder seasons. Plus motorcycle journalist, Colin Fraser will roll up with some advice on shopping for a used set of wheels while looking back at a 2007 Harley-Davidson Night Rod.

Hope you like the show!

Keep your right hand cranked,

David


Comments

Honda's City Adventure scooter headed for production

Honda's City Adventure scooter seems to be headed for production. Whether we'll see it (eventually) in Canada remains to be seen. Despite the spoked wheels and "ADV" moniker it might not so fun to take off road BUT looks to be a very capable city and all-round scoot. The engine is the forward-tilted 745cc parallel-Twin engine from the Honda Integra and NC series.

A camouflaged prototype was recently spotted undergoing road testing. Italian site - Omnimoto - recently published a video of scooter very closely resembling the concept model that debuted at EICMA. 


From Google translator here's what they had to say about the video:

We have caught the new adventure of Wing House scooters being tested on the notorious cobblestones of the capital . After seeing him in the concept version last EICMA in Milan, the project City Adventure - introducing a new concept of mobility, somewhere between an urban commuter and an adventurous bike - " takes to the streets " for development in view of of montagio chain. We are able to provide them a preview thanks to our exclusive images.



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2016 new Honda NeoWing Concept

Here's a YouTube clip of the 2016 Honda NeoWing Concept. Looks pretty cool. It features a 4 cylinder boxer engine coupled with electric motors and transmitting the output to the rear wheel via what appears to be a shaft.

It also features a leaning front suspension setup that is described as an "original Honda linkage mechanism."

Text from the YouTube video follows:


2016 new Honda NeoWing Concept first photo
Honda Concept at 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015

The NEOWING is an unprecedented three-wheeled vehicle that offers the cornering feel and sporty ride equivalent to a large-sized motorcycle while realizing excellent stability in low-speed ranges. This vehicle is equipped with a hybrid system that combines a horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine and electric motors to generate plentiful torque for powerful acceleration. With the adoption of an original Honda linkage mechanism on its front wheel, this concept model proposes new values with advanced styling that emphasizes the mechanical fascination of a two-wheeled motorcycle model.

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Marc Marquez & Joan Barreda test new Honda Africa Twin

Take a look at Marc Marquez and Joan Barreda putting the Africa Twin through its paces whilst on development runs of the new Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin.




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True Adventure: The all-new 2016 CRF1000L Africa Twin



If you want the real scoop with pictures check out the leaked photos over at Indefinitely Wild - Here's one for you. More at the link.



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New pictures of Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L

Honda's Facebook page is sporting a new post about the upcoming Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L with a couple of the best pictures we've seen of the much hyped and anticipated bike.

According to their page:

"The Africa Twin CRF1000L is coming to Australia! The All New CRF1000L will redefine the expectations of a large capacity True Adventure Motorcycle. More details to follow..."




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Honda - True Adventure

Well this news out of EICMA from Honda looks rather promising.

It's a "prototype model that embodies Honda Rally DNA..." The videos are short on facts but have clear shots of the bike. Appears to be a parallel twin - and the Internet seems to think that's a 1000cc engine.

We'll anxiously await more. In the meantime - Enjoy!








Comments

"Motorcycle Experience" Celebrates 25 Years On The Air!

WhistleStop Productions is throwing a party at the end of the month and motorcycle fans are invited to come out and join in the celebration. The Prince Edward County based television production company has been producing TSN’s Motorcycle Experience for 25 years and will mark this incredible milestone on Saturday, September 27 at the Hillier Creek Estates winery. “Twenty-five years is a long time to be on the air. There aren’t a lot of Canadian TV shows that can say they’ve been around since 1989”, says show host Dave Hatch.

The long running TV show, which is shot primarily in Prince Edward County, plans to play host at the Hillier Creek Estates winery from 9am to 4pm and Honda Canada will be on hand providing the party favors. A TSN camera crew will also be on site throughout the day providing coverage to be broadcast early next spring on Motorcycle Experience.

While the winery won’t be offering wine tastings during the celebration to keep riders safe, there will still be plenty of events going on throughout the day. The winery will be holding vineyard tours and serving their famous wood fired pizzas while Motorcycle Experience and Honda Canada will be hosting motorcycle demo rides while a meet and greet seminar, exclusive motorcycle displays, hourly door prize giveaways including a special edition 40th escorted County Back Roads Ride will round out the day.

“Honda Canada has really stepped up to make it a real Wing Ding”, said Hatch. “This fall also marks the 40th thought, why not combine the 2 special occasions?” The event, Wings Over The County is a tip of the hat to both the Honda Goldwing and our neighbors over at the 8 Wing Air Base in Trenton. Honda Canada will bring out their full up demo ride program to the winery so fans of the company’s new motorcycle line up can sample the very latest products Honda has on offer. “I’m not quite sure where we’ll park all the motorcycles” said winery owner Kemp Stewart, “but we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen our winery as a site for this special celebration.” Stewart, a retired military officer, is an avid motorcycle fan and currently rides a Triumph Bonneville, but says several years ago he also owned a Goldwing. “I still love the Goldwing,” said Stewart “because they set the standard for touring machines and they’ve always been a great way to travel and see the country.”

According to Hatch, “If you had told me back in 1989 when we first went on the air on TSN that we’d be doing this for 25 years, I’m not sure I would have believed it! It’s been an incredible ride and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone out at our event and supporting our TV show for all of these years.”

Comments

Honda will bring the all-new CB300FA naked bike to Canada this fall.

Honda Canada will be introducing the CB300FA as a 2015 model. It's a naked variation of the CBR300R. The engine uses the same bore as the CBR250R engine but features an 8mm longer stroke, increasing displacement to 286cc from 249cc.

The added displacement boosts output by 17 percent. The riding position is more upright than on the R model, and claimed wet weight is 158 kg, 8 kilos litter than the CBR250R.

According to Honda:

Low seat height and a wide, flat handlebar offer comfort and control to riders big and small. The advanced, 286 cc engine is light and compact, reducing overall weight and size, improving maneuverability. The single-cylinder design simplifies maintenance and offers impressive fuel economy. Whether you’re looking for a lively commuter or a long weekend partner, the CB300FA is a do-it-all motorcycle ready to impress.

ABS will be standard. Pricing will be released closer to the bike’s launch later this year.





Comments

2015 Honda NM4 coming to Canada

No pricing listed on the Honda Canada website yet but word is that it'll retail for $10,999 in the US.

Think of it as an exclamation mark on wheels! With its stealth fighter-styling, the NM4 won't be mistaken for anything else. The outrageous anime appearance represents the vision of a young, skunkworks design team from deep within Honda R&D, but the innovation didn't end with the styling. From the passenger seat that offers double duty as an adjustable rider backrest, to the reactive dash with 25 colours, to the angular headlight framed with a stylish LED definition line, the NM4 screams new thinking. 


Utilizing the long-stroke NC series' 700 class engine which delivers strong, low-end torque through an advanced dual-clutch transmission with fully automatic mode to its fat 200 section rear tire, the NM4 backs up its extreme styling with a rewarding riding experience. And for those who want to raise eyebrows further, the NM4 offers creature comforts too, with well-placed floorboards and generous storage compartments in the fairing that include a power outlet to keep your personal electronics charged. The saddlebags integrate nicely into the NM4's unique lines, completing the long distance capability. So whether you're turning heads downtown Gotham or heading off to fight crime in a post-apocolyptic Metropolis, the NM4 will prove to be a trusty sidekick.


NM4 - don't be surprised if people ask, "What movie is that from?!"




Comments

Honda Exhibits World Premiere of New Concept Model "NM4"

Hmmm - looks vaguely reminiscent of the DN-01 albeit a more attractive version. I can't imagine this being slated for North American release.

Full details:

Honda held its press conference at the 30th Osaka Motorcycle Show 2014 today and unveiled the world premiere of two types of its new production model "NM4" as an exhibition model (planned for production).
NM4-01 (Mat Ballistic Black Metallic)
NM4-01 (Mat Ballistic Black Metallic)
NM4-02 (Pearl Glare White)
NM4-02 (Pearl Glare White)
The NM4 was developed under the keywords of "the Neo-futuristic" and "COOL," pursuing new, unique styling.

This NM4 was designed to realize two points; the design concept "the Front Massive Styling" and "the cockpit position" focusing on the sense of unity with the rider, that the rider can smoothly get into the vehicle. The low-setup cockpit position and adjustable backrest provide an enjoyable new riding feel. The instrument panel was designed to provide clear readability and the fun riding, as if the rider was experiencing part of a movie scene.

LED lamps are used on the headlight of the powerful-looking front fairing, the tail lamp and the turn signals. In addition, the utility boxes are set up on the right and left sides of the front fairing for small articles.

Two NM4 types were unveiled at the motorcycle show; the simply-configured "NM4-01" which emphasizes its wide, dynamic rear tire and attractive low silhouette, and the "NM4-02” which emanates a unique presence and features a prominent rear design (containing utility boxes on each side of the rear body).

The NM4 will also be exhibited at the 41st Tokyo Motorcycle Show from Friday, March 28 to Sunday, March 30 at Tokyo Big Sight.

Key features of the NM4

・Length×Width×Height (mm)2,380×810×1,170
・Seat Height (mm)650
・Engine TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke OHC inline 2-cylinder engine
・Displacement (cm3)745
・TransmissionDual Clutch Transmission (standard equipment)
・TiresFront: 120/70ZR18M/C (59W)
Rear: 200/50ZR17M/C (75W)


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CTX700 Dual Clutch Transmission in 2013

April 15, 2013 - Since its introduction in May 2010 on the VFR1200F, Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission technology for motorcycles has grown steadily in popularity. Over 12,500 customers in Europe have now purchased Dual Clutch Transmission machines.

CTX700N DCT ABS
zoom
CTX700N DCT ABS

In 2012, four new models were added to the list of machines offering Dual Clutch Transmission: the Integra*, NC700X, NC700S and Crosstourer.

  • The popular NC700X has seen its monthly percentage of Dual Clutch Transmission customers grow steadily from 10% to 44% from its launch in April 2012 to February 2013.
  • Sales of the Dual Clutch Transmission version of the Crosstourer adventure sports machine have also grown, from 25% to 70% of monthly sales in the year from February 2012 to February 2013.

Today Honda confirms that, the CTX700 and CTX700N will join the ranks of Dual Clutch Transmission machines in the autumn of 2013. Both models will be equipped with the technology as standard, and will be among a number of new models to be shown at the EICMA show in Milan in November.

Unveiled in February at the International Motorcycle Show in Chicago, the semi-faired CTX700 and naked CTX700N have been developed under the concept of “Comfort Touring Experience”.

The machines’ 35kW 670cc inline parallel twin engine offers outstanding low to mid-range torque and fuel economy; its compact size and 62 degree forward tilt provides a low centre of gravity, which, coupled with the feet-forward riding position and 720mm seat height, create a unique combination of comfort and manoeuvrability. Add design cues from the unique GL1800 Gold Wing, and the results are two approachable A2 licence-friendly, affordable machines with a presence entirely of their own.

*
Dual Clutch Transmission as standard on Integra.

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2013 Halifax International Motorcycle wraps up

The 2013 Halifax International Motorcycle Show wrapped up this Sunday and turnout was affected by the snowstorm that hit the east coast on Saturday and Sunday but the die-hard enthusiasts still made it out and enjoyed easy access to motorcycles from every brand.

Check out our big picture gallery from the show. The Honda FB6 was definitely a stand-out motorcycle for me. It's impressive looking and feels all day comfortable.

One lucky attendee took home a Honda CBR250R as a door prize. His odds were a little better because of all the snow!





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Mustang now makes seats for Honda Goldwings

With a longstanding reputation for comfort, the folks at Mustang have been handcrafting a wide array of seats since 1980. Given that the company’s tagline is “What A Difference Comfort Makes” and the fact that most Mustang seats are designed with all-day riding comfort in mind, it's a pleasant surprise to learn that they offer seats for Honda’s cult classic touring bike, the Gold Wing. Definitely worth the wait!

Honda introduced their ultra-mileage touring machines back in 1974 and more than a million Gold Wings were made in their Marysville, Ohio, motorcycle plant from 1979-2009. Now Mustang has most Wings on the road covered, with seats for the 2010-2011 GL 1800 available now. The 2012-2013 seats are coming soon (although purists will point out that there were no Wings produced in 2011).


Mustang’s one-piece touring seat pictured here is 18” wide, 1” lower than stock and also sits the Wing’s pilot back a full inch. By making the nose of the seat narrower than stock, it makes it easier for riders to plant their feet firmly on the ground.

The matching passenger’s seat is a full 18.5” wide, with a bucketed shape to prevent the passenger from sliding forward. The passenger backrest features Mustang's unique "comfort wedge" that angles the passenger's upper back 2" forward compared to the stock backrest for more vertical support and comfort. Combined with Mustang's proprietary polyurethane foam material and baseplate, the result is a seat guaranteed to deliver all-day comfort.

The world's most comfortable seats are also available with optional heating elements. To further help alleviate back pain during long days in the saddle, Mustang offers fully adjustable, easily removable driver’s backrests.

Features:

Direct bolt on to late model Gold Wings
The ergonomic shape keeps riders firmly and comfortably seated
Expanded vinyl cover stands up to the elements
Controlled density polyurethane foam makes for all-day riding comfort
Manufactured 100% In the USA

Pricing for Mustang's non-heated seat starts at less than $750. Get a Mustang seat and discover for yourself what a difference comfort makes! Mustang seats for Metric Cruisers and H-D® models are all proudly handcrafted in the USA. For more info, click on MustangSeats.com, “Like” us on Facebook or call (800) 243-1392.


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Continental Announces Voluntary Motorcycle Tire Safety Recall Program in U.S. and Canada


Safety recall program on ContiMotion MC tires on Honda Gold Wing 1800 rear wheel
Overloading and/or under-inflation may lead to loss of tire pressure
Program involves 1,700 MC tires worldwide sold in 2011 and 2012 primarily in U.S.

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Continental today announced a voluntary recall program involving approximately 1,700 motorcycle tires 180/60R16 M/C 74H ContiMotion. Market feedback indicates that under certain service conditions these tires may experience uneven wear, groove cracking and in some cases belt lift, which can lead to a loss of inflation pressure and a potential loss of control that could lead to an accident. These service conditions have been observed with Honda Gold Wing 1800 motorcycles rear tire fitment, particularly under conditions of overloading and/or under-inflation. Continental has not received any reports about accidents resulting from this condition.

The affected tires were sold in the replacement market in 2011 and 2012, primarily in the United States. Small quantities were also sold in other markets including Canada where 13 tires were sold.

The tires are identified by the DOT serial numbers H60LJJE5110 through H60LJJE3811.

Continental started to notify the respective national safety authorities, such as Transport Canada on January 18, 2013.

Continental is in communication with its motorcycle tire distributors and dealers to identify consumers who purchased affected tires. Identified tire owners will be promptly notified and informed about the details of the voluntary recall program.

Consumers seeking more information, including instructions for identifying affected tires, are invited to visit Continental's Web site http://continentaltire.custhelp.com for more information.


Comments

Honda CRF 250 goes SuperMoto

Seems that Honda's popular CRF250L is getting the supermoto treatment in Thailand. The popular 250 engine appears in Honda's CRF 250L of course and the CBR250R and both bikes have been getting pretty rave reviews since their introduction. Hopefully Honda brings it to Canada too, though there's no word on that at this point.



