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Honda lodges patent for retro Rebel

Honda Retro Rebel patent

Honda has been releasing a raft of patents over the past year for futuristic products and innovations, but the latest is actually a retro design based on the CMX 500 Rebel.  

While the Rebel is a cruiser style, this is a more traditional British-style bike like the Triumph Bonneville with a round headlight, bench seat and flat fuel tank.

It retains the Rebel’s 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke engine, but has a modified chassis and sub-frame.   

While this could be a handsome offering that would do well, we would prefer Honda Australia just imported the retro CB1100.

Honda CB1100 cafe neo racer
Honda CB1100

Or even better, go ahead and produce the sexy Concept CB Type II which they unveiled at the 2016 Osaka Motorcycle Show or the futuristic CB4X from this month’s EICMA show in Milan.

While Honda’s current range of motorcycles lack flair, these concepts and patents show the company doesn’t lack for design talent, only commitment to put it into production!

Honda patents

This latest patent from Honda continues its blitzkrieg of patent applications.

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year and we are not sure how many of these they will put into production.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

  1. This is pretty exciting news in my eyes. The perfect around town and commuter bike for me would be about 500cc retro standard. It would need to get me away from traffic 0-100 km/h in 6 seconds, which beats 95% of the cars around me. A bike like that would still be fun in the canyons, though it would break any speed records (or too many speeding laws). A bike I can still hop on for a Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride. Oh, and a bike that will last freaking forever. This should fit all of those requirements. It would definitely be on my short list to buy. A near perfect second bike for me. Or third. A man can’t have just one.

    P.S. “o√er”? (First line. I’d love to hear what happened on this one.)

  2. I think there are a couple of issues with the direction the Honda design team is trying to take. First problem: the concept retro bikes have a series of quite difficult engineering challenges within them. The original Japanese fours were straightforward attempts to stuff as much fuel and air down into an aircooled engine as possible, to produce as much power as possible. With the new retros, manufacturers have to take a new engine, and try to make the injectors look like carbs, find a place to hide the ECU and all the rest of the electronics, and the battery. Then make the exhausts look like old-school Japanese fours, while, inside them, there’s a whole network of systems to make it compliant with emissions regulations, and hide any exhaust reuptake system. They also have to hide the entire water cooling system somewhere, and do all the requisite calculations to make a tiny and discrete (suboptimal) radiator work. Additionally, put cosmetic fins on an engine block they’ve already dumped millions into designing.
    Second problem: too much complication with all those listed patents. Each one of them is an added complication which isn’t strictly necessary, and complications only really add value to high-end luxury Swiss watches. Each of these items has a base cost and might add perceived value, but will it be enough to justify the rather high price tag the bike will eventually have to have (because of the engineering and tooling investment)? And the no doubt mediocre power output. The myth of torque vs bhp will only go so far before customers realise than a cheetah runs faster than a giraffe despite having less leverage against the ground, or that torque can be affected by gearing ratios and bore and stroke, without any significant engineering advances having been made.
    The hipster movement is tapering out, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out. If they release it, it will probably appeal to older guys who have fond memories of the old stuff but just want ABS and a quiet, new bike. Another diminishing market.

    1. Agree 99% but the modern mills aren’t slugs. They’re super smooth and super linear. Not, what the old mills were. Retros seem bulkier than the old bikes too, thicker forks, triple clamps ,tanks etc etc. I saw a couple of Z1’s last year at the beach. You can’t replicate that style without remaking the exact thing.

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