Honda was one of the first manufacturers to showcase what it has in store for 2022 at EICMA 2021. Apart from the updated CBR1000RR-R and the new ADV350 scooter, the Japanese manufacturer also showcased a concept that we will see a production iteration of very soon. What makes this an exciting story is that Honda has confirmed the upcoming bike will mark the resurrection of the Hornet moniker.
The manufacturer said, “Honda is also pleased to confirm that the illustrious Hornet name will return to its lineup soon. The Hornet has been renowned for delivering exhilarating engine performance, and agility matched to cutting edge street-fighter styling since the model was first introduced in Europe in 1998.”
Motorcycle.com reports that the upcoming concept has been showcased in a special area within the Honda stand, in a vivid 3D display of light and sound. The article also mentions that the concept draws inspiration from design house KISKA, with sharp lines akin to what we’ve seen on the KTM Duke lineup. This is still a concept early in the design process, and elements like the raked fork won’t likely make it to the final product.
While Honda released no official information on the upcoming motorcycle, there is speculation that it will feature an iteration of the engine from the Africa Twin. This is mainly because the engine appears to feature a similar layout and a Unicam valve cover.
That said, the engine looks shorter than the 1,084cc unit that powers the Africa Twin and the Rebel 1100, so this may be a downsized version with a smaller displacement. This is very likely the case considering that Honda released a video on YouTube mentioning that it is “bringing back the illustrious Hornet name, with a middle class naked of ultra-modern design and high-revving engine character, through the new Hornet Concept.”
CycleWorld has mentioned in its report that Japanese sources have referred to the new model as the CB750S and that a 755cc parallel-twin engine will power it. These rumors also suggest that this engine will eventually move onto the highly anticipated mid-sized ADV, the Transalp.
Only time will tell what Honda has in store for us, and we might just have to wait until EICMA or Intermot next year for more details.
Honda was one of the first manufacturers to showcase what it has in store for 2022 at EICMA, that’s currently underway in Milan. The Japanese manufacturer’s stand showcased multiple models, some of which we’re seeing for the first time. These include a new adventure scooter called the ADV350 and an update to its flagship supersport, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade.
Honda also announced a handful of updates for its flagship offering, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. Peak output figures from the liter-class inline-four remain unchanged for 2022, but the manufacturer has updated its intake ports, airbox, airbox funnels, and exhaust mid-section for better mid-range performance. The bike also sports a larger 43-teeth rear sprocket — 3 more than before — for better acceleration in every gear.
The traction control and throttle feel have been refined, while the Nissin brake calipers receive a new material and surface finish.
Next year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, and Honda is celebrating it by introducing a CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 30th Anniversary Edition. This bike features all of the updates we mentioned above, along with a lovely color scheme that pays homage to the original colors of the 1992 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade.
This limited-edition model also features gold-finished wheels, a special ‘ring of fire’ startup sequence on the TFT, and an Akrapovic end can.
2022 Honda ADV350
The new Honda ADV350 draws its roots from the popular X-ADV platform and is a bigger sibling to the ADV150. It’s powered by a 330cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine that produces peak output figures of 29hp and 23 lb-ft of torque. The engine is housed in a tubular steel frame with a 37mm USD fork at the front and twin shock-absorbers at the rear. Considering its off-road nature, the scooter also features lightweight wheels — a 15-inch front and 14-inch rear — shod in dual-sport tires.
Asphalt and Rubber also report that the ADV350 offers a host of features, including a height-adjustable windscreen, a USB Type-C charging port, and enough room for two full-face helmets under the seat. In addition to these, there’s an LCD instrument panel that integrates the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) as standard.
Like any great team, Honda’s miniMOTO lineup has a little something for everyone. The Grom favors sporty styling while the Monkey opts for retro-cool. The Super Cub adds urbane sophistication to the mix and the Trail 125 counters with rugged utility. With each member filling a niche, Team Red’s miniMOTO family may seem complete. However, the new 2022 Honda Navi is by far the most affordable and user-friendly bike in the lineup.
Toeing the line between a twist-and-go scooter and step-over motorcycle, the latest mini borrows the fan-cooled, 109cc Single from the Activa 6G and the Grom’s popular design language. Honda hopes that mix of practicality and performance will carve out a new niche in the miniMOTO range, one that caters to students, commuters, and scooter converts. To prove the Navi’s moto meddle, Honda invited us to Costa Mesa, California, to put the newest mini to the test.
Before we climbed into the saddle, long-time Honda collaborators Steady Garage and MNNTHBX (man in the box) showcased their custom Navi creations for the crowd. From a Tron-inspired, cyberpunk dragster to a stereo-equipped road racer, the two builds put the Navi’s custom potential on display. Honda wants Navi owners to follow in those footsteps, offering accessory TrueTimber and Icon Motorsports graphics out of the gate.
