Honda is to give a preview of its planned electric motorcycle on the 2nd of January 2023 in the unusual setting of the 134th Rose Parade – America’s New Year celebration in Pasedena, California as part of the famous Rose Bowl college football game.
Honda is sponsor of the Rose Bowl, hence its deep involvement and the fact it’s likely to be our first glimpse at the firm’s electric motorcycle of the future. It’s released an artist’s impression of the planned float that will take part in the Rose Parade, illustrating an electric bike that closely resembles both patents and teasers that Honda has previously published.
While Honda already has electric scooters and mopeds on the market in various parts of the world and will soon have the EM1 e: in showrooms here in the UK, the company hasn’t put a ‘proper’ electric motorcycle into production yet. We’ve previously revealed several patents pointing towards the development direction of Honda’s first electric motorcycle – expected to be a 125cc-class, 11kW (15hp) model with ‘Neo Sports Café’ styling similar to the CB125R, CB1000R and CB650R – and the Rose Parade machine looks likely to fit that description as well.
While the artist’s impression only shows the rear ¾ angle of the bike, there’s clearly a simple, box-section swingarm and a steel tube frame, while the battery and motor are packaged into a block that vaguely resembles the shape and size of a conventional combustion engine.
Honda’s announcement of the float design says: “Represented on the base of the float is the Prologue, Honda’s first all-electric SUV, arriving in 2024, as well as the electrified Acura ARX-06 race machine that will soon compete in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and a Honda electric motorcycle.”
“Our determination to advance the future of mobility is embodied in the Honda products on our parade float and in the 2023 Rose Parade theme of ‘Turning the Corner,’” said Jessika Laudermilk, Assistant Vice President of Marketing for American Honda. “Honda continues to embark on new initiatives utilizing our core technologies that will help people make their own lives better, today and tomorrow, and we’re proud to showcase that in this year’s Rose Parade.”
Back in August 2020, we revealed Honda’s patent for a 125cc-equivalent electric bike sharing components with the CB125R – a tactic that appears similar to the route Kawasaki is taking with its 2023 Z EV and Ninja EV models, both based around many components of existing combustion-engined machines.
In January 2021, further patents added to the growing bank of evidence that Honda is taking this route, showing more detail of certain elements of the bike. And when Honda announced its official plan to have at least 10 electric two-wheelers on the market by 2025 in September this year, it showed teaser images of two electric motorcycles with the signature ‘Neo Sports Café’ styling cues, along with several scooter and moped models.
The new artist’s impression shows a similar tail unit to the one seen in the firm’s patents, but perhaps with a more aerodynamic headlight design than the oversized, flat-fronted circular lamp seen on the other patents and teasers. More is sure to become clear on 2nd January when the real Honda float takes pride of place in the Rose Parade.