Honda NSC – is this the new CB1000R?

Teaser video shows very little of new café racer


HONDA is teasing a new ‘Neo Sports Café’ – or NSC – model that will be reveal at the EICMA show in Milan on November 6.

The video is the usual compilation of close-ups and cuts straight from the ‘teaser video 101’ handbook. Man sculpting clay model? Check. Engineers in deep discussions? Check. Light panning over close-up of bodywork in darkened room? Check. Sparking angle grinder? Check. And finally, of course, there’s the headlight flashing on as the teaser comes to an end.

What can we tell you about it? Well, the rumours in Japan at the moment are that the CB1000R is going to be replaced. That makes a lot of sense, since it’s not Euro4-legal and as such can’t be sold in Europe without special end-of-series dispensation. It’s still listed in the ‘Street’ section of Honda’s UK motorcycle website, but clicking on it (or the similarly-powered CBF1000F) just reverts back to the main page.

There’s a close-up of the cylinder head in the video, and it doesn’t exactly match any current Honda motor. It’s clearly a DOHC four. The casting detail of the cylinder head is fairly similar to that of the CB650F motor, but the head’s overall shape is closer to that of the old CB1000R’s old-generation Blade engine.

The clearest shots of the bike show a very clear link to the 2015 CB4 concept. That was a CB650F-based design in a futuristic café racer style (in fact ‘Neo Sports Café’ would be good description of its look…) The new bike’s tank shape seems similar, and it by lightening the only side-on image in the video it’s possible to see that it appears to have a similar, barrel-shaped tail light under the seat – looking almost like an under-seat exhaust. A swingarm-mounted licence plate hanger could hint at a single-sided swingarm, as on the existing CB1000R and on the CB4 concept.

We’ll find out in just a few weeks, of course, but the strong money says this is Honda’s take on a 1000cc naked sports bike, rivalling Yamaha’s MT-10 and BMW’s S1000R but adding a neo-retro twist.