Honda to Introduce Larger “New Concept” Models for North America
Honda announced it is following up on its NC700 series with a new large-sized model, with sales expected to begin in North America in 2013. Honda first announced plans for its NC700 models in at the 2010 EICMA show with a concept it called the “New Mid“, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise Honda would follow it up with a “New Large” series.
The new models were announced in a presentation by Honda Chief Executive Officer Takanobu Ito alongside plans to develop a new MotoGP-derived sportbike. The larger NC models won’t be nearly as exotic as the new V4 sportbike, but more of an extension of the NC700 series’ philosophy of a practical, efficient motorcycle.
Like the NC700 series, Ito says the new models will be designed for daily commuting and weekend touring. Ito also says the new models will also offer low seat heights and “torqueful” engines with a focus on ease of handling and comfort with high stability in maneuvering.
Perhaps the most interesting news is the new series will begin production in February 2013 at Honda’s Kumamoto factory with North America to get the first production models. The NC series arrived in the U.S. months after they were introduced in Europe and other markets, so the decision to begin sales of the new series in North America suggest Honda really believes in the success of its “New Concept” philosophy in this market.
Ito wasn’t specific about how many models will make up this new series. The NC700 series is produced in three iterations, the adventure-styled NC700X, the standard NC700S and the Integra scooter. The new series will likely follow a similar philosophy offering the same engine and chassis, though it remains to be seen how many versions will be introduced. Of the NC700 models, only the X version is available in the U.S., but American consumers will likely have at least another option with these new models.
We expect to have more information in the weeks to come when Honda unveils the production models either at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, in the first week of October, or in November in Milan, Italy, at the 2012 EICMA show.