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Honda Displays Bulldog Concept at Osaka Motorshow

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Looking a bit like an overgrown Ruckus scooter, the Bulldog concept bike displayed by Honda at the Osaka Motorshow features a 400 cc parallel twin engine with a chassis holding small, 15″ wheels wrapped with beefy, wide rubber that looks like it could traverse just about any terrain. The seat height is an extremely low 28″.

Honda describes the Bulldog as a “lovable touring partner”. Perhaps that is a face only a mother could love? In the video below, taken at the show, you will see that the faux gas tank is actually a storage compartment that compliments the storage racks on the machine. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bulldog hit production sometime soon. The Ruckus has been a big hit, and the Bulldog translates that character into a larger, more powerful machine.

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124 Comments

  1. Fivespeed302 says:

    Quite possibly the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, rivaling that nude meth head prostitute pic that’s gone viral.

  2. Ahh sweet memories of Fallout and STALKER, and the bike – looks cool!

  3. Wayne says:

    Boy, does this remind me of my 1988 R100GS, which got nicknamed ‘the Bumblebee’. Like that bike, this doesn’t fit into any pre-ordained category, so it allows people to imagine using it how they choose. Headed out to the field with irrigation parts? Check! Commuting to work? Check! Stripped down and painted up as a Mad Max replica? Check! Plus, it has a friendly appearance that doesn’t require a trip to the costume shop or step ladders to climb aboard. We need more bikes like this because our sport takes itself way too seriously. I sure hope they build it and bring it to North America, because I want one!

  4. HondaBest says:

    Hydraulic lifters mech tappets are no longer required with hi pressure oil and improved/quality design

  5. ApriliaRST says:

    This bike would work well on dirt roads in the Rockies or Appalachian mountains. It’d also make a good selection to check crops or livestock on a ranch or farm or perhaps on fence mending detail. This bike is the new Trail 90.

  6. Mike says:

    I like it alot.

    Scarrry…..this might be one of the few Hondas offered recently that could actually sell in the USA (could, being the key word), but there has to be a massive sales potential in many of the worldwide markets.

    One could discuss the paint color, design features and other nits…..but this will not be a bike you will forget soon and admit it…many of us gave consideration on how it could fit into our motorcycle lives vs rejecting it immediately

  7. Kaplah says:

    Now if it came with 2-wheel drive, then that would make it the ultimate apocalypse/Alaska scoot.

  8. rapier says:

    Looks like just the thing for post apocalypse but who is going to have any money to buy it then? Preppers take note.

    • Rudedog4 says:

      after the apocalypse, money will be obsolete

      • Norm G. says:

        but those storage bins will hold a cornucopia of MRE delights till such time agriculture is re-established upon “scorched lands”.

      • Norm G. says:

        wait, what kind of apocalypse are we dealing with here exactly…? Zombie or Generic…? if Zombie, belay my last.

  9. Nico says:

    Please Honda use this 400 CC twin and put it in a Crf 450 frame to make a Crf400 l instead of this bizarre thing! And stop doing to heavy and restrictive exhaust that close the hp on all your motorcycles! And yes…. I like my Crf 250 l!

  10. Jmess says:

    Best thing I’ve seen outta Honda in a long time. The bloated guppy tank needs to be tamed though. Build it; they will come.

  11. KayFlyte says:

    Clearly designed for the Asian market. All these U.S. “expert” commenters notwithstanding. Color, displacement, architecture, looks. If Honda builds it I believe it will sell. If they import it to the U.S. hmmm… maybe not. Either way it doesn’t need a 500cc engine and will never get one for North America. Else Honda would have Bulldogs and CB 500’s competing against each other on their dealers’ sales floors.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I get the feeling that there wouldn’t be much cross-shop overlap between this bike and the CB500s regardless of which engine you put in it. At least no more than one cross-shops an NM4 with an NC700X.

  12. ABQ says:

    Make the storage into a real big gas tank.
    Put in the 700cc engine from the ctx model.
    Change the name to Coyote or Lobo.
    If I want storage I will buy it.
    And most of all, LISTEN TO US.

