Honda Motor Europe has announced the latest updates to its ‘2021 year model’ European scooter and motorcycle range.
Updates to six key models – and one new model name – span the Honda product worlds of commuter, adventure and roadster, and follow updates already announced to eleven other machines, as Honda continues to expand its uniquely broad and diverse range to offer a powered two wheeler for riders of all ages, experience and riding style.
As the pandemic puts people off using public transport, motorcycles and scooters offer cheaper, more distanced travel for commuters. Honda’s wide range of fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly and technologically advanced scooters and small motorcycles sees stylish sports/GT sit-in’s like the Forza 350 and Forza 125 sit alongside the popular step-through’s of the SH family, the fun-focussed MSX125 Grom, super-efficient CB125F and perennially popular PCX125.
Updates announced include;
A new more powerful 350cc eSP+ engine sees the SH350i replace the SH300i at the head of the SH family. In addition to the extra capacity, improvements to both breathing and cooling bring even sharper acceleration and class-leading top end power.
The SH350i also features a new LCD meter and muscular new design lines; Emergency Stop Signals and a USB charging port now join the Honda Smart Key and Honda Selectable Torque Control to further enhance safety and practicality.
At the other end of the SH range, the stylish entry level SH Mode is powered by a new, more powerful eSP+ engine for 2021, capable of delivering outstanding fuel economy of 47.6km/l, which sits in a new, lighter frame.
Practicality is enhanced with a larger floor, USB charging port, increased storage space (from bigger underseat compartment and new glove box) and Honda Smart Key while aesthetic appeal is elevated from a new front face and LED headlight, plus stylish new wheels.
The second biggest selling scooter in Europe this year, the new PCX125 for 2021 is driven by a more powerful and fuel efficient eSP+ four valve water-cooled engine that now features Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).
Completely new bodywork brings a futuristic new look, flowing back from the redesigned LED headlight, complete with signature running lights, to the X-shaped rear.
A new lighter steel frame promotes nimble handling, and is paired with longer, larger twin rear shocks and new wheels with bigger tyres for a more comfortable, composed ride. Practicality is enhanced further by increased underseat luggage space (up 2.4 litres to 30.4 litres) and a USB charging port.
Adventure line-up updates
Following the new colour schemes announced earlier this year for the CB500X and CRF1000L Africa Twin, the other two Honda machines in Europe’s top ten best-selling ‘on-off’ motorcycles – the NC750X and X-ADV – receive comprehensive updates for 2021.
Honda’s fuel efficient, versatile all-rounder, gains improvements to the engine, chassis, styling and practicality.
Peak power of the liquid cooled 750cc parallel twin engine rises to 43kW, with a 600rpm increase to the redline. A 6kg weight reduction and shorter ratios for the first three gears add further to a sportier feel, as do sharper design lines and smaller fairings.
Three default (and one user-programmed) riding modes operate through Throttle by Wire and allow the rider to adjust the engine’s character and responses, with each mode (‘Sport’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Standard’) linked to relevant Dual Clutch Transmission shifting patterns.
The NC750X’s renowned practicality is further enhanced by an increase in volume of the unique central storage area to 23 litres, new screen, full colour LCD instrument panel, USB port and 30mm lower seat; Honda Selectable Torque Control settings now offer finer levels of control and Emergency Stop Signals are an additional feature, while fuel economy remains an attractively low 28.3km/l.
With its rugged styling and adventurous spirit, the X-ADV has forged a unique space within the motorcycling landscape since its arrival in 2017. For 2021, the X-ADV receives a major update with improvements to engine and chassis coupled with a sharper new look and new technologies.
The X-ADV shares many of the NC750X’s updates, with a sportier ride from a 3kW power increase (to 43kW), optimised gear ratios, reworked frame and 3kg weight reduction, plus enhanced technology in the shape of new rider modes operating through Throttle by Wire, and refinements to the Dual Clutch Transmission and Honda Selectable Torque Control settings.
The design refresh brings an even more rugged overall appearance, with a new signature touch of dual LED Daytime Running Lights; practicality is also elevated, with increased weather protection from a new screen, a new 1.2L glovebox, and a bigger (22 litre) underseat storage compartment which now houses a USB charging port.
The X-ADV will also feature the new Honda Smartphone Voice Control system as standard. The technology – that first appeared on the new Forza 750 – allows riders to use handlebar switches and (via a headset) voice commands to control important functions of their Smartphone, including calls, navigation, music and messaging, via a bespoke app. All information is shown on the new 5 inch TFT screen.
More info at Honda’s UK website here.
Naked line-up – the Neo Sports Café range evolves
The Neo Sports Café range brought a fresh identity to Honda’s naked motorcycle line-up in 2017, with a unique mix of café racer inspiration and a forward-looking ultra-minimalist look.
Following the upgrades already announced for the CB650R middleweight, two more members of the family are now significantly revised for 2021.
CB1000R and CB1000R Black Edition
The flagship of the Neo Sports Café range, the CB1000R, is updated with new, even more minimalist and purposeful ‘hunched forward’ styling. The signature round headlight, now housed in a teardrop-shaped surround, is now angled backwards, sending the eye back past the smaller side shrouds to the redesigned upward-slanting rear subframe. Intricately-crafted new seven spoke wheels add further aesthetic depth.
The new CB1000R Black Edition amplifies the more aggressive outlook even further, complementing the new lines with a hand-crafted ‘custom’ look, thanks to the Deep Graphite Black paint scheme and black headlight bezel, fly-screen, fork stanchions, radiator shrouds, airbox covers, exhaust and muffler details.
The CBR1000RR Fireblade-derived inline four-cylinder engine offers smoother delivery and response from revised fuel injection settings, and both CB1000R and CB1000R ‘Black Edition’ feature the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system, connecting to a new state-of-the-art full colour 5-inch TFT display.
The 2021 CB125R features a new 4 valve liquid-cooled engine, which now delivers the maximum 11kW for the A1 licence category, and an extra 1.2Nm torque. In a world’s first for a 125cc motorcycle, the CB125R is now fitted with Showa’s ‘Separate Function front fork Big Piston’ (SFF-BP) USD forks as standard, further elevating a top level spec sheet that includes LED lights, LCD display and ABS system operating through an IMU, with 296mm floating front disc held by a radial mounted 4-piston caliper.
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