New Honda CBR250RR Unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show

Honda has taken the wraps off their new concept bike which they’re calling the ‘Light Weight Super Sports Concept’ but is really taking shape as a spiritual successor to the Honda CBR250RR. And while it doesn’t look set to replicate the high revving characteristics of that legendary machine, it comes closer than we were expecting.

Honda hasn’t released any specifications yet, but the dash does indicate redline of 14,000 prm – significantly higher than the 10,500 limit on the current CBR300R and more than the other twins from Kawasaki and Yamaha by over 1,000 rpm. Most of the bike appears pretty much production ready (save for the headlights and over engineered tail section) and there’s nothing too silly on show here – single discs up front and rear, standard looking suspension and a pretty basic Apkropovic exhaust.

There’s little doubt that this will end up replacing the single cylinder entry level bike range from Honda, but will they keep it at 250 cc for western markets or bump it up to 300cc? If designed right there’s little doubt that the bike could outperform bigger capacity machines, but as we all know, displacement is a big selling point for western consumers. Let’s hope that once the specifications are released we do see a high performance yet lightweight machine.

Source: Rushlane

Why MotoGP Has Become the Best Motosport Series in the World

For decades, Formula 1 has been the number one form of motorsport in the world, and from a purely monetary point of view remains so. But like anything, the quality of a series waxes and wanes over time and Formula 1 is currently undergoing one of its worst periods in history. And while it continues to decline, MotoGP has come from behind to become the best form of motorsport on the planet.

This hasn’t happened overnight, but it is amazing how quickly MotoGP transformed to a very sick series into the number one form of motorsport. The global financial crisis hit the motorcycle industry hard, and MotoGP wasn’t immune with even the big name teams of Honda and Yamaha struggling to get major sponsors. But fast forward to the present and MotoGP is the healthiest it’s been for decades.

Why MotoGP Has Become the Best Motosport Series in the World

Marquez is young and unlike some Formula 1 champions, seems to actually have a personality.

All of this was highlighted on the weekend at the latest round of MotoGP at Phillip Island. It was a combination of one of the best racetracks in the world along with a championship that is going down to the wire that produced a race with more excitement than all of this years’ Formula 1 championship combined. In Formula 1’s current state, it’s a battle between Mercedes powered cars with the odd Ferrari thrown in the mix if Mercedes trip over themselves. But at Phillip Island we saw three different manufacturers battling for the podium, with a fourth in Suzuki only a few positions behind.

Formula 1’s claim to fame has always been its speeds and the technological prowess. There’s no doubt F1 cars still remain the fastest way to get around a circuit and their technology is second to none but rules and regulations have seen this competitive advantage shrink ever more.

Amazingly, modern MotoGP come close to the performance of present day Formula 1 cars in many ways. The fastest a bike has ever been clocked came this year at Indianapolis where Jorge Lorenzo hit 216.858 mph – that’s 349 kph. This year, Kimi Räikkönen in his Ferrari managed 358.3kph (222.637 mph) – less than 10 kph more. Considering Formula 1 drivers sit inside one of the most advanced safety cells ever built, compared to riders who have only a thin layer of leather protecting them it shows how utterly incredible the speeds currently achieved in MotoGP are.

Why MotoGP Has Become the Best Motosport Series in the World

A Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and a Suzuki all battling.

This is one key area where Formula 1 has faltered over the past decade. While no one wants to see racers die or be injured, Formula 1 has become so risk averse that modern day tracks offer almost no repercussions for going off track. Run off areas that were once either grass or gravel traps are now bitumen – drivers can make mistakes and carry on – sometimes even gaining an advantage in the process.

Yet watching MotoGP, there’s a risk every time that a rider might go down. Two wheels instead of four with much narrower tires means far less grip and we’ve seen multiple instances of Marc Marquez coming off this year just pushing too hard and paying the price. In Formula 1, there’s almost never any price to pay.

And where passing in Formula 1 is a rarity (and a contrived one at that with DRS and the use of electrical energy to provide a power boost), MotoGP actually sees real race-craft in action, with riders not only plotting where to make their move but defending too – multiple times per lap.

For the most part, Dorna, the owner of the MotoGP championship has resisted the urge to sell out to developing world venues in order to make a quick dollar too. While Formula 1 is happy to take cash from questionable locales such as Bahrain, Russia and soon to be Azerbaijan at the expense of wonderful and historic tracks – races in Germany, Italy and even Silverstone in England are all under threat.

Why MotoGP Has Become the Best Motosport Series in the World

Lewis Hamilton wins again, daylight second.

And while Dorna isn’t saintly, the difference between how it goes about business and CVC Capital Partners (the private equity firm who owns F1) couldn’t be more stark. While some Formula 1 teams have begun court action in the European Union against F1 and other teams struggle to stay afloat, Dorna actually funds most of the MotoGP field to some degree (from 2017, Dorna will pay teams approximately €2 million a year for each rider they field, about half of what is required to complete a season in MotoGP) and provides transport and tires free of charge.

Couple that with how Dorna has adapted to the internet by allowing people to buy access online instead of putting their series into the hands of pay television like Formula 1 has and you couldn’t get two starker contrasts of how to run a motorsport series. And this ultimately is where MotoGP has gone ahead in leaps and bounds compared to Formula 1 – entertainment. At the end of the day, motorsport is about entertaining fans and as last weekends race at Phillip Island showed, MotoGP is doing that better than anyone else.

 

Let’s Talk – Honda, BMW and Yamaha to Colloborate on Motorcycle Connectvity

Three of the biggest players in the motorcycle world, BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha have announced a joint initiative – called the Connected Motorcycle Consortium – that will work towards enhancing what is known as Cooperative-Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) for use in motorcycles.