  13. John says:

    It’s a great idea for VERY short people and maybe beginners, but since this is such a FANTASTIC idea, why not a 500cc version with regular suspension and wheels? Maybe a 19″ up front, wire spokes, 6-8″ of travel. Then you’d have the truly bad ass ADV tourer than the CB500X is not.

  14. Nate says:

    I dig it. I’d take it on a Trans-Am Trail trip in a heartbeat

  15. SausageCreature says:

    The color scheme is crap (especially that shade of blue), but otherwise I like it.

  16. paul246 says:

    This IS just a concept bike….. I like the idea.

  17. takehikes says:

    If that tank is fake then take it off……imagine how light it would loook…of course not telling how its installed or whats under it but it could be slick looking without it and fun as hell….

    • KayFlyte says:

      Take the ‘tank off’ ? It’s (the only secure) storage on the bike. Go buy one then YOU take it off.

  18. GKS says:

    Further proof that, increasingly, not everything Honda designs is intended for North American or European consumption. I can envision a family of five piled on this bike, along with a goat, headed to market. It is obvious to me anyhow, that this bike is intended for the Asian market (particularly India and China, the two largest 2-wheel markets worldwide). It is the Osaka Motor Show after all.

  19. slipjoint says:

    harikari took care of poor designers in the past,Honda should pass out some retro hr materials.

  20. clasqm says:

    Yes, it’s ugly. But as a commuter for badly potholed 3rd-world roads, this may be perfect. If the faux tank is all storage space, then the fuel tank must be under the seat. Excellent mass centralization. The protruding bulges on the faux tank gives both splash protection to the legs and additional crash protection. It’s not a long-distance machine, so comfort is secondary. Lots of places to lash a bungee strap onto.

    The indicators could be moved further inboard, but yes, I can see a market for this in counties where motorcycles are basic transportation rather than weekend toys.

  21. Buzz says:

    This is the bike you get when you put the Milk Crate Brigade in charge.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for the chuckle! Indeed, a milk crate would look very much like it belongs, bungee corded to the back seat.

    • MG3 says:

      Just an aside here. I took two cross-country trips back in my youth, both times with a milk crate bungied to the luggage rack on the backs of my Honda 750F and Suzuki 750 Water Cooled 2 stroke. That crate worked BRILLIANTLY! Never broke down in any way. Also came in handy as a fairly comfortable bench to sit on at my campsite. They were trips of a lifetime and I still have the crate in my attic, just waiting for the right opportunity.

      • Work4crown says:

        Thanks for the cool story. And I love the name ‘Milk crate brigade’. My dad used to have milk crates strapped to his CB 750 and he got a lot of solid use out of that thing. In fact, I kind of like the term ‘Milk crate brigade’; it sounds like a cool name for a band – I mean a motorcycle club.

  22. Corpus Frisky says:

    iliketoeat says: Hmm so what is this for?

    I’m guessing you’ve never been to Thailand.

  23. George Catt says:

    I’d luv to see similar with 18″ wheels and wrapped around the 500cc twin they already build. That would be what the Royal Enfield 500 could become.

  24. iliketoeat says:

    Hmm so what is this for? It looks like it’s supposed to go off-road, but has tiny 15″ wheels. And it’s supposed to be for touring, but it has a stupidly low seat (which means it’s really cramped). It’s like Honda took all the worst characteristics of several different types of bikes, and tried to incorporate them all into a single motorcycle. I guess April 1 is in just a few days.

    • Klaus says:

      Right, this bike doesn’t make sense to me, either! Rugged off-road look but short-travel suspension, small wheels and no ground clearance.
      Then a 400cc twin, probably a short-stroke version of the CB500, which is too heavy (does this thing weigh as much as the CB500?) and too powerful for the dirt.
      And I wouldn’t want to go fast with this bike on the road!
      The ergos are weird, too. It’s too low and cramped for an average-sized or tall rider; a short rider would enjoy the low seat height but then the bars are too high and too wide. The woman sitting on the bike in the video would have problems making a sharp turn, her arms wouldn’t be able to reach.
      And then there’s the color!
      Maybe it’s for Asian Hi-So kids to show off with on the golf course. πŸ™‚

  25. Bob says:

    Put a 45 cubic inch parallel twin in it and I’m—-well, not quite in but closer.