Even in stock form, the Navi’s Red, Grasshopper Green (shown), Nut Brown, and Ranger Green colorway give customers more than enough options to express themselves. All four liveries were in attendance when we threw a leg over the Navi. As expected, the 30.1-inch seat height proved agreeable right away. Very few riders will struggle with the perch’s height, especially when considering the Navi’s 236-pound curb weight.
After releasing the left-hand emergency brake and squeezing the front brake lever, the little thumper purrs to life. The automatic CVT transmission shifts into neutral at stops, so the emergency brake helps the Navi stay put when parked. With the Single fired up, users simply twist to go. The CVT relieves riders of friction points or shifting gears. While the automatic drivetrain offers the approachability of a scooter, it delivers comparable acceleration as well.
The Navi pulls away from a stop easily, and torque quickly peaks at 6.6 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm. It takes the thumper more time to reach its maximum 7.8 horsepower at 9,500 rpm (there’s no tachometer on the instrument panel). With its leisurely pace, the Navi obeys all posted speed limits, but on the backroads, riders can wind the miniMOTO all the way up to 50 mph. In full tuck, with the throttle pinned, and a light tailwind, the Navi even touches a top speed of 55 mph. Of course, you can’t take yourself too seriously on a 109cc motorcycle, and the gentle powerband ensures those antics remain harmless fun.
The drum brakes help with those efforts, and they’re predictably soft. Light on initial bite and overall stopping power, the brakes require a heavy hand and extra distance to do the deed. The linked system does maintain the Navi’s stability, but only compounds the vague feel at the lever and pedal when used in tandem. On the bright side (especially for newbies), the drum units lack the power to lock up. Despite stomping on the brake pedal with all my might, the rear wheel refused to brake traction. The “old school ABS” of the Navi’s drum brakes match its minuscule mill and $1,807 MSRP.
(Why the odd price point? Why isn’t it $1,799 or an even $1,800. Honda reps told us the price stands out, not just for how low it is – most electric bicycles cost more – but because it makes folks stop and think.)
Unlike the brakes, the basic suspension exceeds expectations. The 26.8mm inverted fork only offers 3.5 inches of travel and the rear shock lowers that figure to 2.8 inches, but the soft suspension soaked up most road irregularities. Only the harshest hits unsettled the chassis. Luckily, those instances were rare. Along with the supple suspension, the 27.5-degree rake made the Navi eager to tip in and the 50.6-inch wheelbase preserved that agility without sacrificing stability at top speed.
The balanced chassis not only remained composed at lean but also stayed steady at slow speeds. Combined with the user-friendly throttle response, the poised chassis allows riders to pick through rush hour traffic with confidence. The Navi’s motorcycle-style ergonomics only enhance that feeling. Mid-mount pegs keep the knee bed at a 90-degree angle and the reach to the bars is short. Compared to a sportbike, the riding position is neutral and relaxed, but compared to a scooter, it’s much more commanding.
The Navi’s aesthetics and ergonomics may resemble a motorcycle, but the ride is closer to a scooter. The rear-mounted engine contributes to that quality, shifting much of the weight to the back. That configuration leaves an engine-sized hole in the frame, which Honda fills with a lockable storage box.
In pictures, the cubby’s capacity looks nominal. In the flesh, the storage area proved much more spacious than anticipated. I easily fit two water bottles, a notebook, snacks, and a hat in the compact box. Most students and commuters will have no problem packing textbooks and light jackets into the lockable storage.
At $1,807, the Honda Navi presents an affordable gateway to Honda’s miniMoto lineup as well as the motorcycling world. The model’s tractability appeals to beginners while its simplicity keeps things enjoyable for experienced riders. Its unintimidating 109cc Single and no-brainer automatic CVT transmission help the newcomer carve out a niche in the miniMOTO range. Despite its practicality and user-friendly nature, the Navi is fun first and foremost. If there’s any qualification for joining Honda’s miniMOTO, it’s fun factor, and the Navi more than lives up to those standards.
2022 Honda Navi Specs
Base Price: $1,807 Website:powersports.honda.com Engine Type: Fan-cooled Single, SOHC w/ 2 valves Displacement: 109.2cc Bore x Stroke: 55.0mm x 55.6mm Horsepower: 7.8 hp @ 9,500 rpm Torque: 6.6 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm Transmission: Automatic CVT Final Drive: Chain Wheelbase: 50.6 in. Rake/Trail: 27.5 degrees/3.2 in. Seat Height: 30.1 in. Wet Weight: 236 lbs. Fuel Capacity: 0.9 gals.
Honda has updated the GL1800 Gold Wing, CMX500 Rebel, and CMX1100 Rebel with new color schemes for 2022.
2022 GL1800 Gold Wing
The Gold Wing is Honda’s flagship touring motorcycle, and it comes with all the bells and whistles you could imagine on two wheels. For 2022, Honda has given the manual GL1800 Gold Wing ‘Tour’ a Gunmetal Black Metallic colorway that features a ‘blacked out’ engine.
