My keyboard is smoking as news continues to stream out of EICMA Milan – this time it’s Honda that’s just debuted two new concept prototypes. The True Adventure is Honda’s vision of its next round-the-world Dakar-style adventure bike, and the RC213V-S is a road-going replica of the MotoGP bike Marc Marquez has just conquered the world with. It looks a little odd to see it with mirrors, indicators and a number plate mount, but could it be a precursor to the V4 Fireblade we’ve been waiting on for a decade now?
True Adventure“Seeking to expand its presence in the Adventure segment,” Honda has put together a very dirty looking prototype. Caked in tasteful dabs of mud over spy-shot camouflage, the True Adventure looks to be packing a mid-capacity parallel twin engine, tilted forward, not a v-twin like Honda’s last comparable machine, the Transalp.Beyond that, there’s basically no details available. It looks closer to the Yamaha Tenere than anything else, and seems to seek to fill the gap in Honda’s current lineup for a tough-as-nails, round-the-world off-roader.
RC213V-S MotoGP replicaWith the CBR1000RR Fireblade getting only minor updates this year, hopes were high that Honda was going to use EICMA to debut a radical departure from the formula – hopefully, a street sportsbike with a V4 engine like the one that’s made Honda the MotoGP world champion so many times since the 2-stroke era ended.But the venerable Fireblade has been such a great bike and such a solid performer, maybe we hoped for too much. The RC213-V prototype does nothing but stoke the fire with its promise of "race bike with mirrors" type performance.
The shape will be familiar to MotoGP fans, save for the number plate, headlight, indicators and bar-end mirrors. Is it destined for production? Maybe. Honda has been very tight-lipped with details on both these prototypes.
It’s hard to fight the feeling that Yamaha has soundly beaten Honda in the EICMA release category with the debut of its MotoGP-inspired R1 and R1M, which actually exist and will be on sale early next year. But I suspect Honda will happily point to the MotoGP championship scoreboard and tell you the CBR1000RR is already a magnificent road bike that sells by the container load all round the world. They wouldn’t be wrong, but the stakes have certainly moved on in the last couple of years.
Perhaps the RC213V-S is a glimpse of a game-changer that Honda has up its sleeve for next year. Or perhaps not.
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