Honda’s awesome future is electric

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Honda’s theme at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show? “What makes people feel good?” Well, now that you ask, an electric superbike styled like a ‘70s GP racer would be a good start. Maybe you could follow it up with a 21st century riff on the Motocompo? Awesome, thanks, we’re good now.

The show isn’t till December, so these concepts are just being unveiled with a couple pics and minimal info to entice visitors to come. And entice they do. Here’s details from Honda:

MOTOR COMPO

“A compact EV commuter which offers the casual and convenient mobility of a two-wheeler, but also strives to be useful even when it is not being ridden. This model can be loaded in the MICRO COMMUTER CONCEPT, with the battery that drives this commuter detachable and designed to be used as a power source in everyday life.”

It’s designed to fit in this car.

Here’s an original Motocompo, just for reference. You can read all about the tiny scoot designed to fit in a car here.

E-CANOPY

“A quiet and comfortable next-generation commuter developed by installing an EV system on Honda’s unique three-wheeled scooter. In addition to personal use, this vehicle can be utilized for business use such as a delivery service by adopting a rear trunk which can be built-in.”

RC-E

“An EV version of a super sports bike that pursues the joy of riding. A powerful and smooth ride unique to an EV model is achieved with the 250cc-class compact body.”

We’d just like to add, that this is possibly the hottest sportsbike design we’ve ever seen. Don’t care if it comes with an EV powertrain, a 600 inline-four or a 1,200cc V4, just give us a modern performance motorcycle that looks this timeless. Please.

  • Zaron Gibson

    That is one sexy machine.

    • nick2ny

      Word, it’s the Husky MOAB of Honda Sixes; a retro concept done right–unlike the new Camaro, new Moto Guzzis, or even the 1198.

      I often show up to classic bike shows and think “wow, this must have been awesome, back then.” But the MC-E makes me feel the same thing that the old-timers do.

      Well done Honda!

  • Coreyvwc

    Yes please!

  • Rydre

    I’m with you on that RC-E. And I don’t like fairings on my bikes – even the classics.

  • oldblue

    I’m right on board with that RC-E.

    I don’t care if it runs on chocolate pudding…I just love the look of the thing.

  • Corey

    God damn that is a smoooooooth looking bike.

    So minimalist and gorgeous.

    Want.

  • Ax

    Oh, Hell, yeah. The only thing I DON’T like about it (the RC-E, of course) is that it’s only a concept.

  • Ganesh

    after the ridiculously pedestrian designs from eicma reveals, Honda redeems itself with RC-E. Wow! I am with HFL.. just make the next CBR looks like this.. Honda has lost its way.. anyone remember the NR750 that inspired a Tamburini to make a 916 . the RC-E is grogeous!

  • filly-fuzz

    Ummmm what was the phrase that you and grant coined…….
    Hondagasem!!!!

    Fuck yeah now make it Honda.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    RC-E is lookin’ pretty sweet.

    I’m also feeling a distinct Britten homage in the tail/seat unit. (And that ain’t a bad thing.)

  • Chris

    Gorgeous.

    Perhaps a hint of the Brammo Empulse in the tail?

    Or maybe it’s the lack of an exhaust that makes all electric bikes look lighter and tidier around the seat?

  • jonoabq

    brilliant!

  • Scott-jay

    Honda styling really ranges far & wide.
    Retro-racer street bike is a jewel.

  • RocketSled

    I’m impressed by Honda’s ability to make things work well, reliably, and forever. I like the heck out of my VTX, which brought about the following train of throught:

    “Wonder what an electric version of a V-twin would be like?”

    And one of the other voices inside my head chimed-in:

    “Boring.”

    Because face it, the fun of a thumpy cruiser is that it’s thumpy.

    • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

      Because torque isn’t the reason cruisers are awesome? You’ll come around when you have your face ripped off by an electric cruiser :) Thumping will merely be a novelty.

  • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

    It’s good to see a major manufacturer designing from the ground up. Hopefully this is what Honda has been spending their time on, and less on their lack-luster latest offerings.

    RCE is EXACTLY what an electric motorcycle is suppose to be.

    Now, lets see it go.

  • Thom

    HONDA’S FUTURE IS ELECTRIC

    Hmmmn .

    Really ?

    Funny thing . Honda’s not doing so well with their Hybrid car sales . Damn if their E/V cars haven’t all fallen flat on their pretentious Non Functional faces as well .

    Fact is Honda isn’t doing too godawful well with anything these days what with Acura/Honda/Honda M/C sales crashing and the negative reviews flowing like water from the press and owners alike . Oh and did i mention their failed Auto Racing attempts as well ? And lets face it Honda didn’t WIN MotoGP this year as much as Yamaha and Ducati lost it

    Hmmn . Maybe Honda’d be better off focusing on Quality and Products people want , rather than pretentious shit like E/V M/C’s , Asimo robots and Scooter straight out of Japanese Anime

    Nahhhh ! That makes too much sense ! You just keep going down the path you’re on Honda and before you know it all the pain will be over . As well as so will you .