Meanwhile, the DCT/Airbag version will be available in new Glint Wave Blue Metallic and Pearl Glare White paint options for 2022, in addition to the Gunmetal Black Metallic color scheme. The DCT-only model, on the other hand, comes with a new Mat Jeans Blue Metallic color.
VisorDown also reports on what else the 2022 Gold Wing will have to feature. Mechanically, the bike remains unchanged and comes powered by an inline-six engine. Features include a 7-inch TFT screen, gyrocompass navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4 riding modes, HSTC (Honda Selectable Traction Control), and Hill Start Assist.
2022 CMX500 Rebel, CMX1100 Rebel
VisorDown reports that the A2 license-friendly CMX500 Rebel is the best-selling Custom motorcycle in Europe this year. It’s currently available in Mat Jeans Blue Metallic, Graphite Black, and Matt Axis Grey Metallic. For 2022, there will also be a new Pearl Organic Green color added to the list.
The larger CMX1100 Rebel will get a Pearl Stallion Brown color scheme for 2022, apart from the existing Gunmetal Black Metallic color.
Just like the Gold Wing, the two Rebel motorcycles received no mechanical changes for 2022. Some of the features that the Rebel 500 has to offer include a 500cc parallel-twin engine and a slipper clutch. You also have the option of buying the Rebel S variant that comes with an extra headlight cowl, fork covers, and gaiters.
The CMX1100 Rebel, meanwhile, offers a 1,084cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, HSTC, wheelie control, cruise control, and 3 riding modes. Hardware components include a 43mm cartridge-style front fork, a monoshock at the rear, and a four-piston, radial-mount front brake caliper.
Toni Bou has added yet another title to his name. The 35-year-old Spaniard who rides for the Repsol Honda Team is the most successful trials rider of all time. This past weekend, he won his 15th consecutive FIM X-Trial World Championship at the final round in Barcelona. His winning streak started in 2007, and this victory takes his total to an unprecedented 30 consecutive world championship titles.
This season’s X-Trial was contested over two rounds — shorter than usual owing to the pandemic. Bou won the opening round in Andorra on November 7 before winning the Barcelona round on November 21.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, the non-speed Trial competition requires riders to overcome obstacles and reach the end of the line without keeping their feet on the ground. The Trial world championships are split into two categories; the X-Trial (or indoor trials), contested over a manufactured course, and Trials, held between May and September at outdoor venues.
Commenting on his title, Toni Bou said, “Luckily, the mistake in section one just after the start made me get into the trial. From then on, I knew that I had a tough heat with Adam in the same group and I had to do really well. It was another great night at the Palau Sant Jordi. I am very happy and grateful to everyone who has helped me. We’ve worked very hard, we’ve done things very well and that’s the only way to do it. We have long since surpassed our limits, we are living a dream and to have reached 30 consecutive titles is a great achievement. I also want to congratulate Gabriel Marcelli, because he deserved his second place. He works very hard and is a strong rider. He has been doing really well for quite a while now.”
Earlier this year Honda updated two popular models in its miniMOTO lineup for 2022, the Grom and the Monkey. American Honda has announced that a new model called the Navi will join the family, and it retails for just $1,807.
Small, accessible, playful, and affordable (it’s less expensive than most electric bicycles), the Navi should appeal to a wide range of riders, especially those just learning to ride. It’s powered by a fuel-efficient, user-friendly 110cc single-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission, so there’s no clutch lever or shifter – just twist and go, like a scooter.
The engine is fan-cooled, uses eSP friction-reducing technology, has an OHC with two valves, and uses a carburetor to mix fuel and air. It has an electric starter with a kickstart backup. The V-Matic CVT (continuously variable transmission) uses an automatic centrifugal dry clutch, and power is sent to the rear wheel via belt drive.
Fuel capacity is just 0.9 gallon, but based on the EPA estimate of 110 mpg, range could be 99 miles between fill-ups.
The Navi’s modern, blocky styling is reminiscent of the Grom, and its seat height is just 30.1 inches. Weighing just 236 pounds, measuring just 50.6 inches between its axles, and rolling on 12-inch front/10-inch rear wheels, the Navi will be ultra-easy to maneuver and park, or load onto a rack behind a car, truck, or RV. There’s even a storage bin for stowing a few essentials. The Navi’s seat accommodates a rider and passenger, and passenger footpegs are standard.
“From the original Cub to the Grom, Honda has a proud legacy of producing miniMOTO models that open doors to new riders, and the Navi is set to extend that trend even further,” said Brandon Wilson, Sports & Experiential Manager at American Honda. “This miniMOTO checks all the boxes for new riders, like simple operation, a fun design, low operating costs and Honda reliability – all for well under $2,000.”
