2015 - 2018 Honda PCX150
After a revamp in 2015, the PCX150 from Honda continues strong in the scooter market, now with a bigger engine, a sportier look and a larger capacity fuel tank. Originally developed, designed and manufactured in Thailand, the PCX was popular as a commuter bike that offered extra-value-added in luxury feel and performance. Marketed in Europe where riders appreciate scooters for their ease of use, the PCX gained popularity and Honda soon realized the reality of having a truly global model of scooter. Prior to 2013, the PCX came with a 125 cc engine and a 1.6-gallon fuel tank. With a make-over in 2013, the PCX125 gave way to the PCX150 and a new chapter in the globally produced Honda scooter was launched.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda PCX150.
2015 - 2018 Honda NM4
Honda has been in the game for a long time now, but so has its competitors, and theirs has become a competition of inches with minor shifts in momentum here and there, but nothing very dramatic. The NM4 — absent in 2017, but back for 2018 — represents Honda’s attempt to increase its footprint by creating a new market segment geared toward drawing in new riders that might otherwise never have bought into the two-wheel lifestyle. I suppose that’s one way to do it; if you can’t attract as many customers as you’d like, just grow new ones. The factory packed in features that make it new-rider friendly and provide relaxed, easy-mode cruising for experienced riders. Won’t you join me while I take a good look at this rather unusual looking ride and see what Honda is using to bait the table in its bid to convert cagers to more of a two-wheel persuasion.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda NM4.
There can be no doubt that retro is very popular right now, and with more folks than just your token hipsters to be sure. Honda takes that resurgent interest to the bank with its CB 1100 EX that brings ’70s style and modern performance together in a bid to ride that current wave of popularity. Granted, this bike has been available in other markets, but Honda, in its infinite wisdom, has made the decision to bring it back to U.S. shores for 2017. And the peasants rejoice. The 1,140 cc mill sports components and features only dreamt of back in the day, but retains the classic looks along with the rest of the bike for a total package that would blend in easily with a pack of four-cylinder UJMs — just before it left them all in the dust. Let’s check out this fine little ride and see what all Honda packed on for our riding enjoyment.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB 100 EX.
Do you want to ride a scooter for the ease of operation and the extraordinary fuel economy but don’t want to look like a sissy? While not all 50 cc scooters are sissified, a lot of them are. They come in pretty pastel colors and cute designs — something that just isn’t your style. How do I know? Because you’re reading this. Enter the Ruckus (NPS50 ) from Honda. Bare bones — naked bike, anyone? — and gnarly, the Ruckus looks like it’s right out of Mad Max. No one is going to say, “Awww, isn’t that cute?” when you ride by on a Ruckus. Granted, you won’t be going very fast, so on-lookers will get a good, long look.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Ruckus.
More and more riders have come to appreciate the look associated with what I would call Classic Americana, and manufacturers around the world have responded in recent years to try to exploit this niche interest. This movement has actually been on and gaining momentum for a few years now, and we are starting to see some fairly bold designs from some of the big names. Honda had two such designs available for the 2016 model year. First was the Stateline, the sole surviving member of the 1300 Custom Line having outlived its siblings, the Interstate and Sabre cruisers, though it met the same fate coming into 2017. The Fury joined the Stateline as a sort of brother-from-another-mother with lots of shared DNA, but with a few critical differences, and it represents a very bold design concept indeed.
Join me as I critique Honda’s attempt to recapture our glory days.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Stateline and Fury.
New from 2015 and going strong in 2017, the CB300F from Honda is all about naked sportbike styling at an entry-level price and demeanor. A little bit lighter and with a more upright riding position than its kissing cousin, the CBR300R, the CB300F carries essentially the same engine as the CBR250R but with a longer stroke to add a few more cubes to the mix.
Beginner’s bike? Check. Commuter bike? Check. Sportbike trainer? I don’t know. Let’s check it out.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB300F.