According to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, with C-ITS vehicles communicate with each other and/or with roadside infrastructure, greatly increasing the quality and reliability of information available about the vehicles, their location and the road environment.

Basic applications of ITS currently exist in GPS navigation systems, where real-time traffic information is provided such as rerouting advice based on traffic jams ahead. For road transport in particular, interoperable networked wireless communication between vehicles can enable road users to make coordinated and informed decisions about their route as well as allowing safer maneuvering in busy urban environments.

 

According to the three partners for this announcement, ITS systems designed for cars cannot simply be transferred to motorcycles. Due to the limited space available, electronic systems have to be smaller and be resilient to water, dust and vibration. Since motorcycles exhibit different driving dynamics, software development and algorithms need to consider special requirements.

“Our aim is to promote a timely and comprehensive use of cooperative ITS systems in powered-two wheelers offering the potential to improve safety. We therefore encourage other companies to join us,” explains Prof. Dr. Karl Viktor Schaller, Executive Vice President Development BMW Motorrad.

The plan is for all three manufacturers to feature C-ITS systems on their bikes by 2020.

Let's Talk - Honda, BMW and Yamaha to Colloborate on Motorcycle Connectvity

 

 

 

 

Honda CRF250 Rally Concept Looks Set for Production

Remember the Honda CRF250 Rally concept that was shown earlier this year at the  Osaka Motorcycle Show? Like many we were enamored with a bike that would offer a seriously lightweight enduro styled machine for the market and there’s now an even stronger indication that Honda actually plans to put this concept into production.

Honda has taken the step of registering the design of the CRF250 Rally concept with the European Trademark and Patent office. While that’s doesn’t provide an ironclad guarantee that the bike will be produced, such filings are generally only done with a company is looking to protect its intellectual property in preparation for a release to market.

Given how much focus Honda will be putting on the new Africa Twin over the next few months, it would make perfect sense to release another bike to ride its coat tails so to speak – and especially one that would sit at the opposite end of the range for price.

Further adding to the likelihood of this bike going into production is that the designs registered have lost all the expensive bits of bling such as a Mugen exhaust, Noguchi seat and Renthal bars and in their place are stock standard items from the CRF250L – although the larger fuel tank appears to remain.

If it is heading to market our first real glimpse could come as early as next month in Milan. Fingers crossed.

Is the Honda CBR250RR Returning?

Could the legendary Honda CBR250RR be returning to the market? The answer is yes, but not in the way perhaps we would have all hoped for. The original CBR250RR was an incredible machine that still has a place in many a rider’s heart today with its inline-4 engine capable of spinning up to 19,000 rpm.

The return of the CBR250RR badge will coincide with the release of a new parallel-twin entry level bike to take the fight back to Yamaha, Kawasaki and KTM with their learner friendly machines. Since the release of the CBR250R back in 2011, competitors have released more powerful and sophisticated machines, relegating the now CBR300R to the back of the pack performance wise.

It had been rumoured since late last year that Honda would heavily overhaul their entry level offerings by swapping the existing single cylinder engine out for a brand new parallel twin. Today Honda announced they would be showing off a concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show called the Light Super Sports Concept. Other than the lack of any headlights or indicators on the concept (shown below), it’s otherwise production ready and not that different to the current CBR300R shape.

Given that Honda is making this machine to better compete with the likes of the Ninja 300 and R3, it’s not a great stretch to assume that the bike will have a minimum capacity of 300cc once it hits western markets.

Is the Honda CBR250RR Returning?

Marquez and the new Honda Africa Twin get Dirty

Honda has handed the keys to their all new CRF1000L Africa Twin to current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez to show that he’s as capable on the black stuff as he is on the dirt. In the video released by Honda he’s joined by fellow Spaniard Joan Barreda who is well known and respected in the Dakar scene.

And while obviously the video shows a lot of choreographed jumps and slides, there is one interesting thing to note. Marc Marquez stands only 5’6″ tall and yet is able to plant his feet firmly on the ground when stopped. While that may sound trivial it’s a big deal as the CRF1000L includes an adjustable height seat meaning that this bike will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

There’s two other videos on the playlist, one each of Marquez and Barreda talking about the bike and no surprises for guessing that they were positive towards it.

Turn Your CBR1000R Into a Futuristic Cafe Fighter

A few months ago, custom bike builder Bill Webb showed off his idea – a cafe fighter based on Honda’s CBR1000RR. It was gorgeous, it was different and it was hugely popular with many clamoring for a kit. And that clamoring has seen Bill Webb seek to put his kit into production for an asking price of $2,999 via Indiegogo.

Called the Huge MOTO Black, the kit includes everything needed to convert Honda’s literbike into Bill’s dream – including levers with integrated turn signals, stacked headlight, the absolutely brilliant looking solo tail with integrated brake & burn signals, bikini fairing and various hardware mounts. It’s compatible with all Fireblade’s post 2007.

https://youtu.be/z-uzbKIWGYQ

The man behind all this has history with industrial design and this isn’t the first bike he’s designed. In order for this to get off the ground, Huge MOTO is after $75,000 worth of orders – or 25 kits. The kit is for any average enthusiast to build in their garage with standard tools–one that doesn’t require any welding skills or specialized equipment.

Some basic wiring skills are required – the tail requires relocation of factory components such as the fusebox and voltage regulator, connecting the turn signals and tail light, while the headlight and levers require rewiring low and high beam and connecting turn signals.

If this doesn’t go into production, Honda please take note. This bike would be a huge success. Please make something like it and hire Bill Webb.