The "M" swaps out the 21"/18" wheels for supermoto standard 17"s. It's also said the suspension has been modified from the dual sport version - stiffened up most likely, and engine tweaks have sacrificed some top end for low-mid range performance.  All this is Internet conjecture at this point but we'd love to see it here in Canada!

A 2013 Honda CBR 250R retails for $4,449 while the Honda CRF250L retails for $4,999 in Canada so pricing for an M version should fall too far astray from those numbers. More supermoto choices is a good thing in our eyes. Now - if we can only convince Kawasaki to drop that Ninja 300 motor into a supermoto. Somebody?.... anybody?..... a 300-500cc modern supermoto please!



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Honda's Paris-Dakar website

Honda has a special Dakar site featuring details of the Honda marquee in the Paris Dakar rally from 1981 to 1989. It's broken out into two sections. The Dakar is fast approaching and Honda is back in teh rally for 2013. This is an interesting look back into their history in the event.

- Honda's History of the Paris-Dakar Rally Part 1

- Honda's History of the Paris-Dakar Rally Part 2


Comments

Honda's big announcement. GoldWing Bagger and CB500's


Honda axed the luggage and windscreen off a GoldWing and put on some bagger-style luggage and moulded in a "gunfighter" seat to give the luxury tourer Goldwing an entirely different look.  Honda also removed the reverse gear and in the process reportedly chopped 62lbs off. That brings the wet weight to 842lbs.

What does remain is the silky smooth 1,832cc horizontally-opposed six with its 116bhp and 123lb/ft of torque. 




And (big surprise here) the widely Internet hyped CB500's are in fact coming.  There's the CBR500R, CB500F, and CB500X. The CBR500R is the racy looking bike, the CB500F the standard, and the X is the adventure styled model.

They each get a 471cc parallel-twin said to make 47bhp and 31lb/ft of torque which should be good for about 54mpg. Certainly not lust worthy numbers but the motorcycles should be inexpensive and very practical. The CB500 is reportedly going to MSRP in the US for right around $5500. We'lll have to see what happens in Canada. But we'd expect pricing to be competitive.




Comments

Something coming from Honda Canada on November 13th

Caught a little post from Honda Powersports Canada on Facebook indicating that there's going to be a new bike introduced on November 13th. Could it be the Honda CBR 500?  Keep an eye out this Tuesday!



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Honda NC700S and NC700X recalled


2012 Honda NC700S, NC700X recall

Transport Canada Recall # 2012308
Recall Date 2012/09/18
System Powertrain
Manufacturer Recall Number: 2012308
Units Affected: 440

Recall Details:

Some motorcycles may be equipped with drive chains that contain improperly heat-treated outer drive plates that may break during use. If a chain outer drive plate were to break, the motorcycle could unexpectedly lose driving force, increasing the risk of a crash causing personal injury and/or property damage. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the drive chain.



Comments

New V4 from Honda in the works?


Honda's CEO gave an end of the year speech on September 21st and he gave some hinted about a new V4 super sports bike - saying they've begun development! What's more it will incorporate technologies from MotoGP.... very interesting!

There's also some new mid-series motorcycles on the way and sales will start in North America for these models according to the speech.

There's also some Dakar news to be excited about - Honda is set to take part in the 2013 running of the event. It will be the first time in 24 years and they'll be entering a prototype machine based on the CRF450X. We look forward to the Dakar every year so it'll be great to see another manufacturer in there.

Full details below from an excerpt of the speech:

In the area of large-sized motorcycles, following the New Mid Series, Honda will introduce a series of large-sized models with a new concept, which enable customers to more easily enjoy daily commuting and weekend touring. This stylish new series will be equipped with a “torqueful” engine, low seat height which increases the ease of handling, and a comfortable ride with high stability in maneuvering. The production of the first model in this new series will begin in February 2013 at Kumamoto Factory, Honda’s global motorcycle production operation, and sales will begin from North America.

With the best and brightest gathered from Europe, South America, the U.S. and Japan, together as one “works” team, Honda is getting ready for participation in the Dakar Rally in January 2013, for the first time in 24 years. The prototype machine, which is being developed based on the CRF450X, has been demonstrating high fighting performance on rough road surfaces such as the desert and rocky hills in various tests on engine performance, endurance and long-distance riding. In October 2012, this machine will be put in actual racing in the Morocco Rally to further refine its fighting capability. Honda will strive to win in the Dakar Rally from the first year of returning to the Rally.

Since its market introduction in 1987, the RC30(VFR750R) super sports bike has been loved by a large number of fans. With a goal to create a new history, passionate Honda engineers have gotten together and have begun development of a new super sports bike to which new technologies from MotoGP machines will be applied.


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Canadian pricing for Honda NC700S, NC700X


Honda Canada has released pricing information for the NC700S, NC700X.

The road biased NC700S comes with a base price of $8,799 while the adventure-styled NC700X comes in at $8,999. Those prices include ABS. What it doesn't inclue is the dual clutch transmission option which is available in some other countries.

The bikes both features an all-new 670 cc, liquid-cooled, inline-twin engine. There's also a storage area where the gas tank is on most motorcycles - big enough for a full face helmet. That's pretty handy when you're looking for a spot to put your helmet and you don't want to carry it with you.

According to Honda "The unique design creates a muscular, easy-to-use powerband not unlike that of a big-bore cruiser. The six-speed manual transmission complements the powerband by using wide gear ratios – no need to be constantly shifting up and down to maintain strong performance.

Through the use of friction-reducing technologies, integrated components (such as running the oil pump using the counterbalance shaft and the water pump using the camshaft, which reduces the number of shafts required), precise PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection and efficient combustion, the NC700XA engine delivers exceptional fuel economy."

You can build and price one at Honda's website now and some available options include:


- 29 L Pannier Set - $559.95 MSRP
-  Heated Grips $379.95 MSRP
- Main Stand, "S"$239.95 MSRP (a center stand).
- Fog Light Attachment Kit $549.95 MSRP
- 45L Topbox $384.95 MSRP





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The Honda Force V4 Story Site (Updated)

The Honda Force V4 Story Site has been updated with "Development continues on the Force V4," a historic recollection of Honda's continued revolutionary advancements in its MotoGP racing machines....

Catch the full update HERE



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The Honda V4 engine story


Honda has published a page on the "Honda Force V4 Story" site, which is a historical commentary on the revolutionary 4-stroke V4 DOHC engine.

Read more HERE.



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Honda to participate in 2013 Dakar

Honda has announced its intention to participate as a works team in the motorcycle class in the Dakar Rally to be held in January 2013 in South America, travelling north to south through Peru, Chile and Argentina. Honda competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally, from 1981 through to 1989, and was a winner five times during that period. Honda's return to Dakar Rally next year will be the first in 24 years since 1989.


The Honda team, to be called Team HRC, will include Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues, who took third place in the 2012 Dakar Rally, and Brazilian Felipe Zanol, who brings a wealth of experience in motocross and enduro race events, as well as Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina). They will ride a prototype machine developed and produced by the Motorcycle R&D Center at Honda R&D. The prototype machine is based on the CRF450X, the popular worldwide enduro racing model that combines ease of handling with superior competitive strength. Kit parts designed for use on the standard CRF450X model have also been developed and will be made available to a limited number of teams.

Tetsuo Suzuki, President, Honda Racing Corporation, commented “The Dakar requires competitors to cover several hundred kilometers per day for more than two weeks. It needs a totally different type of vehicle from events such as motocross, trials and road races. Honda has put a great deal of effort into designing and building a powerful and winning machine. We are aiming for the championship from this first year.”

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Stoner takes lead with second win

Just one week after the Spanish GP, Casey Stoner went from pole here in Portugal to take his second win of the season, pursued to the line by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and team mate Dani Pedrosa. Like the Spanish GP, free practice this time began with unsettled weather, but brightened for Saturday and Sunday. Stoner made best time in both warm up and qualifying, and kept up this pace to pull off a fine win. Honda was able to achieve consistently better times in this race, although many issues remain to be fixed. The Honda team were really not sure they could pull off a second successive win, and were immensely grateful to Casey Stoner for his superb ride, showing all the strengths of a true champion.

After the Spanish GP, HRC Team Principal Shuhei Nakamoto commented "It was Casey who won this one for us." Here in Portugal, he had much the same to say "To tell the truth, we hardly helped at all. It was all Casey. I hope we can start doing our part soon and fix his issues with the bike." Dani Pedrosa, in 3rd place, could only salute the inspiring turn of speed displayed by his team mate. Under less than ideal conditions, the Repsol Honda team won their second out of three races, continuing their run of two riders on the podium each time. Team Principal Nakamoto talks to us about the Honda team's second successive win of the season.

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Honda launching the new CRF250L On/Off-Road model

Honda's much anticipated CRF250L is going on sale in Japan next month. The bad news is that it won't be in Canada that soon but the good news is that it should be here before the end of the summer. It'll be available in "Extreme Red" and  "Ross White."

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the start of sales in Japan on May 14, 2012, of a new 250-cc on/off-road model, the CRF250L, which offers an agile ride in a wide range of riding environments from urban to off road riding.


Under the slogan, “‘New On & Off Gear, your right buddy on the road’ to make ‘On’ (daily life) more convenient and ‘Off’ (weekends) more enjoyable,” the development team, by pursuing total balance and driving stability to the utmost, created a vehicle that enables a broad spectrum of users from beginners to experienced riders to enjoy the sheer fun of handling the machine.

The CRF250L is powered by a liquid-cooled 250-cc 4-stroke DOHC single-cylinder engine with powerful output in the low-to-mid rpm range. Low-friction technologies including an offset cylinder are also employed to realize the excellent fuel efficiency of 44.3 km/L (measured at a constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road).

A newly-designed frame makes use of the steel twin-tube structure to offer the rider a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability. In addition, an agile, high-performance run-through ability in a wide range of situations from urban riding to off road is realized through the adoption of an inverted suspension with a 250-mm cushion stroke for the front and the Pro-Link suspension with 240 mm of axle travel for the rear.

Styling has been refined to be sharper and more aggressive while inheriting the basic concept of Honda’s CRF motocrosser series, resulting in a design that asserts a Honda identity fitting for a new-era CRF. Customers are offered a choice of two color schemes: Extreme Red to present an aggressive image or Ross White for those who wish to impart a cool image.

Main Features of the CRF250L

Engine

The engine aims for powerful output that can be handled with equal ease on on-road and off-road. While achieving powerful torque from the low rpm range to high, the CRF250L’s engine also boasts output characteristics expressing the smooth rev-up that typifies a liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC engine. The Programmed Fuel Injection System (PGM-FI*), the O2 sensor, catalyzer fitted inside the muffler, and the newly applied low-friction technologies embedded in such components as the offset cylinder and the roller rocker arm all form a synergy that delivers high environmental performance along with excellent fuel efficiency of 44.3 km/L (measured at a constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road).*
PGM-FI is a registered trademark of Honda.


Vehicle body/suspension

The newly-designed frame makes use of a steel twin-tube design to offer a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability, and the oval cross-sectional shape of the main pipe helps boost rigidity while enabling a slim vehicle body. The inverted front suspension employs a Separate Function Front Fork having an inner tube diameter of 43 mm and a cushion stroke of 250 mm in a design that secures both light weight and high rigidity to deliver excellent operability and high driving stability. The aluminum monoblock cast swing arm yields high strength and proper rigidity balance and is paired with a Pro-Link rear suspension having 240 mm of axle travel providing the rider with impressive agility and high road-holding capability from urban riding to off road.


Styling

Styling has been refined into a sharper and more aggressive tone while inheriting the concept of “centralized mass with triangular proportions,” a key feature and basic principle of Honda’s CRF motocrosser series. This design asserts a Honda identity befitting the CRF for a new era. A surface encompassing tank shrouds, side covers, and a rear fender has been made flush to project an even sharper image. Meanwhile, the muffler cover and tool box on the left side add accent to the design by forming a shape reminiscent of a side racing number plate. The body comes in one of two colors, Extreme Red featuring a red seat to impose an aggressive image and Ross White with a silver seat to emanate a sense of coolness.


Key equipment

A headlight visor that enhances a tough and muscular look and a multi-reflector headlight (60/55 W) with superb visibility

- A multifunctional digital meter that incorporates a fuel meter, a clock, and trip/odometer
- Skid plates that prevent mud, flying gravel, and other elements from damaging the engine
- A handle turning angle that extends to 45° on both left and right in a design made for maneuverability
- Cargo hooks in the rear fender section to make loading convenient
- Fuel tank with a capacity of 7.7 liters


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Honda Crosstourer on-board video

A little video from the folks at 1000PS featuring the Honda Crosstourer 1200. Its not expected to come to Canada really soon but its likely to eventually come to our market as a competitor to all the other "big" adventure bikes.

The Crosstourer is powered by a 76-degree 1237cc V-Four which makes a claimed 127.4 hp according to Honda press material. Peak torque is said to be 92.9 lb-ft.

The Crosstourer features a Traction Control System (TCS) that monitors rear wheel speed. If wheel spin will result in loss of traction (determined by the system) engine power is reduced. Press materials indicate the traction control can be turned off by the rider.

It tips the scales at 606lbs apparently - a symptom of its sophisticated v4 engine and robust shaft drive system perhaps.  While not lightweight it should undercut BMW in terms of price and provided you're not taking this 1237cc machine too far off-road it would appear to have many of the right elements to make it a success.





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Honda 2012 Motorcycle Motorsports Overview

For Honda, motorsports activities are the symbol of the company's challenging spirit. Honda has aimed for the world's top level from the days of its founding, taking on challenges in a variety of racing categories. With the know-how and challenging spirit cultivated through its motorsports activities, Honda will continue to expand our activities that meet customers' expectations that bring more joy and excitement in the year 2012.

Motorcycle activities

In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), the Honda factory team of Repsol Honda Team will put forward a lineup of two riders, last year’s series champion Casey Stoner together with Dani Pedrosa. In line with the regulation change of 2012, Honda will enter the newly developed RC213V machine, Honda is targeting to win all three championship titles this year, capturing the rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s titles for the second year in a row. Honda will also supply machines to satellite teams, amounting to a total of three teams and four riders.

In the Moto2 class, Honda will continue its active support as the sole official engine supplier, based on the CBR600RR motorcycle. The Moto3 class, which replaces the 125cc class, will be competed with 4-stroke 250-cc engines. For this purpose, Honda has developed the NSF250R, which is now also commercially available.

In the premier IA1 class of the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, Honda relaunched its factory team involvement last year. This Team HRC will compete with three riders this season; Akira Narita, last year’s series champion in the IA1 class, and Makoto Ogata, moving up from the IA2 class, will join Yu Hirata for a total of 3 riders.

Through collaboration with its local subsidiaries in many countries, Honda aims to capture championships in series races held globally, including the FIM World Superbike Championship Series (WSB), the World Motocross Championship Series (WMX), the FIM World Trial Championship Series, and for the new entry FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series.

Overview of Motorcycle Racing Strategy

MotoGP class

Honda will compete again this year in the MotoGP class, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series (WGP), our goals being to win all three championship titles—rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s titles—for the second year in a row. This year Honda will race the newly developed RC213V machines in line with the regulation change in the maximum engine displacement from 800 cc to 1000 cc.

