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Does Honda’s Neo Sports Café Preview a Production Model?

The unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show of a new concept from Honda, the Neo Sports Café, was teased by videos, and appears to anticipate a production model based on the concept. Expect to see a production version at EICMA next month powered by a 998cc inline-four.

The concept is an attractive design, and while the production version will likely drop some of the concept’s features, expect it to be a stunning machine.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Mike says:

    What do you guys think of this bike as compared to MV Agusta’s Brutale Dragster R?

    Secondly, might be nice if they named this bike the Nighthawk S!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I actually think that this design is more elegant and nicely executed that the Brutale or Dragster. As for reviving the Nighthawk name with a production version of this model, I think that would be brilliant.

      • Dave says:

        “As for reviving the Nighthawk name with a production version of this model, I think that would be brilliant.”

        Seconded. Talk about a triumphant return to glory! Even better, make an “S” version with a bikini fairing and some extra bling bits, ala’ 1984.

        • Mike says:

          Very interesting, gentlemen. There certainly are more options for service with the Honda versus the MV, although most likely less reason to require service in the first place. I hope Honda does this bike.

  2. Alex says:

    A bike like this comes out once in 20-25 years.

    It might be low on practicality, but it embraces everything that the average
    biker has dreamt of, styling-wise, in the last decade, and than tops it off
    with a shape which defies preconceptions such as retro, modern or timeless,
    and blends them all into one stunning, gotta-have-it motorcycle.

    It was high time Honda did something really appealing.

    Even if the production version makes some compromises, there’s no denying
    this will be a wildly sought-after product.

    I honestly did not expect something so game-changing from Honda,
    and it comes immediately after Kawi made a certain positive stirrup
    with their Z 900RS last week.

    Both are fantastic but in a totally different line of thinking (target groups).

    The Kawi is clearly retro from the tank-bottom upwards, with a very distinctive
    and sculpted tank shape in real-life, whilst retaining a very muscular
    and mechanically appealing lower ‘hemisphere’ of the motorbike. Minimalistic
    it is not. It is visually a CEO-level-busy bike, yet aesthetically pleasing
    and sexy (as opposed to the completely ‘to-hell-with-looks’ approach of Yamaha
    with the FZ/MT-10 and 09, which also looks dramatic on the street, but without
    regard to any motorcycling aesthetic traditions whatsoever).

    This one, however, is a case study of how to employ “minimalism to the max”
    when styling & building a motorcycle. Achieving this level of clean uncluttered
    sections is something that probably costs a lot, and I hope it is not reflected
    too much in the MSRP.

    It is a bike that I would buy even if they messed up something
    with the spec., the way it rides, or the MSRP.

    Good times!

  3. Doc says:

    There is a shot of this bike in a video on YouTube that appears to be a production bike. Looking at it from the right side, from what I can tell it looks almost identical. The seat is a different material with a passenger strap, good looking set of mirrors, tail section looks unchanged and a license plate holder similar to a Ducati Scrambler or Diavel. The tank looks the same also. Doesn’t look much different from the bike pictured above. I would be very interested in this. But if it had a parallel twin in it, regardless of size, forget it. Inline four all the way. Or a boomimg v-twin from the RC51. Or Superhawk.

  4. Norm G. says:

    Tamburini not withstanding, that has to be the most perfect fuel tank to seat to subframe execution in the history of motorcycling…!!! a masterpiece of industrial design. it flows Italian, but yet so very Japanese.

    right then, improve the wheel design, add “more cowbell” (ie. waterfall) to the exhaust, then post temp security gaurds at every Honda franchisee to control the STAMPEDES in and out the dealerships.

  5. Fred says:

    I was hoping to see if they have reverted back from their horn and indicator button swap. The pictures are not clear as they have oval buttons. The UK MCN extra pictures are no more informative on that one, so who knows as it’s a Custom Show job.

  6. John says:

    It will be interesting, but I’m really bored with I4s. I’d much rather have almost any other engine. A new Hawk would have been much cooler, or a new VFR (original style), or even a Sabre. Or an ST1300 derived boulevard cruiser. A 500cc CB500F styled after the CB900F. Though I could certainly understand if they used the 650cc I4 since it isn’t in any worthwhile platform at all. The NAS concept would have been a timely release as we’re finally catching up to its style, almost.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “A new Hawk would have been much cooler, or a new VFR (original style), or even a Sabre. Or an ST1300 derived boulevard cruiser. A 500cc CB500F styled after the CB900F…”


      (wait for it)

      a new SP-2/RC-51…?

  7. Jodyz says:

    I owed a 2002 919 and a 2013 CB1100. I like the looks of this kind of bike. Recalling the original design concepts of the CB1100 compared to the released bike (in 2010?) and I can imagine a production version of this bike would not look as cool/clean as this.

