American Honda clearly feels bullish about 2013. It has already introduced three new models for the upcoming year (NC700X, CRF250L and PCX150), and it has just unveiled another six all-new models and the return of five others.
Honda’s retro-styled CB1100, which pays respect to its legendary 1969 CB750, was first seen at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Available in Japan and Australia for some time, it’s finally coming to the U.S. Powered by an 1,140cc, air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected, transverse in-line four with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder, the CB1100 has a 5-speed transmission, a steel double-cradle frame, a 41mm conventional fork and twin rear shocks, chain final drive, triple disc brakes, and 18-inch mag wheels.
The CB1100 looks the old-school part, with a round headlight, large round turn signals, analog gauges, and fenders and a muffler slathered in chrome. We got a short ride on the only example of the CB1100 currently in the U.S., and enjoyed its comfortable riding position, predictable handling and smooth power. The 3.9-gallon tank comes in Candy Red only. Available in March 2013 for $9,999 ($10,999 for ABS).
Hoping to capitalize on the bagger craze and fill the hole left by the departure of the VTX1800 cruiser, Honda is rolling out the Gold Wing F6B, a blacked-out version of its flagship luxury tourer with a shorty windscreen, gunfighter-style seat and no trunk. The GL1800’s tried-and-true 1,832cc flat-six, twin-spar frame, 5-speed transmission, shaft drive, suspension and brakes are unchanged, bringing a new level of performance and smoothness to the bagger segment. The Deluxe model adds a passenger backrest, a centerstand, self-cancelling turn signals and heated grips. Premium audio with MP3/iPod connectivity and Combined ABS are standard on both models. Available in February 2013 in Black or Red for $19,999 ($20,999 for Deluxe).
Honda is putting a lot of emphasis on the “value for money” concept for 2013, hoping to draw in new riders with fun, exciting, affordable models, such as a trio of all-new CB models that share the same platform and have prices that start under $6,000. They’re powered by a 500cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected parallel twin with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder, and they share the same 6-speed transmission, diamond-shaped steel tube frame, dual disc brakes with wave-style rotors and 17-inch wheels. The CBR500R has a full fairing and a sporty yet comfortable riding position; available in April 2013 in Black, Red or Pearl White/Blue/Red for $5,999 ($6,499 for ABS, Red only). The naked CB500F sheds the fairing and offers a more neutral riding position; available in April 2013 in Black or Pearl White for $5,499 ($5,999 for ABS, Black only). The adventure-styled CB500X has a wide handlebar, more front suspension travel, roomy seating (31.9-inch seat height, up from 30.9 inches on the others), a manually adjustable windscreen and additional fuel capacity (4.5 gallons, up from 4.1). Available in July 2013 in Matte Black Metallic only; pricing has not been finalized, but it will start under $6,000, add $500 for ABS.
The CBR600RR sportbike has also been updated, featuring more aerodynamic, MotoGP-inspired bodywork with a redesigned, centrally located ram-air intake, updated ECU and fuel injection settings for more midrange power and better high-rpm throttle response, a new 41mm Showa Big Piston Fork and new settings for the rear shock. Available in March 2013 in Red, Repsol Edition or White/Blue/Red; price is TBD.
Returning unchanged for 2013 except for new colors are the VFR1200F ($15,999, DCT $17,499), CBR1000RR ($13,800, C-ABS $14,800), CB1000R ($11,760), Silver Wing ($TBD) and Ruckus ($TBD), in dealers March 2013 or earlier.