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More Evidence Honda Embracing Cafe Racer and Scrambler Styles


On the heels of the unveiling of Honda’s CB1100 Cafe Racer concept at the Osaka Motorcycle Show, Honda has announced several new concepts to be displayed at the Bangkok International Motor Show. Among the new concepts on display in Bangkok is the 300 TT Racer shown above (sorry, but we do not have a higher resolution photo at this time).

The 300TT Racer appears to feature the 286 cc single found in the CBR300R and the CB300F. It is increasingly clear that Honda wants a piece of the cafe racer/scrambler craze already exploited by rivals such as Triumph, BMW and Ducati. It will be interesting to see how quickly Honda delivers one or more production models in these categories. You can take a look at Honda’s full concept line-up at the Bangkok show here.


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Mr.Mike says:

    I’m glad to see Honda listening to the market and getting on track after recent offerings like this: .

  2. Stickman says:

    Bring back the GB500. It’s time is now!

    • Kevin says:

      I agree! I loved the GB. You could do this with the 500cc twin platform and give it more zip. Or bump this single to 500cc with 50 RWHP. Either way it would sell. BTW KTM get 42 hp at the wheel out of their 375cc 390 so yes, I believe a full 500cc modern single could produce 50 hp reliably.

      • todd says:

        The GB500 engine is a modern engine. Why it has a four-valve hemi head with no less than eight rocket arms. No one else has ever made a four-valve hemi except Rudge, I think. They would need to shorten the stroke and give it water cooling though which would ruin the whole “thumper” thing it had going for it.

  3. Scott says:

    This is a really cool little bike. But if you want one, you’ll have to buy a CBR300 and build it yourself, because there’s no way Honda will be selling anything close to this in a showroom anywhere. (Same with that one-off CB1100 cafe racer show bike…)

  4. NCR Guy says:

    Looks like a NCR M4 to me

  5. Tim says:

    I really like this one. Unfortunately, the sweet exhaust will be replaced by something big and ugly, so you’ll have to factor in the cost of after market exhaust. A little bigger motor would be nice. Still, the styling is very well done.

  6. Kevin says:

    I like this, its well done.

    I’d like to see this done to the 500cc twin platform. Drop some weight, modify the engine to produce 50-55 RWHP, they would sell like crazy. I want to see a smaller bike that isn’t built to meet those stupid A2 license requirements. The current CBR500 and its variants have been ruined to meet the A2. The current CBR500 turns the exact same 1/4 mile times as the 375cc KTM single?? Why doesn’t Honda build these bikes with a 50lb weight bolted or welded on to meet the A2 requirements and give us Yanks (and like minded riders around the world) the option to drop the ballast?? It seems so simple…

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      I’m not sure if Honda’s 500 twin engine has much room for building up – it’s very RPM-limited, by design, focused on usable power and fuel economy. Same with their current 750 class twins. Still, I agree, it’s pretty sad when Honda’s brand new design produces less HP than a 20+ year old Kawi EX500 engine design. OTOH, a lot of people (more than you might think) never really rev their bikes out to access that power that’s concentrated in the upper part of the rev band, and they seem to like these sorts of engines. The new Triumph twins have taken a similar route.

      • Neil says:

        I rode the Yamaha R3 and like so many bikes, it was tedious to have to rev it to the moon to get any speed out of it. I could not keep up with a cruiser in front of me without revving it as if racing. My CB500 is nice because it DOES make that usable power in the middle of the rev range. It spins at about 5000 rpms on the highway with a 17 tooth front sprocket.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I rode the Yamaha R3 and like so many bikes, it was tedious to have to rev it to the moon to get any speed out of it. I could not keep up with a cruiser in front of me without revving it as if racing.”

          under the gross tonnage of the typical overweight and bloated motorcyclist, that boys and girls is what we call WORK.