The Repsol Honda Team, the factory team, will enter the races with Casey Stoner, last season’s champion, and Dani Pedrosa. Two satellite teams with two riders will compete as well. Alvaro Bautista will represent Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, and Stefan Bradl, last year’s Moto2 class champion, will represent LCR Honda MotoGP.

Moto2 class

In Moto2 class, Honda will once again support the series as the sole official engine supplier. All machines for every team will be powered by a race engine developed exclusively for the Moto2 class, derived from the in-line 4-cylinder engine of the commercial CBR600RR supersports model.


FIM World Trial Championship Series

Repsol Montesa Honda will compete again this year in the FIM World Trial Championship Series (WCT). Honda will run two Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with 4-stroke engines. Two riders will compete; Toni Bou, the current five-year consecutive champion, and Takahisa Fujinami, the only Japanese rider in the series, who placed third last season.

Honda has its eyes on its sixth straight rider’s championship and its seventh straight manufacturer’s championship.


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Halifax International Motorcycle Show brings motorcycles to downtown


The Halifax International Motorcycle Show is kicking-off their inaugural gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts at the Cunard Centre on February 17-19, 2012. Industry leading motorcycle  manufacturers and accessory products will be on site and under one big roof.Major manufacturers and dealer representatives will be there to answer your questions and provide you with an opportunity to throw a leg over the latest machines or try on the latest gear.

With 45,000 square foot of column free floor space the Cunard Centre sits on the scenic Halifax waterfront with big bright windows overlooking the harbour. The event and venue offer up a powerful mixture of salty sea air and visual stimulation. Anticipated attendance is expected to approach 20,000 and draw attendees from all the Atlantic provinces and beyond.

With the top motorcycle manufacturer product lines represented this event is the first of its kind east of Quebec.The show has attracted a lot of industry attention and support in this first year. Kawasaki Canada chose the event as one of the few venues to bring their national tour. They will be showcasing the hottest 2012 models like the supersport ZX-14R, KX450F motocross, cruisers from their revered Vulcan ine-up, street/touring, dual-purpose, and off-road motorcycles.

Event organizer Tim Leslie indicates,"Halifax is the gateway to Atlantic Canada, and its largest city. There's a vibrant and active motorcycle culture here, which makes Halifax the perfect location for a world-class motorcycle show. We're excited to be bringing the best the motorcycle world has to offer to downtown Halifax and already making plans for next year!"

With motorcycles from all the top brands, this event will be the first, and only, opportunity to see many of these machines in Nova Scotia before they appear in dealerships in the spring.There's going to be some rare models too that you might not otherwise get a chance to see at all except in the pages of a magazine. Motorcycles like the limited production Norton Commando 961. With production of this bike limited to 200 models they're sure to be very rare. Zero Motorcycles is sending some of the first production 2012 electric motorcycles in Canada to Halifax to be displayed at the show.

Aside from all the special interest motorcycles, enthusiasts of every level will find something to surprise and delight from new 2012 models and the latest in accessories to unique touring destinations. Cruisers, sport bikes, off-road, trials, touring, sport/adventure touring, even 2WD sidecar motorcycles - there's going to be something for everybody.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran motorcyclist or just somebody with a passing interest there will be something to excite you at the Halifax International Motorcycle Show.

EVENT DETAILS

Halifax International Motorcycle Show
February 17 to 19, 2012

Cunard Centre
961 Marginal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4P7

SHOW HOURS
Friday, February 17, 2012: 5 pm – 8pm
Saturday, February 18, 2012: 10 am –8 pm
Sunday, February 19, 2012: 10 am – 5pm

TICKETS
- $10 in advance at the show website(www.TheRealMotorcycleShow.com)
- $15 at the door

Free parking all weekend (Friday after 4PM).

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Honda motocross CRF250R test track video

Here's a YouTube find for you.

In this premiere episode of On Two Wheels, Dirt Rider editor-in-chief Chris Denison and test rider Dane Herron hit the test track with the new Honda CRF250R. Then Pro MTX racer Kyle Redmond stops by to run the Honda through some Enduro testing.


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Honda CBR250R Challenge National Championship Road Racing

New rules are in place for the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship - Honda CBR250R series. They've also announced dates for the two CBR250R specific Schools in 2012 which are:

Friday, May 25, Autodrome St. Eustache, Quebec
Monday, May 28, Rider Development Track, Mosport, Ontario

For a full list of the rules check out the CSBK website HERE.



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Honda RC-E walkaround

Honda has given the public a showing of a new electric concept at the Tokyo Motor Show and well, it's a beauty! Classic 60's styling with the electric engine from the Insight Hybrid shoehorned into the frame.

Add to that Brembo brakes, and Ohlins shock and forks - even an LED headlights built into the front fairing. It's said to offer 600cc bike performance in a 250cc weight bike. If it offers some range and they can get pricing right - Honda might have a winning combination here.

What's that saying? Build it and they will come? Not likely we'll be seeing this in showrooms anytime soon but if public reaction is strong enough maybe Honda will put more serious thought into developing a mainstream electric bike.


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Honda Canada brining NC700X and NC700S

We've gotten word from a reliable source that Honda Canada is bringing the NC700X and NC700S to Canada.

Want a sneak peak of what to expect? Check out this video clip:



The EU specs are available so we'll post them for you here:

The bikes will be available sometime next summer. (2012)

ENGINE
Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve, SOHC parallel 2-cylinder
Displacement 670 cm3
Fuel delivery PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 14.1 litres
Fuel Consumption 6MT 3.7l/100km or 76mpg (imp. gal.) (estimated based on EU testing)
Ignition System Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic
advance
Clutch Wet, multi-plate

No word on whether the DCT transmission will be available in Canada.

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New 700cc engine from Honda

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the development of a new motorcycle engine with powerful torque in the low- to mid-speed range and top class, fuel-efficient environment performance, along with a second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission. This new engine is a liquid-cooled, 700cc, 4-stroke, in-line, 2-cylinder engine that fits into the mid-class range (displacement between 500 and 750cc) popular in Europe. Fuel economy exceeds 27km/L,* best in the mid-class range, and achieves an approximate 40%* improvement over other sports models in its class.

This new engine can be coupled with a newly developed lightweight, compact second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission, featuring a smooth, direct feel and excellent transmission efficiency, in addition to a 6-speed manual transmission.

This new engine will be mounted on three models based on different concepts, which are slated for exhibition at EICMA2011(69th International Motorcycle Exhibition) to be held in November in Milan, Italy.

* Honda calculations

Honda developed this new motorcycle engine in order to realize a set of motorcycles based on its new concept of offering outstanding fuel efficiency in the mid-class while delivering powerful, throbbing torque in the normal range for touring and urban riding.

Development was performed to meet these requirements:
- An engine that is easy to handle with plentiful torque in the range normally used, and which also delivers a pleasant, throbbing feel during sporty rides
- Top-class, fuel-efficient environmental performance best suited for the next-generation mid-class engine
A lightweight, compact design that allows more freedom in the body layout and provides highly convenient space

Honda determined the engine layout after examining a variety of engine types from numerous perspectives and decided on an in-line, 700cc, 2-cylinder engine with a 62º forward lean (cylinder assembly angle). To meet a wide variety of uses, two transmissions can be coupled with this engine: the second generation of Honda's innovative Dual Clutch Transmission, and a 6-speed manual transmission.

One of the models that the engine will be showcased in is the Honda Integra Scooter - seen below:



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New 2012 Honda Gold Wing

Gold Wing: The Gold Standard For Two-Wheeled Journeys

The first opportunities to view the new Honda Gold Wing will be at the International Motorcycle Show in Greenville, South Carolina, February 25-27 and Daytona Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 5-12.

Long acknowledged as the pinnacle of two-up motorcycling, the 2012 Gold Wing continues its remarkable legacy. Its travel-oriented creds include the latest generation of sophisticated electronic amenities, starting with an updated and innovative GPS navigation system with user-friendly programmability for sharing favorite ride routes with friends and other riders, which can be accessed online via computer.

The Gold Wing also now incorporates a built-in MP3/iPod interface for a new SRS CS Auto technology surround-sound system for a premium listening experience. In addition to its renowned power-laden yet refined drivetrain and delightfully sporty handling, the 2012 Gold Wing also brings upgraded styling, increased luggage capacity, greater protection from wind and weather, revised suspension settings for enhanced ride compliance, and unparalleled comfort for both rider and passenger.

In addition, packages for Navi, ABS and airbag do much to further the Gold Wing’s reputation as the most celebrated touring machine in motorcycle history. Price: $23,199 USD to $28,499 TBD. Availability: May 2011.

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Deals Gap on a 1800cc Goldwing

This guy has become somewhat of an Internet phenomenon.  Well, over 1 million views on YouTube anyway.

When you think of speedy motorcycles to get though all the twists and turns at Deals Gap the first bike that comes to mind probably isn't a banana yellow 1800cc Goldwing.  Not until now at least!  This guy is FAST!


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Patrick Trahan's - Honda XR650L geared up for Africa

Montreal native, and Dakar finisher - Patrick Trahan has a new challenge in his sights; circumnavigate the  continent of Africa.

He's doing it to raise money for children's Wish Foundation of Canada.  He plans to do a minimum of 27,000 km, 26 countries selling each of those kilometers to raise $27,000.

He'll be riding a 2011 Honda XR650L single with a ton of accessories from Twisted Throttle - who happens to be a sponsor for the ride. The bike has been transformed into




Photo's are from Patrick's FaceBook page which can be viewed HERE.

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Official Honda CBR250R video

Here's an official video from Honda of the new CBR250R that's going to be making its way to Canada. If you can make it all the way through this cheesy stylized video there's actually a lot of good shots of the bike, engine sound, and specs of the bike.

It's particularly noteworthy that this baby VFR can come with combined ABS.  Nice touch.


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Honda CBR 1000R coming to Canada - Spring 2011

The CB1000R, said to be the leader of the performance naked bike class in Europe is making its North American debut. The high tech futuristic looking CB1000R has an unbeatable combination of sophisticated styling, super sport performance and agile handling.

The CB1000R is compact and lightweight and has an RR-derived 998 cc liquid cooled, fuel injected inline-four engine that is tuned to deliver torque. The super-sport class fully adjustable suspension and narrow yet comfortable seat make this bike an option for every kind of ride, from weekday commute to weekend blasts along twisty roads.



The advanced gravity die-cast aluminum Mono-Backbone frame and 17 inch wheels contribute to the CB1000Rs responsive control and agile, sporty handling. Add to that Honda’s combined-ABS brake system for optimized braking control in all riding situation.


The combination of its angular, ‘mass forward’ design with an emphasized short compact tail that positions the rider in a forward seating position with the semi-underslung stainless steel exhaust system centralizes mass and lowers the overall centre of gravity.

Main features:

• Thick aluminium handlebar improves look and feel.
• Unique front light array features a triangular multi-reflector headlight integrated into a compact bikini cowl, and a 7-bulb LED position light.
• Compact, lightweight 998cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected inline-4 engine is tuned for dynamic low-to midrange performance.
• Magnesium cylinder head and ACG covers reduce engine weight.
• Angular, ‘mass forward’ design is emphasised by a short compact tail and positions rider forward for a sporty ride.
• Advanced gravity die-cast aluminium Mono-Backbone frame contributes to agile, sporty handling.
• Semi-underslung stainless steel exhaust system lowers centre of gravity and adds to light, responsive handling as well as delivering an exhilarating sound.
• Attractive 17" wheels feature eye-catching swept 4-spoke design.
• Swift-handling, fully adjustable 43mm inverted front fork and cast aluminium Monoshock Pro-Arm swingarm contribute to precise control.
• Wide, high-performance Super Sports-class radial tyres deliver responsive high-speed cornering control.
• Lightweight 310mm floating front disc brakes with radial-mount 4-piston calipers and 256mm dual- piston caliper rear disc brake create a powerful stopping force.
• Combined-ABS features 3-piston front brake calipers and advanced Antilock Brake System for extra assurance in all braking situations.

ENGINE

- Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC inline-4
- Displacement 998cm3
- Bore × Stroke 75 × 56.5mm
- Compression Ratio 11.2 : 1
- Idling Speed 1,200min-1
- Oil Capacity 3.6 litres

FUEL SYSTEM

- Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
- Throttle Bore 36mm
- Aircleaner Dry, cartridge-type paper filter
- Fuel Tank Capacity 17 litres (including 4-litre LCD-indicated reserve)

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
- Ignition System Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
- Ignition Timing 5° BTDC (idle) ~ 50° BTDC (10,000min-1)
- Sparkplug Type NGK: IMR9E-9HES (NGK); VUH27ES (DENSO)
-Starter Electric 
- Battery Capacity 12V/8.6AH
- ACG Output 340W
- Headlights 12V; 55W (low) / 60W (high)

DRIVETRAIN

- Clutch Wet, multiplate with coil springs
- Clutch Operation Hydraulic
- Transmission Type 6-speed
- Primary Reduction 1.604 (77/48)
- Final Reduction 2.750 (44/16)
- Final Drive #530 O-ring sealed chain

FRAME

- Type Mono-backbone; cast aluminium

CHASSIS
- Dimensions (L×W×H) 2,105 × 805 × 1,095mm
- Wheelbase 1,445mm
- Caster Angle 25°
- Trail 98.7mm
- Turning Radius 2.8m
- Seat Height 825mm
- Ground Clearance 130mm
- Curb Weight 222kg (F: 108kg; R: 114kg)
- Max. Carrying Capacity 188kg
- Loaded Weight 410kg

SUSPENSION
-  Front 43mm inverted HMAS cartridge-type telescopic fork with stepless preload, compression and rebound adjustment, 120mm cushion stroke
- Rear Monoshock with gas-charged HMAS damper featuring 10-step preload and stepless rebound damping adjustment, 128mm axle travel

WHEELS
- Type Front Hollow-section 4-spoke cast aluminium
- Rear U-section 4-spoke cast aluminium
- Rim Size Front 17M/C × MT3.5, Rear 17M/C × MT5.5
- Tyre Size Front 120/70 ZR17M/C (58W), Rear 180/55 ZR17M/C (73W)
- Tyre Pressure Front 250kPa Rear 290kPa (290kPa with passenger)

BRAKES

- Type Front 310 × 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with combined 3-piston calipers, floating rotors, ABS and sintered metal pads
- Rear 256 × 5mm hydraulic disc with dual-piston calliper, ABS and sintered metal pads
*All specifications are proliminary and subject to change without notice. 

The CB1000R is made for anyone who relishes attention. This bike offers an upright seating position and true sport bike performance and will be sure to capture the heart and sole of any motorcycle enthusiast.


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Honda V4 Crosstourer Concept - Varadero replacement?

Honda has revealed their  V4 Crosstourer Concept, the "world’s first V4 Adventure Tourer motorcycle" at the 2010 EICMA  in Milan, Italy.  Based on the displacement and size of the bike one could assume that this machine will take the Varadero 1000cc's spot as the adventure tourer in the Honda lineup.  Honda Canada for one has spent a lot of time and effort on the 1000cc machine though and while not a new machine by any means it's pretty new to Canada.

The V4 Crostourer  shares the V4 engine and Dual Clutch Transimission with the VFR1200F and is said to offer the same  fun and excitement of a road sports bike; but with the comfortable upright riding position and manoeuvrability of an adventure machine.



