February 15, 2006 Reports emanating from informed sources suggest Honda is about to release its first turbocharged motorcycle in a quarter of a century with a turbocharged version of the VTX Concept 2 (pictured) which debuted at the Chicago Show in 2004. Designed by HRA (Honda R&D Americas) in Torrance, California, the bike is reported to have use a turbocharged version of the existing Honda VTX motor, which would give it a power output of 110 to 120 kW and brutal acceleration.
Turbocharging became very fashionable amongst Japanese motorcycle manufactures in the late 1970s when all of the big four created turbocharged bikes in the 650 to 750 capacity class, all of which produced excellent power, but all of which suffered from dreadful turbo-lag. The problems associated with having a motorcycle kick hard when cranked over were never really satisfactorily overcome and all of the bikes were discontinued.
The VTX Concept 2 shown at several major American motorcycle shows features a lot of lightweight aluminium and carbon fiber, with styling reminiscent of a sports bike such as a 2 into 2 exhaust with upswept carbon fiber mufflers and dual curved "road race" style radiators.
The motorcycle provides conventional American cruisers with new values and adopted unique structures including a trailing-link front suspension Milled from billet aluminium and a rear wheel with split hub. We loved the existing VTX 1800 when we rode it, describing it as “capable of thunderous acceleration”, and that was with the standard 75 kW motor – imagine how the bike will accelerate with 110+ kW! No doubt the new bike is a reaction to the extraordinary success of the Triumph Rocket III, and quite clearly, the new VTX would offer similar mid-range grunt to the big British triple, with an all-important bigger top end.