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Honda

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Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:32 pm

Honda CB250

Light, low and nimble, the CB Two-Fifty is a fuel-sipping commuter bike bought by people who wouldn't be seen dead on a twist'n'go scooter.
What keeps the parallel twin's top speed down to 80mph is a single 26mm Keihin CV carb. That's the bad news. The good news is an average of 75 miles to the gallon, giving the Honda a useful 275-mile range for longer trips at the weekend.
Derived from the 194cc CD200 twin of 1980, the Two-Fifty's power unit is a single overhead camshaft design. This ancestry means that there are no balancers to smooth parallel twin vibration at high revs and just two valves per cylinder. But maintenance is cheap, and undemanding enough for mechanical virgins. Maximum torque is delivered at 6500rpm, helping the 234cc twin to zip through its five gears around town.
Styling was vastly improved for 2000 with a US-style CB250 Nighthawk makeover in which the tank and bodywork flow together, helped by plain red paint. A 16 inch rear wheel reduces seat height to 745mm. Weight is just 132kg. Brakes are a single disc and drum combination well matched to the engine's performance.
The Honda's frame is a classic steel tube diamond design open below the engine, with basic suspension. Adjustment is limited to spring preload on the twin rear shocks.
A close competitor is Honda's own CMX250C Rebel cruiser. Look for an example owned by a careful older rider who bought the Two-Fifty because it reminded him of his old CD200.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:35 pm

Honda CB500

Don't be too quick to write off Honda's CB500 as a dull commuter bike. There may not be too much to get excited about, but the bullet-proof 499cc parallel twin boasts typical Honda reliability while offering a cheap and cheerful entry to the world of racing through the CB500 Cup in the UK and other series worldwide. And they can be made to go a bit.
Honda very much had the European market in mind when they came up with the CB500, and its versatility has made it a hit with everyone from dispatch riders and commuters through to training schools, where it makes an ideal and robust trainer for Direct Access.
The CB500 has a responsiveness that belies its apparently conservative capacity and layout. Handling of the liquid-cooled twin is pretty good too. That said, front suspension can be a little harsh and the rear shock is fade-prone when the damping oil hots up.
But what do you want for a little over four grand new at list price? Maybe the half-faired CB500S for 300 quid more?
If you need any more recommendation of the CB's reliability - it is a Honda after all - consider this: at a 1999 24 Hour Le Mans, every team running a CB500 finished without any mechanical woes. Should happily see you to and from work, then.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:36 pm

Honda CB500S

The CB500S is the logical development of the original CB500, which has earned a reputation as a brilliant, dependable all-rounder in every test undertaken - including racing, thanks to the CB500 cup. The CB even proved itself at the 1999 24 Hour Le Mans, where every team running a CB500 finished without any mechanical woes.
Motorway journeys are always a bit of a drag on naked bikes, so the Sport model CB500S gets a wind-cheating fairing mounted to the frame, making it a better high-speed cruiser. The small fairing improves the aerodynamics (top speed increases by 6mph over the naked version) and gives added protection without affecting the lively responsiveness of the steering.
There's even a small stowaway compartment in the fairing. Honda claims the fairing increases stability at high speed - and it adds just 275 to the price of a new CB500. Than makes it a no-brainer.
Introduced in 1998 and manufactured in Italy, the CB is aimed at the European market. The CB500S has the same responsive four-stroke twin-cylinder eight-valve, water-cooled engine as the naked 500. Wiith 58bhp and a claimed weight of 177kg, it has one of the best power to weight ratios in its class.
You even get a centre stand as well as the usual sidestand with this practical Honda, making maintenance jobs like lubing the chain a doddle.
These bikes are favourites with riding schools, where the tight turning circle is a big help when manoeuvring through the traffic cones. In real-life riding, easy handling is what you need for a city commuter bike. And to cut down on wear and tear, the engine and wheels have been treated to withstand the ravages of a British winter. Honda is confident enough in the build quality of the CB500S to give a two-year guarantee.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:37 pm

