Motorcycle Live: 12 must-see highlights
Honda had something for everyone at Motorcycle Live. From the über-muscular Gold Wing to the neat n’ nimble Monkey Bike concept, old favourites joined forward-thinking, cutting-edge designs in a stellar motorcycle line-up that also included a range for kids. Clearly, 2018 is gearing up to be a pretty big year for Honda bikes!
01 2018 CB1000R
The 2018 CB1000R, the bike that captured imaginations in Tokyo, is back – this time with a 2018 release date. This neo-retro masterpiece is a sports bike reborn, with café racer-inspired styling, Honda Selectable Torque Control, and modes for rain, sport and road. Fuel efficiency has also been bolstered by a tiny, but significant, two per cent improvement over its predecessor. Because every little helps.
02 2018 CB300R
The CB300R slots in alongside the CB1000R and CB125R to form one third of the so-called ‘sport naked’ family. The mean, bare-boned styling is a world away from what’s come before, while a minimum number of moving parts means it’s an easy machine to maintain – perfect for all the newbies out there. The verdict? With a maximum power output of 23.1kw/8500rpm, it’s a mighty yet manageable starting bike.
03 2018 CB125R
The lightest member of the family, the 2018 CB125R, adopts the same ‘less is more’ philosophy. At just 125.8kg, it’s as featherlike as you’ll find in the bike world. But a generous 10.1-litre fuel tank sits snugly in the bike’s undercarriage – so she only needs a drink once every 480km to keep her going. Low-maintenance, indeed.
04 2018 GL1800 Gold Wing
Ever since its historic debut way back in 1975, the Gold Wing has been the go-to for touring bikers who like nothing more than to travel the continent in style. It’s certainly unique, as to date it’s the only motorbike to feature an airbag. According to the bike’s project leader, Yutaka Nakanishi, the new 2018 Gold Wing is “as useful to its owner around the city as it is on tour” – a claim we Europeans will gladly put to the test in 2018, when it comes to our shores for the very first time.
05 2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports
30 years on from its European arrival, a new version of Honda’s definitive full-size adventure machine, the Africa Twin, is ready for Adventure Sports in 2018. Project leader Mr. K. Morita said, “We have used the revised CRF1000L as a starting point and added everything the long-distance rider needs to get the very most out of any adventure, making it the ‘Go Anywhere’ machine that we set out to make”. The 2018 Adventure Sports will be available in one 30th anniversary iconic Tricolore paint scheme. An extra 5.4L fuel tank capacity means you can take the Twin further without having to worry about a pit stop. New riding modes (for sport, city and full manual control), heated grips, longer travel suspension and a taller, flatter seat profile, give it an edge over the new-for-2018 base model.
06 2018 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Unlike the original, the 2018 Africa Twin is as comfortable on the road as it is off. A significant addition for 2018 is the new Throttle By Wire (TBW) system, which not only enables three riding modes, but expands the choices available to the rider to manage engine output, feel and rear wheel traction. Also new is an extended range of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), featuring seven levels, plus OFF. From level one, which suits no holds barred, off-the-beaten-path high jinks, to level seven, suiting long, wet slogs on slippery tarmac.
07 2018 X-ADV
After shifting close to 10,000 in the first eight months of 2017, sales of Honda’s ‘motorcycle SUV’, the X-ADV, aren’t slowing down. Updated for 2018, the scooter-cum-adventure bike features Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which receives an off-road G switch, and 2-Level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for those moments when the tarmac ends and the trail begins. Fitted with a spacious 21 litres of under-seat storage, the 2018 X-ADV is effectively the SUV adventure bike of the motoring world.
08 2018 Honda Integra
The Integra is back for 2018. Tweaks to the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) and a beefed up electronics package make it the killer combo of comfort, style and convenience. Now in its seventh year, the DCT features three levels of sports performance, including two modes for automatic and an MT mode for riders that enjoy the control of manual gear changes. The standard automatic D mode is for gentle, highway riding and maximum fuel economy, while S mode shifts up and down at higher rpm for a sportier ride. A new ‘wave’ key featuring the Honda Ignition Security System (or HISS) means that you – and you alone – will get the engine going.
09 2018 Honda NC750S
Easy to ride and easy on the bank balance – both in terms of initial purchase and maintenance costs – the NC750S is the no frills, simple-to-use machine that unites riders new and old. The design philosophy – “Sensual Performance” – speaks to one sexy 745cc twin-cylinder engine and plenty of storage space (21 litres). It’s powerful yet practical, with an engine that’s also EURO4 compliant – emitting just 81g/km. Good, clean fun.
10 2018 Honda NC750X
Since its debut back in 2012, the NC750X has been a stalwart of Europe’s top ten best-selling motorbikes lists – and for good reason. Its wide windscreen and sleek styling give it that distinctive look. It’s not only cool, but kind too. The display turns blue when riding with decent fuel efficiency – and green when you go that extra mile (literally).
11 Super Cub 125C concept
The Super Cub concept adds a dose of nostalgia to Honda’s future-focused EICMA line-up. Having recently reached the ‘100 million sold’ milestone, Honda’s old favourite made an appearance in Milan, giving us an ultra-modern reminder of why this 59-year-old bike is still beloved by all who ride it.
12 Monkey 125 concept
The enduringly popular Honda Monkey bike is back, sporting a set of brand-spanking-new clothes. Building on the success of the MSX125, which took the States by storm, this concept model takes a little of what made the Z50 so popular (namely the look and feel) and throws in a few modern touches for good measure – including LED lights, Smart Key and digital meters.
See more Motorcycle Live highlights right here.