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  1. #1 Scooter or motorcycle? Honda blurs the line 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    So what exactly is it that distinguishes a scooter from a motorcycle? Wikipedia tells us this: "A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet." Could we not further refine this to say that a scooter has a stepless or continuously variable transmission, meaning you don't bother with clutch and manual gearbox.

    OK, so what on earth is this new creature -- unveiled by Honda at EICMA 2010, the International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan?









    Honda calls this the Mid Concept, and it's creating some buzz in Milan.

    OK, is it a scooter or a motorbike? It's not quite a step-through, but hell, where are the footpegs? Well, it looks like there are little platforms for your feet down inside that giant fairing. There's a lever on the left bar that would be a clutch lever on a motorcycle. What is it here? Honda says this has a "dual clutch transmission" that heretofore was used only on the VFR1200F. Does that 1200 have automatic transmission? What the devil is dual clutch?

    No word at all on displacement or output, at least not that I can find. But it sure looks like a beefy powerplant -- maybe 500cc or even 650cc.

    Viewed from the front, those 17-inch wheels do look rather scooterish.

    Needless to say, we won't be seeing this model here in China anytime soon, except perhaps in the shanzhai labs of Guangdong and Shandong.

    Bikerdoc, I'm keen to hear your take on this beast. What the hell is it?


    Here's the text of the Honda news release:

    Honda New Mid Concept
    The Ultimate Travel Tool revealed at EICMA 2010

    MILAN, Italy, November 2, 2010 - The New Mid Concept has been revealed at Honda Press Conference at EICMA 2010, the International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, Italy.

    Honda New Mid Concept reinvents the way we look at two wheeled travel. This concept combines innovative thinking and new technology to create a multi discipline machine.

    Taking the spirit of a sports motorcycle and the comfort of a scooter into a totally new format, the New Mid Concept will offer the energetic riding sensation of a motorcycle but with the ease and convenience of a scooter. This sector shattering combination of features creates a bike that is both visually dynamic and enjoyable to ride.

    The latest engine technology has been coupled with the advanced Dual Clutch Transmission technology up to now exclusively offered on the VFR1200F. Now Honda has committed to offer this technology to more of our customers, as it challenges decades of motorcycling convention and gives riders a unique sensation of seamless gear shifts.

    Dual Clutch Transmission will give the rider the option of experiencing a pure riding experience, indulging in the thrill of the winding roads, or riding with ease when weaving through city traffic. In addition to giving a dynamic riding experience, this new transmission can also deliver fuel efficiency better than a conventional manual gearbox.

    The foot-forward position will provide comfort for the rider and offer additional protection from weather.

    The newly designed 17 inch wheels with PRO-LINK rear suspension add to the motorcycle look and enhance high speed stability and maneuverability with the optimum size radial tyres giving a sporty ride. The front fairing air vents coupled with the larger wheels will deliver greater stability when riding at higher speeds.

    The New Mid Concept from Honda challenging the way we travel.
    cheers!
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #2 Re: Scooter or motorcycle? Honda blurs the line 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Googled around a bit, and found this image from motorcyclenews.com, apparently shot on the show floor in Milan. Here you can see clearly the platform for your right foot. And maybe that's an ashtray in the red panel by your right knee.



    Oh, and I found this excellent Wikipedia description of the dual-clutch transmission. And here's what it says about Honda's plans:

    In October 2009, Honda launched the VFR1200F, a motorcycle with a 1,200 cc V4 engine and optional DCT dubbed the Next Generation Transmission. In May 2009, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui mentioned that Honda was working on a new dual clutch transmission system that could be matched with future hybrids.
    Is this one of the "future hybrids"?

    cheers
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
    Reply With Quote  
     

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