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Honda, From Performance to Practicality...
Jul 11, 2014 - 11:30 AM - by rosy thorn
Once upon a time the only thing you could buy stamped Honda was a motorbike, now the company makes everything jet planes to generators. Once upon a time the Honda Motorcycle Corporation had one aim, building mind bending bikes (RC166 anyone ). Now I'm not about to go all defcon and proclaim that HONDA HAS LOST THEIR WAY, because frankly I don't think they have but I do think they've lost their soul, or sold it.

Above all I'm a motorcycle enthusiast and it pains me to see Honda's halo products languishing. The CBR's are old and slow, basically unchanged for the better part of 6 years. Why is it that the CBR600RR makes LESS power than it did in 2007, or why is the CBR1000RR one of the only Super Sports not available with Traction Control, for the thrill of the high side?

Sure Honda is still spending bucketfulls on product development but I can't help but feel its misguided to a degree. The NM4 is a strange creature created for the pleasure of Indonesian Teenagers, The CTX's are both essentially big scooters that while absolutely fantastic products are simply not the type of product that bends minds and gets people truely excited about what this company is capable of.

Perhaps this is simply a function of ever encroaching emissions regulations, resource scarcity and economic frugality from the toy buying public that has necessitated Hondas shift from performance to practicality? Or maybe its due to switching their focus from western markets to SE Asia, where the riding is largely scooter based, cites are crowded, and riding is a necessity not pastime?

Not even MotoGP seems to be pushing Honda, with Dorna in their pocket Honda grumbles, groans and threatens to leave the series if the rules are not tailored around them, meaning Honda has long been without viable competition in terms of machinery. The only reason they we're losing out was becasue the best riders we're on different machinery. Now with the best rider and the best machine its a complete joke. The're no incentive to get better, there is no rabbit to chase.

As we grow our ideals change, we trade the coupe for a van, that racy blonde for one who can cook and that sporty steed often goes for a bagger or in terminal cases, a scooter. Perhaps Honda is showing its age?

I don't know...
2 Replies | 313 Views
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