Honda CB900 Hornet

As the Hornet name became well established in Europe through the 600, creating a larger-displacement version proved to be a natural move for Honda to take on the Fazer Thou and Bandit 1200.
One of the fundamental ideas behind the new Hornet 900 was to redirect the "Super Naked" concept more toward those who enjoy city riding rather than all-out assaults on inter-city highways and winding backroads; much like the CB900F of the mid-'80s.
And what better engine to base it on than the renowned mill that motivates Honda's classy Super Sport, the CBR900RR FireBlade?
Studies of rider preferences found that generally riders seem to be the most comfortable with a power output range of between 90 and 110PS (or 66 to 81kW), especially for a smaller and lighter machine like that envisioned by the Hornet's development team. More important than maximum power output was a strong feeling of torque and acceleration almost the instant the throttle is opened. No cutting-edge Stealth fighter, the new Hornet would more closely identify with a Harrier jump-jet in its blast of broadly useable performance and anytime, anywhere riding ease.
Another primary goal in the development of the new Hornet was achieving smooth, reassuring driveability, with instantly responsive yet linear torque output, which required fine-tuning its throttle response. Honda's PGM-FI fuel injection system was modified to deliver strong yet smooth response to all throttle inputs. This power delivery helps realise an intensely fun and exhilarating city ride that packs litre-class performance into a mid-sized machine.
Based on the engine that powered the 1998 version of the CBR900RR FireBlade, the Hornet's powerplant was specially modified for "Naked" use with more emphasis on acceleration and low-to-midrange grunt than the higher-revving performance demanded by an all-out Super Sport machine.
The Hornet's power output is easily accessible in everyday riding, providing a "softer" and fuller feel of low-down power compared to the hard-edged, high-revving performance of a sharply focused Super Sport.
Most of the changes from the original Blade engine are in the head and valvetrain to minimise dips in its power and torque response, especially when the throttle is first opened.
Although the 1998 FireBlade motor was fed by flat-slide CV carburettors, Honda's latest digitally programmed PGM-FI fuel injection system was adapted to provide both strong, precise throttle response and lower emissions. Cam lift and valve timing were modified to emphasise this low-end boost in response, and compression was reduced from the FireBlade's 11.1 : 1 to 10.8 : 1.
The Hornet's peak power is down compared to the FireBlade, but its engine still delivers one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class, with excellent midrange power output that comes on strong the instant its throttle is turned. All these improvements to the engine's low-to-midrange torque and power delivery combine to realise fully 30% stronger roll-on performance and quicker standing-start acceleration through this range than the full-power FireBlade, which is geared more toward high-rev, high-speed power output.
The Hornet's six-speed transmission is essentially the same as that used in the Blade, though its final ratio was lowered to emphasise its low-to-midrange torque delivery.
The Hornet 900's lightweight, diamond-configuration steel tube frame features a large, rectangular-section steel tube Mono-Backbone like the Hornet 600. However, the wall thickness of its main backbone tubing has been increased to 2.3mm compared to the 600's 1.6mm.
Another major difference between the two frames can be seen in the 900's strongly reinforced steering head, which was designed to provide quicker, easier, and more assured handling at all levels of expertise and bank angle.
Owing to the Hornet 900?s higher performance specifications and slightly larger proportions and weight compared to the Hornet 600, a sturdy 43mm cartridge-type front fork was selected over the 600's 41mm stanchions. Featured on several of Honda's most highly tuned sport bikes, these forks provide excellent feel and response, as well as a comfortable ride over varying road surfaces.
The Hornet's monoshock rear suspension system has a heavy-duty remote reservoir damper supporting its massive yet lightweight aluminium swingarm. It also features seven-step adjustable spring preload for tuning to virtually any ride and road conditions. Brakes are the same as those used by the '96 FireBlade.
The new CB900 Hornet is one of the most refined big Naked bikes around. Any criticism then? Well, yes. Naked bikes look big and brutal, so it would be nice to have a motor with more attitude. Give us the full-power Blade motor and the 900 Hornet would be the biz.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:39 pm

Honda CBF500

Naked motorcycles have surged in popularity, with the midrange 600cc class - as represented by Honda's own Hornet - all the way to the litre-bike class and beyond seeing noticeable rises in sales. That's because naked bikes are cheaper to buy, offer low entry and running costs and greatly reduced insurance premiums.
For nearly a decade now, Honda's quiet but remarkably popular CB500 has been something of a well-kept secret, winning quite a following among despatch riders and riding schools, and even weekend racers, many of whom competed in the Honda sponsored CB500 Cup races.
Often first purchased as merely a cheap and easy commuter, the CB500 soon proved itself to be a great all-rounder, ably doing its duty as day-to-day transport, but still offering ample reserves of performance to scratch up tight and twisty roads or cruise along happily on the motorways.
Still, 10 years after its debut, the CB500 was long overdue a major freshening up. Not just in style and looks, but in concept. What was called for was a more modern and distinctively European look and feel. The CBF500 is a bike that combines an easy reach to the ground when at stop, light, responsive handling not only at speed but in the hustle and bustle of urban traffic conditions, and a predictable power delivery that never gets out of hand.
Using the same 499cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin that powered the 1994 CB500, the sleek new CBF500 sets the standard in its class for easily accessible riding fun and excitement. Featuring a counter-balancer for silky-smooth operation at high revs and low, and high-performance slanted flat-slide VP carburettors for quick and powerful response, this engine delivers a near-perfect combination of easy operation and peppy performance with the added benefits of superb fuel economy, low emissions and long term reliability.
The CBF500's new six-spoke wheels feature a double spoke design. Strong and sure braking control is supplied up front for the standard version by a new single dual-piston calliper firmly gripping a large 296mm drilled rotor between sintered metal pads.
The ABS version is equipped with a larger three-piston front brake calliper, which provides the most suitable operating feel for smooth and effective ABS operation.
At the rear, a 240mm rotor is stopped by a single-piston calliper mounted on the swingarm in a conventional front and rear hydraulic disc brake system.
With the CBF500, Honda has produced a new bike that is not too radical or highly strung. It's just a good, solid all-round fun machine.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:41 pm