  8. yellowhammer says:

    An honest question to those who ride these new-style “butt high” bikes: If you hit a mudhole or get caught in a rain shower, does that rear wheel spray crud all up your back? No offense – I know y’all like that look – just want to know.

  9. Mick says:

    As long as they are going to build a bike that they are not going to actually make. Why didn’t they dry sump the engine so they would have mounted it lower?

  10. Provologna says:

    Imagine the sense of satisfaction in the team of designers and engineers, seeing this transform from an idea into the actual machine pictured. Stunning.

    Soichiro would be very proud of their work and effort.

  11. Crazyjoe says:

    Simple beautiful. After forty years they have come up something that looks like a bike. Two complaints. Can’t see those tiny rear lights at night. The I phone looking instrument pod need replacement with something that reminds you you’re on a bike.

  12. Louis says:

    Honda builds a monster. Like it and if they build I’ll buy it. That’s if they bring it here. Also loving the new Goldwing.

  13. Tony says:

    Love this bike but wouldn’t it be more sensible to use the 1000cc twin from the africa twin?
    They could even use the DCT gearbox for some users.
    The CB1100 has been a flop because it is too smooth. Retro bikes (see HD, Triumph…) need the right vibes and sound and 4 cylinders are powerful but not what riders want to commute, cruise, travel etc…

    • Neal says:

      This isn’t a retro bike. It’s a stylish roadster like the Griso or Monster.

    • Dale says:

      “…and 4 cylinders are powerful but not what riders want to commute, cruise, travel etc…”
      I commute on 4 cylinder all these years to and back from work, weekend trips, etc. and it’s a ton of fun and silky smooth acceleration.

  14. Grover says:

    Very slim chance of this bike making it to production. Beautiful as it is, it serves no purpose other than to say “look what we can do!”

    • allworld says:

      I’m not so sure, naked roadsters/streetfighters in all displacement sizes seem to be selling well.
      Honda should get into the game and this bike would do that.
      Think Z900, GSX S1000, FZ 10, FZ 09 and a host of others from Europe

    • Dale says:

      naked aka standard. It’s time to go back to standard UJM that is practical and not pretending to be a racer on sport bikes. This bike will sell.

  15. kyle says:

    I like the hard edges like the 2013/14 cb1100 had. Not what the current CB1100 has which is too soft. This concept is sharp.

  16. Matt G says:

    This is one of the most beautiful bikes I have ever seen. I sure hope they don’t ruin its simple flowing beauty when its altered for production.

  17. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Gorgeous…I think the prod version will be very close or at least very modifiable to approximate this…

  18. Jeremy in TX says:

    Stunning bike. Very elegant lines.

  19. Rhinestone Kawboy says:

    I don’t know why the manufacturers even come out with this type of concept. It will never look like this for general consumption. Why don’t they just come out with a concept that will actually look like, or very close to what it actually will be. Then they can gauge actual interest, not just “kinda cool, but how close will it be to this” if it is produced. Jeepers creepers.

    • PatrickD says:

      Definitely with you on this.
      When the designers find concepts such as mirrors, turn signals, license plate holders etc inconvenient, they just discard them!
      They should work to incorporate those features in the design in subtle/attractive ways.
      Being a Honda, this bike is destined to disappoint. When the naked ‘blades were released (900 hornet and CB1000R), it looked like people’s desire for exciting yet reliable modern muscle bikes were realised. And they turned out to be so civilised (read dull) that people instead migrated towards street triples, tuonos and the like instead.

      • Jon says:

        i completely disagree! as of late Honda has produced nothing to interest me. im 56, 39 yrs of riding experience. i started with a Honda CB350 when i was 17 worked up to Ducatis and ended with KTMs. ive been waiting for Honda to design something visceral and this thing delivers. if the production bike looks similar to this they have a winner on their hands at least for me. Fantastic design and Honda reliability. what’s not to like?!!

        • Rhinestone Kawboy says:

          Yes, but that’s not what I’m saying, I’m saying that the bike that MIGHT actually come out as this model, will more than likely not even be close to the looks or features of this one. And that is what PatrickD was agreeing with. And it’s not with just Honda, everyone, including the car manufacturers comes out with a visually stunning design, only to completely miss it when the production version finally comes out.

          • Jon says:

            thats why i said “if”. i havent been this excited about a motor cycle release since my last bike 13 years ago. cant wait to see the production version. if you look at the stills in the video with mirrors and directionals, it looks very similar.

  20. Eddie says:

    @ DT175 amen I’m still waiting for that NAS too. At least we have wallpaper.

  21. Doc says:

    Now this is the way to do modern. Some of the stuff coming out in the last couple of years is vomit inducing. I’m sick of Origami styling done by stylist that don’t have a clue. This appears to have been done by someone that put some thought in the style, not just gluing pieces on randomly. And good choice for color. Not a matte color. Even matches my CB. If Honda does bring it out and stays true to styling of this machine, plus bring out a CB1100RS and with Kawasaki’s Z900RS, I’m going to be in a real fix.

