October 9, 2008 Honda have released a new concept sportsbike at Intermot that frankly has us completely stumped. The V4 Concept Model is meant to showcase Honda's intention to "use the power of dreams to take motorcycling somewhere it has never been before" - somewhere, presumably, where motorcycles do away with things like tyres, suspension, brakes, axles and final drive systems. Can YOU figure out a single piece of relevant information this machine is signalling about tomorrow's Hondas, or is it a simple styling exercise?
Here's the full press release Honda sent out with images of the V4 Concept Model:
"Honda has always sought to push back motorcycling boundaries, challenge engineering conventions and introduce daring and innovative new designs and technologies that will delight its customers.
To celebrate the passionately creative heritage of the first V4 four-stroke, Honda has embarked on an exciting new project, using 30 years of Honda V4 expertise to create a next generation of products. Once again Honda will use the power of dreams to take motorcycling to somewhere it has never been before, proof of which was at display for the very first time at Intermot Cologne."
Challenging engineering conventions indeed! We'd go so far as to say this new concept has been designed by an art-school grad uninterested in anything but futuristic styling. And yes, a prototype is actually displayed at Intermot Cologne, it's not just a rendered set of images like most of the more bizarre designs we see.
If the bike had been electric, perhaps there could have been some intention to drive and brake the wheels using some sort of electromagnetic system - but there's a dirty great V4 combustion engine right in the middle of the frame. Even if the wheels were driven, they don't seem able to rotate. And if they could rotate, their shiny red finish would appear to indicate that they'll give no traction.
Are we missing the point here - and either way, where do you draw the line on concept machines? Does this thing even qualify as a motorcycle? And what on Earth do you think Honda are trying to do by displaying it? Check out the photo gallery and tell us what you think in the comments below.