Common Tread

Rumors: Honda putting CB900R into production

Jul 02, 2015

This may just be wishful thinking, but boy would this be a fun one to see come to fruition. 

But first, let's track this rumor back a bit.

Way back in 2007, Honda released several prototypes at the Tokyo Motor show. Included were the Honda CB1100F, which made it into production, as well as the CB1100R, which is actually the bike pictured below.

Honda CB900R
Could this concept be coming back as a 900? Honda photo.

As it was around the time the cafe thing started to take off, it was obvious that the naked CB1100F was destined for production. The R, however, was left to sit like an unattainable supermodel, shining brightly in the corner as an exercise of Honda's love for bringing up their beautiful heritage.

Cut to this week, and this article from Indonesian blog Warungasep (gotta love Google Alerts). Warungasep quotes a Japanese magazine called Young Machine, which put claims to have the inside scoop on the new bike and put it on the cover.

Young Machine Magazine.

Young Machine claims the bike will be 900 cc instead of 1100 cc. If you look closely at the pictures Warungasep posted, you can see Honda has made a few changes to the concept machine we saw back in 2007. For instance, the mirrors have been moved down as bar ends, the front indicators now protrude from the front fairings, and the engine covers get more gold.

If we leave the question of Young Machine magazine's credibility and accuracy alone for a minute, the real question to me is whether a CB900R would sell. It certainly doesn't fit in with the normal hipster garb, which is how most current retros get a pass. I think that some dude pulling up to a motorcycle cafe on this thing will see far more disappointment in people's eyes when he tells them it's a 2016 than the hipster does with his Bonneville and its fake carbs. The concept was a hit when released in 2007, but people thinking a bike is cool on a stage and people paying to own and ride one are two different things.

Part of me thinks bikes like this should maybe be left alone, only make their appearance with the smell and sounds that we so often attribute to such machines.

For now, only time will tell if this thing becomes a reality and if people will actually put their money where their mouth is.