Honda will add two new motorcycles to its roster next year after unveiling production versions of concept bikes at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. The company also announced new performance updates to its NC750X midsize adventure-touring machine.
The new bikes are the CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports and the CB1000R. Both are production versions of concepts that will be available in the U.S. next summer as 2018 models, following European releases earlier in the year.
Honda's 2018 CB1000R is the production version of the Neo-Sports Café concept it unveiled just two weeks ago in Tokyo, with the most obvious difference being the replacement of the burgundy color on the flangeless gas tank and front spokes with black, plus a swingarm-mounted rear mudguard, a first for Honda. The naked bike comes with updates to the chassis, four-cylinder engine and electronics package, including an all-LED, horseshoe-shaped headlight, more lightweight components and improvements to midrange torque.
"Increasingly, customer expectations walk a line between high-end performance and character, so it's vital that there be a strong, emotional connection between rider and machine," Lee Edmunds, American Honda's manager of motorcycle marketing communications, said in a statement. "With the new approach of the 2018 CB1000R, customers will experience increased pride in ownership while also benefiting from greatly improved handling and engine performance."
The Adventure Sports will be offered as a premium version of its CRF1000L Africa Twin, which also gets updated for 2018, and be priced roughly $2,000 higher. Features include a larger fuel tank (6.36 gallons, compared to 4.97 in the standard model) for longer range, updated suspension with higher ground clearance, enhanced creature comforts and a lithium-ion battery that is 5.1 pounds lighter than its lead-acid predecessor. Both Africa Twin models get updates to the 998cc SOHC eight-valve parallel-twin engine, including a new airbox to improve midrange response and sound quality, plus Throttle-By-Wire riding mode system and an expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system.
Separate from the EICMA show, Honda said its 2018 NC750X gets new performance updates. They include a 75cc engine displacement increase to 745cc, a two-level HSTC and mode changes to the automatic dual clutch transmission for higher-rpm shift points. The midsize commuting bike also goes on sale in the U.S. next summer and early next year in Europe.