October 24, 2005 Honda’s media information for the Tokyo Motor Show exhibits was sparse this year and kept everyone guessing as to exactly what was behind the exterior of the motorcycle stand’s central focus – a concept motorcycle with a stylish superscooter exterior dubbed the E4-01. Accompanying the image of the bike was the simple sentence, “Honda's vision of the future begins with the E4-01 concept vehicle which offers customers a new take on motorcycling lifestyles.”
The E4-01 has some strong visual similarities to the centrepiece of the 2003 Tokyo Show motorcycle exhibition which was dubbed the Griffon, and the Griffon was an evolution of the 2001 centrepiece, the full-roofed Elysium, both powered by 750cc horizontally opposed motors. Our initial suspicion that it was an electric motorcycle was also wrong. It's a 900cc motorcycle with "sports automatic" transmission, and claims of supersport performance and handling, all wrapped up in scooter styling.
The E4 stands for Elegance, Excitement, Enjoyment and Ease. Everything about the E4-01 has been developed in accordance and Honda claims the E4-01 offers the performance of a super sport bike with the comfort of a tourer.
One of the most interesting aspects of the bike is that it comes in at under 200 kilograms, which makes it pretty nimble for a 900cc motorcycle.
Rolling on 17-inch wheels and fitted with an inverted fork front suspension and Pro-Link rear suspension with Pro-Arm swingarm, the E4-01 is not lacking in specification.
The E4-01's most interesting feature is its Dynamic Airscreen - the E4-01 has an opening in the front fairing directed to an outlet at the top of the screen. This technology is calimed to significantly reduce wind noise and wind blast while reducing rider fatigue, all without degrading visibility. If this is a breakthrough as claimed, it will be very important - one of the key problems with riding motorcycles is the damage done to riders' hearing by prolonged wind-roar.
This design also offers the passenger excellent wind protection, which, combined with the Dynamic Airscreen, reduces feelings of fatigue. Thus, the E4-01 offers new sensations in tandem riding comfort.
Finally, the E4-01 is equipped with a newly developed "Sports Automatic" transmission, which Honda claims is easy to operate, while still delivering elegant yet exciting performance.