Honda CBR1000RR FireBlade

The 2004 Blade takes its inspiration from Rossi's RCV211 MotoGP racer, but you can still see the family resemblance to the 954RR and CBR600.
Weighing in at 178kg, the latest Blade features a completely new, in-line four engine. The bore remains the same as the 954RR, but the stroke has been increased from 54 to 56.5mm.
Shorter, lighter and more compact than ever before, the engine provides a strong yet smoothly linear power delivery. Engine capacity has been upped from 954cc to 998cc, and power increased from 149bhp to an impressive 165bhp without forced air induction - the same power output as the GSX-R1000 Suzuki.
Pioneered on the RC211V and first introduced in the CBR600RR, the Fireblade's new fuel injection system features two separate sets of injectors. The first is installed in the throttle bodies attached to the cylinder head, as in most conventional systems, and the second set positioned up in the air cleaner, directly above the velocity stack of each cylinder. The result is stronger, more highly responsive low-to-midrange power output.
The stainless steel four-into-two-into-one exhaust exits under the seat unit. A servo-controlled exhaust valve system controls a new type of valve located inside the under-seat exhaust. By giving independent control over the flap located at the front mouth of the ram air intake, power and torque across the rpm range are significantly increased.
A six-speed cassette type gearbox is used, which allows gear ratios to be changed quickly at the pits if you are serious about racing.
There is also an electro-hydraulic shock pinched from the back of the HRC storeroom. This exotic piece of kit adapts its rate of damping according to information transmitted by various sensors on the chassis.
The alloy frame is inspired by the CBR600RR, with Honda's Pro-Link rear suspension. The swingarm is a composite construction that combines cast, press-forged and extruded alloy sections joined together into a rigid and lightweight whole. Because the engine is shorter, the swingarm was increased in length for more progressive suspension operation and better handling. Torsional rigidity was also increased compared to the current 'Blade, while lateral rigidity was reduced to help the chassis settle more easily into fast corners.
Front fork uses 43mm tubes, with 310mm discs and radial four-piston Tokico calipers. Triple-spoke wheels are shod with new BT014 tyres developed by Bridgestone for the CBR1000RR.
The all-new CBR1000RR Fireblade borrows many of its design ideas from Honda's MotoGP racers. Digital instrumentation owes much to the RCV211. Adding to the new Blade's sleek MotoGP look is a slim pair of "Line Beam" headlights like those introduced on the CBR600RR. These low-profile units feature a compact, high-illumination multi-reflector design projecting through clear lenses that are less than half the size of the dual headlights used on most road bikes.
Like most big Hondas, the new Fireblade comes with the Honda Ignition Security System, which prevents the engine from being started by any other than the motorcycle's two original keys. The system cannot be bypassed by either hot-wiring the ignition or exchanging the ignition switch module, effectively deterring ride-away theft.
Top performance, leading-edge technology and ultimate riding control combine to make the CBR1000RR the best Blade ever. But if that's not enough, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) will be offering an extensive catalogue of specialised race parts.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:48 pm

Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird

When Honda launched the Blackbird in 1996 it claimed that it was a dynamic riding machine that would soon become known as "The World's Greatest Super Sport".
The CBR1100XX Blackbird was going to "redefined the standards of the 'big-bike' performance class with a brand new champion". But if you believe everything you read in today's motorcycle mags, the Blackbird is past it.
When the Blackbird was launched it ruled the roost, with more power, better handling and a higher top speed than any other hypersports tourer. Dial superb build quality into the equation, and Honda had a winner.
But other manufacturers didn't sit on their hands. Suzuki launched the Hayabusa in 1999 and Kawasaki introduced the ZX-12R a year later. Both develop more power and have top speeds at least 10mph faster than the Blackbird, which can 'only' manage 175mph. Both out-handle the Blackbird when pushed to the limit. But that hasn't dented sales of the big Honda, which out-sold both the 'Busa and the Kwak in 2001.
So what has the Honda got that the 'Busa and Kwak doesn't? Well, there's long-distance ability, for a start. The Blackbird can carry luggage with ease - Suzuki had problems with the rear alloy subframe fracturing when hard luggage was bolted on.
And the Blackbird's extra weight and softer suspension make it more relaxing to ride. The engine is supremely smooth - Honda designed the 1137cc lump with a dual shaft balancer system to kill vibration dead. If handlebars and footpegs don't buzz with secondary vibration you don't get tired so quickly.
The Blackbird also has the same linked brakes as the Pan-European. Some sportsbike riders knock 'em, but they work extremely well. The Blackbird was updated with fuel injection 1999, but the carburettor model delivered better miles per gallon. Expect 40mpg and a 200-mile tank range on injected models.
With impeccable manners, whether riding to the South of France or to Sainsbury's, you'll be impressed by the CBR1100XX. Fast, comfy and with a generous pillion seat the Blackbird really is a hypersports tourer.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:50 pm

