Six New 2013 Honda Models Announced for US
Honda flexes it's feathered muscle, with the promise of more to come
Within an undisclosed warehouse location in Torrance, California, not far from the company’s headquarters, Honda assembled the motorcycle media to announce its new lineup. On display in the nondescript living museum, a compendium of two- and four- (and one three) wheel models — highlights of achievement of both street-legal and closed-course variety, and a few automotive prototypes. In one corner of the room, draped in black, the six objects of interest for which all in attendance came to inspect.
In a pageant of speeches and guest appearances, Honda representatives took the wraps off the six 2013 models destined for U.S. dealerships. In order of appearance presented were the CB1100, CBR600RR, CBR500R, CB500F, CB500X and Gold Wing F6B. The first five weren’t necessarily unexpected, having been previously leaked in some manner, but how the hell did Honda sneak a new version of the Gold Wing into the mix?
MSRP: $5,999/$6,499 (ABS)
The three new 500s introduced, the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X, are all powered by the same fuel-injected, liquid-cooled parallel-Twin. The format creates three disparate models that will attract riders of different tastes but with similar pricing expectations. All three will be available in April.
The CBR500R bridges the sportbike gap in Honda’s lineup between the CBR250R ($4,199) and the CBR600RR ($11,540 in 2012). It also slots in nicely between Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 ($4,799) and Ninja 650 ($7,599). With the look and feel of a full-size motorcycle but without the intensity, intimidation factor or high-price of the race-spec 600RR, the CBR500R is posed to attract newbie riders as well as experienced ones uninterested in ponying-up for the latest 600cc track-focused weapon.
MSRP: $5,499/$5,999 (ABS)
The CB500F trades clip-ons for a one-piece handlebar and sheds the excess fairing of its brethren. For the discerning motorcyclists the absence of plastic should help lower insurance costs making this naked sportbike a bargain at $5,499. The F and R share seat heights while the F boasts a five-pound lighter wet weight than the CBR model. The standard CB500F comes in two color schemes, Black and Pearl White while the ABS model comes only in black.
The last of the new 500 models closely resembles Honda’s recently launched NC700X (tested here). Besides its adventurous styling, the CB500X’s front fork features 0.6 more inches of travel than the other two 500s and one degree less rake, 26° vs 25°. The 500X also features an adjustable windscreen. Both the standard and ABS versions of the 500X will be colored Matte Black Metallic.
MSRP: $9,999/$10,999 (Deluxe)
Honda did a commendable job of correctly styling the new 2013 CB1100 commensurate with the early '80s era. From its dual-spoke, five-point star wheels, thick, black blinker stalks and large round indicators to its squared-off fuel tank, the new CB's soundtrack screams J. Geils Band, Men at Work and The Human League.
Powered by an 1140cc, air-cooled, DOHC inline-Four and sporting twin-shock rear suspension and 18-inch wheels the CB1100 combines retro aesthetics with modern triple-disc-brakes, fuel injection and optional ABS. Editor Duke got an early ride on the new CB. You can check out his initial impressions here.
The fastest bike in the lineup of new model introductions is the venerable CBR600RR. For 2013 the 600RR features more aerodynamic, MotoGP-inspired bodywork with a redesigned, centrally located ram-air intake system, a new Showa 41mm Big Piston Fork, and a revised shock with new damping settings.
According to Honda, the aerodynamic advantages of the CBR’s new skin (a 6.5% decrease in drag) is the result of knowledge gained from the RC212V. While testing the CBR600RR, Honda found it had developed even more advanced aerodynamic improvements that were, in turn, incorporated into the RC213V.
The revised ram-air intake in conjunction with an improved ECU and fuel injection settings have increased mid-range power on the RR as well as enhancing throttle response at high revs. The larger damper piston inside the Showa BPF fork reduces internal pressures for more responsive fork action, while the new damper settings in the rear shock are said to improve overall performance.
Gold Wing F6B
MSRP: $19,999/$20,999 (Deluxe)
A product of creative thinking or an amorous three-way between a Harley-Davidson Road Glide, DN-01 and Gold Wing, the F6B is certainly something new for Honda. Cosmetically the F6B is a Gold Wing with a new seat and without the touring model’s tall windscreen and rear topbox/passenger backrest. The style is undeniably cool while the blacked-out treatment provides a hint of menace.
The F6B owns the same seat height as the GL, but the new seat is narrower at the tank junction and when sitting on the F6B the reach to the ground is noticeably lessened, as is the 62-pound reduction in weight. Boasting a claimed curb weight of 842 pounds, the F6B is 62 pounds less than a base model GL largely by way of the omitted on-board compressor and reverse gear found on the touring bike.
Engine, frame, transmission, saddlebag capacity, etc., remain unchanged from the full-dress Gold Wing.
Other Returning Models:
2013 Honda CB1100 Review - Quick Ride
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2013 Honda CBR250R Gets Repsol Edition
Honda to Produce MotoGP-Derived V4 Superbike
Honda Announces Returning 2013 Models with New Colors
2013 Honda CRF250L Review
2013 Honda Metropolitan Review
2013 Honda PCX150 Review