2011 Tokyo Motor Show Preview: Retro-electric Honda motorcycle concepts

The Tokyo Motor Show is widely known as a place where Japan’s auto industry cuts loose with the funkiest concepts their engineers can conjure. At the last biennial show in 2009, Honda showcased its future electric tech under a nostalgic, N360-inspired wrapper with the Honda EV-N. This year, they’ll be doing the same with motorcycles. 

Remember the foldable, Honda-City-stowable Honda Motocompo? Well this is the Honda Motor Compo, an electric motorcycle whose battery is detachable and can be used “as a power source in every day life.” It’s about the size of a suitcase and like the Motocompo, can be stored in a tiny city runabout (in this case the Micro Commuter Concept.

The Honda RC-E is an electric crotch rocket comparable in size to a 250cc-class sportbike. Its name and awesome livery hail from the 1961 Honda RC162, the West German Grand Prix 250cc class champion piloted by Takahashi Kunimitsu, who would later become one the hakosuka Skyline GT-R‘s most revered drivers during its “50 Victories” years.

The 14,000rpm RC162 was significant for being the first Japanese bike to win a World GP race, and Kunimitsu the first Japanese rider to do so. Its win served as the Big Bang from which all of Honda’s motorcycle racing dominance of the Sixties would spring. If there is interest in the subject, perhaps we can write a separate article on Honda’s mind-bending surge onto the World GP scene.

And for those who prefer to move from point A to B inside their vehicle rather than on it, there’s the tentatively named Small Sports EV Concept. Many are hailing the open-top two-seater as a return of the Honda Beat, the mid-engined convertible kei car that bore Soichiro Honda‘s final stamp of approval before his passing in 1991. Honda has released no specs as of yet.

The Tokyo Motor Show begins November 30 and our man Skorji will be on hand to report, so stay tuned.

[Images: Honda]

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13 Responses to 2011 Tokyo Motor Show Preview: Retro-electric Honda motorcycle concepts

  1. Tyler said:

    Oh, that headlight is definitely Beat. No mistaking it.

    I hope they release the bike and EVN as a set just like the City and Motocompo. Although the VW E-Up! looks pretty tempting too.

    • Tyler said:

      That removable battery in the bike is fantastic! Imagine having one in the bike and one charging at home at all times, like a power drill. Honda designers seem to be doing a pretty darn good job.

  2. Brownie said:

    if i get the electric compo at least i don’t have to worry about the hot exhaust when carrying that little thing.

  3. E-AT_me said:

    i love honda if nothing just FOR these reasons. i don’t care that they don’t have a “real” sports car in there lineup. well, i do.. but hopefully that will change someday.

  4. Tofu_Delivery said:

    there are rumors of a new nsx…

  5. shane_lxi said:

    Do want electric motocompo!

  6. Lincoln Stax said:

    Wow, this brings back memories of when Honda could pride itself on being an engineering firm. The Motor Compo is a great idea.

    I also love the look of the RC-E. That paint scheme is so iconic. I’m a bit of a history nut, so I was aware of Honda’s motorcycle GP efforts, but I never put 2+2 together to realize that Takahashi Kunimitsu was one of the great Skyline GT-R pilots of the early ’70s. I could definitely go for an article about Honda’s motorcycle racing history.

  7. John said:

    If there is interest in the subject, perhaps we can write a separate article on Honda’s mind-bending surge onto the World GP scene

    That NEEDS to be done. :)

  8. showa said:

    Please do the Honda GP write-up. It would be nice to see some articles like that for the nostalgic Japanese bikes …

  9. F3ARED said:

    Hondas stubborn insistance with EV is quite frankly begining to disapoint me….sports cars/bikes etc arent about hugging the planet and smelling daisys.

    They are about noise, power, precision.

  10. cesariojpn said:

    Someone get Kōsuke Fujishima and start making You’re Under Arrest! manga and anime again!! We have Miyuki’s new Motocompo!!

  11. hahaha, this reminds me about that sony walkman i had back in the 90′s :))

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