Honda CBR600F

Want a top commuter? Going touring? How about a track day tool? You want a bike that's brilliant for all three? That'll be the CBR600F then.
It's been around since 1987, but annual updates have kept the mini-Blade as one of Honda's biggest sellers. And with good reason.
You can't go far wrong with a CBR. Every year it has been in production it has been a class act, and usually one other manufacturers follow.
Early models have dumpy, angular looks, but a '94 model is still great value - and good for over 150mph. Power was increased on '95-'96 bikes, with a useful hike to 103bhp. An all-new model was introduced in 1998. The old steel frame was replaced with a twin-spar aluminium beam unit to reduce weight and keep the CBR in the same league as the new generation GSXR600 and all-new R6. Power output was increased to 110bhp.
Check the electrics before you buy - some early bikes developed problems with the charging system. Don't be surprised if the gearbox is not the hot-knife-thru-butter change you'd like. That is normal.
If the bike you're looking at is over three years old, check the silencer - if it is an aftermarket can and not street legal, you will fail the MoT. Make sure you get the original silencer to fit on before taking it in for test.
What makes the CBR stand out is the way it continues to be the best all-rounder, the best compromise between performance and usability. Unfortunately, if you buy one you'll just be one of the crowd.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:51 pm

Honda CBR600RR

The dazzling new CBR600RR is an uncompromising machine - and Honda expects to take World Supersport championship victories with it and regain the sports middleweight crown.
The styling draws heavily on Honda's RC211V, the five-cylinder racer that Valentino Rossi used to dominated the inaugural MotoGP world championship. Indeed, the two machines have almost identical lightweight aluminium swingarms housing Honda's radical Pro-Link rear suspension unit.
The new 598cc, four-cylinder, fuel-injected powerplant on the 2003 CBR600RR is also more compact than that of its predecessor, allowing the bike's mass to be more centralised and positioned lower in the die-cast aluminium frame. The shorter engine frees up space for a longer swingarm, and to move the rider and engine mass forward - nearer to the steering head and closer to the bike's centre of mass - which should give sharper handling and more assured corner control.
With a slim, lightweight electronic instrument panel featuring a tachometer redlining at 15,000rpm, a digital LCD speedometer and fuel gauge, the new CBR also boasts Honda's ultra-narrow dual line beam headlamps to illuminate night-time riding.
Another eye-catcher is the new 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system that snakes under the engine, then up and over the rear tyre to nestle its large capacity stainless steel "inverted isosceles trapezoid" (try saying that after you've had a few?) silencer under the seat. This eliminates turbulence caused by a usual side mounted exhaust.
The front fork is a cartridge type, as used on the new CBR RR Blade and SP2. Rear suspension is Unit Pro-Link based on the RC211V. It is completely contained in the swingarm, and not connected to the main frame except for the lower arms that anchor the links. The system isolates the steering head from stresses caused by the rear wheel hitting a patch of rough road, making handling even sweeter.
The ultra-lightweight triple-spoke wheels carry fully floating 310mm (up from the CBR600F's 296mm discs) rotors with four-piston calipers on the front, and a single piston, 220mm disc at the rear - the same as used on the new Blade and SP2. Sintered brake pads are standard.
Honda has the kit to take back the middleweight crown - unless Suzuki comes up with something better. And quick.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:52 pm

Honda CBR900 FireBlade

Through the Eighties motorcycle manufacturers were stuck in a groove, making faster and heavier motorcycles. Then the FireBlade broke the mould.
It was lighter, smaller, and more powerful than anything this side of a racetrack. The Blade became the seminal sportsbike of the Nineties and Honda sold shedloads.
Lined up against the R1 (1998's all-conquering hero) and the incredibly powerful GSX-R1000 (new kid on the block and kickin' ass) the latest Blade seems under-powered and under-braked. And lacking in ground clearance.
But Honda only has itself to blame for the great strides in sportsbike performance made by Yamaha and Suzuki. They'd been playing catch-up from the moment Honda introduced the Blade back in 1992. It was only a matter of time.
The 2000 model was radically changed in an attempt to regain the superbike crown from Yamaha. As light as anything in the 600 class, and even 5kg lighter than the Yam, the new Blade featured a 17in front wheel (all earlier models have 16 inchers) and USD forks. It also had more power than the R1 (150 compared to 148bhp).
In 2001 the Blade got an oversquare engine for higher revs, and fuel injection. But the Yam still looks sharper and more focused than the Honda. The 2001 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 is even more extreme.
So how come Honda is still selling loads of Blades? Because it's a better real world sportsbike. It is refined, comfortable, and easy to ride. It's got that user-friendly feel that has won Honda an army of fans.
Build quality, detail touches, chrome that doesn't rust and paint that stays stuck mean a lot if you are going to use a bike for more than Sunday rides and occasional trackdays.
The Blade may be more of a tool than a weapon, but it's one of the best tools you can buy.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:54 pm

