Honda recently revealed its full 2019 European motorcycle lineup at the EICMA show in Milan, with the introduction of two new model names and three extensively upgraded models.
Having introduced the CB1000R, CB300R and CB125R trio of naked models for 2018, Honda now brings its unique ‘Neo Sports Café’ look to the middleweight arena. The styling ‘language’ is modern and minimalist, and mixes café racer inspirations and a super compact ‘trapezoid’ form to eyecatching effect. The inline four-cylinder engine is fully on display, and the signature round headlight and sculpted fuel tank underline the ‘Neo Sports Café’ family feel.
With the premium look comes premium specifications: 41mm Showa upsidedown ‘Separate Function’ forks, radialmount fourpiston front brake calipers, Honda Selectable Torque Control, assist/slipper clutch and ultramodern instruments.
The result is a desirable naked middleweight with a unique combination of looks, performance and topline specifications.
Another new model name on the Honda lineup is the CBR650R sports middleweight.
It features new styling, which draws strongly on the CBR1000RR Fireblade for its sharp, aggressive lines and extended side fairings, plus super-short rear section and narrow dual LED headlights. The CBR650R is 6kg lighter than the CBR650F (which it replaces) with a sportier riding position thanks to handlebars repositioned 30mm forward, and footpegs moved both rearward and higher.
Its classically Honda inline four-cylinder engine revs 1,000rpm higher, producing 5% more top end power with peak output of 70kW arriving at 12,000rpm ensuring that – along with the sculpted looks and honed chassis – the machine’s new ‘R’ designation is well deserved.
35kW conversions will be available for both the CB650R and CBR650R.
CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X
Honda’s lively parallel twin 500cc engine has been sold in over 75,000 motorcycles in Europe since its arrival in 2013.
Having first arrived in the A2 license-friendly CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X, for 2019 the engine has stronger power and torque between three and seven thousand rpm, and powers the light middleweight trio in upgraded packages with higher specifications and stronger roadster, sport and adventure identities.
All three models now have new rear suspension, assist/slipper clutch, full LED lighting, modernized LCD instruments with gear position and shiftup indication, and new dual-exit muffler for a richer engine note.
The CB500F roadster has sharper new styling from front to back, with more angled nose fairing and side shrouds that interlock cleanly with the fuel tank. The CBR500R is also re styled: it’s narrower and sharper with strong Fireblade styling inspiration and a sportier riding position.
The CB500X compact adventurer, meanwhile, has a much stronger ‘X factor’ thanks to a new 19” front wheel, longer suspension travel front and rear, slimmer seat, wider steering angle and tougher, more rugged fairing which also improves wind protection.
The 500cc and 650cc engine platforms constitute 35% of Honda’s large motorcycle sales in Europe. These five new products for 2019 offer a well-rounded balance of exciting middleweight performance for riders of all experience levels, while providing potential stepping stones to Honda’s flagship roadster, adventure and sports models.
Also revealed at EICMA are a number of other product updates:
CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR1000RR Fireblade SP
After a full model change in 2017, the Fireblade’s ‘Next Stage Total Control’ is enhanced for 2019, with changes to its electronics package aimed at optimal circuit performance. Thus, HSTC and ABS have been modified, and the top Power setting boosted based on input from the HRC MotoGP programme. Honda Selectable Torque Control and Wheelie Control functions are now separated, with a new ‘W’ indicator on the instrument panel.
The Grand Prix Red colour has a thicker white stripe for a slightly more ‘tricolore’ effect, while the Matt Ballistic Black Metallic version is now totally black, save for its red CBR logo.
Having been an instant hit on its arrival in 2017 and upgraded in 2018 with multilevel Honda Selectable Torque Control and a ‘G’ switch for more offroad friendly gear changes from its Dual Clutch Transmission, Honda’s 2019 ‘motorcycle SUV’ will now come in new colors, including a striking ‘camouflage’ green.
GL1800 Gold Wing
Synonymous with long range comfort, luxury and quality for over 40 years, the Gold Wing was redesigned from the wheels up for 2018 to be sharper, lighter and more compact, while maintaining its reputation as a technological flagship with numerous new features including the first adoption of Apple CarPlay on a motorcycle.
For 2019, both the GL1800 Gold Wing itself and the Manual Transmission version of the Gold Wing ‘Tour’ will be available in a new ‘moody’ Darkness Black Metallic colour. The top of the range Gold Wing ‘Tour’ with Dual Clutch Transmission will be available in a new ‘Pearl Hawkseye Blue’.
For 2019, the perennially popular high performance, mid-sized scooter is newly equipped with Honda Selectable Torque Control and a ‘Smart’ Top Box linked with its remote key system.
Further color updates
CB1000R – Honda’s flagship ‘Neo Sports Café’ naked model will be available in a sharp new Sword Silver Metallic color, both in standard guise and in a ‘CB1000R+’ version with a wide range of ‘factory fit’ accessories including heated grips, aluminum fender panel and rear hugger panel, fly screen, single seat cowl, radiator grille with CB1000R logo, and quick shifter.
Rebel – Honda’s unique 500cc take on custom cool will be available in a new Pearl Cadet Grey and Matt Axis Grey Metallic.
Integra – a new Pearl Glare White for the machine which integrates scooter usability and motorcycle dynamic performance.
NC750X – darker silver side fairings for the supremely practical ‘do anything’ 750cc machine.
SH125 and SH150 – black (silver for the white color) front panels and floor side panels add further class to the premium stepthrough scooter.