The Navi will be on display at this weekend’s Progressive IMS Outdoors motorcycle show in Costa Mesa, California, where it will also be among the models included in the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Ride With Us Moto Intro experience, giving new riders an opportunity to try motorcycling.
The 2022 Honda Navi will be available in January (February in California) in four colors: Red, Grasshopper Green, Nut Brown, and Ranger Green.
As summer winds down and I see the clear signs from the weather gods that it is time to winterize the motorbikes, I begin to think ahead to next year. Announcements begin hitting my newsfeeds, and buzz of what’s coming after New Year’s grows daily.
2021 was chock-full of very important new motorcycle models, and here I will highlight what I currently see as exciting announcements from some big-name manufacturers presenting all-new models for 2022.
There is plenty of exciting new product coming from the legendary Ducati factory in Bologna, Italy. In order to keep the hype strong, Ducati is introducing the new models by releasing videos from Sept 30 thru Dec 9th.
So far, what is known for sure is that there will be an all-new Multistrada V2, and speculation from the title of one video alludes to possibly seeing a Streetfighter V2. There is clearly something to come about the DesertX, and there seems to be a lot to discover within the Scrambler range. Let’s look at what we already know—Ducati is a brand to watch.
The Ducati Multistrada V2 And V2S
This is an updated edition of the Multistrada 950, with the primary focus on ergonomics, weight reduction, engine updates, and a series of upgrades that follow the philosophy of “continuous improvement”.
Shedding 5 kg compared to the Multistrada 950, the Ducati Skyhook Suspension EVO semi-active suspension system (standard on the S version) is available, along with fresh rider selectable electronics.
The Ducati Scramblers
Two new Scrambler Models round out the family. The 1100 Tribute PRO celebrates the history of the Borgo Panigale company through the choice of a fascinating “Giallo Ocra” livery. The new Scrambler 1100 Tribute PRO is equipped with black spoked wheels, 18’’ at the front and 17’’ at the rear, and a Ride by Wire electronic management system. It has three Riding Modes, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), and Cornering ABS.
The new Urban Motard Scrambler has a unique style with 17’’ spoked wheels and red and white graffiti graphics. The new Scrambler Urban Motard features a red high front mudguard and side number plates—a clear reference to the Motard world.
First shown as a Concept bike in 2019, the DesertX is slated to be Ducati’s new Adventure machine. It comes with an all-new chassis, and confirmation that the water-cooled 937cc Testastretta L-Twin engine from the Multistrada 950 will power this new machine. It is safe to say this should be a very exciting announcement on December 9th.
Plenty of interesting things are happening at the boutique Italian brand MV Agusta, including an all-new bike and some very special editions.
The MV Agusta F3 RR
Via MV Agusta.
With 147hp from the MV Agusta 800cc triple tucked under new bodywork with carbon panels and small winglets, the 2022 F3 RR should tear up the track with gusto. The revised chassis is very compact and race-oriented, with a Marzocchi and Sachs suspension with full adjustability (naturally).
The full Brembo braking system with twin 320mm rotors will easily shed the rapid speeds this 381 lb machine is capable of. Not enough? MV offers a rather attractive, road-legal racing kit that boosts the power to 155 horses at 13,250 rpm. The kit includes an Akrapovič titanium/carbon exhaust system that also helps lower the bike’s dry weight from 381 pounds to 364 pounds.
The MV Agusta Superveloce Ago
Via MV Agusta.
This special edition model is meant to honor the MV Agusta’s legendary former factory racer, Giacomo Agostini. To create it, MV Agusta took the Superveloce and added sophisticated components, including a premium suspension, a new steering damper, and a triple clamp.
In honor of his 311 individual Grand Prix victories, only 311 units will be built. The first 15 of these special edition bikes are dedicated to the 15 world titles, and each bike will come with an exclusive plaque, with unique graphics bearing both the trophy and the year of the world title won by Agostini.
MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Nürburgring Edition
Via MV Agusta.
Named after the iconic German circuit, MV Agusta has created a special edition of the already insane Brutale 1000 called the Nürburgring Edition. Only 150 units will be produced, and the goal was reducing weight so basically everything that can be made from carbon fiber is—including carbon fiber wheels from BST.
A full titanium Arrow exhaust system is also fitted on this model, and the ECU receives fresh programming to adjust for the new kit.
Powered by Indian Motorcycles’ Thunderstroke 111 powertrain with 108 ft-lbs of torque, each of these models features an analog gauge, chrome, and matte black finishes, and is available with or without ABS.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse, Chief Bobber Dark Horse, and Super Chief Limited
Powering all premium Chief models is Indian Motorcycles’ Thunderstroke 116 engine with 120 ft-lbs of torque. ABS is standard, while premium finishes set these bikes apart and further showcase the craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each Chief and Chief Bobber Dark Horse model packs further attitude with premium gloss black finishes, while the Super Chief Limited touts premium chrome finishes.
