Road Racing

Honda ‘adopts’ Mugen’s electric TT bike

Appearance on Honda Tokyo Salon stand reveals close ties

EVER since Mugen began to race at the TT with its series of Shinden electric superbikes there have been rumours that the firm’s ties with Honda mean that it’s something of a stealth Honda entry to the arena.

Mugen is, of course, closely related to Honda, having been founded by Soichiro Honda’s son Hirotoshi. The firm started racing electric bikes at the TT in 2012 with the original Shinden, using (Honda-contracted) John McGuinness as its lead rider. It’s since made three further generations of bike – the 2013 Shinden Ni, 2014 Shinden San and the 2015 Shinden Yon – taking the top two podium places at the TT Zero for the last two years, with McGuinness leading Bruce Anstey home on both occasions, lapping at nearly 120mph last time out.

Now Honda has announced that the winning Shinden Yon will appear on its stand at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, alongside Marc Marquez’s RC213V MotoGP bike.

Given the sheer number of competition bikes in Honda’s arsenal, is it strange that, with just two show stand spaces, the firm should pick a machine that’s officially not a Honda at all to fill one of them?

In fact, the original 2012 Shinden also appeared on the Honda stand at a previous show. But now that the design is a proven winner, dominating in true Honda style during the last two races, surely it won’t be too long before a winged logo appears on the tank?

Honda may also have electric production bike plans in mind. In fact we know the firm does. In July a Honda report revealed its plans to develop electric motorcycles for both emerging and developed markets. As long ago as 2011 the firm revealed the RC-E electric superbike concept

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