Honda’s flagship supersport received a design overhaul back in 2020, introducing the new Fireblade. It featured an all-new engine that made explosive power, top-spec components, and a new design language that was sharper and more aggressive than before. Improving aerodynamic efficiency was the main reason behind the design change, and now, RideApart reports that this styling has made its way to the baby Fireblade.
The 2022 Honda CBR150R features restyled bodywork that is reminiscent of the kit from the range-topping Fireblade. This includes elements like DRLs paired with the two main headlights and slotted fairings that will help funnel air through them.
The new CBR150R is more than just a design update; Honda has equipped the bike with a Showa USD fork, a new slipper clutch, and Nissin brake calipers that clamp down on single disc rotors at either end. Optional features, yet ones we think you should certainly get, include ABS, an ESS emergency brake light, and a two-tiered LED taillight that will alert people behind you of any sudden braking maneuvers.
Powering the CBR150R is a 149cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine with peak output figures of 18hp and 10.6lb-ft of torque. Prices for the ABS-equipped CBR150R can go up to around €2,530 (about $3,000). Meanwhile, the non-ABS iterations cost a few hundred dollars less and will set you back by approximately €2,350 (about $2,700.)
On September 3, 2021, Honda tweeted two images that confirmed the demise of arguably the last mass-produced air-cooled inline-four out there. The two images – one of a rider wheeling a CB1100 EX out of a garage and the other of the cooling fins on the engine – were accompanied by the text “CB1100 EX/CB1100 RS Final Edition Coming Soon…”
Honda discontinued the CB1100 in the U.S. market a while ago, but it still lived on (and was quite popular) in countries that haven’t had to comply with stricter emission regulations yet. The CB1100 was one of the more authentic motorcycles in today’s sea of “neo-retro” machines, and a significant reason was its air-cooled, four-cylinder, 1,140cc engine. However, it doesn’t comply with Euro5 emissions norms, and with no direct replacements in sight, it won’t be long before this air-cooled engine breathes its last.
MCN reports that the CB1100 only survived this long thanks to a revolutionary, patented air-cooling technology. Honda introduced the model in 2010 when other brands had already abandoned the idea of air-cooled inline fours.
The CB1100 RS Final Edition will debut soon in select markets, like Taiwan and Japan, where Honda can sell them until the end of 2022. The Final Edition comes in two colors – Matte Denim Blue and Honda Classic Red. The CB1100 is one of the few genuinely retro “new” motorcycles out there, and we’re sure a lot of enthusiasts will be sad to see it go.
Lockdowns seem to have sparked a rush on motorcycle and car online and live auctions with strong clearances of vehicles reported around the world.
In Australia, you can get your hands on 10 classic early Japanese classics that highlight the lead the way at Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction on September 7, 2021, with a total of 22 classic and sports motorcycles on offer.
Shannons reports a growing demand for rare Japanese sports motorcycles.
Their auction next month includes three beautifully-restored and superbly-presented 1970s Kawasaki two-stroke triples, a rare 1980 Honda CB1100 RB-1, a model that dominated the 1980 Castrol Six Hour race, along with an iconic early ‘Sand-cast’ 1969 Honda 750/4 K0 superbike in superbly-restored condition.
Two collectible Yamahas, three classic BMWs ranging in age from 1953-1984 are complemented by five British motorcycles led by two classic 1937 models – a Norton Model 18 500cc and an AJS V-Twin 37/2 990cc 990cc – plus a very rare Italian 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175cc solo round out the motorcycles in the auction.
For classic scooter enthusiasts Shannons has a freshly restored 1964 Lambretta Li125cc offered at ‘no reserve’ and expected to sell in the $6,000-$8,000 range.
The stars of the motorcycles are the three Kawasakis that all come from the Japanese maker’s ‘purple period’ in the 1970s.
Leading the charge is an H2C 750cc 2 stroke triple – a stunning example of Kawasaki’s original superbike with eye-watering straight-line acceleration, that comes from a private collection based in NSW and that has covered just 320 miles since a full restoration by marque specialists.
