☆奇妙なバイクを発見


 アメリカで、奇妙なバイクが発表された。
 デビュー元はアメリカンホンダ。エンジンはVTR1000ベースだが、V型2気筒水冷エンジンなのにラジエターはシートカウルの中、フロント足まわりはステアリングヘッド一体のダンパーによる1本サス&片持ち、フロントブレーキは超大径のリムマウントシングルディスク、超軽量そうな片持ち式リヤスイングアーム、エンジン下の大型排気チャンバー……。新世代のアメリカンスポーツなのだそうだ。
 どこまでが展示用の見せ物的コンセプトモデルなのか、どこまでが本当にデビューするモデルのヒントを提示しているのか。まあ、気楽に眺めて楽しんでいただきたい。一応、以下に英文のリリースを。
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 6, 2001

TORRANCE, CA‐American Honda revealed today a new concept bike at The Honda
International Superbike Classic at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.
Dubbed the New American Sports, this innovative exercise in design and styling
takes direct aim at the over-arching theme that motivates the majority of
motorcyclists everywhere: gorgeous hardware.

According to Martin Manchester, project director at Honda R&D Americas, “This
concept bike takes a new direction in motorcycling, a path that emphasizes the
aesthetics in the execution and creation of a sport bike. Performance always
takes a high profile in motorcycling, but we were looking to reinforce the
emotional attachment that owners have with their bikes. We achieved that goal by
placing a major emphasis on the exposed hardware on this machine, dressing it up
rather than concealing it behind bodywork. We’ve applied a great deal of
forward-looking technology plus distinctive styling touches throughout, and
lavished a huge amount of detail work on this bike. Because every bit of
hardware on this machine has been designed for aesthetic appeal, the New
American Sports purposely transcends the compromises typically dictated by
production, function and cost issues.”

With a super abundance of eye candy‐carbon fiber, titanium, machined billet
aluminum‐all rolled into one package, it becomes difficult to list the
highlights on this forward-think exercise. Centralizing the mass around the
engine played a key role in the original design, and the front and rear ends are
purposely left with a light and airy appearance. A carbon fiber/aluminum
mono-arm front suspension with a massive steering head and integrated steering
damper certainly draws attention, as do the organically shaped billet wheels and
aluminum frame. The single floating rim-mounted front brake is likewise
startling in appearance, and then you notice that the handsomely finished
liquid-cooled V-twin engine appears to lack a radiator‐it’s actually hidden
away beneath the bodywork in the abbreviated tail section!

Exquisitely formed carbon-fiber skinwork abounds, and the single-sided Pro-Arm
swing arm incorporates a skeletonized structure. Four projector beam headlights
lend to a compact nose, and the Indiglow instruments along with the compact
controls and switches add to the clean, Spartan look.

As Martin Manchester summarizes, “We set out to re-create the sports category
using the inherent beauty of well-executed motorcycle hardware. This concept
should attract the serious enthusiasts, those who appreciate the high-tech,
finely turned-out elements in a motorcycle.” Take one look at the New American
Sports, and you’ll surely agree. But then, what else would you expect from an
all-out effort by Honda R&D Americas?