Honda is Going for Royal Enfield Sales

Honda have announced that they have formed a team of engineers from Japan and Thailand to work in India to develop a middleweight 350 to 500cc motorcycle that will compete with Royal Enfield.

Noriaki Abe, due to become CEO of Honda on the 1st of April, said they want to take a slice out of Royal Enfield’s annual 590,000 units domestic Indian sales. The product will at a later stage undoubtedly also be sold in other Asian and Southeast Asian countries if not globally.

The motorcycle design perimeters are a simple single- or parallel-twin engine that would be easy to service. According to rumors the Honda engineers are looking for inspiration at the 1972 Honda CB500, the 500cc inline-four engine will likely be replaced with the modern 500cc parallel-twin engine we also find in the 2017 Honda CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X.

The handling of the 1972 Honda CB500 was excellent, the low center of gravity and the tame frame flex made the motorcycle very stable and predictable even at low speeds. For the design, some modern tweaks need to be applied but the basics for a modern retro-bike are already in the design.

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