Honda seems to have more in mind from its new V-4 V-Tec engine than just a new version of the VFR/Interceptor, or ST1300 replacement. Word from BMW Motorrad is that Honda is also working on a new motorcycle, using that engine to power an adventure bike aimed squarely as a competitor to the R1200GS.
The current model name for the bike is the XLV1200. Like the GS, it will be a shaft-drive bike, capable of both on- and off-road operation, with a lot of suspension travel.
Honda is apparently still looking at fuel capacity, trying to ensure that they can put a fairly large fuel supply onboard to increase the range.
The new Honda engine is capable of 200 horsepower, so it should be capable of eating up miles like nobody’s business, whether the road is paved or unpaved. One presumes that Honda will tune this bike more towards torque than speed, however.
The target date for this bike is said to be for the 2011 model year.
It was only a matter of time before motorcycling got a hybrid vehicle, and apparently that time has arrived. Yamaha and Toyota are working on a motorcycle that reports indicate will bear the imaginative name “Prius”.
The “Prius” will be powered by a 250cc single-cylinder gas motor, as well as an electric power plant. The gas engine will either power the drivetrain, or recharge the batteries, as needed.
From the pictures, it also looks like more of a scooter than a motorcycle, but this is the first low-emissions vehicle that doesn’t appear to be crippled with an electric-only engine with a short range.
Also, judging from the photo, it appears to have a shaft drive and an automatic transmission. So, I guess the final verdict on this is that it’s a hybrid scooter, rather than a hybrid motorcycle.
But, it’s probably only a matter of time until we see more of these.