The VFR1200F was the first model to utilize the new iconic V4 engine that signified the beginning of the new era in Honda’s engine line-up. The V4 Crosstourer Concept will utilise the same engine as the Road Sport category VFR to bring the benefits of this world-beating engine to a new type of customer. This will be the first time an Adventure Tourer bike has been fitted with a compact and powerful four cylinder V-engine unit.

The riding experience will be further enhanced with the V4 Crosstourer Concept being developed with the revolutionary Dual Clutch Transmission that gives seamless gear changes for a sport riding feel. The new bike is the second Honda to be fitted with this innovative transmission system after the VFR1200F and it is the first time this award-winning technology has been seen in this category.


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New Honda 800 cc - Adventure model sketch

Honda's new VFR800X adventure bike is set to be unveiled at the Milan bike show next week, but in the meantime they've released a final sketch which gives a pretty good idea of what the finished bike will look like.


The new adventure bike appears to have 17” cast road bike wheels so off-road excursions will likely be limited to gravel road type conditions. It's more street oriented with 'adventure' coming by way of it's touring and passenger carrying abilities.

How does Honda describe the the VFR800X? Kinda like this:

"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."


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Honda CBR 250R on its way to Canada


Honda Canada is going to be bringing a CBR 250 R to a Honda showroom near you soon. While pricing is yet to be announced there are quite a few details available.

The mini-VFR1200 look alike features a liquid cooled and fuel-injected 4 stroke, 249 cc single that's good for a claimed 26 hp and torque peaking at 17 lb-ft.  It's said to be 'sporty and eco-friendly.'

The single-cylinder engine is mated to a six speed transmission. The 13 liter fuel tank and should give the little CBR plenty of range given fuel economy claims of 3.7L/100 km (76 mpg).  That's about 350 km per tank by our math.

It'll even be available with combined ABS.  Tires on the rear will be 140/70-17 while the front is a 110/70-17.

Wet weight is said to be a nimble 161 kg (356 lb) for the non-ABS version while the combined ABS version bumps up to 165 kg (364 lb)






Check out the SITE and VIDEO Honda have posted for additional details.

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Honda Canada rumors

It's rumored something is in the works at Honda Canada. A canadian dealer has dropped some hints that there's an embargo on information until October 25th but that rumors are that we'll see a 250cc street bike.  Could it be that Honda Canada is bringing a Kawasaki Ninja 250 fighter to the market?

It would make sense to try to grab some of the 250 market share. 250cc makes a good entry level bike size that's highway capable. Not only does this size appeal to the budget conscious new rider but the frugal commuter type looking for something cheap to insure that gets great fuel economy.

Maybe it'll look something like this? VFR1200 inspired headlight with CBR1000RR inspired bodywork.  One can hope.




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New Honda 800cc model

If we're to believe UK's MCN, this is a sketch of Honda new VFR800X - a bike that Honda calls a "crossover."  Why dub it a crossover?  Well according to Honda this bike “will have the flexibility and exciting attitude of a naked performance machine, with the upright riding position and rugged appearance of an adventure bike.”

It's said to feature a 800cc V4 engine.  That's good.  Triumph's new 800cc models are going to be tough to beat in terms of power and torque though.  It'll have to be 'really' good.

The fairing features a 'floating' instrument panel to put the gauges closer to the rider’s peripherial vision. The fairing is said to improve high speed stability as well as engine cooling.

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Honda teases with new VFR based "adventure" bike

Honda has shown a sketch of a new "adventure" model.  It's said to be based on the VFR1200 but there's some speculation that it may have a smaller displacement than the 1200 cc version.  800cc perhaps?

It will supposedly debut in Milan as a 2012 model.

Here's the sketch of the bike, with its much more svelte fairing super-imposed over VFR1200 silhouette.

We'll reserve judgement until it's released in more official form. Being a VFR800 owner I'd like to see a return to the smaller size bike.


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Sad news for race fans everywhere

Peter Lenz - the seriously talented motorcycle racer who also happened to be only 13 years old was killed during the warmup for Sunday’s USGPRU Moriwaki MD250H race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix when he was apparently struck by another rider.

Lenz was the youngest ever licensed Expert racer in the American Federation of Motorcyclists and the youngest ever licensed Expert racer in Championship Cup Series history - at age 11.

I'm pretty sure I've posted this video of him at a race track before but watch this and you'll see why he was described as a child prodigy.  Incredibly talented.  A sad day indeed.

RIP Peter.

More details including a post from his father about the accident that claimed his life were on his facebook page.




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Honda Summer Lovin' Event - Model Discounts

Honda's running a "End of Season" sale that provides a manufacturer discount on selected 2008 and 2009 models of up to $5900 - that's a 2009 GoldWing discount.

Might be a good time to pick up a Honda if you're looking for one.

Other discounts are:

$1000 off a 2008 CBR125R - bringing its price to $2499.
$3000 off a 2008 CBR600RR bringing its price to $9499.

Or you can also apparently get 0.9% financing for up to 60 months on other select 2008 or 2009 motorcycles.

For more details check out: http://www.summerlovin.ca

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Honda Contingency for Canadian Enduro Championship

Honda announces contingency for riders in the Canadian Enduro Championship. $34,000 in total. News came by way of the folks at the CEC.

Full details below:

Sitting on the fence and can't decide which brand of motorcycle to buy this spring? Want to race in the exciting Royal Distributing Canadian Enduro Championship, Eastern Canadian Enduro Championship or Western Canadian Enduro Championship and make some money doing it? Then it is time to get on on a Honda!

Honda Canada has been a strong supporter of World Enduro Canada racing activities and this year there is over $34,000 up for grabs to qualifying Honda riders. See your local Honda dealer for more details.

2010 Honda Off-Road Contingency - Red Rider Program

W.E.C. ENDURO (Canadian Enduro Championship Series) -- OVERALL CLASS WINNERS


*Class
1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place
Amateur C East
$600
$450
$250
Amateur B East
$600
$450
$250
Amateur A East
$600
$450
$250
Amateur Super Vet East
$600
$450
$250
Amateur Vet East
$600
$450
$250
Women East
$600
$450
$250
E Vet East
$900
$550
$300
Amateur C West
$600
$450
$250
Amateur B West
$600
$450
$250
Amateur A West
$600
$450
$250
Amateur Super Vet West
$600
$450
$250
Amateur Vet West
$600
$450
$250
Women West
$600
$450
$250
E Vet West
$900
$550
$300
E3 National
$2,200
$1,500
$800
E2 National
$2,200
$1,500
$800
E1 National
$2,200
$1,500
$800

Note:  A $300 bonus will be paid if any East or West champion also wins the overall amateur National championship.


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Atlantic Motorcycle and ATV Show - A few pictures

We went to the big Atlantic Motorcycle and ATV show this past weekend (Feb 12-14) and although there seemed to be a few exhibitors that didn't come around this year; I'd say the show was still a success.

Many of the major manufacturers were there and they had their 2010's on hand. We took lots of pictures and here's just a small sample of them for you. We'll be updating the site soon with a more thorough listing of pictures.



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Current generation VFR1200 exhaust note vs gear driven cam VFR

Compare if you'd like the sound of a new VFR1200 with an aftermarket exhaust vs. an old school gear driven cam VFR. Some say that the old VFR's are amoung "the" best sounding motorcycles of all time.

The VFR1200 shown here has an aftermarket leo vince pipe.

Hear and decide for yourself:



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Watch a VFR1200F being built - every 90 seconds

The Kumamoto plant in Japan features state-of-the-art efficiency and the latest production technologies. The plant is the main production facilities for Honda motorcycle operations around the world. On the 130 metre long production line for the Honda VFR1200F, a new bike comes off the line every 90 seconds.

I for one don't care how much bad press the VFR1200F has been getting. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in the flesh. Looking forward even more to taking one for a spin. I do own a VFR 800 though - maybe Honda won't allow it - if you're to believe the Internet.


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VFR1200F - just don't call it ugly!

The Internet is being a little unkind to the new VFR1200 design, or so some really influential designers think. MCN is reporting that rival designers are coming to the defence of the new VFR 1200 design.

Guzzi V12 LM designer Pierre Terblanche feels that people on the web have gone too far and he's declared the web as “the worst thing to ever happen to bike design.”

Design critic Stephen Bayley has also been quoted as saying “It may be a shock now, but in future all bikes will ­become more visually sophisticated. The VFR1200 is the future now.”

A bit of commentary from me now... I personally ride a VFR 800 and love the looks of that bike. I have always liked it and it looks good from every angle to me. It's a classic style that really holds up well in my opinion.

I'm certainly not against change and haven't seen the new VFR in person yet but I don't know why so many people don't like the look of it. I quite like the styling. Honda pushed the envelope with this one. They couldn't just come out and build a bigger version of the VFR 800. If they did there'd be a ton of people criticizing them for not having the guts to do something different. So it's damned if you do and damned if you don't.

There's just one thing I'm not terribly fond of with the new VFR 1200 and that is its price tag - CDN $18,299 + tax; the automatic version pricing is "to be determined" (expect it to fetch a premium over the $18,299 though).

Leftover VFR 800's are going for less than $8,000 in the US right now. You could get yourself several bikes and have some change leftover for the price of a new VFR1200!

Credit to MCN for the designer quotes.


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Follow a Canadian at the Dakar

Patrick Trahan is a Canadian hailing from Montreal. He's doing something that many people have have tried but relatively very few have done - he's going to compete in the Dakar on a motorcycle.

His number is #153 so keep an eye on the TV coverage for him.

You can also check out his BLOG or follow him on FACEBOOK.

His bike looks fantastic! Good luck Patrick! We'll be watching and rooting for you.

* Photo courtesy Patrick Trahan's Blog


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Honda VFR1200FA on a Canadian tour

If you were at the Toronto Motorcycle show you've already seen it, but if you're in another part of Canada; relax... You might get a chance yet. Honda Canada is bringing the new VFR1200FA on tour with them.

See the VFR1200FA and more from the Honda Motorcycle and ATV family at an upcoming motorcycle show:

Calgary -------- January 8 - 10, 2010
Edmonton ---- January 15 - 17, 2010
Vancouver ---- January 21 - 24, 2010
Quebec City -- February 5 - 7, 2010
Moncton ------ February 12 - 14, 2010
Montreal ----- February 26 - 28, 2010

PS - We're going to be getting some tickets for the Moncton motorcycle show and we'll be having a contest to give them away (starting Jan 18th). Keep an eye on CanadianMotorcycleRider for details!

If you just CAN'T wait then, you may want to check out the video Honda has posted from the Toronto Motorcycle show HERE.



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Honda Canada VFR 1200 pricing

An Internet source is reporting the new Honda VFR 1200 has a Canadian MSRP and it's $18,299. The information isn't on Honda Canada's website yet - it just says TBD (To Be Determined) at the moment.

That's a bit less than many were expecting and less than Honda's mighty ST1300 sport touring touring machine, which lists at $20,599.

Time will tell if this number is accurate; we haven't gotten word from Honda Canada yet.

I ride a Honda VFR800 so I'm particularly interested in this new model.

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2009 Tokyo Motor Show opens Friday October 23rd

Organized by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.(JAMA), the 2009 Tokyo Motor show opens its doors to the public on Friday, October 23rd. There's going to be plenty to see there but perhaps most interesting will be the motorcycles of course!

Yamaha is going to be showing some interesting electric scooters dubbed the EC-F and EC-Fs:

The EC-F is an electric-powered vehicle designed to serve as a commuter bike for city dwellers. Constructed using lightweight aluminum, the scooter runs on a lithium-ion battery and can easily be plugged into a normal electrical socket for recharging. Strictly a concept at this point.

Honda will have some interesting bikes too; like the CB1100 Customize Concept, CB1300 Super Four, and CB1300 Super BOL D'OR.

The CB1100 Customize Concept is aimed at providing new value for the CB1100. Its specially striped Italian red tank coloring, compact bikini cowl solo seat all combine to project a more vivid race-winning image reminiscent of Honda's 1960s World Grand Prix Champion RC racers.

The CB1300 SUPER FOUR is Honda's flagship Naked road sports model. It debuted in 1988 based on the "Project Big-1" concept that set out to embody dramatic riding pleasure coupled with exhilarating riding performance. For 2010, the big CB features a more upright riding position and a newly redesigned rear cowl adorned with new left and right side split grab rails. A Combined-ABS version is also available.

Based on the CB1300 SUPER FOUR, the CB1300 SUPER BOL D'OR was released in 2005 with an attractive half cowl that offered excellent wind protection, improved comfort at highway speeds and convenient storage spaces. For 2010, the CB1300 BOL D'OR features a more upright riding position and a newly redesigned rear cowl adorned with new left and right side split grab rails. A Combined-ABS version is also available.

And a company I haven't heard of before, Adiva, is showing a scooter that looks to be very BMW C1 like. It's got a roof and a windshield wiper. In the picture, the white scooter looks to have two wheels in the rear, while the black unit behind it seems to be a standard two-wheeled version.



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Honda VFR1200 Advertisement

Honda's got a new advertisement for their new VFR1200F. Does it feature a high revving, slicing up some twisty road, soundtrack? - Nope. It's got lots of music. The scenery is pretty decent - riding through ... the alps?

One nice feature though - it does show the bike sans hard bags and with.

Could have been better in my opinion but any video is good video at this point I guess. There's a second or two of the exhaust note too. Just a teaser amount though because it's definitely not being revved very hard - just about to 6,000 RPM.


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Ergonomics: Honda VFR1200 vs. VFR 800 vs. Concours 14.

Okay, these aren't extremely high tech photo photo comparisons but they're good enough photoshops that you'll get the idea of the ergonomic differences between Honda's new VFR1200 and the VFR 800.

The photo's have the handlebar, seat, to peg relationship drawn in with triangles so you can compare the ergonomics of each machine.

First up is the VFR800 in the front compared to the VFR1200 in the rear:



Now for the Kawasaki Concours 14 in front and the VFR 1200 in the rear:



The photo's were supplied by CoolHand over at RidetheRock.com. Thanks CoolHand!

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The wait is over - The VFR1200F has been released

Well, the rumors have finally come to fruition - Honda's new VFR1200 is here and it packs a 1237cc, 76-degree V-four. The new V-four claims 170 horsepower, with torque peaking at 95 lb-ft.

It's emphasis is 'sport touring' rather than flat out speed. You'll be able to start your sport touring on this machine sometime in December with the bike set for a Spring 2010 release. Honda has yet to release a price on the high-tech bike, but says that will also be decided by December.

Here's some of the key facts and figures you might be interested in:

Features

- Honda MotoGP V-4 engine technology and architecture bring cutting-edge performance to the VFR1200F.
- Unique cylinder layout with rear two cylinders located innermost on the crankshaft and front cylinders located outboard narrows the rider interface aboard the VFR1200F.
- Throttle By Wire for next-generation throttle response.
- Optional Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission with manual mode and automatic mode with two D/S modes and paddle-style shifters offers unparalleled freedom through innovative technology.
- Next-generation shaft drive system with offset pivot point and sliding constant-velocity joint for a new level of shaft-drive performance and control.
- Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.