Beautifully presented in period correct Candy Purple, the bike was originally sourced in the USA, with great care has been taken to keep everything factory correct during the rebuild. It is expected to sell in the $26,000-$32,000 range.
For similar money ($25,000 – $30,000), there is a rare and collectible Australian-delivered 1979 Kawasaki Z1R MkII D3 1000cc that has been the subject of substantial recent refurbishment, including a new exhaust system sourced from Japan.
The line-up continues with a 1974 Kawasaki H1F 500cc triple from the same Sydney-based private collection, this lovely example also originating from America also underwent a full restoration by marque specialist Gary Clarke’s Downpipe 3 in the UK. Now showing just 39 miles on its odometer since completion, the bike is slated to sell in the $16,000-$22,000 range.
There is also a very rare UK-delivered 1978 Kawasaki KH400cc triple also treated to a correct full nut-and-bolt restoration back to its original specifications by Downpipe 3.
Recently imported to Australia by the vendor, a Sydney enthusiast with a small collection of ‘70s Kawasaki’s, the KH400 looks fantastic in period correct colours and even sports its original exhausts, virtually unobtainable these days. Showing just 25 miles on its odometer since completion, it is expected to sell for $14,000 – $18,000.
Honda enthusiasts will find it hard to go past the 1980 Honda CB1100RB that was developed by Honda primarily for the Castrol 6 Hour production bike race, then Australia’s premier motorcycle event, at the now defunct Amaroo Park circuit in Sydney. Future World 500cc Champion Wayne Gardner absolutely dominated the race on debut in 1980 aboard a CB1100RB, scoring a flag to flag victory.
Essentially hand-made in limited numbers, the purpose-built homologation special being auctioned is also rare as number 14 of just 112 ever made. Coming from long term ownership and offered at no reserve, it represents a rare opportunity to purchase a significant motorcycle with important provenance, with an expected selling range of $30,000-$35,000.
Hugely collectable is a ‘Sand-cast’ 1969 Honda CB750cc K0 superbike that was discovered by its current owner in the USA and underwent a meticulous restoration in Australia from 2017 in time for the CB750’s big anniversary celebrations held at Broadford in April 2019. Offered with ‘no reserve’, it is expected to sell in the $50,000 – $60,000 range.
Other important Hondas include a one-owner and very innovative 1982 CX500 T motorcycle in beautiful original condition. Built for one year only, its turbocharged engine virtually doubled the standard engine’s horsepower. With surviving examples proving very collectible, the Honda is expected to bring between $14 – $16,000.
The other Honda in the auction is a fully-restored 1966 CD125 that was imported into Australia in the early 1990s. Now fully restored and showing 2,477 miles on its odometer, the Honda is expected to sell with ’no reserve’ for $2,000 – $4,000.
Yamaha There are also two Yamahas in the auction – a rare and hard to find 1965 YM1 305cc twin cylinder two stroke (‘no reserve’, $8,000-$10,000) and a low mileage 1969 Yamaha DS6 250cc two stroke twin from long-term ownership– a rare time warp survivor – expected to bring $4,000 – $6,000 with no reserve.
Best of Brits
Of the six British bikes in the auction, the stand-outs are two 1937 models — a fully-restored AJS V-Twin 37/2 990cc (‘no reserve $25,000 – $30,000) and a rare, substantially original 1937 Norton Model 18 500cc motorcycle ‘project’ in running condition (‘no reserve’ $20,000 – $25,000).
Other great Britons are a 1950 Douglas Mark 4 350cc coming out of 40 years ownership (an older restoration, ‘no reserve’ $8,000-$12,000); a recently-recommissioned 1969 Triumph Trophy 650cc (‘no reserve’ $8,000-$12,000); a fully-restored 1969 BSA Firebird 650cc ‘street scrambler’ (‘no reserve’, $10,000-$12,000); and a fully-restored 1952 AJS 18S 500c (‘no reserve’ $10,000-$14,000).
