Six all-new Hondas for 2013

November 21 2012

Honda introduced six all-new models at the EICMA motorcycle show, held recently in Milan, and all are coming to Canada.

Probably the most unexpected new Honda is the Gold Wing F6B. It’s Honda’s take on the bagger concept and is based on the granddaddy of all touring bikes, the Gold Wing.

Designers removed the top case, gave it a thorough blackout treatment, swapped out the full-size windshield for a bug screen, and trimmed down the fairing. A low-slung saddle replaces the Gold Wing’s sofa-like perch.

To give the F6B a “back-to-basics” feel, Honda has also deleted the navigation system, cruise control, illuminated switchgear, self-cancelling turn signals, passenger footboards (now footpegs), heated seat and electric reverse gear. The iPod-ready, four-speaker sound system remains.

CB500X

The F6B is 28 kg lighter than a Gold Wing, claiming a wet weight of 385 kg (848 lb.). It uses the same smooth, 116-hp, 1,832 cc flat six that propels the ‘Wing, and it still uses a five-speed transmission. Linked ABS is standard.

There are three new 500s in Honda’s line-up and all are built on the same engine and chassis that uses a diamond-tube steel frame and a 471 cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cam parallel twin. The fuel-injected engine uses a 180-degree crankshaft and a counterbalancer to smooth vibration. It produces 47 hp and claims 3.7L/100 km (76 mpg). A 15.7-litre fuel tank offers up to 420 kilometres of range.

Suspension is comprised of a conventional, non-adjustable telescopic fork, and a single rear shock adjustable for preload. Seat height is a modest 790 mm (31.1 in.) and wheels are 17-inchers. Claimed wet weight varies from 190 to 195 kg between the three bikes. ABS will be available. The three versions include the CB500F naked bike, the fully-faired CBR500R, and the CB500X adventure-tourer (shown).

CB1100

Available in Japan and Australia since 2010, the CB1100 retro bike features design cues that hark back to Honda’s twin-cam CB inline-fours of three decades ago.

The classically styled bike is powered by an air-cooled, 1,140 cc inline four that produces a modest 88 hp, with torque peaking at 69 lb.-ft.

It has a twin-shock frame and conventional fork, an upright riding position and 18-inch wheels — a refreshing break from the slew of ultra-focused and uncomfortable supersport bikes of late. Brakes are linked and ABS is standard.

Honda adds an all-new scooter to its line-up, the Forza 300.

Forza 300

This sporty scooter has angular lines and uses an sleek windscreen that gives it a somewhat aggressive profile. It uses a liquid-cooled, 279 cc single-cylinder engine that makes 24 hp and is coupled to an automatic CVT.

There are two forward storage compartments, under-seat storage good for two full-face helmets and a 12-volt power socket. A low, 716 mm (28.2 in.) seat height should make this 194-kg (428 lb) middleweight scooter easy to manage around town. The Forza rolls on a 14-inch front and 13-inch rear wheel. Fuel capacity is 11.6-litres and linked ABS is standard.

Pricing will be announced just ahead of the Toronto motorcycle show early next month. Go to honda.ca for more info.

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