Motorcycles

Honda presents Neowing tilting tricycle ahead of Tokyo Motor Show

The Honda Neowing is a tilting three-wheeled hybrid concept bike
The Honda Neowing is a tilting three-wheeled hybrid concept bike
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The Honda Neowing is a tilting three-wheeled hybrid concept bike
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The Honda Neowing is a tilting three-wheeled hybrid concept bike
Honda's Neowing couples a four-cylinder boxer engine with electric motors, transmitting the output to the rear wheel via a shaft
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Honda's Neowing couples a four-cylinder boxer engine with electric motors, transmitting the output to the rear wheel via a shaft
Honda refers to the Neowing's front suspension as an "original Honda linkage mechanism"
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Honda refers to the Neowing's front suspension as an "original Honda linkage mechanism"
The Honda Light Weight Super Sports Concept is introduced as the next-generation sportbike
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The Honda Light Weight Super Sports Concept is introduced as the next-generation sportbike
The Honda EV-Cub Concept is an electric short-distance commuter that was first introduced in 2009 at the Tokyo Motor Show
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The Honda EV-Cub Concept is an electric short-distance commuter that was first introduced in 2009 at the Tokyo Motor Show

If there'sone market segment where Honda has been notably absent, it would be tiltingthree-wheelers. That's about to change, though, as the new concept model thatHonda plans to unveil in Tokyo undeniably demonstrates its intent to enter thisrelatively new vehicle class.

Honda calls its tricycle the Neowing, evidently pursuing a connection to the company's touring icon, the Goldwing. The 4-cylinder boxer engine helps a lot in this direction, as it's definitely reminiscent of the Goldwing's horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder motor.

The press release is rather scant of information, confined to just a few lines carefully selected to magnetize our attention until the official unveiling that will take place in late October, when the 44th Tokyo Motor Show opens its gates.

Honda states that the Neowing is a hybrid-powered vehicle, coupling its boxer engine with electric motors and transmitting the output to the rear wheel via what appears to be a shaft. There's no word on the internal combustion motor's capacity or performance figures, and the press release remains equally secretive on the type, number and arrangement of the electric motors. The use of plural leaves no doubt there's more than one, yet from the official image released by Honda we can only assume that these do not reside in the front wheel hubs.

Honda refers to the Neowing's front suspension as an "original Honda linkage mechanism"
Honda refers to the Neowing's front suspension as an "original Honda linkage mechanism"

What is more important though is the leaning front suspension setup. Vaguely described as an "original Honda linkage mechanism," this system will probably be the focus point of this prototype tricycle when we get to examine it in more detail.

The greatest assets of these three-wheeled vehicles are the safety features incurred by their tilting front suspension systems. Piaggio initiated this market segment with the MP3, based on a patented system by Studio Marabese Design. Every vehicle that followed suit – namely the Quadro 3D, Peugeot Metropolis and Yamaha Tricity – relied on its own exclusive design, so we should expect Honda to innovate as well.

As powerful and exciting as this concept may seem, chances are it serves more as an eye-catching introductory platform for Honda's involvement in the tilting three-wheeled class, with ensuing production models opting for more "sensible" powertrains, both in terms of output and cost.

The Honda Light Weight Super Sports Concept is introduced as the next-generation sportbike
The Honda Light Weight Super Sports Concept is introduced as the next-generation sportbike

Apart from the Neowing, Honda will also display a Light Weight Super Sports Concept in Tokyo. There is practically no information to detail the technology behind this prototype, apart from the fact that it is described as a next-generation sportbike with a "strong presence." Judging from the single front brake disc, it must be powered by a small-to-medium-capacity engine. In this segment Honda has on offer a single-cylinder 300 cc engine as used in the CBR300R, against competition from Kawasaki, Yamaha and Benelli that sport twin-cylinder motors. In less than a month we'll know if this is Honda's response.

The parade of Honda concepts includes also the EV-Cub, an electric short-distance commuter based on the timeless Super Cub design. This was actually first introduced at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, and Honda doesn't explain if its reappearance is related to any new features brought about over the course of the last six years.

The 44th Tokyo Motor Show will start with two Press Days on October 28 and 29, opening its gates for the general public from October 30 until November 8.

Source: Honda

16 comments
gizmowiz
Typically Honda. Short shift to electrics. Which eventually will be it's downfall as others race ahead. Toyota is the same way. Both are now backwards facing technology companies.
Bob
This looks interesting but will probably to too complicated and expensive to compete. What I would really like to see is a return to the old moped design of 40 years ago. I consider the current small wheel scooters to be far more unstable than the old bicycle sized wheel designs. The old moped is still made and sold almost everywhere in the world but is totally unavailable in the US. I WANT ONE !!!
Tom Lee Mullins
The three wheel version has a transformer look to it. I think it looks neat.
andyfreeze
As much as I appreciate the three wheeled technology, I agree that Honda is lost for new markets. For me being a newie To two wheeled travel, I can see massive holes in what is available. I like scooters because of ease of ownership and convenience. Auto and easy of operation. But I also hate their shortcomings. Potential for storage but real lack of and junk ride. I like motorbikes but I hate manuals , I have a dicky back and I really don't need all that much power. And where do I store my helmet? They have a lot of potential , just need to stop playing "me too." When I grow up, I want a T-Rex.
Mirmillion
This borrows heavily from BMW's design language and probably one-ups CanAm's Spider, but not as a touring machine. Provided the price point is within reason it should do very well. With mid-engine layout it should handle neutrally but I would wonder about under-steer in hard cornering or in the wet. Otherwise, a superb and meaty execution.
gizmowiz
Honda is old tech. It hates electrics and that's the wave of the future not these old gas dinosaurs.
Anthony Parkerwood
It would be great to see something like the Renault Twizy, with a petrol or hybrid motor and slightly edgier Honda styling.
Richard Bolman
I currently have one of the Piaggio MP3 (250), and I'd love to buy this. But, as concepts tend to go, this probably will never see the light of day, and if it does $$$$$$... I just love the similarity to http://www.gizmag.com/go/8234/
fearnow
That Honda is willing to get into the tilting-trike platform is huge. About time. I wish it were on something not as YOOOGE as a 6 cylinder 1800cc platform (MP3, anyone? Maybe a midrange tilting standard?) but at this point we can't be choosers. I'm having sp uch fun on my new-to-me 250 Ninjette that I'm excited for their latest take on the quarter-liter class.
VictoriasViewpoint
Anything with 3 wheels, that I could actually afford, would work for me. For those of us with balance issues (I had to put "training wheels" on my beach cruiser, for heaven's sake - don't think THAT'S not embarrassing) it would be nice to have a decent way to get around. I doubt that this product is it, though - it looks very expensive. And by "expensive", I mean similar in price to a car or high-end motorcycle. Cool product, though!
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