Many exciting things are happening at the famous UK bike brand, including 2 new applications of the 1160cc Triple and an all-new Tiger.
The Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR
Hot on the heels of 2021’s Speed Triple 1200 RS, now Triumph has decided to drop a much more sporty, track-capable RR version. Here is what sets the RR apart from the RS.
Sleek bodywork and all LED lighting, with a single round headlight and self-canceling indicators
660cc liquid-cooled DOHC Inline-Triple expected to make 80 hp at 10,250 rpm and 47.0 lb-ft. at 6,250 rpm
Showa upside-down forks and remote preload-adjustable mono-shock rear suspension unit
Ride-by-wire throttle with switchable traction control
2 riding modes (road and rain)
Michelin Road 5 tires hint at a more on road focus
Many big things are happening with Honda for 2022, from Street bikes to dirt machines—there’s even big news when it comes to their mini-moto products. Here is a breakdown:
The Honda 500 Twins (CBR500R, CB500X, CB500F)
There aren’t totally new, but Honda has made significant changes to the family of 500s (the CBR500R, CB500X, CB500F). These three motorcycles are a key part of Honda’s global sales—let me highlight what is new:
Revised fueling to improve torque characteristics and feel
41 mm Showa big-piston inverted forks (SSF-PB)
New rear shock settings to work with new front forks
New Dual 290 mm front disc brakes and Nissin Calipers
New lighter 17” wide spoke front wheels, and the X gets a new lighter 19” wheel
New lighter and stiffer rear swingarm
Revised lightweight radiator
The Honda Mini-Moto 125s (Grom, Monkey, and Super Cub)
New Euro 5 compliant 124cc air-cooled engine delivers 9.3 horsepower and 8.1 ft/lb torque
New 5-speed gearbox improves cruising speed
Revised styling of all three bikes
A Super Cub 125X Offroad model coming (maybe)
The Honda CRF250R
While most of the CRF lineup only see minor changes, the Honda CRF250R race bikes are all new.
All-new stiffer and lighter chassis, helping drop overall weight by 8lbs
Autocar Professional has published a report on motorcycle sales numbers from October 2021, and it doesn’t look good. Six of the major OEMs sold a total of 14,77,313 two-wheelers, which is a substantial 26 percent lower than the same month last year (October 2020: 19,85,690).
The report mentions that a significant factor is the continuously increasing petrol prices, which recently crossed the Rs 100-a-litre mark ($1.35) across the country. The original article mentions that the cost of fuel increased by 6.99 percent over October. A large portion of motorcycle sales from India comes from the commuter segment, and the high fuel prices have kept new buyers away.
Hero MotoCorp: 5,27,779 units (-33 percent)
Hero MotoCorp, the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world, sold 5,27,779 units in India in October. This is a 33 percent decline when compared to October 2020, when it sold 7,91,137 two-wheelers. On the bright side, sales numbers were higher than that of September 2021, by 22,317 units — a 4 percent increase from September 2020.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India: 3,94,623 units (-20 percent)
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw sales decline by 20 percent from 4,94,459 in October 2020 to 3,94,623 in October 2021. Unfortunately, retail numbers were down from September 2021 — by 15 percent – from the 4,63,379 units it sold in the previous month.
Commenting on the sales performance, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director, Sales & Marketing, HMSI, said: “With the much-awaited festival season in progress, we are witnessing a gradual rise in engagement, registering more inquiries from prospective customers with each passing day. We expect this auspicious period to amplify the positivity in terms of conversions.”
TVS Motor Co, which has a 14.24 percent share in the Indian two-wheeler market, sold a total of 2,58,777 units in October 2021 — a 14 percent drop from the 3,01,380 units sold in the same month last year.
However, it saw a 6 percent rise in sales versus September 2021, which sold 2,44,084 units.
Autocar Professional reports that the company’s recently launched Raider 125 commuter motorcycle and Jupiter 125 scooter have garnered decent sales in the past month.
Bajaj Auto: 198,738 units (-26 percent)
Bajaj Auto sold a total of 198,738 bikes in October 2021, which is a substantial 26 percent drop from October 2020’s 2,68,631.
The report mentions that Bajaj’s export numbers have dropped too — from 2,01,659 in October 2020 to 1,92,565 in October 2021. Combined sales are 391,303 units, which is a 17 percent decline from 4,70,290 units sold last October.
Last month, Royal Enfield sold 40,611 motorcycles, while it sold 62,858 units in October 2020 — a 35 percent year-on-year drop. On the flipside, numbers are up by 49 percent compared to September 2021, with 13,378 more units sold in October.
Suzuki Motorcycle India: 56,785 units (-16 percent)
Suzuki Motorcycle India has reported a 16 percent drop in sales year-on-year, from 67,225 to 56,785 units. About month-on-month growth from September to October 2021, the manufacturer sold an additional 1,177 two-wheelers, a 2 percent hike.