  22. dt 175 says:

    yeah yeah yeah i’m still waiting for New American Sportbike from ’99…

  23. Gary says:

    I’m sure they’ll market a handy mounting kit for the bike that allows you to bolt the license plate to your arse.

  24. Sean says:

    This is a pie in the sky concept. I’ll wait until Nov 7th to see what it ACTUALLY looks like.

    • steveinsandiego says:

      soit’nly. no mirrors or brake/signal lights, or the gosh-durn appendage hanging off the rear fender. we’ll see……………………….

  25. PN says:

    I really like this and hope Honda makes it happen. It has been too conservative for too long.

  26. Dave says:

    In my imagination I can see how this will look once it has a fender/license plate mount, DOT turn signals, and a catalytic converter (where will that go?) and I don’t think those things will ruin it.

    I think this bike would be cooler with the Africa Twin’s 1000cc P2 engine, but I think a lot of bikes could be cooler with that engine…

    • paquo says:

      isn’t the at mill underpowered and runs out of stem halfway up the rev band? That’s certainly not going to cut it against super duke etc and afterall this a sports bike not an old man cruiser

      • Dave says:

        It makes a pile of torque from 2-8,000 rpm. The max HP game isn’t worth playing anymore. None of the hyper-sports bikes are big sellers.

  27. steveinsandiego says:

    awesome looks. but, yeah, i’d prefer a twin, too, and maybe 600-650 cc…i dunno. weight’s becoming important to me in my waning years. i’m liking the models at 400 wet, or less.

  28. Mike says:

    Clean styling. A 700cc Parallel twin might have been nice too, with the option for DCT. Would like to see it in the original 1984 VF750F Interceptor’s red white and blue colors.

  29. Tim says:

    Could this signal Honda finally getting back to the business of making attractive street bikes? This is a really beautiful bike. I hope they don’t screw up that rear fender too much on the production model.

  30. jimjim says:

    Surprised no one has complained about the huge radiator and gap between seat and rear tire…lol

    • falcodoug says:


    • Bud says:

      Better for the radiator to be too big than too small

    • Martin B says:

      That’s because this bike has an actual operating suspension system, something few showbikes possess. Having a “slammed” bike is foolish as “slammed” is exactly what you will be if your “slammed” bike runs out of suspension hitting a bump midway through a turn and highsides you into a tree or oncoming traffic.

  31. Kevin says:

    This truly looks like a fully modern interpretation of the CB 1100 (especially in the tank). This and big greens new retro 900 and things are getting very interesting…

  32. Pablo says:

    If you watch the teaser video on YouTube of the Neo you will see that it has mirrors, indicators, pillion foot rests and a license plate holder. I hope they don’t stray to far from the concept as it realy is a beautiful motorcycle.

    • Random says:

      Thanks for pointing that. The rear fender attached to the swingarm like the BMW’s GS’s looks nice. And it looks (at least the outline) fairly similar to the concept.

  33. Dimmidan says:

    I looks very similar to the new 1K Motor though it says its based on the older gen motor. I really hope they build it on the new chassis/motor revision.

    The old CB1000R was no slouch at 130Hp but it doesn’t quite compare to the likes of the S1K, Tuono, or the FZ/MT10 in terms of power. While it would be close to the Speed Triple I don’t think it justifies a price hike on a body revision needs more power.

    Hears hoping they do it I would love to have to choose between the Duke 790 and the CB1000R Mk 2 when it comes to upgrade next year sometime.

    • ilikefood says:

      The high-HP bikes have high PEAK power numbers, which is NOT the same thing as actually delivering power throughout the rev range. I would much rather have a “130HP” bike with a massive mid-range that’s actually usable on the street, than a “180HP” bike that feels gutless at street-usable RPMs but delivers 180HP at 16K RPM.

      And I’m putting “130HP” and “180HP” in quotes, because those are peak HP numbers that are pretty useless to understanding how a bike actually feels. There is no magic in engine tuning (at least not without variable valve timing) – for a given engine displacement, getting a higher peak HP number inevitably means a weaker mid-range and low-end.

      • Jonny Blaze says:

        I second that.

        Daily riding involves more of low to mid range torque, thick broad spread of it.

        It makes more sense if you have a dyno graph to look at.

    • joe b says:

      I had to search where someone pointed out this is the old CB1000R, with a facelift. I still have mine. And contrary to what the magazines said, it doesn’t have a perimeter frame, its a single backbone style, here cleaned up, the frame is almost non existent.

  34. Blitz11 says:

    Good dog! Finally, Honda doing something interesting instead of weird/boring.

  35. j_cott says:

    ’bout time honda did something cool.

  36. skybullet says:

    I hope this is a new trend. Clean uncluttered design looks better, is easier to service, costs less to build and repair, weighs less, etc.. Bring it on! I would like it even more as a V twin.

  37. Ricardo says:

    Build it, I will buy it.