Technical Specs:

Model: VFR1200F / VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission
Engine Type: 1237cc liquid-cooled 76° V-4
Bore and Stroke: 81mm x 60mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, 44mm throttle bodies and 12-hole injectors
Ignition: Digital transistorized with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed (VFR1200F) / Six-speed automatic with two modes and manual mode (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)
Final Drive: Shaft
Suspension:
Front: 43mm cartridge fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link® single gas-charged shock with remote spring preload adjustability and rebound damping adjustability; 5.1 inches travel
Brakes:
Front: Dual full-floating 320mm discs with CBS six-piston calipers with ABS
Rear: Single 276mm disc with CBS two-piston caliper with ABS
Tires
Front: 120/70 ZR17 radial
Rear: 190/55 ZR17 radial
Wheelbase: 60.8 inches (1545mm)
Rake (Caster angle): 25°30’
Trail: 101.0mm (4.0 inches)
Seat Height: 32.1 inches (815mm)
Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons
Color: Red, Silver Metallic, White
Curb Weight*: 591 pounds (VFR1200F) / 613 pounds (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)

Price - To be determined; but we'll let you know as soon as you find out.



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Honda US - Price Massacre announced. Amazing deals ensue.

Honda is clearing out some stock from previous years and they're doing it through invoice incentives that knock thousands off the original MSRP. Big BUT here though - this is in the US. There's no indication on the Canadian website these changes are effective here to (we'd expect some currency and market adjustments of course).

There's some smoking deals to be had!

- 2008 CRF450R, $7,999 Original MSRP - $2,000 Invoice Incentive = $5,999 Effective MSRP
- 2008 CBR1000RR, As low as 0.99% Fixed APR Financing, and up to $2,500 bonus bucks
- 2007 Interceptor, $10,599 Original MSRP - $2,660 Price Reduction = $7,939 New MSRP
- 2007 VTX1800, Total Incentive discount of $6,125 based on 2007 VTX18TT/L2 model after $5,125 Permanent Price Reduction off of original MSRP and $1,000 Bonus Bucks.

$1,500 factory-to-dealer Incentives available on new and unregistered 2008 VTX1800 T Spec 2 models. Factory-to-dealer Incentives subject to dealer participation.

$2,975 price reduction on base model 2007 VTX1800C L1 and $1,000 Bonus Bucks.

Total incentive discount of $3,975 based on 2007 VTX1800C L1 after $2,975 Permanent Price Reduction off of original MSRP and $1,000 Bonus Bucks.

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Honda CBF600 coming to Canada

Honda Canada has let us know that they'll be bringing the CBF600 to dealerships here in the great white north. The 700Cc Deauville will not be coming to Canada.

The CBF600 isn't a brand new bike; it has been around in Europe for several years. It made its debut in 2004 and proven itself to be a great all-rounder model.

The engine is a detuned version of the current CBR600RR engine. It also features a cast aluminium chassis, 41 mm telescopic fork up front, and a single rear shock (both are pre-load adjustable).

The CBF600 is not quite naked and comes with a half-fairing. It's said to be practical, easy to ride with very smooth power delivery. Should be a great confidence boosting bike for beginners.

In Europe the CBF600 is said to make right around 77 horsepower and 43 lb-ft of torque at 8,250 rpm. Wet weight comes in at 222 kg (489 lb). The Euro spec bike also comes with combined ABS. Top speed is claimed to be 136 mph. The Europe spec model also has a 3-way adjustable seat which might come in handy for riders who might be a little shorter in the leg.

It's likely the CBF600 will come to Canada with pretty near identical specs as the European model but we'll let you know full specs and pricing as soon as we can. Likely in October.

If you'd like more details on the Euro-spec CBF600 you may want to check out the 2008 Product Information Guide (PDF) from Honda - HERE.

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Honda Dual Clutch transmission demonstration

Curious about Honda's new dual clutch transmission that's reportedly going to be featured first on the upcoming Honda VFR 1200?

Race car and rally drivers have been benefiting from similar systems but Honda is bringing the technology to the masses - and motorcycles.

Check out this YouTube clip we came across that shows what is said to be a prototype along with clear explanations of the benefits and operation of a dual clutch motorcycle transmission.


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Transport Canada - latest motorcycle recalls

Manufacturer: HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Year: 2009
Model: SCREAMIN EAGLE ROAD GLIDE - FLTRSE3

Transport Canada Recall # 2009224
Recall Date: 2009/07/22
Units affected: 177


Recall details: Certain motorcycles may have been assembled with an incorrectly manufactured rear wheel. The wheel could crack and fail during use, which could result in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. Certain wheel assemblies, sold over-the-counter as accessory parts, are also involved. Correction: Dealers will remove the rear wheel and inspect the manufacturer's code. Wheels that are marked with the code "R1" or "R2" will be replaced.

Manufacturer: Honda
Year: 2007-2009
Model: CBR125

Transport Canada Recall # 2009230
Recall Date: 2009/08/05
Units affected: 6,613

Recall details: Certain motorcycles fail to comply with the requirements of CMVSS 108 - Lighting System and Retroreflective Devices. The headlight lens does not have the DOT marking required by the Standard. Correction: As the lamp meets all the photometric and environmental requirements of the Standard, and thereby does not pose any risk to safety, no corrective action will be taken.


Manufacturer: Piaggio
Year: X9 (2005 2006 2007), BV500 (2006 2007 2008)
Model: X9, BV500

Transport Canada Recall #
Recall Date: 2009/07/16
Units affected: 154

Recall details: On certain scooters, the fuel hose located between the fuel pump and the fuel filter may have been improperly fastened during vehicle assembly. A loose connection could cause a drop in, or loss of, fuel pressure to the engine. Engine stalling would result in lost propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the section of fuel hose between the fuel pump and fuel filter.


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New Honda VFR 1200 details emerge

New details about the engine of Honda's V4 engine have emerged from Japan via a YouTube clip with Honda senior engine manager Tsutomu Ishi.

It's a lightweight engine with a unicam, no balancer, phase-pin crankshaft, and 28° firing order. They wanted the bike to be smooth but still feature the "great sound and feel that comes from a V4 engine" so it's not geared for top end performance; it's geared to be easy to handle and ride yet still produce some excitement.

The engine is compact in length and width because of the cylinder bank arrangement and will offer cylinder deactivation which will improve fuel economy.

You may have also heard it'll include a dual-clutch gearbox, and a unique firing order. Details on the dual-clutch gearbox seem to be missing from the video but Ishi seems to touch on most of the other key details.

The video runs 3 min 50 seconds and you have to read the subtitles unless you speak Japanese of course.


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Honda announces two new models

Honda has announced two new models for 2010 but no word from Honda Canada whether they'll come to Canada just yet. It seems reasonable that they will to us though.

The Shadow Phantom cruiser and the NT700V touring bike. The Shadow Phantom incorporates the same 745cc fuel-injected v-twin found in the Shadow Aero and Shadow Spirit 750. It features blacked out bodywork which Honda indicates is "bobber influenced." The Shadow Phantom price is reported to come in at $7,999 USD.

The other model will bear the alphanumeric name of NT700V and Honda refers to this saddlebag-equipped upright as "the only true lightweight touring bike on the market." It will be powered by a 680cc v-twin. In standard form the NT700V will come in red and will be priced at $9999 USD, while an ABS-equipped model will retail at $10,999 USD. Both bikes hit dealerships this November.

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Honda's new V4 teaser video - hear the new V4

Honda's got a new Ad that's been posted to YouTube. It doesn't give away very much but features about 5 seconds worth of V4 engine sound that's reportedly from the new V4 engine.

Check it out! You've got to wait until the very end, about the 1:22 mark, to hear the engine.


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Kawasaki to move some production to Thailand

Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Daily Online, is reporting that Kawasaki is set to shift production of medium-sized and large motorcycles to Thailand from Japan in 2010 because of cheaper labor costs.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) produced about 150,000 motorcycles at the Akashi factory and about 110,000 in Thailand during fiscal 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis.

The firm is said to plan to start producing motorcycles with engine capacities of more than 650cc (and increase output of midsize motorcycles) in Thailand, according to the sources. They'll reportedly continue to make some high-end large models at the Akashi factory but sharply cut production there.

Honda is also reportedly considering a similar shift and may move their midsize motorcycle production to Thailand.

Source - Yomiuri Daily Online via Bloomberg

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Honda EVO 6 Concept - build it and they will come?

Honda's EVO 6 concept bike is a high-output naked bike sporting a boxer configuration six -cylinder 1800cc engine, not to mention that single-sided swingarm. The bike was originally shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show and received plenty of positive reviews.

According to Spanish news site Solomoto it was reported that Honda was actually going to build it but latest reports are now saying that Honda have shelved it for now.

Too bad, it looks good to us.

All rumor of course but it's certainly an interesting looking design that would provide some competition to the V-Max. It's an expensive model to introduce in tough economic times though - perhaps the reason Honda won't be producing the model just yet.


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Honda's SH150i scooter hits dealerships in 1-week

We just got word from Honda that their new to Canada SH150i scooter is going to be arriving in Canadian dealerships one week from now.

The scooter is already a popular model in Europe. It features a 153 cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine with PGM-FI fuel injection and Honda's V-Matic automatic transmission. Easy on gas, yet powerful enough for the highway; its big 16-inch wheels contribute to the SH150i's confident handling and sure control over bumps in the road.

If you're heading to work, or the grocery store, and you've got some stuff to carry - don't worry, the SH150i has plenty of under-seat storage and a standard 35-litre top box.

MSRP $4,999

- More Honda news HERE.
- Full details on the Honda SH150i HERE.

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Transport Canada - latest motorcycle recalls

Not quite sure what to make of this recall of the Honda SH150i scooter - there are several hundred units affected but there's no corrective action required.

The date of the recall in the Transport Canada database is 2009/07/06, yet the SH150i hasn't hit showroom floors yet.

Honda SH150i
Transport Canada Recall # 2009195
System: Lights And Instruments
Units Affected: 324

Certain scooters do not have any horizontal headlight aim adjustment. This does not comply with the requirements of TSD 7.8.2. The handlebar mounted headlight is aimed at the time of manufacture. Correction: Since this does no pose any safety risk, no corrective action is required.

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Honda Europe launches teaser V4 site

Honda Motor Europe has launched a new website for the brands upcoming V4 models. It's very scant on details unfortunately and seemingly ignores the fact that if you've been on the Internet and looking, you've probably already seen the images of the new VFR1200 and ST1200. Instead they're showing the hubless concept bike shown at last year's Intermot show.

But they're going to be holding a contest... don't get too excited yet, it's only open to residents of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. Folks from those countries can enter to win a trip and opportunity to attend the press launch for the V4 bikes in Mallorca, Spain in January of 2010.

The site does feature a video and discussion with a Honda designer. The site also offers a promise that "Full site for the new Honda V4 motorcycle coming soon."

- Here's the LINK.
- More Honda news HERE.

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Honda SH150i scooter arrival to Canada delayed

Honda's newest scooter to come to Canada - the SH150i - is being delayed a little because it needs some minor modifications to meet Transport Canada Compliance Requirements.

It's still coming to Canada via Europe, where it's already a popular model. The word from Honda Canada is that the SH150i will arrive in Canadian dealerships in late summer 2009.

- To learn more about the SH150i check out the dedicated site Honda created for it HERE.

- Check out more Honda News via CMR - HERE

Image via Honda Canada

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2010 Honda ST1200 - rumor and patent photos

MCN has come up with some photo's that is claims are patent images of the new 2010 Honda ST1200 touring machine. It will feature the same engine and shaft drive train as the 2010 VFR which spy shots and official photos have been uncovered for.

Unlike the current ST the engine will be mounted with the crankshaft running across the bike (transversely). This configuration allows the sharing of many of the mechanicals of the new VFR.

If true, the ST will drop 100cc's and come down to 1200cc, but power will actually increase and be comparable to it's larger competition, such as the Kawasaki Concours 14, and BMW K1300GT. Having come out in 2002 the ST is due for a remake so this would seem to be appropriate timing for an update. The joint development of the bikes would definitely make big sense financially.

Visible in this photo is a remote adjuster for the rear suspension but it seems likely that electronic adjustabilty would be available to compete in this category.

The ST1200 will likely come with removable hard case bags, and lowered pegs. You may also get an engine is a slightly different state of tune than the sportier VFR and gearing to make highway cruising a little less high strung than the VFR.

Photo via MCN


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Tech seminar on the Varadero and the CBF1000 (ON)

On Wed July 22/2009 Clarington Honda and Honda Canada will be hosting a tech seminar on the Varadero and the CBF1000.

From the folks at Clarington Honda:

Honda Canada will be doing a seminar as well as a demo ride on Veradero and CBF 1000. Clarington Honda will also have competitors models available to ride too.

The event will be taking place on site at our dealership in Bowmanville, ON as well that night is bike night too. We ask that anyone interested in participating call and confirm your attendance so we no how many people to expect.

This is a great opportunity to ride our bikes as well as the competitor models to get a first hand feel for what makes Honda the leader in engineering and performance.

Contact Mike to book your spot, spots are filling fast.

Mike Michea
Clarington Honda (29 Spicer Square, Bowmanville ON)
Your Honda Everything Store
905-697-2333 ext.111
Fax: 905-697-2327
mike.michea@claringtonhonda.com

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2010 Honda VFR 1200 exposed!

Yesterday, MCN claimed to have scooped the industry and come out with the first photo's of Honda's new V4 bike, the VFR1200. Photo's and details are all rumor at this point and Honda hasn't commented specifically about the new VFR yet. Honda have have indicated a new V4 bike is on the way though.

The MCN photo's were from a black and white image and colored in. Shortly after the MCN photo's were released, automotive website, LeftLane News got their hands on some spy shots of said VFR12000 in hot weather testing. The pictures they released are the clearest pictures to date, are of a running machine, and dare we say it - look pretty legitimate! Can it be finally true - a new VFR!? The photo's were shot by shot by Brenda Priddy and Co.

They look clear and legit - there's even some Honda lubricants and cans visible in the trailer that the test riders scuttled the bike into when the spy photographer was discovered.

We spoke to Honda Canada on Wednesday and their office was all abuzz with the MCN news. They didn't comment on it though.

Now for further speculation, it's reported that the VFR1200 might make near 200hp at the crank, might feature cylinder deactivation (turning it into a parallel twin when peak power isn't required). With those horsepower numbers it'll easily compete with larger rivals such as the BMW K1300S, Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZX-14.

The photo's clearly show a CBR1100XX Blackbird influence. Shaft-driven powertrain is a departure from the chain driven current generation VFR but speaks to the sport-touring market being targeted with this machine.

Being a VFR800 owner I can't wait to see this one in the flesh - better yet, throw a leg over and test one!

Photo courtesy LeftLane News


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New Honda VFR - Spring 2010

The much anticipated, much blogged, and constant source of Internet rumor - VFR replacement - is due to arrive in the Spring of 2010 says Honda’s Senior Managing Director Shigeru Takagi.

Takagi said: “We really believe we can develop a new era starting with this V4-powered machine. It is just the beginning and represents a new breed of Honda which will define Honda’s own taste and styling.

“This bike will be the perfect road machine that Honda customers have called for. It will be an epoch-making machine and more bikes from the V4 platform are possible.

“We know people think this bike is going to be a replacement for the VFR800 and the Blackbird but we do not see this bike as a replacement for anything. We see it as an all-new breed of machine, something very special.”