Honda CG125

It may not be the sexiest motorcycle on the planet, but Honda's little 125cc single is a big seller - it regularly tops the sales charts in the UK, out-selling scooters and supersports bikes alike.
And it's one of Honda's all-time best sellers around the world.
That's because the CG125 is the ideal choice for a first motorcycle. And the learner-legal commuter is great value - expect to pay less than 2000 for a new one. Buy new and Honda throw in a Smartwater anti-theft package.
And there are plenty of secondhand models around, because the CG125 has been in Honda's line-up in one form or another since history began. The current model is manufactured in Brazil, and shipped all over the world. Truly a bike for the masses.
So what do you get with the CG125 besides a bike to ride to work on, or a stop-gap until you pass your test? Well, the styling is simple and the lines are clean, and you get Honda reliability and build quality.
The five-speed box has ratios ideally placed to get the most from the engine. The robust air-cooled 124cc four-stroke delivers 10.6bhp at 8500rpm, enough for a top speed over 60mph. But although it's not the fastest 125cc commuter, it is one of the most economical - expect up to 120mpg in average going. The petrol tank holds 12 litres (including 2.3 litres reserve).
The handling is predictable, and the suspension is well up to the job. But on early models, you don't get a front disc brake - there's "classic" drum brakes front and rear. Dry weight is 107kg, light enough for anyone to manhandle into the garage last thing at night.
The CG125 Honda is a top choice for a first bike. It will see you through your test and you'll get a decent trade-in when you move up to a bigger bike. What more do you need?

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:56 pm

Honda Deauville 650

People were buying NTV650s for years and using them as commuters, for dispatch riding (150,000 miles before stripping the engine is common) or bolting on luggage and going touring. So big H decided to build the bike it thought the masses wanted and introduced the Deauville in '98.
This upmarket version of the NTV650 is essentially a long-distance commuter that can handle touring holidays with the same aplomb. It's comfortable, thanks to roomy seating and compliant suspension, and the fairing keeps the worst of British weather at bay.
Built-in detachable panniers will carry 34l of luggage, and optional deeper lids (costing around 240 the pair) expand this to a more useful 56l. Slinky smooth bodywork means strapping a briefcase to the seat is not easy.
Don't expect acceleration that'll rip your arms off. The 647cc 52-degree V-twin is lifted straight from the stock NTV, so there's only 55bhp at the end of the wire. Not a lot for a bike with a power-sapping shaft-drive. Colour options are equally bland - black, brown or beige.
But the lazy V will cruise all day in the 80s and return 50mpg. Who wants to spend their weekends messing about with oily chains anyway?
The Deauville handles better than you'd expect, and the Brembo brakes on this Spanish-built Honda are surprisingly good.
But like every bike built for Every Man or Woman, the Deauville is too damned pleasant for most people. Build quality isn't up to Honda's usual standard either, and rusty fasteners appear to be the norm on bikes used all year round. Use it as a bargaining tool when you buy second-hand - beauty on this bike is more than skin deep.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:58 pm

Honda NSR125RR

There's more than one sexy learner tool for the wannabe racer - Aprilia RS125, Cagiva Mito. But Honda are at it too with the NSR125 two-stroke single. The two things going against it are price (at close to four grand it's 400 dearer than a Mito) and it's not easy to de-restrict.
The Cagiva and Aprilia have the edge on handling in de-restricted form, but it's widely agreed that the NSR125 offers the best package in restricted form. Honda say that with the: "aggressive good looks of a Grand Prix champion, the NSR125R combines fully faired racer curves with the briskly responsive performance of a compact and powerful two-stroke engine that puts out an exciting sound like the GP bikes that dominate the tracks of Europe."
But the truth is that the NSR125 could use a revamp to put it at the top of the 125cc race-rep pile.
Current learner laws allow a maximum of 14.7bhp from a 125cc bike, so at even a claimed 11.3bhp @ 10,000rpm the NSR125 falls a quite a long way short of the mark.
But with Honda about to launch a new range of four-stroke 125cc learner bikes, and the two-stroke being stifled by ever-more stringent environmental laws, we can expect a shift towards lively and exciting four-strokes to tempt the next generation of riders. And not a moment too soon.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:59 pm

