Honda PH launches P1.88-M Gold Wing, 2 Neo Sports Café models

The event marks the Japanese brand’s big-bike offensive for 2019
by Aris Ilagan | Dec 18, 2018
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Honda Philippines has officially unveiled the mighty 2019 Gold Wing touring motorcycle along with two other hot roadsters, the CB1000R and the CB650R. The launch of these models makes the local big-bike segment more exciting than ever.

Just a month ago, the three Honda bikes stole the show at EICMA in Milan. When Pinoy big-bike aficionados caught wind of the news, they naturally expressed their desire to see these awesome road machines in the country. Well, their voices were apparently heard by the Honda bosses in Japan.

Masayuki Igarashi, president and CEO of Asian Honda Company, and Susumu Mitsuishi, president of Honda PH, led the unveiling of the three new models at the Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC).

Igarashi said they’ve noticed the growing demand for motorbikes with bigger engine displacements in the Philippines, prompting them to respond accordingly. “These big bikes will be made available in major Honda stores nationwide, complete with a reliable service support,” he stressed.

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Here are more details on Honda’s latest road conquerors:

Honda Gold Wing

Meet ‘El Supremo’ of all touring bikes. The Gold Wing’s 40-year heritage has elevated the long-distance motorcycle to a higher level by placing emphasis not only on power and safety, but also on comfort and styling. A redesign of the previous version, the 2019 Gold Wing is narrower and more nimble to ride than its precursor.

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Powered by a mighty 1,800cc SOHC horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, this tourer boats superior handling and ride comfort. The massive powerplant is mated to Honda’s seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

Modern driver aids include Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), electronic suspension pre-load, cruise control, a slipper clutch, and four riding modes (Tour, Sport, Rain, and Econ). Other convenience features include hill-start assist, walking/reverse mode, keyless ignition, and—dig this—an airbag package. The Gold Wing is priced at P1,880,000.

Honda CB1000R Neo Sports Café

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Even after unleashing the classic CB1100EX upon the local market early this year, Honda decided its offerings in the hotly contested standard/naked category still needed to be beefed up some more.

Compact but still quite muscular-looking, the new CB1000R Neo Sports Café embodies the modern-retro styling currently favored by the growing ranks of Pinoy lifestyle riders. It’s a lot lighter than the CB1100EX, which has a solid steel construction, and features many old-school design cues such as the iconic round headlamp (though now with LED technology), a flangeless fuel tank, and a sexy aluminum cowl made of lightweight aluminum.

Designed for riders who prefer an upright riding position, this liter bike offers superior handling, ride comfort, and power. The 998cc liquid-cooled, in-line-four engine produces 147.8hp at 10,500rpm and 104Nm at 8,250rpm. Modern amenities include a throttle-by-wire system, multiple riding modes, a full LCD, and a radial-mounted dual-disc brake.

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Priced at P865,000, the CB1000R Neo Sports Café is expected to lock horns with other hot-selling standard bikes like the Yamaha MT-09, the Suzuki GSX-S1000, and the Kawasaki Z900 and Z1000.

Honda CB650R Neo Sports Café

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The real battleground in the local big-bike category is the middleweight segment. Affordable, maneuverable, fuel-efficient, and manageable in standstill traffic, middleweight motorcycles  are now the top choice of many big bikers—seasoned and beginners alike.

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Like its big brother, the CB650R Neo Sports Café is blessed with modern-retro styling. It has a lighter frame, too, than the Honda CB650F standard bike. Powered by a 649cc liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine, the CB650R is equipped with a new LCD panel, Showa Separate Function front suspension (SSF), four-piston radial-mount brake calipers, an assist/slipper clutch, HSTC, and a stylish 4-2-1 exhaust system.

Judging from the tale of the tape, the CB650R is a good match against the Yamaha MT-07 middleweight roadster. It’s priced at P501,000.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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