Peugeot Motocycles And Honda Hit A Hot Lick At the 2018 Paris Motor Show
Peugeot Motocycles P2X
The new concept bikes fall out at the bottom of the displacement range with a 125 cc roadster alongside a 300 cc café racer.
While it’s certainly no mystery why Peugeot Motocycles, under the Mahindra umbrella, would choose the Paris show to dislay its wares — it is a French company, after all — I think it’s safe to say that we didn’t expect to see a brand-new motorcycle from the automaker, let alone two of them. That’s right, this ancient manufacturer has a couple of new scoots to mark its re-entry into the smoker-bike sector.
Maybe “re-entry” is too strong a word considering what’s on the floor right now, but the factory is definitely testing the waters. You be the judge. The new concept bikes fall out at the bottom of the displacement range with a 125 cc roadster model that draws on its deep roots all the way back to the Peugeot 515 of the ’30s alongside a 300 cc café racer design, much to the delight of the entry-level riders and folks in areas with tiered licensing, no doubt.
Across the board, the engineers blessed the bikes with modern amenities to include a five-inch color TFT instrument display delivering all the critical metrics and even boasts wireless connectivity that pulls your smartphone into the network. ABS provides the only apparent safety net, but that’s hardly surprising given the small displacement of these rides. Both run relatively beefy, inverted front forks with piggy-back shocks out back and similar tail sections petering out to nothing over empty space with a hugger that keeps the subframes clean as a whistle. They also carry a skid plate ahead of and below the water-cooled engines, and I gotta’ say that the roadster would certainly look more like a true naked bike without it, but it is what it is, and it’s a cute little ride that is clearly targeting younger eyes than mine.
"Participating in the return of Peugeot to the world of motorcycles is injecting even more emotion into the design mission that is entrusted to me by this 120 years old French company,” says Head of Design, Damien Basset. “We have paid immense attention to the proportions of this city bike, studied every millimeter of each of its surfaces. P2X is THE new Peugeot motorcycle."
How will it all pan out for this former French motorcycle heavy? Time will tell, but first it needs to transition from concept to current. Wink-nudge, guys.
Honda Neo Sports Café CB650R
Next up is another welcome surprise, this time from none other than Honda. It seems like only yesterday that the acclaimed CB1000R got café-isized, much to my delight, and now it looks like Honda is riding that wave of success down into the lower displacements with the newly minted Neo Sports Café CB650R. It looks like it’s going to replace the CB650F, and you can pencil me in as a fan ’cause that means Honda is replacing what is arguably one of its ugliest rides with one of its most charming designs in recent history.
A round, futuristic LED headlight (complete with DRL ring) replaces the ridiculously Transformer-esque “F” headlight can with clip-ons that pull the rider forward toward a newly-extended front end to encourage a decidedly race-tastic riding posture. The powerplant is probably a nearly straight carryover from the F, but we’ll know more when the production models actually hit the showroom floors. Till then we can salivate, er, I mean speculate. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
See our review of the Honda CB1000R.
See our review of the Honda CB650F.
Read more Honda news.