    • RT Moto

      Haha! A Thom comment FTW! I was getting all worked up reading this then looked at who wrote it. Lol

      • Thom

        You bet . The only guy here that has a clear understanding as to the realities of E/V’s as well as Honda’s current state of decline . LoL .

        Except ….. well ……. the last laugh will be on you when everything I’m saying is proven correct . HaHa HeeHee

        ( Hint; You might want to start reading the actual NEWs rather than the Internet Virtual Hype thats floating around like so much muck in a sewer system lately . If nothing else your Portfolio might benefit a bit . But Nahhhhh. You just keep living in your Delusional World as well there RT . I’d hate to disturb your Fairy Tale Calm with Stark Realities . And hey.. I’ll gladly benefit from your loses )

        • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

          Thom is right for the next 6 months up to maybe 5 years. Then he’s wrong. Honda has to think 10+ years out.

          • MotoRandom

            I don’t think that I am even marginally prepared for Thom being right for next 5 years. Given the general tone of his posts to date, that’s a dark future I really don’t want to live in.

        • Brad W.

          I like my Honda Fit. Also who wouldn’t want an Asimo robot.

    • Myles

      Did you watch any of the races this year? Honda dominated GP statistically and had the fastest bikes all year.

      • jp182

        Yeah I don’t see how Yamaha and Ducati “lost it”? Honda came up with an engineering design that exploited a loophole and they also paid Stoner to do his fast rider thing. That sounds like a smart strategy to me.

    • Sean Smith

      I think the theme of this year’s motoGP championship was complete and total domination by Honda. Have you watched the races? The RC212V is easily the fastest GP bike ever built. And not just by a little bit. Go watch the last corner of the last race. Notice how Spies is totally outgunned by Stoner’s Honda? That’s what they did this year: build the fastest bike the world has ever known and win a championship with it.

    • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

      @ Thom: There may be some validity to what you say, but this is demonstrably false: “And lets face it Honda didn’t WIN MotoGP this year as much as Yamaha and Ducati lost it ”

      Honda had the best rider on the best bike. By a lot.

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

        So much so, that it made you look at Yamaha and Ducati and think, “What the hell did they fuck up to look so slow next to the Honda?”

    • http://www.mcfw.com/ quint7

      Have you been to Japan? We are a SMALL market for Honda. Go to Tokyo and you will see how tech obsessed the youth of Japan is and has been for decades.
      Just because we are us, the US, doesn’t mean we get the best things. Cell phones in S. Korea have been light years ahead of what we get here. Honda has sold machines at home that most enthusiasts here have never heard of.
      I own 4 bikes, all ‘rare’ late 80′s early 90′s ones. They are rare here, but were made and sold for years in Japan.
      We aren’t the world, no matter how much the right wing still wants everyone to think we are.
      Robots save our guys lives every day in the Stan. Drones fly combat missions all over the world. All of that started off as pretentious anime crap I guess.
      Toyota has quality issues, not Honda.

      • Myles

        There’s been nearly global parity in mobile devices for years now. “Cell phones in Korea/Japan/etc are way better!” hasn’t rang true in a minute, dude.

  • 80-watt Hamster

    This is the only time in memory that I’ve agreed with HFL, or any moto publication, about the styling of a sportbike. The RC-E is a fantastic-looking machine.

  • John

    exept for the hovaround with a raincover, I think this is genious!…I like this crap!

  • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

    Two huge thumbs up for the visual aesthetics of the RC-E. Paint being transitioned to the frame, and the old school Honda wing badge hit all the buttons for me. I’d ride this even if it ran off my own blood.

  • Roman

    Love the RC-E, what I imagine a modern NSR250 may have looked like. Throw us a bone and build it Honda!

  • ak

    Honda’s electric bike is beautiful! I can see it now with aftermarket HRC big-turn electric motor parts, some sort of ‘K.E.R.S.-like’ system…

    …and lets not compare the electric cars to bikes. everyone knows they’re still currently hindered by styling because of aerodynamics (and stfu if you’re about to reference anything not manufactured by a major OEM). The accessibility of bikes in terms of price and movement in a city; this is already a game changer.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    Wow wow wow!

    And I love how the battery unit is down low, underslung.

  • rohorn

    Glad to see Honda building on their own, uh, heritage rather than someone else’s for a change. Will this end up parked next to a dust covered NAS concept bike, never to see anything like it in the showroom?

    Would love to see that RC-E in something fresh and tacky from before yesterday, like Tribal Ghost Flames (TGF from now on) – it would make the above one look even better.

    • Eric

      Still waiting for the NAS. . .

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I could see riding that RC-E. It will be interesting to see how Honda shakes it out.

  • Denzel

    Yep, looks good… a subtle belt drive would be nice…as long as you’re removing the maintenance issues of the ICE equation, get the chain out of there too.

  • JMS

    WHY DO THEY DO THIS?

    “WE CAN DESIGN SEXY BIKES LIKE THE RC-E, BUT LETS STICK TO THE FUCKING UGLY ONES. THEY CALL IT SHAMU BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT.”

    • Sean Smith

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING? THIS IS NOT YOUTUBE.

      • http://www.anotherdamndj.com evilbahumut

        OR XBOX LIVE!

