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New middleweight adventure machines. Left: Honda Crossrunner. Right: Suzuki V-Strom 650 AB...

"Adventure" bikes are about as practical and unglamorous as motorcycling gets. They're fairly ugly to look at, they're often ridden hard and put away wet, they're taken to dirty places and they have dirty things done to them. Which to my mind has always made them a preserve of the hardcore rider - these are not ridden by Harley polishers or leather-clad latte sippers, they're ridden by folks that like to get out and throw motorcycles around out where it's tough. So it's encouraging to see that the adventure class is heating up more than ever in 2011 - and two new middleweight all-roaders from Suzuki and Honda now come into a mix that's becoming almost saturated with bikes like the Kawasaki Versys, the BMW F800GS, the Yamaha Tenere and Triumph's Tiger 800.  Read More

The CR-Z MUGEN concept

UK-based MUGEN Euro have taken up the challenge to give the Honda CR-Z some extra grunt to produce the CR-Z MUGEN concept. The vehicle adds a supercharger to the CR-Z hybrid’s 1.5-liter gasoline engine and IMA electric motor to increase the vehicle’s output from 122 to 198 horsepower and ups the torque from 128 to 181 lb-ft. Honda UK and MUGEN have just released the first official pics of the vehicle ahead of its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to be held in West Sussex, England, in July.  Read More

HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS at 30,000 ft (Photo: Honda)

Honda's first light business jet has exceeded its projected top speed just three months on from its maiden flight. Michimasa Fujino first sketched the HondaJet with its distinctive over-the-wing engine-mount design in 1997. Almost 15 years later the journey towards production is almost complete with the latest milestone seeing the 5-seater aircraft hit 425 KTAS (that's "knots true airspeed") or 489 mph at 30,000 ft – topping the 420 KTAS maximum cruising speed projected for the production model.  Read More

Honda to offer hybrid Fit Shuttle

Honda Japan has launched a special website featuring the all-new compact Fit Shuttle, scheduled to debut in March. The big news is that in addition to a petrol Fit Shuttle, Honda will offer a hybrid model equipped with Integrated Motor Assist making it the first wagon-type hybrid model in its class. Clearly the hybrid is now beginning to permeate every class of vehicle.  Read More

Honda's 2011 CBR250R

Twenty years ago, quarter-liter sportsbikes ruled the roost in many regions, offering a mix of racy looks, light weight and snappy performance. But in recent years, with all the other major players leaving the segment, Kawasaki has enjoyed unchallenged sales success with its sharp-looking, yet friendly Ninja 250. But the mini-ninja will soon face stiff competition from Honda's totally re-conceived babyblade CBR250R, equipped with a 249cc single-cylinder, fuel injected engine, a tasty fairing that mimics the CBR1000RR and the first instance of optional ABS to grace the market segment. This will be a killer learner machine and a great introduction to the sport for legions of young riders. It's good to see the quarter-liter segment getting some love again. Oh, and check out what the aftermarket's already coming up with for these new machines.  Read More

Honda Soltec announces smaller, more efficient thin film solar cell design

A few years back we reported on the establishment of Honda Soltec, a Honda subsidiary devoted to the development of thin-film solar technology. This week that same group announced that it would be releasing a new thin-film cell that will rank among the world's most efficient with an expected module conversion efficiency of more than 13%.  Read More

The HondaJet completed its maiden flight on Dec. 20

The first FAA-conforming HA-420 HondaJet has successfully completed its maiden flight, signaling the start of flight-testing to support certification of the aircraft. The milestone took place on December 20 with the aircraft taking off from the Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, for a flight that lasted 51 minutes.  Read More

The solar-powered public EV charging station

The lack of support infrastructure is one of the major hurdles for alternative fuel vehicles that use batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Honda’s vision for solar-powered home-based hydrogen production station is one effort to ease the transition from fossil to alternative fuels and now the company has revealed plans to trial a solar-powered public EV charging station and conduct testing of a range of electric vehicles and technologies in real-world urban transportation environments, starting with Japan.  Read More

Honda shows BRIO city car prototype

Honda finally showed the smaller-than-small city car it has been developing for Asian markets - the Honda BRIO - today at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. It will be the smallest, lightest and cheapest car in the Honda range when it goes on sale in India and Thailand next year - around THB 400,000 (US$13,300).  Read More

The Fit EV has a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h), which should be more than adequate for co...

Honda slipped two more pieces of the Honda Electric Mobility Network into place at the LA Auto Show yesterday, revealing a Fit EV Concept and details of the plug-in hybrid platform, both of which forecast vehicles that will hit showrooms in 2012. The Fit EV and plug-in platform are impressive, but the evolution of Honda's Electric Mobility Network is looking increasingly like a killer proposition for consumers.  Read More

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