Honda shows bizarre V4 Concept Model, says it wants to make it

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big_honda_v4_concept_02.jpgJust the other day we were harping on about the return of vibrant ’80s colors to motocross, but we didn’t expect to see the decade’s whacky concept bikes make a return too. The Honda V4 Concept Model looks like it’s made from plastic, uses hubless wheels, a faired-in front swingarm, tire covers, styling inspiration that comes from both the CBR1000RR and Goldwing and, yes, a V4 engine. The craziest thing? The company says, “This bike shows exactly what we can do and is the sort of thing that could be reality within a couple of years.”

Update: Honda has released a whole bunch of pictures of the V4 Concept Model, they’re after the jump.
>Honda_V4_Concept_Model_2.jpgThe official press release reads:

Cologne, Germany, October 7, 2008– Honda Motor Europe Ltd. exhibited
the World Premiere V4 Concept Model at Intermot Cologne. The V4 Concept
Model proposes a new, sensual design direction based on Honda’s
trademark 4-cylinder V- engine.

This year Honda celebrates its 60th anniversary as a company and next
year the 50th anniversary of its participation in road racing, as well
as the 30th anniversary of racing with an innovative 4-cylinder
V-engine with oval pistons. Considering these milestones, Honda chose
“The New Beginning” as its exhibition theme leading into 2009 and
exhibited the V4 Concept Model which signifies the beginning of a new

For Intermot, Honda collected and exhibited successive V4 race machines
as well as mass-market motorcycle products which were developed by
feeding back the technologies cultivated through participation in
challenging race competition, enabling visitors to review the lineage
of 30 years of V4 engine technologies and see how Honda will take
motorcycling somewhere it has not been before.  The exhibition also
offers an easy-to-understand introduction to various challenges Honda
has undertaken in order to create joy for its customers, by utilizing
its technologies that have been continuously advanced through Honda’s
60-year history and by its participation in motorsports.

Honda understands the global trend today that motorcycle users see
increasing value in more emotional and sensual performance during the
real world riding experience rather than absolute performance measured
in numeric specifications.  On another front, user friendly features
that meet with human sensibilities are also becoming important along
with safety and environmental features, especially in mature markets.

Honda believes that the challenge to create attractive products with an
increased focus on sensual performance will be the key for the future. 
At the same time, safety and environmental technologies as well as
future energy technologies will continue to become an important theme
for the development of motorcycle products.  Moreover, in order to
offer a comfortable life with motorcycles for a larger number of
customers, Honda will put increased focus on the human-fitting match of
rider and machine. Conceived around the trademark 4-cylinder V-engine,
the V4 Concept Model expresses functional beauty as well as a more
sensual image to appeal more to the emotions of people. Embodying
Honda’s passion for motorcycle development, the V4 Concept Model
expresses the unique characteristics of Honda for a new era.

The V4 Concept Model mobilizes the driving forces of Honda – dreams,
challenges, and creating new value. Honda positions this model as “the
new beginning” of Honda’s motorcycles.

Honda_V4_Concept_Model_3.jpgThere’s two things we take away from this:

1. Honda’s talk of “emotional” and “sensual” experience over out right
performance seems to indicate that it wants to develop new road-going
performance bikes that transcend existing competition-based archetypes
in favor of a more rider-friendly design.

2. There’s an awful lot of talk of V4 engines; we don’t think they’d
place quite the emphasis on these unless there was some on-going
program within the company to develop new applications of this format,
or maybe even an all-new model waiting in the wings.

Does all this mean that we’ll see a big, comfy, extremely
unconventional and high-tech V4 superbike on offer from Honda in the
next couple of years? We don’t know, but we sure hope so. But while we’re happy to see Honda continuing to look towards the future, we’d also like to see it draw inspiration from the past by bringing models like the Honda CB1100F an CB1100R concepts to production.


  • Transient

    Please god. A new V4 bike, please. I have flashbacks of my old Babyceptor. Hell, I’d settle for an updated Interceptor.

  • Tedman

    Beautiful rendering, sketchy execution.