  26. sherm says:

    Kind of the ultimate worker’s bike, but a good poser ride for the first year or so. And a low seat for wobbly legs. Sign me up for the flat black and light blue model.

  27. Bob L says:

    I drew this in 3rd grade.

  28. Provologna says:

    Wow! Behold the new and sole King of all “ABs” (Apocalypse Bikes). And what a beauty it is.

    My crystal ball says you’re looking the irresistible upgrade for many current KLR owners.

    I would buy this bike. Honda rarely releases anything so close to perfect. Maybe a few more cc’s would be nice. We’ll see.

    Talk about conversation starter.

    • Tom says:

      That’s what it’s ideally suited for: quick escape from the zombie hoard in urban settings.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Having ridden one of the Honda 500cc bikes that this 400cc mill is derived from, all I can say is that I hope zombies aren’t very fast.

        • John says:

          Fast enough, I’m sure, but don’t know why they’d dumb it down to 400cc when it really doesn’t save them much if any money to do it.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The 400cc squeaks in under an important licensing tier in Japan (and elsewhere maybe?). If the bike ever reaches production and ever makes it to US shores, I would expect to see the 500cc version of the twin tucked in there for the NA market.

  29. Kagato says:

    hey, gimme that bike–I got a Hodaka sticker waiting on it ; – ) Combat Wombat

  30. Tom Clark says:

    I like it a lot they should build it.

  31. Frank says:

    If you can get past motorcycles as fashion statements or ego enhancement devices…..well ok, no matter. I see ‘homely military chic’.. that’s not in fashion is it? Like the bug eyes, not the baby blue bars so much. It looks comfortable, (with a windshield). Could be a very good daily commuter and run-about.

    • MGNorge says:

      Motorcycling sure has changed over the years. When I first started riding I think bikes were anything but fashion statements. Lean, purposeful multi-use platforms from which one could add or subtract pieces to make the bike what they wanted. We had some very homely bikes back then but I don’t remember it being much of what we cared about. They took us where we wanted to go, they spelled freedom and were like our best companion.

      Today it seems that looks have become paramount, especially within some sub-groups of riders.Much more a status item than I remember years ago.

  32. crackerjack says:

    I see a market for this. At 70 years of age I have been considering a xt250. One reason is seat height and seat comfort. At my age you take a different look at what will work for you. I no longer attack the trails however I still like to ride them. It is not the best looking thing but a lot of older riders don’t like the looks of modern dirt bikes. To each his own. I think this might sell and maybe bring new people to our sport.

    • Kagato says:

      I’ve been looking at the XT as well—I’m not comfortable buying a bike with a 34-36″ seat height. I do not plan on jumping off railroad trestles or highway overpasses–I want a TRAIL bike–what we used to call an enduro. Wish I had bought that brand new KE 250 I looked at back in the day. I also have bugged Rokon a few times about bringing back the street trail model they used to build. No reply at all

  33. Philip says:

    Great concept! Build it!

  34. todd says:

    The old Trail 90 is probably still a better, more off-road capable bike. You could easily pick it up if you fell and the thing would do monster hill climbs with its low switchover gear box and stall-proof engine. OK, so it would only do 55…

    • Kagato says:

      I love the old CT Honda’s—looks like Honda is building a bigger/better Grom with this one

  35. xLaYN says:

    Some time ago at honda….
    What? we don’t have the ultra smooth v6 600cc platform for the R, X and standard machines? ok, play the mislead game card, free the bulldog.

    I read somewhere it was built around the CB400/500 platform on the CBR500 with smaller wheels.
    On the other side there is no much plastic to break if dropped.
    And yes it’s ugly, but never as ugly as a ST1100 without fairing.

  36. ben says:

    I think this may be a fantastic machine for very short riders. Most of us normal sized humans have no clue how difficult it is to find a machine that fits small riders. I have a short little girlfriend- 5’2. virtually everything out there is too big for her short of truly pathetic bikes like the 250 rebel. The idea of my 5’2 girlfriend riding any sort of adventure bike down a dirt road is a joke…this bike could change that. and its cool

  37. PN says:

    I like the concept and I like the bike.