Rohan Kanwar Gupta, VP & Sector Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA (Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited), said, “The volumes also reflect some impact of extended supply chain disruptions (semiconductor chip shortages) on the production of high end (>150cc) two-wheelers.”
“Nonetheless, sequential growth in domestic wholesale volumes indicates some revival attributable to the festive season. This is in line with the retail registration data, which also saw a nine percent sequential growth in October 2021, with volumes touching 9,90,000 units. A healthy pace of vaccination leading to abatement of fear regarding further waves of infection, decent farm cash-flows and preference for personal mobility are expected to support volume recovery in the near-term even as elevated cost of ownership continue to pose a risk.”
With India celebrating a festive season that typically brings about a notable rise in numbers, next month will likely paint a more optimistic picture for two-wheeler sales.
After an incident in training, Marc Marquez will miss the Algarve Grand Prix, set to take place at the Portimão circuit in Portugal this weekend.
A statement from the Repsol Honda team mentioned that the 8-time world champion suffered a crash which left him with a mild concussion. A couple of days after the event, Marquez was still feeling unwell, so he decided to drop out of the penultimate round of the 2021 MotoGP season.
“This past Saturday, Marc Marquez, while preparing for the Algarve Grand Prix with one of his standard off-road training sessions, suffered a fall that caused a slight head concussion. After a few days of rest at home and seeing that he was still unwell today, Marquez has been assessed by doctors in a medical check-up to evaluate his current status. As a precautionary measure, this coming weekend, Marquez will not contest the Algarve Grand Prix.”
Marquez’ absence at Portimão is unfortunate considering his recent form and back-to-back wins. The Spaniard is still recovering from the severe right humerus fracture that he suffered at the start of the 2020 season — an injury that resulted in multiple surgeries and nearly a year away from racing. His return in the 2021 season wasn’t ideal as well, missing the first two races due to the injury and 4 DNFs along the way.
This recent training incident also raises the question of whether he will be fit in time for the final round of the championship at Valencia, set to take place a week after this weekend’s round in Portugal.
Asphalt and Rubber report that this season will end with a two-day test at the Jerez circuit, following the Valencia round. Honda has also developed a radically revised RC213V for the 2022 season, which the Spaniard will be looking forward to spending time on.
The best that Marquez can hope for from the 2021 season is to finish fourth in the championship, and he must understand that the risk of getting back onto a racebike too soon outweighs the potential reward he stands to gain this year.
HRC has also announced that Stefan Bradl will replace Marquez at Portimão this weekend.
Having lived in western Canada my entire life, it is easy to forget how vastly different my expectations of normal, with respect to geography and transportation, are compared to other places in the world. My version of normal is vast open spaces with well-maintained roads and very low population density. For my friends who live in Europe and Asia, it is challenging to even make sense of the open landscape and wide roads.
Given these differences, it has always fascinated me to see the incredible choices in motorcycles that can be found in other markets. North Americans largely ignore motorcycles under 600cc, unless it is a motocross bike. Raw power, touring comfort, and adventure capability dominate our powersports ads. In this part of the world, a motorcycle is a secondary mode of transportation.
So what are we missing? What options are available to my friends in different parts of the world? I went on the hunt and found more than a few very cool motorcycles I wish I could purchase on this continent.
LEXMOTO LXR 125 EURO 5
Via SBK Motorcycles.
If I was asked what the number one selling sports bike was in the UK, I never would have guessed it was a 125cc machine. The Lexmoto LXR 125 Euro 5 owns that title through a combination of sub £3000.00 price tag, and a Chinese manufacturer that continually engages with their customers to deliver exactly the bike they desire.
Built by Chinese company TARO, Lexmoto bikes are specifically targeted at the UK rider. Beyond the Euro 5 spec engine, the gearing, suspension, lighting, and dash are all engineered with UK preferences in mind. The single-cylinder 125cc engine has a four-valve head with double overhead cams producing 12hp. It is efficient on fuel and capable of speeds up to 110 km/h.
As for the rest of the bike? It is not going to be as refined as the Kawasaki Ninja 125, but it is £1200.00 cheaper and looks every bit as good as the more expensive machines.
There is the key, low cost to buy and operate, while still looking good.
SINNIS TERRAIN 380
Manufactured by Chinese goliath Zongshen, Sinnis Motorcycles touts themselves as “the UK leader in small-capacity motorcycles and scooters.” The Terrain 380 has a 378cc parallel-twin based on Suzuki’s Inazuma 250, but with a bigger bore and an eight-valve head. Making 36bhp and 26lb·ft of torque, the Sinnis has enough grunt to carry a rider decently both on and off-road.
