Honda patent suggests Bulldog could reach production

CB-based concept might yet go on sale

HONDA has filed a patent in Japan that seems to hint that the Bulldog concept bike could be under serious consideration for production, which is what we were told by a dealer towards the end of last year.

In case you’ve forgotten, the Bulldog was a concept shown a little over a year ago in Japan. Based on the Japanese-market CB400F (a bike that’s physically identical to the CB500F we get over here, just with a smaller engine to suit local licensing laws), the Bulldog added rugged, utilitarian styling and some clever storage ideas. Neither a scrambler nor an adventure bike, it’s more like a two-wheeled take on the sort of utility quad bikes favoured by farmers.

The new patent is actually quite mundane – it relates to the way the cash bars around the engine are designed and fitted – but it clearly shows the Bulldog. In fact, the bike in the images isn’t quite identical to the show version, featuring slightly different indicators, a different tail light and different brake discs to the concept machine.

Honda has also patented the clever storage units either side of the fuel tank that were one of the Bulldog’s innovations. Although they appear integral to the tank, the black plastic sides are actually more like panniers, and can be opened to reveal a significant amount of luggage space.

Given the fact that the mechanical components are already in mass production, and that the Bulldog even borrows parts like its headlights from other Honda models, putting the Bulldog on sale would be a cheap way for the firm to expand into a new market niche. The question is whether there are buyers waiting for something like this.

Then again, this is the firm that brought us the Vultus, and in comparison the Bulldog looks positively sane.

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