          • Atlantarandy says:

            Did you just call Neil fat? LOL. But I agree with Joe and exactly why I ride a Triumph twin. It’s “fairly” nimble and mid range torquey. But I like the minimalist look and its not too late for Honda to jump in. I don’t think it will be a short fad. The material costs are lower and the simplicity is more than WELCOME. There’s nothing wrong with “what’s old is new”.

  7. Neil says:

    Whatever makes people want to ride. I HAD TO ride my 97 VFR rain or shine. It sat there every day and said, “We’re going. Grab your gear and let’s go.” I did 15,000 miles in two years. Thunder. Hot searing heat. 40’s. I was riding. – A friend just sold his CBR650 by the way because it was too buzzy, which, is exactly what I thought riding the FZ09 at Daytona. My CB500F? Smooooth. Up one in the front and I am zipping along nicely at 70 mph.

  8. Jmess says:

    These concepts are all fine and dandy, but something always gets lost in the transition to production if it ever happens. I don’t get teased be them anymore.

  9. GuzziGuy says:

    In general like the recent Honda concepts though as others have mentioned they’re a bit late to the game. Many of us like the clean, uncluttered looks of these bike vs. plastic wrapped or origami folds. I suppose the ‘number plate’ is strategically placed to hide some ugly plumbing and wiring…

    How about a scrambler? Didn’t Honda coin that term anyway? The 500cc twin would be a nice platform if they can hide the plumbing as well as Triumph. Either that or pull that ‘ole XR650 single off the shelf and put it in a road chassis.

  10. bmbktmracer says:

    I bet it looks amazing in person. The subframe and tank designs are truly unique and gorgeous. Maybe this is a sign that Honda has realized that modern riders are looking for bikes designed with passion, room for customization, and less emphasis on lap times. Hey…wait…it’s 1969 all over again!

  11. Azi says:

    You know when a fashion trend has well and truly left the coop and flown away when a major corporate manufacturer puts it into production. Kind of like Trek making fixies, or Target selling lidless jam jars for serving cocktails.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      To me, this kind of elemental design is always going to look good. It may go out of fashion, but it will never go out of style in my opinion.

      • azi says:

        I agree that retro styling is more appealing than insect-transformers, but it’s getting to the point now where you’re almost being a rebel by riding a 600cc supersports in race leathers. Who would’ve predicted this 10 years ago?

  12. todd says:

    Wait a minute, I have a Honda with a Tourist Trophy (TT) badge similar to that. Is this a resurrection of the GB?

  13. todd says:

    I like it a lot. I own a screwdriver so the number plate is not an issue.

  14. Doc says:

    If the cafe fad is over, some one better tell Triumph. And tell Harley, cruisers are….. Oh never mind.

  15. paquo says:

    looks like they are trying to make more stylish bikes, i like the cb1100 concept with the fairing

  16. Jim says:

    Honda jumping on the scrambler, cafe racer bandwagon is a sure sign that the market has moved on.

  17. xLaYN says:

    That sub-frame it’s one of the sexiest pieces of motorcycle ever done… should be de-facto with muscular inverted forks on every bike.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I really like that element myself. In fact every element of this design really works for me. Well, except the silly number plate cover thing.

  18. Mick says:

    Remember when you could get a thumper?

    • Hot Dog says:

      She was still married, but I did her anyway.

    • carl says:

      How about the KTM Duke 390?

      • Harry says:


        I’m a big fan of the KTM Duke 390. However, this Honda 300 will probably give you 80% of the look, thrill, and practical fun, for probably 50% of the price of the 390. Gotta think about it … I’m tempted

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          The way Honda prices their bikes, I seriously doubt it would be much cheaper than the Duke 390. At least if trimmed up with stout brakes and USD forks like this concept is, anyway.

      • Mick says:

        How about Honda tucking an XR650R engine in that baby? Thumpers aught to THUMP daddy.

        • azi says:

          35hp in stock form, and probably less after modern emissions requirements? No thanks!

          • Mick says:

            Or a pretty solid 55hp when you uncork the thing. They love an FCR carburetor too. Instant fat midrange. Thanks to the grenading diesels that the OEMs want the kids to race off road, there are plenty of FCRs to go around.