Chinese-made products sometimes have questionable reliability, but Sinnis backs their machine with a three-year warranty and one year’s roadside assistance. The Terrain 380 becomes very compelling with this warranty, its value pricing of £4,995, included hard panniers, and go-anywhere ability.
Now, to be fair, this bike is a hefty beast at 240kg, and its performance both on and off-road is modest. This is a bike to be used leisurely, and for those seeking to cover a long list of abilities on a budget, this may be your bike. It even has reasonable crash bars.
TMAX560 TECH MAX ABS
Considering the North American fascination with luxury SUVs and Minivans, it never made sense to me why scooters are largely ignored here. It seems the rest of the world has figured out just how amazingly useful they are for urban dwellers.
Yamaha offers the TMax560 Tech Max ABS in other markets and I have no shame stating that I am about to geek out over its features, much like a khaki-wearing suburban dad does about his wife’s (wink, wink) minivan.
This is more than a simple scooter; this is urban utility at its finest. The 562cc parallel-twin motor makes 47 hp of pure silky smoothness, with the torque and agility to blast from Starbucks to Whole Foods without even letting your Pumpkin Spice Latte cool off. Speaking of cool, you won’t be on a TMax 560 thanks to heated grips, and seat, plus the windscreen is electrically operated to keep you in a perfect cozy bubble of protection.
The twin-spar aluminum chassis is rigid and allows the 41 mm front fork and mono-cross single rear shock (preload adjustable) to soak up the bumps. Braking is more than up to the task and ABS is standard. But wait, there’s more; cruise control, traction control, and selectable drive modes round out the package.
With all these features, plus a huge under-seat storage area, this bike just works. Maybe if there was an available lift kit option, they would be more appealing in North America?
BAJAJ PULSAR 150
Bajaj Auto is the world’s third-largest manufacturer of motorcycles and the second-largest in India. The Bajaj Pulsar 150 is marketed as “India’s No. 1 Sports Bike.” Looking at this sleek bike I can see why; the overall design is handsome and despite seeing where money is saved, it is also readily apparent that ease of maintenance and durability have been made high priorities.
The 4-Stroke, 2-Valve, Twin Spark BSVI Compliant DTS-i FI engine displaces 149.5cc and outputs 13.8hp @8500 rpm driven through a 5-speed gearbox. 17-inch front and rear wheels attach to an adjustable 37mm front fork and outboard mounted dual rear shocks, all of which receive favorable reviews on India’s varied streets.
The Pulsar 150 gets features like LED lights, a digital speedometer, electric starting, a stand alarm, and ABS brakes. All the models come with alloy wheels as standard and get tubeless tires.
Bajaj Motors has a clear winner on its hands, priced at $1440.00 USD based on today’s conversion rates. It would be amazing to find such value in a new bike like this in North America.
TVS APACHE RR 310
If there is something very familiar to you about the details of this bike, you need only peek at the small displacement offering from a certain Bavarian builder.
TVS Motor Company (TVS) is an Indian multinational automotive company that manufactures motorcycles, scooters, and three-wheelers, headquartered in Chennai, India. Those outside of India may also recognize TVS for their brilliant partnership with BMW to produce the G 310 R. The Apache RR 310 is TVS’s own sport version of that same bike.
The Apache 310 RR is marketed with a track focus, but from a North American perspective, it is a gorgeous looking small-displacement supersport that could be competitive against the likes of a Yamaha R3. The 313cc, 4 stroke, 4 valve, Single cylinder, Liquid-cooled, Reverse inclined engine is familiar. Output is identical (at 34 hp and 20 ft-lbs of torque) to the G 310 R, as are the frame and suspension components.
Where I spot the changes are in the electronics. The Apache RR 310 receives a unique 5″ TFT screen connected cluster, featuring a SmartXonnect multi-function race computer that can connect to a smartphone.
The suspension is KYB, and the stock tires are Michelin ROAD5’s. The aero-tuned bodywork is stunning from all angles, with Bi-LED projector headlamps sitting just above the Ram Air intake.
Based on today’s conversion, the Apache RR 310 can be had for $3500.00 USD. Take my money and send me one now!
Honda CG 160 Fan
The most registered motorcycle in South America in 2020 was the Honda CG 160 Fan. Designed as a sleek and simple commuter focus machine, the CG 160 Fan is a classic Honda standard motorcycle design. The overall package is clean and straightforward with excellent ergonomics for a wide range of riders.
The OHC, 4 stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled engine pumps out a solid 15hp at 8000 rpm and can run on both standard gasoline or ethanol. These types of engines are near bulletproof from Honda, and when mated to the 5-speed transmission, make for a rugged reliable bike ready to be wound out in heavy use.
There is nothing fancy about the frame or suspension. Basic, durable, and capable seem to be the priorities here. Owner reviews all rave about the predictable nature of the handling and the abuse the bike can take without breaking a sweat. Coming in at a dry weight of only 116kg, the CG 160 Fan can easily deliver about 550km of range from its 16.1-liter tank.