Four classic BMWs in the auction are headed by a now rare 1953 R68 600cc ($40,000-$45,000), while there is a well-maintained 1984 BMW R1000RS 980cc (‘no reserve’, $12,000 – $16,000), a 1971 BMW R75/5 750cc (‘no reserve’, $8,000 – $12,000) and a 1966 BMW R69S updated with a later-model R80 800cc engine ($8,000-$12,000).
Finally, there is a rare 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175cc Motorcycle in running condition – one of just 119 produced, whose ‘futuristic’ styling was a step too far for Italians brought up with more traditional Vespas and Lambrettas ($16,000 – $20,000).
The moto culture is rich with a diversity of people from all walks of life, and it leans on some of the strongest industrial backs of the automobile world. Giants like Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha strive to provide improved alternatives to riders that still maintain respect for the tradition of how things have always been done.
But the future of motorcycle culture requires an ever-flowing give-and-take of balance – and who better to push the bill than the newer generation?
Enter Dutch Racing Team, Electric Superbike Twente (EST): a group of university students dedicated to creating sustainable electric superbikes with MotoGP track times.
These kids aren’t playing when it comes to bringing energy-compliant superbikes to the track – and when you’re a student, the sky (and the parents’ wallet) is the limit.
The youth have just revealed the completion of their fourth – yes, fourth – superbike, dubbed the Delta-XE.
If you’re looking for a sneak peek, check out the video reveal at the top of this article – and boy, is she juicy.
Unafraid to build from scratch and ever-adapting to the enclosing restrictions of the motorcycle industry, EST has provided this alternative beauty with a custom PMAC electric motor capable of punching the Delta-XE over 300km/h.
Not only is the motor custom-made, but the battery’s power management system is also hand-tuned to allow the 576 battery cells – 150kw of power, or 200hp – to speak easily to the asphalt.
According to a report from RideApart, the Delta-XE boasts 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds and 0-200km/h in nine seconds.
Lean, mean, and green. I like it.
Further steps for EST would involve entering their bike to events sanctioned by the Electric Road Racing Association.
Looking forward to what this unorthodox – and entirely intriguing – team brings next to the table.
Energica has been working with two other Italian brands on a new way for riders to interact with their motorcycles – using voice-enabled functions on the bike.
According to motorradonline.de, the CTO (Chief Technology Officer or Technical Director) at Energica, Giampiero Testoni:
“Thanks to this innovative communication system, the driver will be able to find information about his vehicle easily and without distraction while driving: Alascom uses artificial intelligence to guide you To create voice assistants that improve the motorcyclist’s driving experience, with intuitive voice commands that aim to manage and control the essential functions of the motorcycle.”
When it comes to voice-controlled interfaces, the technology itself isn’t new. Voice-activated commands have been in plenty of automobiles for years. However, this technology has not been found in motorcycles with the exception of Honda’s RoadSync equipped bikes.
In theory, this technology will be very useful for setting up trips or checking maintenance intervals. I’m not sure how practical it would be while whizzing down the highway at 60mph if compared to changing the song on your voice-activated Bluetooth device.
Voice-activation will certainly be more convenient instead of scrolling through menus while in transit. Actions like “Energica, enable rain mode” would save you from having to pull over and run through complex systems found on brand new motorcycles.
Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio have all signed a letter of intent to stage a swappable electric battery consortium for EV motorcycles and lighter EV’s.
Together, they will collaborate on batteries that can be swapped amongst each of their EV lineups. This will make it possible to use a universal battery across all models. This initiative will take some time before coming to the streets however the letter of intent is a huge step in the right direction.
From the press release: ‘The aim of the Consortium will, therefore, be to define the standardized technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles. By working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardization bodies, the founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards.’
