2011 Hondas Unveiled…Sort Of

Honda is planning to unveils a new adventure bike at EICMA next week.  This new bike is based on the new V-4 platform that is currently embodied only in the VFR1200F.  Honda has been saying that this new platform will be the basis for a number of different motorcycles, and this new adventure bike will be the second.  There’s only a sketch of it, no photos or anything else.

2011 Honda V4 adventure bike sketch
2011 Honda V4 adventure bike sketch

You can tell it’s an adventure bike, because it has a beak.  Despite being an “Adventure” bike, Honda has indicated this will be an on-road bike.  Other than that, we’ll have to wait for EICMA next week in Italy to learn more. So, I guess this doesn’t actually count as an unveiling yet, especially as the new bike probably will vary a fair bit from this sketch.  In particular, the rear looks like they just slapped a CBR100RR  rear end on it. Surely, for an adventure bike, those pegs will be thicker and wider.  As always, I love me a single-sided swingarm.

What we do have firm details on, is the new CBR250R, an entry-level street bike that incorporates what appears to be a new design direction for Honda, following the controversial looks of the VFR1200F.

2011 Honda CBR250R
2011 Honda CBR250R

Note the multi-layered fairing and the frog-shaped headlight–design features shared not only by the VFR, but the adventure bike sketch above. I guess this is a look that will define the new generation of Hondas. In this case, the design is wrapped around a 250cc four-stroke thumper that puts out about 26HP through a 6-speed transmission. I really like the looks of this bike a lot, and it should be a great beginner bike, especially as this little guy also comes with optional ABS brakes.

A&R has a couple of more pics with the different color schemes.

Honda provided the tech specs below.

2011 Honda CBR250R / CBR250R ABS Technical Specifications:

Engine Type:
249.4cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke:
76mm x 55mm
Compression ratio:
Valve Train:
DOHC; four valves per cylinder
PGM-FI, 38mm throttle body
Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance

37mm fork
Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability

Single 296mm disc
Single 220mm disc
Optional ABS

110/70-17 radial
140/70-17 radial

53.9 inches
Rake (Caster Angle):
95mm (3.74 inches)
Seat Height:
30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity:
3.4 gallons
Metallic Black, Red/Silver
Curb Weight*:
359 pounds / 368 pounds (ABS)

*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.

2011 KTM Adventure 990 Dakar

2011 KTM Adventure 990 Dakar
2011 KTM Adventure 990 Dakar

KTM will be unveiling a new version of the 990 at EICMA next week.  Although, since an official image got leaked today to Bikes in the Fast Lane, I guess it won’t be so much unveiled as confirmed.

This new version is known as the “Dakar”. See? it even says it on the tail, along with a catchy graphic of a fellow wearing a burnoose as protection from the burning desert sands.

It is also mind-numbingly–almost gloriously–ugly.  The bodywork is a steel blue that is made hideously unflattering by the orange highlights of the frame, crash bars, and rear-views.  from the front, it looks like some sort of monstrous, child-eating robot.  I’m sure uglier bikes have been spotted for the 2011 model year, but not by reliable obeservers.

We also know nothing about the bike that can’t be seen in the photo.  No specs, performance numbers, or anything else.

Just this threatening lump of blue and orange.

Usually, I am a lover of all types of motorcycles, and I usually like the angular nature of KTM’s design motif, but this thing just frightens me.  I can’t imagine having it in my garage.  I’d be afraid that late one night, I’d hear it repeating over and over, “I am Nomad.  Sterilize.”