Priced at $2400.00 USD at today’s exchange rates, I wonder how well this bike would be received in North America. It is a tremendous value and makes sense why it is so popular in South America.
BRIXTON CROSSFIRE 500 X
Part of the KSR Group, Brixton Motorcycles has been making bikes since 2017 and designs out of offices in Austria. This would explain why I and many others at first glance may have mistaken the Crossfire 500 X for a Vitpilen. There is an unusual resemblance—but I digress.
The Brixton Crossfire 500 X is a very cool-looking middleweight with a tough retro vibe that I really love. Powered by a 486cc two-cylinder in-line engine, it’s good for 47 hp at 8,500 rpm and 31.7 pound-feet of torque at 6,700 rpm.
The riding position is fairly upright, with a flat seat and wide bars, quite reminiscent of a flat tracker. The suspension is an adjustable KYB set up with an upside-down front fork, and a rear mono-shock. The brakes are from J. Juan, with 320 mm front discs and 240 mm rear, controlled by the latest Bosch ABS.
Rumored to be coming to North America, the Brixton website still shows no listings for dealers on this side of the Atlantic. Hopefully there will be soon; this is a bike I very much want to test ride.
TM RACING SMR 450 FI 4T
Via TM Racing.
The Italian gods of motorsports performance are at it again. Sporting just enough bits to deem it road legal, the TM Racing SMR 450 FI 4T just screams at me to get a leg over and go enjoy some possibly illegal road behaviors.
The 449cc, Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, EFI engine, and mated 5-speed transmission, are perfectly tuned for propelling this 100kg hooligan ride rapidly into infamy. Thankfully the race-bred suspension and 4-piston Brembo front caliper squeezing a 306 mm disc. Every component fitted to this bike is top spec kit—and yes it comes with a high price tag, but you are getting what can only be described as a super supermoto machine.
The fuel tank is small at 8.2 liters, but that might not be a bad thing. Stopping often for fuel might just be what your heart needs—a chance to regain a normal heartbeat.
CCM STREET MOTO
When I first came across these bikes, I admit that I had no idea such a major manufacturer of hockey gear and sporting goods was now making incredible motorcycles. Yes, I am deeply Canadian.
Clews Competition Machines (CCM) is a boutique bike manufacturer out of Bolton, just north of Manchester, England, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Starting with parts and pieces from the about to become defunct BSA competition division, Alan Clews began building his own special machines.
Alan Clews sadly passed away on May 2nd, 2018. His eldest son, Austin, himself a champion motocross rider, now fronts the British manufacturer, supported by younger brother Russell and sons Ben and Jack.
One look at the CCM bikes and it is clear why they have such a devoted cult following. The 2021 Street Moto is a 600cc, BMW-derived, single-cylinder, four-stroke making 55 horsepower and 43 lb-ft of torque with only 150 kg (330 pounds) to move.
The hand-welded trellis frame is a sight to behold. The CCM bikes are all a unique mix of scrambler, flat track, and supermoto elements, and the custom options are endless. With sales at an all-time high, and exposure occurring in the movie Black Widow, I can only hope the company grows to a point where sales to North America occur.
Via Revolt Motors.
The RV400 is an all-electric naked style motorcycle from Indian manufacturer Revolt Motors. With a strong resemblance to a Honda CB500F, the stylish yet simple bike is packing some intelligent secrets. While the electric motorcycle wars in North America seem to be a battle for sheer power, Revolt has gone after function and ease of use.
The bike has an average and comfortable riding position. The suspension is a tried and true inverted front fork and adjustable rear mono-shock, typical front and rear disc brakes, and all LED lighting are all as expected.
Revolt offers a high torque 3000-watt motor capable of 125 ft-lbs of instant torque, making the RV400 perfect for carving through India’s major urban centers. A 4G LTE SIM card that enables the RV400 to pair with an app and receive over-air updates, monitor real-time battery life, find battery swapping stations and set geo-fencing restrictions. You can even have faux engine noises at the touch of a button.
The quick charging system can take the 72V, 3.24kWh battery from 0-75% in 3 hours and 0-100% in 4.5 hours. Taking things one step further, the 33lb batteries are swappable. If you are on the move and the low battery indicator is on, you can visit the nearest Revolt Switch Station through the MyRevolt app and exchange your drained-out battery for a fresh one in no time.
As a final safety net, Revolt offers an SOS service, promising to bring a fully charged battery directly to you within 90 minutes, should you not be able to find a stand charging option. Max speed is currently 85km/h and max range is 150km, but with those charging options, range should not be much of an issue.
This is a completely different business model that electric motorcycles are taking in North America, and I am very curious to see if it would make sense in our large urban centers. Best of all, pricing is just $1400 USD at today’s exchange rate.