Honda Managing Officer of Motorcycle Operations Noriake Abe said:
“The worldwide electrification effort to reduce CO2 on a global scale is accelerating, especially in Europe. For the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, problems such as travel distance and charging times need to be addressed, and swappable batteries are a promising solution. Considering customer convenience, standardization of swappable batteries and wide adoption of battery systems is vital, which is why the four-member manufacturers agreed to form the Consortium. Honda views improving the customers’ usage environment as an area to explore cooperation with other manufacturers while bringing better products and services to customers through competition. Honda will work hard on both fronts to be the ‘chosen’ manufacturer for customer mobility.”
Activity on the new consortium will begin in May 2021, while invitations have been extended to other manufactures to join in on the initiative. Once this initiative is live and available to the consumer, it will mean huge benefits for all EV owners. It will mean less time charging and more time traveling – since you will be able to simply swap your battery and go. This concept isn’t anything new but with major players in manufacturing stepping up means it will be a matter of time before it becomes reality.
We’ve all heard of the term “barn find”. That treasured vehicle, sitting undiscovered somewhere in a shed that someone heard of and told a friend of a friend’s colleague’s mate’s cousin who can’t quite recall the exact location!
It’s the Holy Grail of the automotive world, always illusive, a bit like following the clues in a detective novel.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
If you’ve come across one, we’d love to hear your story … it might just keep us searching for a barn find of our own! Send details to [email protected].
Meanwhile, former Ulysses Club magazine editor and long-time bike tester Ian Parks recently bought a 24-year-old Honda Goldwing Aspencade (pictured above after restoration) that he considers a rare barn find.
The bike was kept in a closed brick garage and hadn’t been registered for seven years, although it had been started and run occasionally.
It belonged to John Stretton, a friend of Ian’s who had sadly succumbed to cancer.
“I was principally looking at the bike to give my friend’s son an estimated value and also attempt to get it running,” Ian says.
“Quite a few problems became evident but we did get the motor to fire and run smoothly albeit for a very short time.”
Even though it had been in an enclosed garage, the Goldwing had a fair amount of damage caused by the Salt Ash, NSW, atmosphere.
“In the end, my assessment of the Wing’s current value was what the family required to ease the burden of funeral costs,” Ian says.
“A sudden rush of blood to my brain and we were shaking hands on a deal.”
Ian works in the mechanical trade and is well aware of the many pitfalls that can accompany a so-called “barn find”, so he had a fair idea of the work required to bring it up to registration standard.
Yet there were still a few items that even he didn’t count on.
Check out this list and you will get a good idea of what a “barn find” in relatively good condition may cost: New battery, tyres, oil, filter, fuel pump, rear brake master cylinder, brake pads, fork seals, timing belts, seal kits for the clutch, gator on rear air shock, windscreen, chrome panel above headlight, reverse lever micro switch and spark plugs.
Ian also replaced all the badly corroded crash bars and both mufflers with second-hand items.
“There was some new paint and a lot of polish also,” he says.
“There was also some extensive work getting all the electrics to function properly.”
Yet Ian says he “got out of it quite lightly”.
While 1996 isn’t old enough to qualify for cheap historic registration, finding replacement parts proved as problematic and time consuming as hunting some vintage components.
“Some prices had skyrocketed too,” he says
For example, a replacement muffler system was priced at $2080. Fortunately, Ian found a good second-hand pair thanks to John Fredericks in Old Bar.
Ian also sourced spares from Taree Honda, Don Corney Automotive Taree, The Tyre Mobb Gloucester, Handcraft Fibreglass Seven Hills NSW, Big Bike Bitz Qld, Mitchum “Big Mick” Neave and Mike Howard.
But there a couple of warnings from Ian before you plunge into a barn fund:
“If you are doing a restoration to sell a bike on and make some money, you don’t want to over-capitalise against the market value of the bike,” he says.
“I have come very close to this, but I’m content with that due to the emotional attachment to the bike and my desire to keep it for many years.
“So just be aware of the hidden costs.