            Sorry. My current street bike is an XR650R supermoto.

    • Roger says:

      Yes, but I was told eyesight was the first to go!

  19. toad says:

    I like this look much better than the transformer look. If they go forward with it hope they have a version with standard bars.

  20. Tony says:

    The cafe fad is over! Honda, you are 5 years too late.
    The market now wants a bike with a touch of standard, a touch of adventure bike and a touch of supermotard. That’s why the yamaha mt range is doing so well.

    • Dave says:

      Yamaha just released a Cafe/dirt-track styled version of that. Did they not get the memo?

  21. Norm G. says:

    this is in CB11 guise, YES PLEASE…!!!

  22. randy says:

    as usual,nothing from Honda interests me.How about this:CB1300 super four gets imported????

    • gt08 says:

      Yes, this in the good way.
      Two thing i like most about this bike is,
      Real pipe in the back (no fugly plastic)
      Real tach and speedmeter with real needle (no electro gimick)

  23. JustANomad says:

    I think it needs a tall windshield to keep you from going over the bars at stoplights. 🙂

  24. turnergande says:

    Maybe Honda can find another place for that 300 side plate / cover? Is it even needed? Maybe an easy thing to remove? A sharp looking machine which has potential to evolve into a two up bike with a more comfy seat + normal height bars (?). Tank sure looks big enough to be practical. I’d sure prefer to see the old ‘Honda Wing’ emblem on the tank.

    • Don says:

      I’m with you, I’d ditch the 300 cover. Otherwise the bike looks svelte. Sure it won’t look quite as clean with turn signals, and a license plate, but that’s always an advantage in looks for concept bikes. I like it. I’d like the option for two-up though.

  25. Al says:

    Looks nice. If they doubled the power and made it a bit more practical and much cheaper they might have a rival to the Yamaha RD350 … from 1986.

    I would be happy if motorcycling had stood still for the last 30 years but it has actually gone backwards.

    • Half Baked says:

      Why not cut the weight in half and make it cost 5k while they’re at it.

    • Dave says:

      They didn’t make Rd 350 in 1986

      • Selecter says:

        Exactly. One of the many reasons I just rolled my eyes at this one and moved on.

        • Al says:

          Sigh. If we’re being pedantic, the RD350 YPVS (RZ350 in the States I believe). Roll your eyes all you want but this bike will be twice the price and have half the power. Doesn’t feel like progress to me.

          • Scott says:

            Twice the price? How much do you think an RZ350 would cost in 2016 dollars, assuming they could even get it to meet emissions stndards?

          • Scott says:

            An ’84 RZ350 retailed for $2399 (US), which would be over $5700 today, assuming it could even meet emissions standards. And I’ll be the CBR300 feels 10 times more sure-footed and stable than that flexi-flyer RZ…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        It was available in other markets. ’85 was the last year for it here (sold as the RZ350.)

    • Scott says:

      An ’84 RZ350 retailed for $2399 (US), which would be over $5700 today, assuming it could even meet emissions standards. And I’ll be the CBR300 feels 10 times more sure-footed and stable than that flexi-flyer RZ…

  26. skybullet says:

    This bike and the CB-1100 Concept are a giant step in the right direction. Clean, functional, no gimmick styling that “looks like a motorcycle” hit my switch. I buy bikes for function but something really appealing, as opposed to: I would look like a dork on that, would make the buying decision much easier.

  27. carl says:

    Now that is sweet, they should have made the 1100 more like this, a high tech looking cafe racer.

  28. Hot Dog says:

    Sweet… Wish I still fit into my Langlitz Leathers…I’d look so cool on this machine.

    • Bart says:

      Stop it, you make me spit up on screen! I still fit in mine!

      Had 2 custom suits, 2 jackets; still got the jacket and 1st custom suit, made from brown Iranian goatskin (Shah-era, pre-Ayatollah!)

  29. Jeremy in TX says:

    It is a tasty little design.

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