An organic skeleton
theme echoes repeatedly from the front wheel back to the frame, swingarm
and rear wheel, justa s bones are connected in the human form. These
structural elements combine thick and thin sections, like a paired tibia/fibula
in the lower leg. This organic, sculptured look blends with the hardware
and technology for a fresh, aesthetic appeal. (What ad agency copywriter
wrote this BS?).
Honda New American Sports
A beautiful naked sports concept bike from HRA. But will
it ever be built?
Honda R&D Americas
(HRA) is American Honda's top-secret think-tank, and it exists for one
reason: to shape our motorcycling future. By all appearances, this latest
creation from HRA will achieve exactly that goal. Meet the New American
Sports, an innovative exercise in sportbike design aimed at the very
heart of what drives every mechanically minded motorcyclist across the
USA: gorgeous hardware.
According to Martin
Manchester, executive designer at HRA, "This concept bike takes
a new direction in motorcycling, a path that emphasizes the beauty and
aesthetics in the execution and creation of a sportbike. Performance
always takes a high profile in motorcycling, but we are reinforcing
the emotional attachment that owners have with their bikes. There's
a major emphasis on the exposed hardware on this machine; it's dressed
up rather than concealed behind bodywork. We've also
stressed forward-looking technology and distinctive styling by lavishing
a huge amount of detail work on this bike. Because every bit of hardware
on this machine has been designed for aesthetic appeal, the NAS purposely
ranscends the constraints typically dictated by production, function
and cost issues." (Meaning it will probably never see production
in this form -Ed.).
The front brake's large size and outboard mounting serve a functional
purpose in enhancing stopping power, and also accentuate the wheel's
airy and lightweight styling. HRA designed the billet aluminum wheels,
taking cues from organic, asymmetrical shapes contained within the human
HRA Senior Designer, launched the NAS project in the winter of 1999
(After Ducati first introduced it's inovative retro/modern/art deco
Halliwood Replica at the Milan Show that year from which the American
Sports is obviouslky inspired, but in a fully modern application),
and he described how this futuristic concept took shape. "Our goal
was to not only create the image of a futuristic machine, but we also
took the bike to an unusually high degree of finish work, perfecting
new methods of model construction. And we purposely pushed motorcycle
engineering concepts into the "what if" realm."
to set a new direction for sportbikes, back to the street rather than
toward the racetrack. Since the vast majority of consumers spend their
entire riding lives on the street, not the track, it's not necessary
to establish racing function as the top priority. So we gave the New
American Sports a highly personal, owner-directed allure, using visible
mechanical parts that are highly stylized and finely finished."
The NAS is pure
mechanical eye candy: carbon-fiber, titanium and machined billet aluminum
all rolled into one package. This concept should attract enthusiasts
who appreciate the leading-edge, high-quality elements in a motorcycle
and would take pride in owning superior hardware. Look at the New American
Sports, and see a future fueled y imagination, where an appreciation
for the mechanical aesthetic is every bit as cherished as pure performance.
We can't help but wonder what else is caroming around in the minds at
Honda R&D Americas.