LAST Friday we reported on Honda's announcement of a new, large bike following on from the success of the firm's 'New Mid' series – a range that encompasses the NC700S, NC700X and Integra scooter. Now we have the first sneak glimpse of that bike.
The shot here is the slide shown behind Honda president Takanobu Ito as he announced the new machine, saying: “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 manoeuvring. The production of the first model in this new series will begin in February 2013 at the Kumamoto factory, Honda's global motorcycle production operation, and sales will begin from North America.”
While some commentators have suggested he was referring to the soon-to-debut CBR500 and CB500 models, the picture suggests something very different. As we mentioned in last week's story, the bike looks long, low and heavily faired, with a hint of DN-01 in the design. The fact the bike will be made at Kumamoto, Japan, also refutes ideas he was referring to the CBR500/CB500, as those models will be made in Thailand to keep prices down. Kumamoto is Honda's flagship plant, home to the VFR1200F, NC700, CBR600RR and Goldwing among other models. It was also home to the short-lived DN-01, with its unique hydraulic transmission.