Honda ST1300 Pan-European

It?s been twelve years since the ST1100 Pan-European debuted on the European motorcycle scene and changed the face of motorcycle touring. Twelve years of providing strong, reliable performance, superb handling and luxurious comfort for a rider, passenger and nearly everything they might carry on a long holiday of exploring the Continent and beyond. Not to mention solid proof of the Pan-European's staying power and versatility.
Yes, there have been improvements along the way, notably the 1992 addition of the ST's ABS-TCS version, which introduced Honda's Antilock Brake System combined with a unique Traction Control System to help minimise the chance of skids.
This was followed by the 1996 integration of two highly effective Honda-developed braking control systems that showcased a new Dual Combined Brake System coupled with a smaller, lighter and more effective second generation of its phenomenally smooth-operating Antilock Brake System. Still, over the years the Pan-European has stayed true to its ideals of providing excellent long-term touring comfort and a roomy and elegant way to travel.
Now Honda have come up with an all-new Pan-European.
Riders are looking for lighter weight that translates to more responsive acceleration and overall handling. An advanced new aluminium frame and swingarm were thus called for, as were lighter, more advanced components such as the latest Dual Combined and Antilock Brake Systems, all of which add up to an astounding 15kg weight reduction, a 50mm shorter wheelbase, and more centralised mass for sportier handling.
Stronger power and a longer touring range were achieved with a complete reworking of the Pan-European's unique longitudinally mounted V4 engine, the addition of Honda's most advanced, high-efficiency PGM-FI fuel injection system and, in a new deluxe model, its ultra-clean HECS3 catalytic converter system. And although the same basic V4 engine configuration as the original Pan-European was maintained, extensive modifications were made to make it more compact, more efficient, more powerful and even more attractive when stripped of bodywork.
More luxurious touring comfort and better wind protection were also primary design objectives for the new Pan, with the sports riding potential of the VFR on winding roads and Gold Wing levels of comfort on the autobahns. The new Pan-European is not only a fantastic tourer, but also delivers swift and exciting sports bike performance whenever the mood or situation calls for it.
New features include the three-position adjustable seat height, and push-button adjustable windscreen providing quick and easy response to changing riding conditions.
The Pan's unique, longitudinally mounted V-4 engine is like nothing else on the road today. Proven over many years and millions of kilometres, it delivers inherently strong, torque-filled power and smooth, steady performance. For 2002, the big-bore engine gets a stronger jolt of passing power that more effectively corresponds to the heavy loads associated with two-up touring, with its primary goal being the strongest roll-on performance in its displacement class. The engine has been increased from 1084cc to 1261cc with increases to both its bore and stroke. This helped realise a breathtaking thrust of roll-on performance between 75-125mph.
The Pan-European's new engine is also more compact and shorter in overall length than that of the current model. This was achieved by moving the ACG from its current position at the back of the engine to a new location nestled in the "V" of the cylinder blocks, where it is driven by a compact and precise gear train. Up front, the current model's wide belt-driven cam drive was replaced with a slim, new chain drive for lighter weight, while the combined result of these changes is a 60mm reduction in engine length and a major reduction in the number of their respective component parts. Also, in order to realise a lower centre of gravity for the engine, its crankshaft was lowered 20mm within the crankcase.
The engine's four-valve-per-cylinder double-overhead cam design continues to ensure strong, reliable performance and superb combustion efficiency. Its cam-over-bucket direct valve actuation keeps operation simple while reducing maintenance requirements, and when routine maintenance does become necessary, the engine's head covers are positioned for easy access that allows even major operations to be performed with ease.
One of the most visible changes in the new Pan-European, besides its stunning new bodywork, is its massive yet lightweight new all-aluminium frame. No mere styling exercise, this new frame delivers Super Sport-level performance and more confident high-speed handling than ever before.
The Pan-European's hefty steel swingarm has also been dramatically lightened with new aluminium construction. Featuring the same right-side tunnel to enclose its maintenance-free drive shaft, this cast unit also incorporates a box-section extruded aluminium rail on its left side, providing superb tracking characteristics and a sportier feeling of control.
For sport bike-level handling, the new Pan-European now mounts large, new 45mm-diameter H-MAS cartridge-type front fork tubes, up from the 41mm units mounted on the current standard model and the 43mm stanchions used on its CBS-ABS+TCS variation. The fork's H-MAS configuration helps resist front-end dive during braking.
The original Pan is a hard act to follow, but it looks like Honda have got it right.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:01 pm