        • Will

          LOUD NOISES

          • Joe

            I LOVE LAMPS AND MOTORCYCLES!!!!

            • JMS

              I CAN’T HEAR ANY OF YOU OVER MY CAPS LOCK

  • RpM

    I’m a big fan of Ducati, but I’d have to say that the RC-E appeals to me a lot more than the 1199. Well, at least as appearances go.

    I love it. I hope they build it.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    Honda nailed it with the RC-E. Other than a couple small elements I don’t see anything particularly retro about it. It’s just a clean, smooth design but most importantly, it looks like a motorcycle and not a mini-fridge or a wireless router on wheels.

    • Ganesh

      Re-looking at the RC-E.. it is clear to me that their influence was not to define a new look just because it is electric like all other electric attempts but to make it more accessible to traditionalists…

      the fact that you don’t see the retro is a success in design success – there is plenty of beautiful touches of retro and classic in the bike.. love the old style rotors that were more artsy then modern airy spoke like things

      brilliant job Honda.

  • yanno

    RETRORGASM

  • Joe

    It would be awesome to see that RC-E dice it up with the other electric bikes in TTXGP.

    • Dr. Gellar

      +1 Hell yeah!! I’m with you on that one Joe.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Dear Honda,
    Please put an updated CBR1000RR engine with fly-by-wire throttle and traction control do it up identical style to the RC-E and I’ll park it next to the Husky in my garage. Fuck it. I wasn’t using that extra kidney anyway.
    thx.

  • DoctorNine

    Inasmuch as this is a great design study, and people like it, I feel fairly sure that Honda won’t build it. Or if it does, it will never be seen in North America.

    Bah… Hummbugg…

  • Denzel

    No discussion of the exciting lane splitting possibilities with the Motocompo?

  • Liquidogged

    RCE is gorgeous, yes. But I can’t get too excited about any EV until I see specs at a minimum, preferably a high-speed test of a working prototype.

    But yeah. It’s hawt.

  • Michael

    So it’s “Motor Compo” now?

  • Alejandro Zapata

    HONDA, listen to me, listen to all of us, forget about the VFR styling on all of your sportsbikes, and please don’t bring the puny revival of the CBR600F to America, make this as is, just an electric racer for the road, and the style your sports bike according to this!!

    Come on, if you can make a freaking robot serve me a drink, you can make this happen!!!

    • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

      wow, Pedrosa serves drinks too? amazing.

  • Deltablues

    The RC-E really is an attractive motorcycle. I remember when the CBR900RR came out. I used to stop by my local Honda dealer in Poplar Bluff MO and drool over that thing every damn week. Oh, and that way cool CB-1 that they were selling at that time as well. But the 900RR was a ride that inspired lust. Last week I went looking at motorcycles in Searcy AR. On the showroom floor was a new CBR1000. The motorcycle is absolutely brilliant. It wins countless races and is a quality product…except when I look at it, if does not move me or inspire the feelings of lust I remember when I looked at the original 900RR. Honda needs to get back to where they used to be. I mean, can you imagine going into a Honda dealership and seeing something as cool and an RC51 right now?

    • http://www.mcfw.com/ quint7

      As a HawkGT owner (the CB1′s twin cousin) it’s nice to see that 900RR’s are a dime a dozen, but a CB1 is like fine wine, gets better and more valuable as time goes on. Plus I liked the blue paint.

      • Eric

        CB1 is cool, I saw one at school and wanted it so hard. Small displacement inline 4? Hell yes.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      I also think modern Hondas are a bit…bland, but let’s not forget that NOTHING will ever inspire the same feelings of lust you had when you were younger now. 18 yr old kids all over the world feel the same way about a new CBR1000rr as you did back when you were 18…nostalgia is a bitch sometimes.

  • Will

    The RC-E is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but I am abnormally excited at the Motocompo update. I just love the old one so goddamn much.

  • jason

    When was in Japan, lots of bike shops had original Motocompos parked inside. It is a serious cult machine. So ugly it is cute. That RCE is the thing. It really makes true to go forward you need one foot in the past, one to the future.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    it is a sexy sportbike, which is unusual considering the source. but I don’t get excited about concept vehicles anymore. It’s been 1.5 years since Brammo unveiled the Empulse, and how many are on the road? Zero. (pun intended)

    I’m sure Honda will beat Brammo to market and do it better in the sportbike department. I just wish it could be Yamaha. I’m sure this Honda feels just as soulless as every other Honda I’ve ever ridden. Except the Barbieceptor and the pink NS50, those had personality. Just not the sort of personality I want to ride long and hard.

    • Myles

      That’s weird, I’ve never been on a soulless motorcycle. Ever.

      • Sean Smith

        I have. Busa with a 10″ over swingarm, fake NOS bottle and a 330 tire. Utterly soulless. Same story for chromed out choppers with paint-shaker motors.

  • robotribe

    RC-E embodies every Japanese moto fantasy I’ve had since I was a kid in the 1970s, and by this I of course mean… KAMEN RIDER!

    Don’t forget the bike!

    They even got the color palette right!

    • dux

      OSM!