  38. Ed says:

    Must be one of so ugly it’s cute cool things but I like it.If the gas tank is storage where’s the real gas tank and how much does it hold? If it were diesel and it cost less than the Mil Spec KLR I might have to have it.

  39. TunaPete says:

    Not sure about those 15 inch wheels, but if that “gas tank” was actually a giant gas tank, then I could imagine adventure touring on such a bike. It would be a heck of a lot easier to pick up on a muddy Dempster Highway than my BMW was.

    • ABQ says:

      I agree. If that storage space were a gas tank I could go down the dirt roads in the mountains all day, or all week if I were out camping. But if the real gas tank, where ever it is, is just another 3 gallon gas tank then forget the whole thing. Put the gas tank where the storage is and let me ride the roads behind the mountains all day. And use tires with tread on them.

  40. maz says:

    I like it, it may not have the looks for for a short ridershort like me (27inches inside leg), with a Disability. Riding for me is already difficult. I have have a number of bikes throughout the years zzr600, ninja 250r and a few others they were difficult for me.

    Ive went from my 600 to a Honda Grom, its really good fun to ride. I would like to seevthis in production and I will most likely buy one.

    May not have all the looks but I like the qquirkiness of it.

    Hinda has thought outside the box, its different and everything has a place somewhere.

  41. MGNorge says:

    Whoa! Is this ever polarizing. Not a beauty queen by any means but still I can’t shake the lure. Maybe it’s the Rokon type ruggedness that its styling and build exude. A trail slogger, if you will, that packs lots more utility than an MX or dual-sport does.

    My first concern would be weight however for any tight going off-road. The x-tra low seat height would be a benefit but not sure of ground clearance? Unless those headers can roll over logs all bets are off.

    It’s a large Rukus for the new Millennium. Do they make protective riding gear in camo? Isn’t there a new Mad Max movie about to hit? But alas, it’s just a concept.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “But alas, it’s just a concept.”

      Perhaps it is just a concept, but look how production-ready it is – mirrors, lights/blinkers, license plate mount, heat shields on the cans, parts bin hardware throughout. I think they are going o run with this. Soon.

      • Random says:

        There’s even a ABS sensor and holes in the front fender to direct air to the radiator. Who would care about it in a sitting, not functional concept bike??

        • MGNorge says:

          Not sure all concepts are non-functional. I think Honda has produced some very detailed concepts only to never see their way out the factory door. Then too, who says this might even come our way to the US?

    • Gham says:

      I was thinking Rokon as well,I can see myself slugging down a Northwestern logging road on this thing!

  42. Jan J says:

    Hmmm…. Maybe I’m showing my age…. But every time I even think of an off road bike, I think of the clean lines and overall great look BSA Victor 441

    Where are the great looks of that bike now… ???

    • Mike says:

      I like the look of Honda Bulldog and one thing for sure it will never be rated one of the top 5 most unreliable motorcycles in history like the BSA Victor 441 which truly was a 3 hour wonder…..ride an hour, push an hour and work on it an hour. Looks indeed…..

    • Rennie says:

      I owned a 441 Victor Special. Scared me away from British bikes for 40 years. This bulldog looks like another Honda move toward LCD consumption rather than 1st world sales.

    • todd says:

      I have a B50MX that is just great. Had two actually but sold one to a AHRMA racer and am now converting mine to a cafe racer. Maybe BSA fixed the Victor when they made the B50.

      • Mike says:

        Haaaaaaaaaaaa…..”Maybe BSA fixed the ………” four words in the history of the world that never preceded anything related to motorcycles.

        My Goldie x-roadracer was really fast in the tight stuff back then….that is the reason I bought it, buttttt those times of greatness were surpassed by the torture of ownership and maintenance….and even the shop manuals were not accurate! My dad was a great mechanic, unlike me…and he finally gave up and would not touch it, but ohhhhh how much I loved that bike and putting the hurt on Harleys back then made it worthwhile!

        However…BSA did make great .22 target rifles back in the day!!!
        o hear your B50 is great…..but take your cell phone along on rides…..just in case.