Takagi would not reveal the price, but did confirm when it will be available. He said: “The finished V4-powered machine will be seen in autumn 2009. The bike will be on sale in spring 2010.

"The bike is different to the concept shown for the first time at Milan in 2009 but the link between them is very clear to see.”

And for some pure speculation; Vanjey Design Studio has come up with their idea of how the 2010 VFR might look. Some clear influences from the V4 sports bike concept at the Cologne Motorcycle Show and the current CBR 1000RR are visible.

There's still more rumor that the bike will feature a 1200cc engine to take on some of the bigger competition. That's an exciting prospect but some current VFR fans may be saddened by the larger displacement because they think the 800cc displacement offers the right blend of performance and size. You can't please everybody, and the displacement is purely rumor so we'll just have to watch this one as it continues to evolve.



* Image courtesy Vanjey Design.

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Honda's technology picture book website

Honda has launched a 'technology picture book' website that shows and demonstrates in pictures, Honda core motorcycle technologies. It's an easy-to-understand written and visual guide.

In the words of Honda...

"We want the latest Honda motorcycle technology details to be known deeply by interested persons. That's what prompted the development of this. You may expect much from the passionate desires of our R&D staff."

What to know just what VTEC is? Well, this site has the answer and will show you how it works. What about a CVT transmission? - Yes, that's in there too. There's also details on fuel injection for small engines, advanced brake systems, electric steering dampers, and more.

Check out Honda's Technology Picture Book here.

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Honda Canada sets SH150i scooter price

Honda's newest scooter to hit Canada has a price tag now. It's set at $4,999. So it's not a bottom of the market price-point by any means but you are getting Honda's reputation for quality.

So when factors such as maintenance, longevity, standard features, and resale value are all factored in you get a better idea of how that price fits. It's still not cheap but if you ride it, and ride it often, it should represent a good value over time.

Click image for larger version.


For more details on the Honda SH150i check out our previous post on it.

Image courtesy Honda Canada.

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Elation and Frustration for RMP Racing at Calabogie

CALABOGIE, Ont. (CANADA) - May 26, 2009 – RMP Racing’s development rider Steven Nickerson (Hamilton Ont.) won a hard fought last lap shootout to take the Honda CBR125R Challenge win at this past weekend’s season opener at Calabogie. Pro Superbike racer, Ross Millson (Hamilton Ont.) battled throughout the weekend to find the grip he needed with his day ending prematurely in the second half of Sunday’s Superbike race.

The team arrived at Calabogie Motorsports Park for Thursday’s practice excited to begin the 2009 season. Both Millson and Nickerson found the Calabogie long-track layout beautiful yet challenging.

The team worked hard to get Millson’s new Suzuki GSX-R1000 set up for the new long track configuration however; having a wet Friday morning practice ate away at valuable track time to refine the dry setup.

On Saturday, Nickerson turned some impressive laps around Calabogie Motorsports Park’s 5.05 KM long track during the morning Honda CBR125R Challenge practice session posting a 2:51.198. During Saturday afternoon’s qualifying Nickerson was able to improve upon his time to secure pole position for Sunday’s race with a 2:50.153.

Millson struggled to find the traction he needed to get the drive out of key corners of the track and managed to qualify 14th out of the 28 rider grid for Sundays feature race. Millson had hoped to be in a position to better his personal best of the sixth place finish he enjoyed in last year's season opener at Calabogie.

Following Saturday’s qualifying session series announcer Frank Wood interviewed Nickerson along side fellow Honda CBR125R Challenge guest rider Greg White and was later joined by Millson. SPEED TV’s motorcycle analyst and AMA pit reporter Greg White dropped by the RMP Racing paddock to tape a segment with Nickerson to air at a later date on SPEED.

After his qualifying session Nickerson and his father took a tour of the Turn 2 Sportbike School’s new home at Calabogie Motorsports Park. At the end of the day Turn 2’s owner George Budacki dropped by the paddock to spend some time with the entire team. Budacki has been a supporter of Millson since 2006 and continues the tradition of assisting with the development of up-and-coming riders through his support of Nickerson.

Sunday morning at Calabogie was picture perfect. Clear blue skies, sunshine and a light breeze greeted spectators as they began to file in for a great day of racing.

The Honda CBR125R Challenge race was first up on the schedule for the RMP Racing team. Nickerson on the number 661 Inside Motorcycles supported machine started from the pole.

After a great start Nickerson, Bodhi Edie and Karl Robitaille began to break away from the rest of the pack. Maximizing the draft, Nickerson, Edie and Robitaille traded positions numerous times throughout each lap. The battle for the win went all the way to the finish line where it briefly appeared that it was too close to call. Upon review of the timing and scoring system the series officials confirmed that Nickerson had his first win of the season.

Rolling out on to the grid for Sunday’s Superbike feature race, Millson was relaxed and eager for the first race of the season.
Millson fell back slightly on the start but worked past several riders in the opening laps. Just prior to the half way point of the race Millson began to battle with a group of riders for eleventh.

Millson entered the carousel pushing hard to close the gap when he lost traction and started to slide. The front end eventually broke lose sending Millson to the ground and he slid off the track.

“We were having a good race just outside of the top ten and I guess I just got a little eager and ran in a little too deep,” said Millson “The rear started to come around, I thought I could save it but as I got things back in line I lost the front and that was it …our race was over.”

Millson was uninjured and there was minor damage to the bike. The right side handle bar was broken, preventing him from rejoining the race.

“It’s not the way we wanted to start the season,” said Millson. “Mark, Blaine and Accelerated Technologies John Sharrard worked so hard to get the bike race ready. Race Tech’s Lenny Albin also flew in from Infineon Raceway to help set up the new Race Tech forks”.

“Overall it was a great weekend for the team” said Millson. “Steven was very impressive and we all had a great time at the track. It was nice to reconnect with some of our fellow racers, sponsors, and meet a lot of new people”

RMP Racing is grateful for the support from team sponsors; Inside Motorcycles, Infinet Designs, Turn 2 Sportbike School, Essential Image, MotoConcepts and CRC Racewear. Additionally Ross Millson would like to thank; Tri-City Cycle and Sport (Suzuki), Zox Helmets, Motovan, Race Tech, Vortex, Hindle and Niagara Powersports.

Up next for RMP Racing is Round 2 of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Circuit ICAR near Montreal June 12-14.
For additional information about RMP Racing's Ross Millson and Steven Nickerson or to learn more about marketing opportunities with the team please visit www.rmpracing.ca.

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New Honda SH150i coming to Canada in June

There's a new scooter coming to Canada. The Honda SH150i is set to arrive in Canadian motorcycle dealerships in June. Honda has created a Canadian micro-site for the SH150i too.

No price indicated on the site yet but several US sites are projecting a MSRP of approximately $4,500 USD. That's sure speculation at this point. Only time will tell.

Update - May 27/09: MSRP is set at $4,999

The SH150i is already a big seller for Honda in Europe, and has been for years.

Some key features:

- 153cc, liquid cooled highway capable 4-stroke engine
- Fuel injected with digital electronic ignition ensures excellent fuel economy and reduced emissions.
- Big 16" wheels
- Standard 35 litre top box
- Wide and low padded seat for rider and passenger comfort
- Fan cooled radiator
- Combined braking system which combines the front and rear brake for better stopping control.
- Honda V-Matic automatic transmission (no shifting required).

Honda also claims the scooter features low-to-midrange torque that provides quick take-offs and sporty acceleration, even with a passenger.

Honda SH150i Canadian micro-site

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Durham Honda Powerhouse customer appreciation day (ON)

Durham Honda Powerhouse in Whitby, Ontario is having a customer appreciation say on May 30th, 2009. They'll be having a charity ride for the "Ride for Dad" and a BBQ as well.  They're going to have gifts, and prizes, and a live DJ.

They'll be showing off all their 2009 models such as the DN-01, the Honda Fury factory chopper, and the Repsol.  All in stock 2008's will feature special one day pricing.

Here's a little more information - click the image for a larger version:


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Clarington Honda - Freestyle Motocross Event (ON)

Clarington Honda in Bowmanville, Ontario is having a big party on Wednesday, June 3rd (5:30 pm to 7 pm). It's a live freestyle and motocross extravaganza!

Okay, we made up the extravaganza part, but there's going to be a lot of action and some impressive skills on display. Best of all - admission is free, there will also be a BBQ and refreshments on site too.

Here's a shot of the event banner. Click the image for a larger version.


For more details contact:

Clarington Honda
29 Spicer Square, Bowmanville ON
Tel.: 1 866 950-9954

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Honda confirms production of new V4 in 2010

We're a little late with this news but Honda Motor Europe's president Shigeru Takagi issued a news release on April 2/09 stating,

"I am happy to be able to confirm today that there is a link to more than one model (referring to the V4 concept) in our future model lineup. The first production machine related to the V4 Concept Bike will reach the market in the first half of 2010. And there will be more to come."

Doubt you'll see the hubless wheel design on the new model. More likely you'll see a larger displacement sport-tourer, in the vein of the current VFR 800. Sportbike inspired styling and handling with slightly more upright ergonomics and less emphasis on lightness at all costs. A sportbike for gentleman if you will, gentleman who still like to go very fast but be comfortable while doing it!

Bring it on Honda! VFR fans have been waiting for this, for long time I might add.

Here's a video clip Honda posted with the news. It runs 3 minutes and 37 seconds and according to Honda "takes us through 30 years of racing with Honda V4 racing motor cycle engines. And then gives us a promising look at the future."


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Plunging car sales for Honda - Motorcycles sales keeping them profitable

Honda Motor Co. has released its first quarter results and forecast a small profit for 2009. Plummeting car sales have meant substantial cuts. Even the mighty Honda is not immune to the economic conditions further exacerbated by a strong yen. Japan's No 2 automaker indicates their (profitable) motorcycle sales are helping them to fare better than many other automobile makers though.

Business is still pretty good all things considered but to say they are booming would definitely not be the case. Honda saw sales of its motorcycles fall 15.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared the same period the prior year. The motorcycle manufacturer was hit hardest in its own market with the number of units sold in Japan falling nearly 23% over the year before. Although the year to date profits are down 77 percent they're still in much better shape than say, Toyota - who are predicting a big loss this year.

For the financial year to March 31, 2010, Honda expects both an operating profit and a pretax profit of 10-billion yen ($104-million U.S.), narrowly escaping its first loss since the company was founded in 1948, which analysts had expected.

Unlike other major automakers, Honda also has its motorcycle division, which contributed 60 per cent of Honda's operating profit last year.

“Having the motorcycle business is a big strength for us,” Mr. Kondo said.

Honda expects its global car sales to fall 8.7 per cent to 3.21 million vehicles this financial year and motorcycle sales to fall 15 per cent to about 8.6 million.

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Honda teams up for high performance lithium-ion R&D

Honda Motor Co. Japan and GS YUASA Corporation signed an agreement on March 24th/09 to establish a joint venture company with the purpose of manufacturing, selling, and conducting research and development for high performance lithium-ion batteries for application in hybrid vehicles.

On the surface this may not seem overly interesting but if you've bought a motorcycle battery lately you may recognize the GS YUASA Corporation name. They're a very large player in the supply of motorcycle batteries. So this joint venture may also help to give Honda an inside track on development of batteries for motorcycles too. Honda already have plans to release an electric motorcycle by 2010.

The new company, Blue Energy Co., Ltd., is scheduled to be establish April 1, 2009. The capital ratio split with be 51% GS Yuasa Power Supply Ltd which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GS Yuasa Corporation) and 49% to Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

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Crazy Internet rumor drives up Harley Davidson stock

Harley-Davidson (nyse: HOG) stock took northward ride last Friday on very questionable rumors that Honda (nyse: HMC) was ready to purchase the motorcycle maker.

Shares of Harley-Davidson initially rose 6.3% but settled to a 4.2% gain, or $2.51, to $62.63 by noon trading.

Chances are quite slim that Honda would follow through with a purchase of Harley Davidson because of regulatory hurdles. It's reported that if Honda and Harley combined, the union would control 65% of the U.S. motorcycle market. The next leading competitor, would be Yamaha at a distant 16%.

The US Federal Trade Commission would almost certainly put the kibosh on that deal, seeing as its has squashed other, more mundane mergers in the past.

Analysts have been quoted as saying it doesn't seem a great fit - Harley the American icon of motorcycles and a large Japanese corporation. Brilliant deduction!

Honda-Davidson anybody?

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When you get tired of your stock VFR

Got a 5th generation (98-01) Honda VFR kicking around? Maybe you're getting a little bored with the stock 106 or so ponies but still love the handling, styling, and comfort of the "gentleman's express." Honda hasn't come out with the long anticipated and rumored 1000cc VFR so you're options have been limited. Until now that is...

Thanks to a Dan at A&A Performance in Pennsylvania you've now got an option. He custom fabricated a supercharger for his own VFR and was so pleased with the results and got so much attention on the VFRD discussion board website that he's packaged up a complete kit for purchase.

The kit has been dyno tested to increase horsepower over 50 percent! The dyno runs show near 160 horsepower on 93 octane pump fuel. The price of this insanity is $5495 USD + shipping.

Efforts are already afoot to produce kits for the newer 6th generation Honda, the ZX-10R, and GSX-R1000.

For full details check out the company website - A&A Performance. Here's a little quote from A&A about the kit:

"It has been 2 years in the making, but it's now official: A&A Performance proudly introduces our supercharger kit for 5th-gen VFR800s.

Utilizing a C15-60 Rotrex supercharger, this kit allows you to bolt on 50-60% more to your VFR, all while running pump gas and hiding behind your stock fairings. Only the best materials and construction methods are used to bring the kit to life, ensuring great performance for years to come.
"

There's quite a bit of detail in this YouTube clip. Including a dyno run so you can hear what this beast sounds like. Wow! Not cheap by any means but that's some serious performance.


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Consumer Reports - Scooter and motorcycle testing

The huge spike in gas prices last summer got many people thinking about motorcycles and scooters as a means to improve fuel economy and reduce their transportation costs.

This apparently got the people at Consumer Reports to do some motorcycle testing for the first time since 1981. Consumer Reports has long been considered a trusted reviewer of just about everything - from digital cameras to cars. So, having them report on motorcycles and scooters will likley help some folks in making the purchase decision.

The group of machines tested wasn't really that large - just 8 in total. They concentrated on small-displacement models that featured excellent fuel economy. Three 50cc scooters, three scooters in the 125cc to 150cc range, and two 250cc entry-level motorcycles were selected for testing.

The Vespa LX scooter managed to take top honors in the smallest 50cc class but performed well against the slightly larger 150cc competitors too where it tied with the KYMCO People for the win.

In the 250cc class, the Kawasaki Ninja won out over the Honda Rebel to earn the recommendation.

Full results can be seen online now if you're a subscriber and the article will be published in the March 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.

Press Release follows:

PRESS RELEASE:

CONSUMER REPORTS TESTS scooters and motorcycles FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1981

Rising consumer interest in transportation alternatives spurred CR's Auto Test Center to test two-wheelers

YONKERS, NY ― Fueled by painfully high gasoline prices, 2008 saw many consumers looking for new alternatives to big-bucks fill-ups at the pump. With rising interest in lower-priced two-wheelers that sip rather than guzzle gas and thousands of new riders on the road, Consumer Reports has tested small motor scooters and motorcycles for the first time since 1981.

