Wow, look at that gorgeous Honda; nobody said ever in the history of bikes. The Japanese giant is not known for the looks of their machines, perhaps their design dept has too many non-creative engineers or HR frown upon the use of creative drugs. Personally I have never thought of any Honda as particularly good looking. The 80’s CB models had handlebars, a long seat & a tank shaped like a shoebox while Suzuki had the iconic Katana. In the 90’s Ducati had the 916 & MV Augusta the F4, Honda had the CBR which was decorated in stripes, splashes & bright colours but nothing worth noting in the looks department.
Even the current model won’t be selling millions based on its looks. Yes, they do sell millions but I doubt that is because it is the prettiest one on the shelf. I bet it was only when the final design was presented that somebody noticed the lack of a number plate & indicators. They were added 5 mins later by the guy who empties the trash at the office.
Fast forward to 2017 & Honda is no longer the ugly duckling. The latest Honda CBR1000RR looks like it could transform into a walking, talking, laser firing robot at any second. What happens if you try reset the odometer & press the incorrect sequence of buttons? Honda says CBR will first & foremost always be a road bike, sporty yet useable unlike the competition who produce race bikes with lights & number plate holders. No spec has been released to date but expect more power than the current FireTractor & all the latest safety gizmos & gadgets like traction control & ABS.
Incidentally the FIREBLADE name came about through a misinterpreted translation from French to English for the Japanese word for lightening. Good thing it didn’t get lost in translation with the German office. “Blitz” or “Feuer Klinge” doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it. Maybe the Dutch “Bliksem Blad” has some marketing value. Introducing the 2017 Honda “Bliksem Straal”! Yes, that will do just fine.