Has Honda lost its Mojo?

I’m a little bit sad. It seems like Big Red has lost its Mojo.

It seems Honda is more concerned with the volume Indian and Chinese markets these days.

The company that brought us the CB750, Fireblade, Blackbird and so many GP victories seems to have lost its way since the GFC when they virtually closed down R&D.

While many other companies have since produced some sexy new models and even created new niches, Honda has been churning out what amounts to “transport”.

The latest case in point is the CB500X (pictured). It’s a real “couldabeen”. A wasted opportunity in the rapidly growing adventure-tourer segment.

Basically it’s the CB500R and F with slightly taller seat, wider bars, slightly bigger tank and similar so-so styling. Honda says it’s styled along the lines of the 1200cc V4 Crosstourer which was also a wasted opportunity.

Honda has wasted an opportunity here to make an aggressive-looking model that is the right size for tackling the tough stuff while still being comfortable enough for some touring.

They haven’t even bothered to change the wheel size.

At least they brought it in at the competitive price of $7490 makes is $500 cheaper than the adventure-segment-leading Kawasaki KLR650.

It’s LAMS approved and like many of the new breed of learner bikes, it comes with the added safety of ABS.

But let’s hope return riders and beginners don’t buy it thinking they are Charley and Ewan and can head off into the outback.

What Australia really needs is the Africa Twin. Now there was an aggressive-looking Dakar-style adventurer just right for our harsh environment.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope Honda hasn’t lost its Mojo.

I’ve owned several Honda bikes and cars over the years and they have all been reliable transport, but also inspiring.

Let’s hope this current lack of inspiration is just temporary.

4 Comments

  1. I’m one ticket away from losing my job so I am not looking for a fast bike, I am actually looking for a slow bike to help me keep out of trouble. Maybe I will look at some Hondas.

  2. One other example I forgot: the Goldwing F6B. I’ve long said I’m too young to ride a touring bike and I think the term “bagger” is stupid. I’m an American that hates cruisers. But holy cow, all of a sudden Honda went and made another bike I find appealing! I’ve always been far more into Euro bikes, so for Honda to be on my radar so much lately makes me think their mojo is just fine. 🙂

  3. The CB500s may or may not be a misstep, I don’t know. Time will tell, I guess. But I wouldn’t have any fear of Honda “losing their mojo”. If anything, their NC700X is the only bike to even remotely interest me in buying Japanese since the CB750 and others from the heyday of the UJM era. (Slight exaggeration because I forgot about the Valkyrie, the only cruiser I’ve ever been interested in.)

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