Honda Varadero 1000

Honda's Adventure Touring flagship, the majestic Varadero, brings a whole wide world of new riding frontiers within easy reach for the most far-ranging blend of motorcycling enjoyment you've ever had the pleasure to experience.
Powered by a slim, high-performance fuel-injected 1000cc V-twin engine based on the Firestorm sportsbike and ruggedly outfitted for long-distance expeditions over virtually any road one might encounter, the Varadero feels just as strong and confident sailing down the motorways as it is exploring less travelled backroads in your search for new adventures.
Its broad, windbreaking adjustable fairing, progressive long-travel suspension and comprehensive accommodation for two ensure exceptional riding comfort, and the Varadero's easily attached optional luggage system makes longer trips as easy to prepare for as pack, snap on and go.
For 2004, the Varadero also comes available in a new ABS-equipped version that complements the responsive braking capability of Honda's famed Dual Combined Brake System with the confident control of the world's most advanced motorcycle Antilock Brake System for smooth and swiftly effective braking control in virtually any road and riding conditions, and a much-appreciated boost in operating confidence when roads turn nasty.
The system uses two ABS modulators, the front one located inside the front cowl and the rear one positioned under the rider's seat, near the rear damper preload adjuster.
Additional equipment includes ABS sensors and Hall effect pulsar rings on the wheels, a new right sidecover design, and a new ABS failure warning light installed in the redesigned instrument panel. The rear damper features adjustable rebound damping on the ABS version.
The big Varadero makes an impressive long distance tourer. Buy one and book that ferry crossing.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:02 pm

Honda VT125 Shadow

You've got to stare hard at the Shadow before you realise that what you're looking at is just a 125cc motorcycle that you can ride on L-plates.
Designed with classic American styling, the Shadow VT125 has the presence of a much larger machine, thanks partly to the heavily finned motor.
But don't let the fins fool you - this is no basic air-cooled unit. The smallest Shadow is a liquid-cooled, eight-valve, single-overhead cam 90-degree V-twin with an 11.8:1 compression ratio.
Its beautifully executed details include a teardrop petrol tank topped by a glittering, chrome finish speedometer, wide handlebars and deeply styled 'fenders' draped over wide, wire-spoked wheels, all underlined by a chromed two-into-one exhaust.
Power output is 15bhp at 11000rpm, substantially more than that other popular Honda lightweight, the CG125. That pumps out just 10.5bhp at 7500rpm.
The five-speed VT125 needs the extra poke because, at 145Kg, it tips the scales a whopping 38Kg more than the CG. But the weight gives the VT a solid, dependable feel - just what you'd expect of a cruiser.
Seat height is a lowly 680mm (27in) so planting both feet firmly on the ground when you stop shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
With Honda reliability and 8000 miles between services, the Shadow VT125 is a very attractive package.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:04 pm

Honda VTR1000 Firestorm

Honda took a look at the competition and noticed that they were selling shed-loads of V-twin sportsbikes. And guess what? They didn't have one in their line-up.
So in 1999 they introduced the VTR1000F FireStorm, with an all-new 996cc dohc four-valve 90-degree V-twin engine that doubled as a fully stressed frame member, with the swingarm pivoting through the rear of the crankcase.
Honda boasts that the FireStorm has a flywheel mass specially tuned to emphasise the engine's dynamic feel of V-twin acceleration, but with a top speed of 150mph and 108bhp on tap the VTR1000F is more of an all-rounder than the Suzuki TL1000 or Ducati's more focused twins.
The suspension on early models was criticised as being too soft at the front, with an over-sprung and under-damped unit at the rear. And the exhaust too damn civilised. Maxton Engineering (01928 740531) will sell you a new rear shock for about 475, and re-valve the front fork.
If there is one weak point with the early FireStorm it is fuel consumption - expect little more than 30mpg, and only 105 miles to a tankfull.
The FireStorm was revised in 2001 with new colours and graphics, a more upright riding position, upgraded suspension, and the desperately needed bigger fuel tank (increased from 16 to 19 litres, enough gas for 125 miles). You also get new clocks and Honda's latest HISS security system.
If you really wanted a Ducati, the FireStorm isn't going to satisfy that need. It simply hasn't got the on-road presence, or the ability. And it can't compete with Suzuki's TL1000S if you are after a mad sports twin.
But the Honda is more refined and easier to live with. Running costs will be cheaper too, with a major 8000-mile service only taking 2.5 hours. And there's always the VTR1000-SP1 if you want performance and refinement.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:05 pm