Honda’s CBR family is recognized around the world with a storied history, and a range that covers the market from the entry-level on up to the fiery-eyed pegdraggers. Today I’m going to cover the bike Honda built for riders sitting on the fence between the two extremes: the CBR650F. This is an important bracket since many, if not most, riders will wind up staying here for the duration once they graduate up from their entry-level trainer, because it takes a certain sort to want to move up to the stupidfast sector, and not all of us have what it takes (testicular fortitude/deathwish/whatever). Today I’m pounding around with Honda’s mid-range sportbike to see what they bring to this second-tier ride, and how it compares to its closest competition.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR650F.
Adventure bikes are fairly ubiquitous these days, and Honda makes sure to get its share of that market segment with the entry-level-ish NC700X. Priced well below 10 grand with a rider-friendly engine, the NC700X can serve as a trainer bike for more serious on/off-road work, or as an affordable commuter in a strictly urban environment.
Naturally, as new genres develop the first development race is to get something in the market that will establish a toehold, then the onus is on refining the product and looking for an edge in the resulting arms race as it were. The Red Rider engineers and designers cut their teeth on bigger/badder rides, and now are dropping back a bit to try and grab customers who aren’t liable to ride across some African desert or some such. Join me as I take a look at this effort and see what lessons Honda learned on the big bikes, and what features made the jump downhill.
Continue reading formy review of the Honda NC700X.
The maxi-scooter market has been expanding for over a decade now with more and more 500 cc-plus models joining the battle in the never-ending fight for customers. Honda’s flagship business-class maxi— the aptly-named Silver Wing— continues the fight into the current year with a machine largely unchanged since the original rolled in ’02. The twin-cylinder mill falls just short of the 600 cc mark and puts out nearly 30 ponies, so this ain’t your average little European-style scoot by any means. In fact, the factory considers it less a scooter and more a mid-size tour/commute motorcycle and more or less markets it as such. Whether this is rightly so or not, I wanted to see for myself.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Silver Wing.
Honda brings its classic CB1100 EX back to US shores for the 2017 model year, and with it comes a healthy dose of nostalgia. Retro is king right now, and the “EX” shows that it ain’t all about small- to mid-displacement scramblers and cafe’ racers, there’s still room for classic ’70s UJM replicas. The EX combines the look of that era with modern features and performance courtesy of the 1,140 cc, air-cooled mill, and it’s a combination that has worked ever since this bike was introduced to the U.S. back in ’13. Today I’m going to take a look at what’s new, what’s different and what’s up with the latest EX.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB1100 EX.
Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2017, but to be honest, it’s almost completely unchanged from the original version unleashed on the world back in 1993. Before you scoff, I would point out that sharks haven’t changed in millions of years, having evolved long ago into creatures perfectly suited to their environments, and apparently, so it is with the XR650L. The Red Riders got it right out of the gate with this one, and popular support keeps the bike on Honda’s showroom floors even after nearly a quarter-century. I want to see what Honda has going on over there that gives this bike such longevity.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda XR650L.
Honda brings one of its most recognized model families into the 21st century with a complete overhaul of the much celebrated Rebel range. Now available as the Rebel 300 and 500, this reworked line sports water-cooled mills and fuel-injection induction control to meet modern and near-future emissions standards. A sportier look greets the eye this time around, though the Rebel still targets the same small-cruiser, entry-level market. I’ve been looking forward to covering this range since the unveiling at the Long Beach PIMS over the weekend, so please join me while I check out this next-generation machine.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Rebel 300 and Rebel 500.
Honda puts plenty of “super” in its next-generation, 25th anniversary (of the CBR900RR) edition superbike line with the newly redesigned CBR1000RR SP and SP2 bikes. While the Fireblade name has long been associated with race-capable machines, that connection to the track has never been clearer than with this pair. Less weight, more power and even more electronic wizardry than ever before, Honda’s flagship literbikes bring the pain for a lot less cheddar than some of their, shall we say, ambitious rides. (CoughRC213V-Scoughcough.) This pair were among my faves from the INTERMOT show, so let’s dig in and see if the bikes live up to the hype and have what it takes to keep the Red Riders relevant and competitive for that all-important street/circuit market.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR1000RR So and CBR1000RR SP2.