Fittingly, American Honda flew the now-retired, former senior manager of public relations man Gary Christopher out from Texas to ride the all-new CB1100 onto center stage at its pristine museum near its Torrance, California, headquarters on Thursday night. Because when all is said and done, if the CB1100 is as well liked and respected as Christopher, Honda will have nailed it.
Judging by the smiles on the assembled media's faces when Christopher rode the new bike on stage, Honda might just have pulled that off.
But there was much more to come from Honda than the old school, 1140cc air-cooled CB1100. How about three variations of a CB500, an all-new Gold Wing and an updated CBR600RR? A 500cc motorcycle with a suggested retail price of just $5499?
"This most recent release of wide-ranging brand-new models along with returning favorites is really exciting news for all riding enthusiasts," said Powersports press manager Bill Savino. "The six new models we're introducing today in the U.S. include five all-new motorcycles that represent some very innovative thinking on the part of Honda's engineers and product planners, and they all bring their own distinct appeal to separate portions of the market."
Here's a look at what Honda just introduced.
The CB1100 is old school cool with just enough new technology to make it work well. The 1140cc air-cooled DOHC engine is fuel-injected, yet it features twin shocks and 18-inch wheels. It also gets a modern triple disc-brake setup and the option of ABS. The CB1100 is available in candy red and will sell for $9999 ($10,999 for ABS) and will hit showroom floors in March.
The Gold Wing F6B is still loaded with all the good stuff you expect from a Gold Wing, but the look is all new and fresh. While it still retains its horizontally opposed six-cylinder powerplant and stout twin-spar aluminum frame, the look is completely different. Long, low and aggressive, the new Gold Wing is available in standard or deluxe trim in black or red on both models. The standard model will sell for $19,999 with the Deluxe package going for $20,999. The new Wing will be available in February.
The newest CBR600RR gets a new look that's designed to mirror the RC212V ridden by Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. In addition to the new bodywork, the CBR600RR gets 12-spoke wheels, a stronger engine, and the new 41mm Big Piston Fork. The standard model available in red, white/blue/red and for the first time in the Repsol Edition colors. The ABS model is available in red only. No price yet on the 600 with delivery scheduled for March.
The all-new CBR500R is the fully faired version of the three-bike CB500 line. All three get the fuel-injected 500cc parallel-twin DOHC engine with Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension, a 41mm fork, 17-inch wheels and disc brakes. The standard model is available in black, pearl white/blue/red or red with the ABS package available in red only. The standard model will sell for %5999 with the ABS version going for $6499. The CBR500R will hit showroom floors in April.
If naked is your thing, Honda has the CB500F. The standard model is available in black or pearl white with the ABS model coming in black only. How does $5499 sound for the standard model and $5999 for ABS? The CBR500F will be available in April.
Looking for adventure? The third version of the CB500 is the CB500X adventure bike. The bike gets an adjustable windscreen, a larger capacity fuel tank, 4.9 inches of rear suspension travel and a wide handlebar. The X model will come in matte black metallic, but won't be available until July. No pricing has been set yet on the CB500X.