        I remember reading a short story by one of the noted American motorcycle journalists touring the BSA factory back in the late 50s or early 60 and he commented to one of the workers in the shipping area how nice it was that BSA provided really nice black carpeting for the workers. The BSA worker replied something like this……that is not carpet, yank….it is a combination of oil dripping from the new bikes and sawdust from the wooden shipping containers …that has accumulate over the years.

        At the old stage in my life I do credit BSA with these hardships and being the start of never giving up on difficult things that were to be part of my life later on…stuff we all had one way or the other. When I would do some work around on an issue I would always tell my wife it was all due to having that BSA Goldstar…which btw…I am looking somehow to take just one more ride on

        Todd….just take your cell phone along on rides on your B50….and thanks for keeping the old bikes running

        >>>>>>

  43. Tank says:

    It might not look that bad if it had a regular gas tank.

  44. Rich W. says:

    I like it. But I own a Ruckus and I like that too. Maybe make the front and rear racks a bit wider to offer some protection to the turn signals.

    Would make for a great messenger bike.

  45. Dave says:

    Cute!. Absolutely these bikes aim at non-North America market, ie. Asia or Europe, etc., and target new millennium young folks to get them into two wheel world!

  46. Dave says:

    Every time an adventure bike comes out lately it gets panned for a too-high seat. Well here you guys, an adventure bike with a low seat. Still want one? πŸ˜‰

  47. Grover says:

    Is this the new Interceptor that was built on actual input from VFR owners?

  48. Mark L says:

    Looks like a Lego bike. I’ll take the dakar styled crf250l though. That looks awesome!!!

  49. rider33 says:

    a really bike Rukas. If they built it, it will sell. Well, if it’s priced sanely that is. This is what happens to Rukas’ and Zuma’s when they grow up and how many zillion if those have been sold?

  50. Alex says:

    Yamaha look out
    TW200
    Run for your money

  51. Sean says:

    If it’s light and cheap(very cheap) I could see it finding a small niche market but that said, I really don’t know who’s designing the bikes in Honda land but they fed don’t have me or my tastes in mind.

  52. cpsseals says:

    I bloody like it!

  53. Gary says:

    I try not to be too judgmental about bikes because they are like beer … no good and bad ones, just different flavors. But …

    That’s the stupidest looking bike since the Rokon. I would not hit my dog in the butt with it.

  54. scottk says:

    I can’t see why everybody crabs at Honda for trying something different. No motorcycle is for everyone, and I personally am a little tired of all the HD clones. I’m glad at least one motorcycle company has the stones to look at new ideas.

  55. Looks like a 400 cc version of the 500 twin, tack on some roll protection bars and rear subframe to the standard frame, add headlight unit from Ruckus, cover it with gigantic faux fuel tank, no real money spent, see what happens. Honda, and I mean cars as well as bikes, has lost their way. Shame.

  56. Tom says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. My first motorcycle was a Honda 400cc parallel twin. CB400T, aka Hawk. It was air-cooled; this is apparently water-cooled. The frame on that older bike was spindly, especially the forks, and the suspension and brakes were not much. Functionally, this is no doubt a vastly better bike. This is no doubt an excellent bike for beginners. I don’t much care for the likes, but it would be better looking with a different paint job, say gloss black with some flaming yellow, and yellow for the guard tubing. (What is that strange color?) The seat should not be that squared off, for comfort especially, and also looks. I don’t mind where the storage compartment is, except that I know that my knees would continually bang into it. It is an interesting new bike, that needs a different paint scheme, and a different seat.

  57. Curly says:

    You know you have to give Honda props for at least trying new things and fishing in other ponds. Eventually they will get a hit and this could be it. Change the accent color from ’62 VW Beetle blue to red or yellow or orange and it might find a good number of novice buyers. It has the low seat height that new riders like and that engine comes in at 46hp in the CB400 versions so it should get down the road good enough too. The exoskelletal bars give it a tough look that new riders will probably like. If it comes with ABS I say it will sell.

  58. John says:

    Another pile of deranged rubbish from Honda .

  59. Tony in Texas says:

    Can you say…..Rokon? At least with the Rokon you could carry water or fuel in the wheels and get an optional log skidder.

    They did name it fairly appropriately, DOG! No offense to the dogs of the world!

