Honda’s CB4 & CBsix50: Concept AND Patents! New Models For 2017?
Some interesting patent sketches have recently surfaced on the net which appear to show a new breed of 650cc Honda bikes. Going by the working titles of the “CB4” and “CBsix50,” it looks like are going full steam ahead with a pair of concept bikes they unveiled at in Milan. To our disgrace, we failed to cover these two beauties from last year’s show, thinking that they were nothing more than interesting design concepts, and that they were unlikely to amount to anything. It seems like we may have been wrong, but let’s not forget that patent sketches aren’t exactly solid proof of full on production plans. Some fellas from Indonesia reckon they’ve seen them out on testing already – but, take that with a pinch of salt.
Anyway, both models seemed to be based around the and the CB650F derivative streetfighter model, however, these new bikes have a different direction in mind. First up, let’s take a look at the CBsix50 – and yes, that’s how they’re writing it. The CBsix50 (patent images below) seems to be Honda’s answer to the rising trend of scrambler orientated bikes. Coming with a set of chunky off-road capable tires, handlebar guards and a necessary skid plate, it’s definitely geared towards the scrambler segment. It will probably be sold as a versatile urban-come-adventure machine that could be seen at home either in the city or on the trails, but it’s definitely better suited to roughing it in the wilderness. In essence, it’s going to be Honda’s answer to the and Yamaha’s versatile range. The market demands it, and Honda need to react.
As for the CB4 (patent images below), this looks to be a more “café racer” inspired urban motorcycle that would feel far more at home on the street than on the dirt. It ticks all of the usual café racer boxes: it comes with a classically styled round headlight, traditional road orientated tires, and a four into one exhaust system with a short can. And a cool set of upside down forks too and a single sided swing arm, to really give it a modern touch, too. While the CBsix50 is very much an interpretation of a scrambler, the CB4 is a little harder to classify. Sure, we’ve said “café racer” but it isn’t really. It’s kind of its own thing.
In fact, both machines are kind of “unclassifiable” and that’s what makes them stand out. Many of the other large manufacturers are going for retro-styled machines with modern updates, but Honda are definitely pushing for a more modernist approach, whilst still taking customer demand into consideration. However, we’ve only got concept models and patent sketches to base out assumptions on at the moment. Will we see the CB4 and CBsix50 at the Intermot show in Cologne next month? Will we see them again at EICMA in November? We’ll have to wait and see, but these two machines are something worth looking forward to.