Honda VTR1000 SP

Honda's VTR1000 SP-1 V-twin supersports bike was launched in 2000 as a direct attack on the big twins from Ducati and Aprilia. And Texan Colin Edwards proved how just how right the Honda was by taking that year's World Superbike championship. But the SP-1 was no match for the 998 Ducati in the showroom - even though it was 350 less than the 10,700 Duke.
So when Honda started to look at the successor to the SP-1, its development team consulted the racing engineers at HRC. They singled out all the major points where improvements could be made, and then searched for ways to apply these changes to the new production machine. And they wanted to do this in a way that would improve upon its sporting potential, without draining the bank accounts of those wanting to race it.
But Honda stopped short of going for the sort of all-out performance that might leave the majority of riders behind with a feeling of the SP-2 being even harder to ride well. The 988cc DOHC eight-valve motor received only minor upgrades over the SP-1 unit. Improvements to the SP-2's long-term riding comfort and ease of use were top priorities. A tall order, to be sure, but if anybody could do it, Honda could?
While the SP's external looks haven't changed that much, its feeling of rigidity and responsive control has been radically upgraded. Its most noticeable changes can be seen in the new swingarm and the frame's stronger engine hanger forgings, which are all virtually the same as that featured on the Works machines. Not so easily seen, though the results can certainly be felt, is the work that was concentrated on the SP's fuel injection settings in order to realise smoother, stronger and more responsive power output.
The SP-2 doesn't require top level riding skill to take advantage of its excellent balance of performance and handling. The ride is exciting and aggressive, but not too narrowly focused, so it provides greater rider satisfaction over the long run. And with the new white and black colour scheme taking its cue from the distinctive look of the 2001 world championship Castrol Honda World Superbike Works machines, Honda hope to pinch more sales from the Foggy brigade.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:07 pm

Honda XL650 Transalp

When Honda's "Rally Touring" Transalp appeared on the scene back in 1987, the road and trail-going V-twin breathed fresh life into the middleweight class. Based in part on the Paris-Dakar racers, the Transalp might have looked like a rugged desert stormer but it offered superbly comfortable ergonomics and the ability to cruise motorways with remarkable ease.
Now into its third generation following an upgrade in 2000, the latest Transalp is up against bigger Adventure Touring motorcycles but still delivers.
New for 2004 is the beautifully contoured aerodynamic fairing over the original box-section steel frame. It has given the old stager a new lease of life in a market segment where competition is fierce. But fair do's - the new fairing vastly improves comfort on long-distance trips. Deflecting wind off rider and passenger, its sleek design integrates a large multi-reflector headlight and indicators into its shapely curves.
Honda's Progressive Pro-Link rear suspension and 41mm fork stanchions soak up everything from potholed tarmac to bumpy rutted trails. There's lots of ground clearance, and the riding position is ideal for town use.
Lighter than the original 600, the 650 is better balanced. The liquid-cooled 647cc V-twin delivers abundant torque for stronger low-to-midrange power coupled with smooth performance for two-up touring capability, especially at higher speeds and when passing slow-moving traffic on the mountain passes that give the Transalp its name. But this tourer is mild rather than wild. The Transalp's major selling points are reliability and versatility. Its engine will simply run and run if serviced regularly.
A new anti-rust treatment has been given to such components as the wheel spokes and nipples, disc brake rotors and other less visible parts to fight off corrosion and increase the Transalp's long-term dependability. The alloy rims are shod with diamond patterned dual-purpose tyres which give excellent control on high-speed motorways. In keeping with the latest safety regulations, the Transalp gets an always-on daytime headlight.
Dry weight is only 191kg, but to help shorter riders enjoy the Transalp without worrying about dropping it at the traffic lights, an optional 30mm lower and narrower seat is available. Other optional accessories include large volume panniers and top box, taller windscreen, and an advanced radio/CD player/communications system.
The new Transalp is available in three colour variations for 2004. We like the vivid pearlescent blue with a contrasting metallic silver best, but you might prefer the subtle metallic black or a sparkling metallic silver. Buy if you value a known quantity over more fashion-conscious newcomers.

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Re: Honda

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:09 pm

Honda XR125L

Honda's new XR125L might look like a refugee from an American enduro, but you're unlikely to see this single cylinder four-stroke hitting the dirt too often.
But if you're stuck with L-plates and want something a bit more ballsy than a CG125 then the XR fits the bill.
It could do with a bit more oomph - the engine delivers just 8.3kW or under 11bhp - but the rugged and reliable air-cooled 124cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine is tuned for low-to-midrange performance.
That's just the sort of power delivery you want for getting away from other traffic when the lights hit green, and the five-speed box should keep you in front until you reach the next set - which will be at red. A drilled 240mm disc up front and a 110mm drum at the back take care of stopping.
The XR might have motocross styling, but the seat is only 820mm (32in) high and with pliant suspension even a short-arse should be able to get both feet on the ground. Plastic bodywork helps keep the weight down to 116kg (255lb). An electric starter combines with maintenance-free digital electronic ignition to ensure quick and easy starts.
Built on a rugged, semi-double-cradle steel tube frame the XR125L offers optimal strength, rigidity and light weight for quick, assured handling over virtually all road conditions. The large, 12-litre fuel tank allied to the XR125L's fuel economy offers real long range riding and is good for up to 190 miles or a week's worth of daily commuting between fill-ups.

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