  60. Norm G. says:

    looks diesel powered.

  61. falcodoug says:

    I don’t know what to say.

  62. Hot Dog says:

    What are they hiding on the far side? Yamaha had a yellow bike based on this concept (I believe it was a 250cc) and it was set up to run as a generator. I thought it was a fantastic idea. I like this bike, it’ll tickle unique gene into buying one for many folks.

  63. pete Rasmussen says:

    maybe it has ploughs on the accessory list and a super low gear ratio!

  64. carl says:

    Who is Honda building bikes for nowadays?? Yes the new 700 serious are nice city bikes or decent starter bikes but everything else is old. Chatting with my local dealer he stated the same thing. ST1300 is how old now? Goldwing is pushing 14yrs with same basic design and the new CTX1300 is being sold to who? They can’t moved them and the F6 bagger according to them was a tough sell. Maybe its just me and I know motorcycle business is a tough go but how can you increase sales when your products bring no excitement.

  65. Marty O says:

    Interesting. May be the perfect beginner bike. Built in crash bars, low seat height, enough power for the freeway and even some storage space for a hand bag or duffle bag.They need to give it lots of color options though. I can see a lot of women being interested in something like this.

  66. Tommy See says:

    Great on fuel, slow enough to smell the roses, get more people out riding and enjoying the surroundings. Not ripping the trails into deep ruts. Meeting the nicest people. Way to go Honda. You build and sell the most two wheels in the world. Did anyone mention the looks ? Build it and it will sell. Maybe not so well in North America where power and looks are more important.

  67. Dan W. says:

    Any idea what that large black ‘cover’ shield is on the right side of the bike ? Looks plastic – up forward by the engine…

    Might not be a big seller in the US, but I can see this shifting a lot of units in markets where highway riding isn’t a concern and riders are smaller. Onboard storage is SO functional it’s not funny – too bad its so hard to make look good – but in places where the bike is still a daily utility vehicle instead of (mostly) a discretionary toy (US market) having storage is a huge asset.

    • joe b says:

      The video shows the plastic cover to fold out, seeing it has storage capacity inside. (Don’t people look at this stuff before posting?)

  68. Jeremy in TX says:

    I like the concept a lot, but not the bike in its current form. Add some more ground clearance and larger wheels, and I’d take it ugly and all. The side-storage compartments are great.

  69. Norm G. says:

    hmmn, i’m not hatin’ it. maybe it’s the GS tank…?

    range lovers, your ship… err… motorcycle has come in.

  70. mickey says:

    Just another concept bike. Doubt you will ever see one in dealer showrooms

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Yes, well I said that same thing about the Rune, DN-01 and NM4. And had I seen a concept model of the Grom, I’d have said the same thing about it, too.

      • mickey says:

        Lol well some slip through, like the ones you mentioned and the Bking. BTW have you seen the Dakar inspired CRF 250? Sharp!

  71. Blackcayman says:

    The easiest thing in the world is to call it ugly… That’s as obvious as referring to the Clintons as duplicitous liars.

    Why such limited ground clearance and seriously exposed routing of the exhaust, its NOT a survival bike… Where would you tie down a milk crate?

    They ought to be building a Zombie Apocolypse bike for heaven’s sake.

    Like I always say, “there’s a but for every seat”. But on this one, how many is anyone’s guess.

  72. GT says:

    Low exhaust. Nuff Said.

  73. sebrad says:

    Another brilliant move from Honda; don’t fight in the mud with the others but create new markets. They will sell a lot of these and they will all be loved by their owners, just like the Ruckus. God almighty is it ugly, though.

  74. paul246 says:

    Looks aside, I can really see the utility potential this bike would offer.

  75. paul246 says:

    I thought it was a new BMW when I saw it for the first time.

  76. Green_Ghost says:

    Insta-Fail.

  77. Tommy D says:

    A Ruckus is cool. This bike is like an over weight middle aged dad in skinny jeans.

  78. Rene says:

    The video shows a woman sitting on it. I get the impression it will be a bit tight for legroom

  79. North of Missoula says:

    Man it is hard to believe something so ugly can make it into production.

    Being a Honda I’ll bet it rides good, but will be a little bland.