Honda updates its crossover motorcycle lineup
Along with several prototype motorcycles that were unveiled ahead of the Tokyo Moto Show, Honda also announced updates to its Crossover X-models – namely the VFR1200X Crosstourer, NC750X and CB500X. The latter two have undergone a major redesign that will be fully revealed in Tokyo, while its Adventure Touring flagship receives some practical updates.
Just one week before the 44th Tokyo Motor Show opens its doors, Honda continues to drip feed more news on its 2016 model lineup. After the first wave of prototypes, spearheaded by the Neowing tilting three wheeler, and a second batch that included a brand new reincarnation of the Super Cub, now it’s time for some actual production model updates.
The NC750X and the CB500X (produced as the 400X for the Japanese market) are two mid-sized Crossover models that have made the best seller lists in many countries, particularly in European markets. For 2016 both have been redesigned towards creating a common visual theme for the whole Crossover family. Honda chose to disclose only their main technical updates, escorted by a teaser photo of each motorcycle, in anticipation for a full presentation of their new styling in Tokyo.
On the other hand, the largest Crossover model in Honda’s lineup, the VFR1200X Crosstourer, is not expected to change much, but will also benefit from some technical upgrades.
Let’s take a closer look at what Honda has disclosed ahead of the full presentation that is expected to take place in Tokyo later this week.
The NC model family was introduced in 2012 and made an immediate impact with its undersquare 750 cc twin-cylinder engine that offers extremely economical fuel consumption. Built on a modular base, this family includes the Integra (NC750D), the NC750X and the NC750S naked model.
Apart from the fresh looks, the 750X gets a new windscreen that’s taller by 70 mm (2.7 in), LED lights all around and a new exhaust. Meanwhile, the front suspension has gone through a revalving process in search of more linear damping action, while the rear shock absorber has a new preload adjuster. Additionally, the practical trunk that is housed where we usually expect the fuel tank – that’d be in front of the rider – has also been redesigned, growing from 21 to 22 liters of space.
Specifically for the DCT version, Honda has added a new set of shifting modes to the mix. When operated in the fully automatic S-mode, the rider can choose between S1, S2 and S3 modes. These differ in how high they allow the engine to rev before upshifting, therefore offering a new level of parameterization to Honda’s innovative DCT gearbox. This update was first announced for the DCT version of the new Africa Twin, and now appears to have filtered down to all the DCT-equipped models.
The mid-sized twin CB proved to be a huge success in Europe, targeting the holders of A2 driving licenses (up to 47 hp / 35 kW) – just as, in similar fashion, the 400X version is produced in Japan for the relevant license category. For 2016, Honda has redesigned it within the same context as the NC750X, forming a uniform Crossover family theme.
The CB500X will get both front and back LED lights, a windscreen that’s taller by 100 mm (3.9 in), an adjustable front brake lever and preload adjusters on the fork legs. Honda also announced a re-designed gear selection mechanism that promises a more refined and accurate shifting feel.
The largest of Honda’s Crossover models will not change significantly for 2016, but still receives some updates, with the DCT version of the Crosstourer to also get the three shifting modes that have been announced for the New Africa Twin and the NC750X.
Honda has updated the bike’s aerodynamic protection with a brand new windscreen that is easily adjustable – apparently without the need for tools. There’s also the addition of a practical 12 V socket and a new Special Edition two-tone color scheme that’s called Candy Prominence Red and Graphite Black.
Stay tuned for more details out of the Tokyo Motor Show that kicks off later this week, where Gizmag will be on the ground to get the latest news.