On the back of three concept bikes revealed in late September, Honda has announced a second wave of prototypes to complement its line-up for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. The headliner of this new prototype batch is without a doubt the Super Cub Concept, a modern take on the iconic 1958 moped that made Honda the giant it is today.
The biennial Tokyo exhibition traditionally provides the stage for Japanese automotive manufacturers to provide a peak at their future plans. Honda has made a strong effort to steal the spotlight by revealing no less than 10 prototype and custom concept models almost a month before the 44th Tokyo Motor Show opens its gates.
We’ve already been teased with the Neowing titling tricycle, the Light Weight Super Sport Concept and the re-emergence of the EV-Cub. Here's a look at the latest raft of interesting concepts to be previewed (details are scarce at this point, but the photo material is quite explicit):
Super Cub Concept
The prototype Honda Super Cub Concept is powered by a petrol engine of as yet undefined type and borrows heavily on the original 1958 Super Cub. The original became a worldwide commercial success, rose to cult status in southeastern Asian countries, was copied by practically every Asian motorcycle manufacturer and even powers an Underbone Grand Prix series. Honda’s Super Cub and its offspring have account for over 87 million bike sales worldwide until 2014, possibly making it the most popular two-wheeler ever.
The modern design faithfully replicates the original model down to the color scheme ... even to the choice of small drum brakes. Thankfully the leading link front setup has been replaced by a nice inverted fork to bringing functionality up to date somewhat, as does the modern digital instrument panel.
There is no further info to convey so far, apart from our guess that this must be a 50 cc engine – judging from the 60 km/h that marks the speedometer’s upper limit.
We’d expect Honda to have shown this a few years back, namely in 2008 when the Super Cub was celebrating its 50 year anniversary. Instead it introduced the EV-Cub, apparently with an identical design to this new prototype. Honda was then implying that we may see the electric Cub in production by 2010, something that didn’t happen. Still, it will be interesting to hear if there are any production plans for this concept. There’s no doubt it would prove to be very popular all over the world, especially if it were powered by a bigger engine. Honda currently has 110 and 125 cc Cub variants in production such as the Wave and the Supra-X.
Grom50 Scrambler Concepts
The Grom (or MSX as it is known in Europe) is a medium sized motorcycle powered by a 125 cc single-cylinder engine derived from Honda’s Cub models. As the name suggests, Honda is hinting at a smaller 50 cc variant in the pipeline with the Grom50. The name is used for two concepts that are heading to Tokyo. The first is the Concept-One, which displays some styling cues that resembles a café racer more than a scrambler. Compared to the production model this concept sports a completely different petrol tank and the exhaust is shorter, following a higher route by the engine’s right side, as one would typically expect to see in a scrambler. Number plates, off-road tires, bar-end mirrors and a 1960’s café racer-type seat complete the design.
The second version of the little Grom, the Concept-Two, is more faithful to a scrambler design, featuring the same tank and plastics in an earthier green color and the engine in black finish. The handle bars are higher and the swing arm is thicker, while the rest of the motorcycle leans towards a clean design, as one would expect from an off-road oriented bike.
CB1100 Custom Concept
The modern classic CB1100 is one of those motorcycles that simply let its timeless, frugal design speak for itself. It's success is not based on technology or performance figures, yet it does hold a certain charm that Honda knows how to accentuate with just a few special parts.
A pair of Moriwaki Megaphone black exhausts, two Nitron shocks, a special seat and some decals is all it takes to transform a standard black CB1100 to a vintage race replica that stands out from the crowd.
This custom concept is probably just a display case for some special accessories from Honda’s catalogue. Indeed some of them are already on offer, like the Moriwaki exhausts.
The very same logic probably applies to the yellow CB1100 Concept, which appears to be a perfectly standard production model adorned with chrome cases for the headlight and the instruments, which are already available in the CB accessories catalog. On the other hand, the yellow tank is a new color option.
CB1300 / 400 Super Bol D’ Or Custom Concepts
The Bol D’ Or (Golden Cup) is the name that Honda borrowed from the famous French Endurance race for the marketing of the 1979 CB900F and the 1983 CB1100F in Europe.
Although we can hardly consider the CB1300 to be a modern successor of the much sportier Bol D’ Or models, in 2013 Honda named the faired version of this four-cylinder behemoth as Super Bol D’ Or, and is now using this model to show off a new conceptual color scheme.
Practically the whole idea relies on an all-black CB, endowed with several red details. The same scheme is also applied to the CB400 Super Four, a smaller four-cylinder version that is available only in Japan.
Apart from the red touches, both bikes benefit from after-market exhausts, a Mugen for the CB1300 and a Moriwaki for the CB400.
Gizmag will be on the floor of the Tokyo motor show later this month to bring you further details.