Consumer Reports tested a total of eight fuel sipping, small-displacement models: three 50cc scooters, three scooters in the 125cc to 150cc range, and two 250cc entry-level motorcycles, all priced between about $1,000 to $4,400 and delivering as much as 60 to 100 mpg fuel economy, at a steady cruise. Among the scooters, models from Italy's Vespa and Taiwan's Kymco achieved the highest overall ratings, with the Vespa LX 50 leading the 50cc category, and the Vespa LX 150 and Kymco People 150 sharing best overall ratings in the bigger engine class. Among the motorcycles, the Kawasaki Ninja 250, an entry-level sports bike, achieved a higher score than the Honda Rebel.

"When fuel prices crossed the $4.00 per gallon mark, some consumers shifted gears and two wheels became a cost-saving alternative," said Rik Paul, automotive editor, Consumer Reports. "And, despite current low gas costs, interest in scooters and motorcycles may continue to increase, especially in urban areas where parking space is at a premium.

The full report on motorcycles and scooters is available in the March 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, on sale February 3 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org

With their 35 to 40 mph top speed, 50cc scooters may suffice for short trips in suburban and city riding. Of the three models tested, the Vespa LX 50's smooth four-stroke engine, good ergonomics, controlled ride quality, and solid fit and finish made it the favorite choice, but it is very slow. Testers found that "you get what you pay for," with the inexpensive $995 Motorino Allegra getting the worst marks for vibration, harsh ride, and subpar fit.

In the 125cc to 150 cc category, the tested models' top speed range of 55 mph to 57 mph made them much better suited for keeping up with traffic but still not recommended for freeway or interstate use. The 150cc Kymco People and Vespa LX both proved well-rounded, easy-to-ride machines, with responsive handling and easy maneuverability. With its big 16-inch wheels, the Kymco offered superior stability and off-the-line acceleration while the Vespa excelled in ride quality, roominess, under-seat storage, and build quality. The third model tested, the Yamaha Vino 125 could not match the other two models' ride experience. While offering the lowest price point at $2,899, the Yamaha's harsh ride and sluggish engine detracted from its cost benefit.

Of the two 250cc motorcycles tested, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 was the clear winner, outperforming the Honda Rebel 250 in most categories. With its agile handling, and slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, this entry-level motorcycle is an excellent choice for individuals who want to combine low cost of ownership with a more performance-focused ride experience. Agile, stable, and refined yet brisk, the Ninja also had the best braking performance of any model tested. Compared with scooters, which have easy-shifting automatic transmissions, step-through designs, and handy under-seat storage capacity, motorcycles, however, are less practical and their manual transmissions and higher performance require more skill to handle well.

Like Consumer Reports in-depth auto testing process, scooters and motorcycles were subjected to an extensive sequence of standardized tests to determine their performance in categories such as acceleration, braking, fuel economy, noise/vibration, top speed and comfort. To evaluate ride, handling and everyday liveability features, the staff designed a new 5.2 mile testing route, including stops and starts on hills and a variety of tight turns, utilizing the Auto Test Center's multi-surface, multi-grade facility. New testing procedures were also added to accurately evaluate the machines' response to common urban riding situations, such as the ability to quickly and safely accelerate through an intersection.

"Scooters and motorcycles can be a fun, fuel-sipping alternative for everyday commuting and they are certainly an enjoyable recreational choice, but consumers also need to consider their limitations," said Paul. "Proper protective gear is essential, especially in inclement weather. Even a moderate 40-degrees F temperature can feel like sub-freezing wind chill to a rider." And, says Paul, professional instruction to finetune defensive riding skills, such as a course offered through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, is a must for new riders as risk of serious injury is significantly higher than in a car or truck.

With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine's auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

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Honda monkey bike to be relaunched in Japan

Well - there's not much chance of this one coming to Canada but it's still pretty cool so we'll tell you a little bit about it.

Honda is relaunching the very popular "Monkey bike." It's a little bike with an almost cult like following. Due to tougher emissions regulations nowadays this revamped monkey features fuel injection. Yep!

If you're perhaps 40 or under you may be asking yourself, why are they called "monkey bikes?" - Apparently it's a name given to various small, low-powered motorcycles first made popular by Honda in the 1970s. This style of bike typically has a very low seat height so when you're riding them your're a bit crouched over - making you look somewhat like a squatting monkey. That's how the story goes anyway.

This little Honda Monkey features a 50cc four-stroke, single cylinder - packing a 3.4bhp punch! Impressed? Well, try this - it'll get a cool 252 mpg when traveling at a constant 30 km/hr.

These revamped Honda's look to have classic styling with a few little updates for modern times. It'll be available in 'standard' trim or in 'limited edition' guise (but not here in Canada remember!). The limited edition gets a tartan seat cover and a bit of extra chrome.

I can see why these would be popular. Heading to the cottage? - throw one of these in the trunk for some fun and leisurely zipping around!

Call me crazy. I want one!

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Honda Fury - Offical pictures released

Well - the email has arrived from Honda PowerSports and the official pictures are there on a site they've given. they've also included plenty of details about the bike as well.



Some of the details:

- 1312cc, 52 degree V-twin engine with a single-pin crankshaft and dual balancers.
- Fuel injected
- shaft final drive
- single shock rear suspension with aluminum swingarm
- Raked-out front and condensed, hard-tail look to the rear end (71.2 inches between the axles)
- 200 series rear tire and a slim 21-inch front wrapped around alloy wheels.
- newly designed exhaust and new camshafts which add to the unique V-twin sound and power-pulse sensations
- Single powerful 336-diameter front disc and a 296mm disc in the rear. ABS will be available.
- Super low 26.7 inch seat height
- Full line of genuine Honda accessories.

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Honda Fury chopper photos and details leaked

The Fury, which is the forthcoming factory chopper from Honda, was set to be unveiled tomorrow at a motorcycle show in New York. Honda had set up a special site to notify people about the pictures, and done some interesting viral advertising on YouTube that showed a baby getting a tattoo in one of them.

But the news has broken before the emails have been sent and the official unveiling tomorrow. Hell For Leather Magazine has managed to scoop a photo from the press kit. So this shot is courtesy of them.

The bike looks stylish and features a 1312cc fuel injected and liquid cooled V-twin engine. It's a seriously long bike at 1808.5 mm, or just a shade under 6 feet. You'll probably not want to do the figure eight's of your driving test on this machine!

It's got a fat 20 series rear tire. The back end also gets a hidden mono-shock. Up front you've got a big rake, a custom looking 21" wheel, and a radiator hidden away within the front frame rails.

Unlike Harley Davidson, Honda decided to go with a shaft drive rather than the typical belt drive.

Honda's coming a little late to the chopper party (by a few years!) but it looks like the Fury is a pretty good effort.

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Be among the first to see Honda Fury

Honda have launched a teaser website with a countdown timer that marks the unveiling of their new chopper. The new chopper, dubbed the Honda Fury will be shown on January 16th in New York.

If you can't make it to New York though you can sign up via the Honda teaser website to get more information as soon as it's released.

No pictures of the bike are currently available on the teaser site. We had posted a patent photo and the picture initially shown to dealers in past news articles.

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Honda Fury - Not so electric

Some patent images have surfaced courtesy of Spanish magazine Solo Moto Treinta,that are suggested to be a sign the Honda Fury (the chopper coming from Honda) will not feature an electric drive system or a CVT transmission.

It appears to be what is a fairly conventional chopper style motorcycle. It's rumored that the Honda Fury will be officially unveiled at the New York round of the International Motorcycle Show on January 16th.

It'll likely feature a hidden underseat radiator, a hidden rear shock, and a fuel injected v-twin engine somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300cc.

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Honda to produce electric motorcycle

Honda President, Takeo Fukui, announced on Thursday that the Japanese company will offer a battery powered motorcycle in two years time.

The announcement was made during a speech on the summary of business for 2008. Fukui stressed the importance of motorcycles for Honda's global business in light of the tough economic times across the world.

Fukui said: “Honda is currently developing a battery-powered electric motorcycle which emits no CO2 during operation, because the characteristics of a battery can be better utilized in the area of motorcycles, which are often used for short distance travel.

“Honda is aiming to introduce this electric motorcycle to the market about two years from now.

He added: “Honda’s toughness in meeting changes in the business environment comes from the global business foundation built around the three axes of motorcycles, automobiles and power products.

“History shows that motorcycles remain strong in a difficult market environment and have always supported Honda in difficult times. People showed renewed interest in the value of motorcycles which consume less fuel for commuting purposes as well as for their easy-to-own/easy-to-use efficiency.

“In the newly emerging countries in regions such as Asia and South America where motorcycles are being used for everyday transportation, long-term and steady market growth is expected despite some external factors such as changes in economic conditions.”

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Toronto Motorcycle Show preview

The Toronto Motorcycle show is this coming weekend.

We can't possibly tell you everything that's going on at the show, with upwards of 150 exhibitors you can bet there will be something that should interest just about every motorcycle enthusiast. But as a bit of a sneak peak, here's what the big names are scheduled to display:

BMW Motorrad Canada will be bringing the new K1300S, R and GT along with the F800GS that has finally started to show up at dealers (much to the delight of those who've already put deposits on them and anticipated a September arrival). Riders that like the dirt might be interested in seeing the G450X Enduro. Those of you who are more World Superbike than off-road adventure will surely enjoy BMW's, still under development, S1000RR, BMW's World Superbike entry that won't hit the racetrack in 2009.

Ducati will have the new 1198S Superbike, the Monster M1100S, and may also bring along a Desmosedici Moto GP replica streetbike with a retail price in the 80 thousand
range.

Honda should have the 2009 DN01, a $17,499, 680cc tourer with an automatic transmission. Not to disappoint, the CBR600 and CBR1000 sportbikes should be there as well showing off the new optional anti-lock brakes.

Kawasaki will show off the Vulcan 1700 series and the new ZX-6R 600 sportbike that is said to be an almost unbelievable 10 kg lighter than last year's model. Canadian Superbike and Pro 600 Champion Jordan Szoke and teammate Alex Welsh will be there too doing some autograph sessions.

KTM has said said they'll be showing off the 1190 RC8 Superbike and their single-cylinder 690 Enduro; the most powerful single cylinder on the market.

Deeley Harley-Davidson will have the 2009 touring models and Tri-Glide trike and the previously Euro-spec only XR1200 Sportster. You'll get a look at the Police Edition of the Buell Ulysses too.

Suzuki will be bringing the all new GSX-R1000, new Boulevard M90, and the SFV650 (or Gladius)- a naked styled bike using the famed SV650 v-twin engine. Suzuki will also show off some Canadian only models such as a 650 and 1000 V-Strom that come with locking hard bags and topbox as standard equipment.

Yamaha will have the new V Max, the 200-horsepower rocket!

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2010 Honda Fury - Rumor?


There's some Internet rumors going around that Honda hosted an online US dealer event this past Monday and confirmed a new model - the Honda "Fury."

It's reportedly a 1300cc raked chopper that will be introduced to the US market next spring as an early '10 model.

Word is that Dealers will receive more information later in December. The pictures sent to dealers had the bottom-half of the bike intentionally blurred. Folks are speculating what this means of course and most of the buzz is that that the bike might be a hybrid with a gas and electric motor.

If they do produce an electric/gas hybrid system how long will it be before Honda puts the technology into their Goldwing? It might be a useful addition to that platform.

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Honda off-road model recall

Honda Motor Company is recalling about 13,000 of its off-road competition motorcycles. A weld on the right side of the swing arm can fail, which may cause the rider to lose control and crash.

Honda has received two reports of swing arms cracking but no injuries have been reported.

The recall involves model year 2007-2008 Honda CRF150R/RB motocross competition motorcycles.

The items were sold at Honda motorcycle dealers nationwide from September 2006 through October 2008 for between $4,300 and $4,400.

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled off-road motorcycles and contact any Honda dealer to schedule a free repair. Registered owners of the recalled motorcycles are being sent a direct notice.

For additional information, contact Honda toll-free at (866) 784-1870 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Monday through Friday, or visit Honda here.

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New V4 from Honda in 2010

Honda has announced that they'll be building a production model that's based on the V4 concept. It'll hit the showroom floor in "the first half of 2010."

The concept is a bit wild - with hubless wheels and a strange looking headlight that looks like a big X. It's not likely that we'll get hubless wheels but many have been looking for a more powerful and lighter successor to the VFR 800. This bike is supposedly biased towards rider comfort and on-road ability rather than racetrack success.

Maybe this is what those folks have been waiting for.

Here's what Honda had to say:

"The exciting news of the V4 production model is the result of overwhelming response from customers, media and motorcycle dealers across Europe following the debut of the V4 Concept Model at last month's Intermot show, where the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer chose 'New Beginnings' as its theme to celebrate Honda's 60th anniversary as a company, 50th anniversary of racing and 30th anniversary of the Honda's iconic V4 engine configuration.

"Building on this theme at this week's Milan Show, Honda highlighted the next stage of the V4 story and looked forward to the next 60 years of motorcycle production, with V4 technology forming a part of the marque's future direction in the coming few years, starting in just 18 months time with the introduction of the first V4 mass-production model in the first half of 2010."

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World's biggest motorcycle exhibition - November 4th

World's biggest motorcycle exhibition will open its doors on November 4th at Milan, Italy to an ever increasing public.

This year at Milan's EICMA exhibition, we should see several new motorcycles and scooters - probably not as many as last year when it seemed everybody had something new.

But like at Intermot show in Germany, there will no doubt be a lot of Asian manufactured electric motorcycles and scooters showcased.

The main conference day is Tuesday, with 2 conferences called on Monday and one on Wednesday.

Several companies have announced that they're be doing a press conference at the show. Which would generally indicate that they have something interesting they want to make public - but time will tell. Here's the list of companies:

Yamaha - Yamaha have organized a conference the day before the show opens (Monday), and it's held off-site.

Ducati - They're having their press conference the day before the show opens. Fighter model perhaps?

Honda - Honda starts off the press conference heavy Tuesday

New Max - New Max have several brands of clothing and helmets. Haven't heard of these folks.

BMW - Having already announced three new K series models at Intermot it's hard to say what they'll have to say.

Husqvarna - These guys immediately follow BMW (they're a subsidiary of BMW) and both are scheduled for 30 minutes a piece.

Leo Vince - Might be a good guess that the Italian Leo Vince will probably be presenting new exhausts.

KTM - KTM have two conference, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday (together with Zadi - an Italian parts manufacturer). Rumors are that they may show an electric motorcycle.

Aprilia - The Piaggio group's Aprilia have 15 minutes so not too much time for big announcements here.

Moto Guzzi - Piaggio group's Guzzi have 10 minutes

Gilera - Piaggio group's Gilera have 15 minutes

Vespa - Piaggio group's Vespa have 15 minutes

Piaggio - Piaggio themselves took 15 minutes

Scarabeo - Piaggio group's Scarabeo have 10 minutes

Derbi - Piaggio group's Derbi have 10 minutes

Kymco - Scooter manufacturer Kymko rarely call for conferences so there will likely be something new out of this Taiwanese company.

Nipponia - Never heard of these guys.

Suzuki - Suzuki have 30 minutes but announced new bikes at Intermot so we're not sure what to expect here.