  • SapceWeasel

    I’d be happy if they just got around to making the NAS…

  • Anders

    Is this the teaser for next VFR? Like Yamaha did with the V-max?
    Squint and you’ll only see the most expressed design features, tone them down and make them more realistic. Voilà.

  • Matt Marino

    I love this stuff! But I am a design whore. Love it when the envelope gets stretched. Very cool!

  • crashtd

    You meet the nicest people on a Honda…of course, those are usually Hondas with tires and the such…is there any word on how this bike is actually going to move on those plastic wheel tiring things?

  • Ben

    Honda has lost its way.

  • ralf

    sigh…honda never ceases to disappoint. please learn how to make good designs some day.

  • Ben

    ralf: It’s not a bad design study, but I wish Honda would keep the auto guys out of the cycle guys clay. The e-cycle like hump (look it up), akwardly long reach to the bars, inability to lean due to complete tire shrouding, and so forth, is a pretty piece of plastic, but when Honda has patents galore, and a lack of direction within their entire motorcycle line up (not just sport bikes), I see this as a waste of time. Cars are about outward flow, or exterior impact, but a bike has so much more going on, there is a visceral connection, and the “designers” of this abomination weren’t taught that at Art Center. Aprilia has for years produced concepts that pushed the envelope, and while being far fetched at times, were at the very least thought out. This talk of “Emotional and sensual performance,” is awful. This is not an acura luxury car, where the burl walnut inlays combined with the carbon fiber like wrap around dash give you the feel of flying while sitting still. This is a motorcycle; two wheels, a soul for an engine – whether it be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or more cylinders – and the ability to make the world go away.

    “Emotional and sensual performance.” They built a vibrator.

  • Philip Thomas

    Wow! OK so where do i start? I am an engineer (aeronautical – please don’t hold it against me)and i have to imagine that when the Honda engineers see this stuff they make whatever the Japanese equivalent hand gesture is for taking a hit from a fat one! Yes we need conceptual thinkers and artists to start the process from the minds eye – a goal, a vision, a path and purpose. The execution part however involves both existing technologies and those that need to be developed.In this case lets lay out just one facet of this that amazes me. For more than the 20 years that i have been fascinated by motorcycles i have been seeing hubless wheels (true hubless – yes i have seen the plexiglass ones, very cute). People, until we have some breakthrough related to superconducting magnetic bearings (for real – the weight and frictional losses without them are horrible) – its not going to happen. Moreover, that same breakthrough had better have a nifty way to drive the rear wheel (or both). BTW, that same solution will more than likely dictate electric drive so you can kiss good bye to that nice V4. I am all for progress, but this is not going to happen. Sorry.
    (ps – if it ever was possible, you would see the technology in gas-turbine engines and generators first) :)

  • ralf

    ben: it’s a bad design study. everything else you said is true though. emotional and sensual? i can’t believe some of the crap they come up with.

  • Wysiwyg

    So… how the hell is this supposed to work with that pair of “wheels”?

  • motonut

    I think it is gorgeous and a sign of things to come from Honda. Hopefully they will get back to showing what they can do, instead of playing “follow the leader” and creating new catagories instead of re-acting to them! Would love to see Honda bring back a whole family of V-4′s again like they did in the 80′s. Naked bikes with a V-4, sport & sport touring, adventure bikes, ect. The more they use that motor the more viable the cost becomes. How about the return of the Magna in different sizes?, and yes, real-world sportbikes that aren’t superbike starting points. Bikes like the VFR that can just about do anything, just give us the power and handling of modern sportbike technology showing it off! A V-4 GT class sportbike that has the variable transmission and built in traction-control. Bloody hell, if Ducati can do it, so can Honda for a whole lot less!

  • korky


  • et

    (sigh) C’mon already. We’ve been waiting for a new Honda V4 long enough. HONDA!!? Quit contemplating your collective navels and get on with it. This design concept thing!!?? What a waste of time. (sound of rushing wind as bike accelerates away)

  • http://mapp mapp

    it’s about they started looking into the future as far as design wise.

  • abhilash

    Super bike Honda V4……Bike of

  • mohammed.farhaan

    this would be my dream bike

  • amo

    И что вы тут понаписали? Русского не знаете? Тпк учите!!!!