“Oh, and be careful of red back spiders etc. living in certain long undisturbed parts.”
About the owner
John Stretton was a long-time member of the Ulysses Club Lake Macquarie Branch.
Ian describes him as “a great bloke and true gentleman”.
“He had a booming deep voice and when prompted, could employ those vocal cords to belt out a great song or two,” Ian says.
“He was very kind and supportive when I lost my wife and then my daughter. I will think of him fondly whenever I’m riding the Wing.”
Honda released a CB350 H’ness (Highness) in India not long ago. Almost as soon as it was revealed people began discussing scrambler and cafe racer versions of the motorcycle.
The H’ness was envisioned as a challenger to Royal Enfield’s Classic 350, and in order to do that, it does indeed look like Honda will craft some other versions of this bike. According to GaadiWaadi, Honda has plans to introduce a new cafe racer model in India.
An unnamed source told the publication the motorcycle is currently in the works, and will likely come out sooner than many people expect. That’ means it will likely hit the market sometime in 2021.
I’d expect it to have the same 348cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine but sport some minor updates and feature a slightly higher price tag than the standard CB350 H’ness.
At the moment, the new CB350 is an India-only model, but I would love to see this come to other markets, and I think the bike could be a hit in Australia and in North America. If it goes anywhere after India, though, I bet Honda will release it in the UK, and then expand from there.
Concept motorcycles and mock-ups are the life-force that keeps motorcycle enthusiasts tied-over between big releases. If you are suffering from dream withdrawal and are looking for a fix, Honda cooked up this vintage-inspired CB1000F just for you.
This aged roadster concept was based on honda’s current CB1000R naked sportbike with your favorite parts from historic motorcycles tied into a modern-day chassis and form factor. There is no way to tell if this concept bike is ever going to see production, but according to MCN, rumors from japan compounded with the original unveiling of the CB-F Concept last spring could suggest otherwise.
The current CB1000R already a beautiful looking motorcycle, but this F edition takes the best features from the R – such as the single-sided swingarm and light-weight modern rims – and packages it along with Honda’s dangerously smooth 998cc DOHC inline-four to create this pre-modern masterpiece. It’s safe to assume that if this motorcycle came to production, the engine would be slightly detuned much like Kawasaki’s Z900RS.
The same steel spine frame and aluminum swingarm will come right from the CB1000R along with the forks and brakes; so you know this motorcycle will ride its way into a much higher category of performance than what it’s appearance may initially lead you to believe.
The body features a very vintage seat and tank, along with the graphics and headlamp looking they were ripped straight off an 80’s CB. Personally, the CBX1050 is my favorite motorcycle of all time, and I think this bike is a beautiful throwback to honda’s golden age of industry domination.
Let’s see if Honda can turn this dream into a reality.
Honda has filed a patent with the US Patent Office regarding the possible development and production of a brain-machine-interface that allows your brain to completely control the motorcycle.
The patent images are pretty comical actually. They depict a motorcycle rider using his mind to pop a wheelie on what looks like a CBR600RR. In the next photo, he’s doing a full front-brake stoppie.
It’s up to Honda and how they want to develop this hardware/software, but It’s safe to assume that this new BMI (brain-machine-interface) will link you up with the sensors and assists already on the motorcycle to hopefully prevent crashes and have the motorcycle perform more like you hope it would, without the failure of user inputs.
“The control circuitry may determine control information indicative of an intention of the user to perform a specific task using one or more components of the vehicle. The specific task may correspond to one of a vehicle acrobatic maneuver, a vehicle driving maneuver, or a hands-free control of the user assistive device inside the vehicle. Examples of the specific task may include, but are not limited to, a wheelie, a stoppie, a hyper spin, a switchback, a burnout, a left turning maneuver, a right turning maneuver, a braking maneuver, a reversing maneuver, an accelerating maneuver, a decelerating maneuver, a parking maneuver, a traffic circling maneuver, a stopping maneuver, or an overtaking maneuver.”