Metzeler - Tire manufacturer Metzeler are closing the day with a press conference

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Honda gets motorcycles and cars communicating

In its efforts to improve safety for everyone, Honda has developed a motorcycle to car communication system.

The system generates warnings to riders and drivers of other vehicles by continuously exchanging positioning data from satellite GPS sources. This is particularly relevant as road users approach intersections, alerting them to other vehicles that are potentially on a collision course.

The technology is being demonstrated for the first time in Europe at the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium event taking place at the Opel Test Track in Dudenhofen, Germany, from 22-23 October 2008.

European research data has shown that the majority of accidents involving a motorcycle are caused by perception failures and this system will reduce these failures.

According to Honda:

Both a visual and an audible warning are provided in safety critical situations. The visual HMI is located on the upper edge of the motorcycle dashboard, as close as possible to the line of vision, enabling the rider to spot the information and warnings easily without actually having to take his eyes off the road. The intensity, colour and the position of the lights provide intuitive information on the seriousness and the location of the danger ahead. To augment the riders' recognition and further specify the hazard ahead, an acoustic warning by means of spoken text is given in the helmet, which is connected by means of Bluetooth® communication link with the on-board system.

It's an interesting concept and one that would likely be useful for some riders. Riders in the Dakar rally have a system that warns them of fast moving vehicles approaching them from behind. Course they're often going flat out through the desert and would have no idea when a vehicle is behind them. In an urban environment I'm not sure how this system would filter out regular traffic. Surely the big brained folks who came up with the system have a way around this though.

Pretty soon Honda Goldwings are going to do the driving for you!

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Honda sued by Blackfoot for 1.5 million

One of the largest Honda powersport dealerships in Canada, Blackfoot Motorcycle Ltd, and Honda dealer since 1970, is suing Honda Canada for 1.5 million.

The Calgary based dealership launched a lawsuit against Honda Canada Inc. over the auto maker's Powerhouse concept that brings together the sales of cars, motorcycles, outboard engines, and other products under a single roof.

Blackfoot Motorcycle Ltd., which began selling Honda motorcycles and other equipment in 1970, is suing Honda for $1.5-million after its dealership agreement with the company was terminated at the end of 2007.

The relationship began to sour in 2006 when Blackfoot alleged in filings with the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench that Honda began urging the motorcycle dealership to help it sell off excess inventory that Honda had ordered. Blackfoot resisted because they thought they would stand to lose $100,000 through the program.

During negotiations, Blackfoot alleges it became aware that Honda was considering a strategy change that would involve its car dealers taking on the sale of the other equipment as part of the "Honda Powerhouse" concept.

Around the same time, Blackfoot said, it was told by Jerry Chenkin, then a Honda vice-president responsible for the company's relationship with the dealership, that its dealer agreement would be renewed if it agreed to take on the excess inventory.

But Blackfoot claims that Honda had already decided to cancel the dealer agreement even before Blackfoot agreed to take on the excess inventory on July 13, 2006. Five days later, Blackfoot said, it got a letter dated July 14 terminating the dealer agreement as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The allegations have not been proved in court.

In a statement of defence, Honda said the case should be dismissed.

"Honda denies that Honda's strategy included treating Blackfoot any differently than any other Honda dealers," the auto company said.

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Honda DN-01 only at Power House Dealers

Just like the Honda Varadero, it looks like when the DN-01 does arrive in Canada it will only be available at Honda Powerhouse dealers, and in limited numbers (also like the Honda Varadero).

It will reportedly be available in the the spring. No pricing information is available from Honda just yet but more information on that should be released some time in October.

For details on where your nearest Power House dealership is in Canada you can check out the following link on the last page:

http://www.honda.ca/MCPE/_Global/files/exclusiveBrochure_EN4.pdf

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Honda DN-01 coming to Canada

The DN-01 was first shown as a concept bike at the 39th annual, 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. It looks like what you might imagine the offspring of a motorcycle and a scooter would be. Is it a motorcycle? Is it a sooter? Well, it features a motorcycle chassis, a 680cc liquid-cooled V-twin (claimed 61 hp), and comes with an automatic transmission.

Honda offers the following opinion of what the DN-01 is "The DN-01 was developed as a large sports cruiser materializing a new concept, equipped with distinctive HFT."

* HFT being a Human Friendly Transmission.

The transmission is a constantly variable type, which is typical of most scooters, but unlike most scooter system which rely on belts and pulleys, the DN-01 coverts power into hydraulic pressure, using it to vary gearing. The transmission is said to have two automatic modes and and a six-speed manual. In manual mode you get 6 pre-selected ratios that simulate a standard motorcycle gearbox.

Stopping power is provided by twin 296 mm discs up front that use a pair of 3-piston calipers. The front brakes are linked to the rear using Honda's combined brakes technology, add ABS in there too to help make things smooth even if the rider isn't.

The suspension is typical motorcycle variety with 41 mm conventional forks up front and a standard shock on a single sided swingarm at the rear. Sportbike radial tires are mounted to 17 inch wheels.

Seat height is pretty low at 691 mm (27.2"). Claimed curb weight is 270 kg (595 lbs). The DN-01 is available in red or black in the US but no word from Honda on what we'll get in Canada exactly.

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Honda launching SuperCub site

Honda is set to launch a special site devoted to the long running Honda Super Cub.

After 50 years and 60 million units, the Honda Super Cub is about to get its own special website. There's a teaser site up already but the real one will go live on September 26th.

Get ready for it here (site incorporates some sound):

http://world.honda.com/SuperCub/main.html

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Honda Canada Motorycle Deals

Honda has a "Get More Summer Event" promotion on right now which includes discounts on some popular models and finance rates starting at 3.9%. So if you're looking to buy a Honda, now might be the time.

According to Honda the offer valid at participating Honda Motorcycle and ATV dealers in Canada only.

"This Offer is valid on selected new and not previously registered 2008 Honda motorcycles and ATVs. Manufacturer’s discounts off MSRP reductions are available only at participating dealers and vary from $140 to $3,000 for motorcycles.

Up to $3,000 available on Gold Wing GL1800 models. Financing is available on approved credit through Honda Financial Services. 3.9% APR available only on all 2008 Gold Wing GL1800, VT750, CBR600RR, CBR1000RR and VFR800A motorcycles."

Here's a link to the advertisement for the event that you can check out for more details:

http://www.honda.ca/MCPE/_Global/files/GetMoreSummer_EN.pdf

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Honda and Yamaha want electric models

Two of the worlds largest motorcycle companies; Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co., are said to be developing electric models to attract riders amid high gasoline prices.

"We are pushing forward with the development of electric two-wheeled vehicles, but we haven't decided on the price or the release date," said Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.

Honda plans to debut its electric bikes by 2011, while Yamaha will introduce its version in 2010, the Japanese business newspaper (Nikkei newspaper) reported.

Yamaha is working on an electric two-wheeler to market along the lines of their 50 cc scooter, said spokesman Takashi Kitagawa. Yamaha stopped selling its EC-02 and Passol-L electric scooters last September after a battery recall.

According to the report in the Nikkei, both firms will use lithium-ion batteries to power the vehicles.

No word of course on whether these will come to Canada but probably not initially. No doubt we'll see a day in a few years time when electric motorcycles will come though.

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Walking away from a high speed t-bone

Stephane Perry of St-Jerome, Que is a Canadian motorcycle rider who believes in the usefulness of the airbag feature of his Honda Goldwing. He's the first Canadian to have some firsthand experience doing real world testing. He had a shiny new - one month old 2008 Goldwing that included the airbag. The airbag is in place of where the fuel tank is on many motorcycles.

Here's the situation - he was out riding his 2008 Honda Gold Wing travelling about 100 kilometers an hour along Highway 132 when a Hyundai Tuscon pulled onto the highway without looking... A crash was inevitable, and Stephane plowed into the front wheel/fender of the SUV at 80 to 90 km/h.

Normally this type of contact with a vehicle and a motorcycle would almost certainly be a very serious one for the motorcyclist; they surely would be launched from the bike; perhaps into traffic or into the vehicle they're hitting. That wasn't the case for Stephane and as he realized he was going to crash he hoped the airbag would work as claimed. Guess what - it did!

Instead of launching through the air and into danger, the entire experience was like "hitting a mattress," so relatively cushy was the impact, Perry says. It wasn't without drama though, "it was loud" he says. Like the many motorists who have experienced an airbag deployment in the confines of a sedan or SUV -- that the air bag inflating sounds like a shotgun going off right beside your eardrums.

"The sound was just terrible," says Perry, noting that it really was the only scary aspect of the entire experience other than those couple of nanoseconds when he realized he was going to T-bone a car at high speed.

After arriving to the scene and seeing the damage to motorcycle and the SUV, the police and emergency workers didn't believe he was the accident victim! Stephane was taking some pictures of what was left of his bike and the other accident debris when they arrived. He walked away with some bruises on his legs and a sore shoulder.

His precious Goldwing was barely a month old at the time, and now has to be replaced. Stephane says that the replacement must have an airbag - "A motorcycle without an air bag is not an option anymore," Perry says.

And he's the first Canadian to be able to say that from firsthand experience.

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Some packing tips from Honda Canada

With the announcement of the Varadero and CBF1000 coming to Canada a few months back Honda launched a website - http://adventureawaits.ca/ It does have some good tips for those looking for some adventure.

One particularly good series of tips they offer is on packing for a trip. So, courtesy of Honda Canada here's a little list to consider when you're planning your next overnight (or longer) motorcycle adventure:

1. Download our recommended gear list.
2. Lay everything out on the floor before putting it in the bike. Then put half of it back. Less is usually more.
3. Keep all of your gear to a weight within the bike’s total recommended cargo capacity including passengers. And don’t forget to check the weight restrictions of your panniers too.
4. Put your clothes, toiletry kit, towel, chargers, and stuff to put in a tent or motel room in your one of your panniers. Once you unload, you can use it for groceries & supplies later.
5. Tools, first aid kit, tire pump, extra parts, oil, or the things you won’t need (hopefully) go in the other pannier.
6. Stuff you want to access on the ride can go in your tank bag. Things like camera, phone, leatherman, flashlight, camelbak, food, extra gloves, owners book, insurance & registration cards.
7. On long adventures, get a top box and store your camping gear inside.
8. Place similar items inside the same small bag. It’s a good idea for each bag to be a different colour. So, for example, shirts go in the light blue bag. This makes it easy to find the stuff you want.
9. Get a laundry bag for dirty stuff and a drying bag for stuff that is clean but wet.
10. Space counts. Use every centimeter, like inside shoes and socks.
11. Don’t stuff your jacket with stuff. You need to remain aerodynamic and flexible.

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ABS equipped Honda CBR 600RR

In a press release today, Honda has announced the world’s first electronically-controlled “Combined ABS” for Super Sport motorcycles, aimed at combining ABS and CBS systems into one system that applies the basic advantages of both, while specifically addressing the requirements of a Super Sport context.


The ABS equipped CBR is part of Honda's plan to add ABS to all its production models in the next two years - news that was made public in Honda's May 21st press release.

The CBR600RR is fitted with a completely new brake-by-wire Combined ABS system, which uses a computer control unit to ensure the correct balance of front and rear brake use and also to decide exactly when the ABS should cut in.

The system is designed to delay the ABS until until the last possible moment, to make it as unobtrusive as possible.

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Honda outlines future motorcycle strategies

A May 21 press release posted on the Honda Worldwide website has outlined the Japanese marque's three-year plan. In a summary of a speech made by CEO Takeo Fukui, the document lists a number of significant changes to the firm's motorcycle production (Read the full release here).


Fukui first reiterated the importance of two-wheelers to the manufacturer's identity, with its success in motorcycle production leading to its thriving automotive achievements. Citing 13 million in annual sales, Honda celebrated the success of its Super Cub which has logged a "cumulative worldwide production of 60 million units (as of the end of April 2008)."

To meet its worldwide motorcycle demand in a more efficient manner, Honda will consolidate future production into its new Kumamoto Factory.

The new facility claims "20% improvement in workforce efficiency" and "reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 20% compared to the existing plant through various efforts including utilization of natural energy."

Fukui also outlined proposed technical improvements to the future Honda motorcycle lineup, which include:

Installation of PGM-FI (Honda's Programmed Fuel Injection) on "all Honda motorcycles sold in Thailand by the end of 2009" and "on most of its motorcycles worldwide by the end of 2010."

Introduction of a Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system on motorcycles which significantly improves fuel efficiency as well as electronically-controlled combined ABS (C-ABS), an advanced brake system which further improves stability while braking.

Installation of its "motorcycle airbag system and ABS (Antilock Brake System) on more products," with plans to incorporate "ABS in all 250cc or larger class models worldwide, except off-road models, by the end of 2010."

Honda also promises "to develop another model which creates a new motorcycle category and market as did the Super Cub." The marque later goes on to state that R&D will "be strengthened with a determination and passion to create the Super Cub of the next generation."

Those are some loftly goals considering the cumulative worldwide production numbers for the Super Cub.


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Hot Demand for Varadero in Canada

The Honda Varadero is set to hit the showroom floor of your nearest Honda Powerhouse dealer in May. They're won't be many available though during this introductory year in Canada. Only 360 Varadero's will be up for grabs in Canada for 2008.

MSRP will be $13,999.

If it's the CBF 1000 that you want, there is going to be even fewer of them. Only 240 in fact. It'll arrive the same time as the Varadero and sporting an MSRP of $11,999.


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Honda Varadero Pricing Announced!

The Honda Varadero pricing in Canada has been announced. It will have an MSRP of C$13,999!



Here's a quote from Honda:

The Varadero. If you're serious about adventure, then this is the bike for you.

Ready for Adventure Fuel Capacity - When you're out riding in uncharted territory, 25 litres of fuel capacity helps ensure that your adventure can be a long one. And a 4-litre warning reserve lets you know when it's time to start looking for fuel.

Best of both worlds - Because the best adventures aren't always found on smooth roads, the Varadero's 19-inch front and 17-inch back wheel combination gives you the ability to float over rough conditions without sacrificing performance when the road turns to pavement.

Combined ABS - When you're exploring remote locations in varying weather and route conditions, you'll have the confidence each time you grab a handful of brake, knowing that the twin front and single rear ABS disc brakes have got you covered. Having these brakes linked provides even better braking power, regardless of which brake lever you apply, when braking on less than perfect terrain

* Freight, PDI, taxes, license, insurance, and registration are not included. Retailer may sell for less. Retailer order/trade may be necessary. See your Honda Powerhouse dealer for full details. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and please respect the environment. Obey the law and read your owner's manual thoroughly. Honda recommends taking a motorcycle rider training course.



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Honda Varadero - Coming to Canada!

Looks like Honda is jumping on the recent popularity of the adventure style touring machines and have decided to bring the Varadero to Canada. It has been available in Europe for a number of years and is quite popular there. It's a BIG adventure tourer styled bike with a 1000 cc engine, well a fuel injected 996 cc V-Twin to be more exact. Its dry claimed weight is about 220 kg and has a seat height of 845 mm making it for tall and/or experienced riders.

Some other interesting facts - it's got a 25 liter fuel tank which should give it a respectable touring range; comes with ABS, and has a two position windscreen. Haven’t seen any pricing information yet but it should come in close to the Suzuki V-Strom 1000.

For a more in-depth review of the Honda Varadero read this article from our "Featured Articles" on the main page or do a search for "Varadero" in the Google site search box.

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