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Honda's automatic bike

2005-12-22 15:20

John Oxley

One of the big surprises at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Honda E4-01 features a big high torque 903cc V-twin engine, but attached to an automatic gearbox developed from those in Honda's top quad bikes, driving the rear wheel by shaft.

The gearbox, which has six speeds, can be operated in either full auto mode - for around town and cruising - in manual mode for normal driving, or in manual sports mode for those tempting mountain passes.

The bike also features smooth and clean styling, two comfortable stepped seats, and a well-designed fairing to keep the elements at bay, yet still manages to look sporty and modern.


It?s also quite functional, with room in the under-seat stowage for two helmets.

The bike is surprisingly nimble, and weighs less than 200 kg.

It has 17 inch wheels and is fitted with an inverted fork suspension and what is described as the world's first Unit Pro-Link rear suspension with Pro-Arm swing arm.

The "Dynamic Airscreen" features an opening in the front cowl directed at an outlet at the top of the screen. This technology significantly reduces wind noise and wind blast while reducing rider fatigue, all without degrading visibility.

The step-through floor enhances operability in a wide range of riding situations and positions.

"It is a bike, definitely not a scooter, but it's just as convenient," said a Honda spokesman.

However, no-one is saying when the bike is slated for production, although the twinkles in their eyes definitely indicated it WILL be made.

Inside Wheels24

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