Neo Knights: Honda’s Neowing Concept Is a Hybrid Leaning Trike


Neo Knights: Honda’s Neowing Concept Is a Hybrid Leaning Trike

Nov 7, 2015

Spend any time among the Gold Wing riders of America, and you’ll uncover a gloriously nerdy, unpretentious subculture of dudes (with their wives perched on the rear thrones) interested in maximizing motorcycling comfort over big distances. When the Wing was born, 40 years ago, Honda threw everything it knew about building a motorcycle into the thing. It’s said that Honda began developing the GL1800 (the current Gold Wing) as soon as the GL1500 went on sale. It should be pointed out that they sold the GL1500 for thirteen model years while developing its successor. When Honda’s motorcycle division slaps the “Wing” appellation on a machine, it is almost guaranteed to be a serious piece of engineering. So here we have the Neowing concept, a flight of fancy, yes. But it’s also some sort of serious proposal.

Instead of the Gold Wing’s flat-six, the Neowing features a horizontally opposed four-cylinder of indeterminate displacement, paired with an electric motor of unstated output, which we presume would make up the power deficit. But the biggest difference is up front, where Honda tries out the two-leaning-wheels arrangement pioneered by Piaggio’s funky MP3s. Out back is a chopper-grade rear tire mounted to a single-sided swing arm. Given that the next-generation Gold Wing could use some help in the fuel-economy department, we wouldn’t be wholly surprised if Honda went that direction with a future touring motorcycle. After all, it just put a dual-clutch automatic transmission in an adventure bike.

The Neowing, however, doesn’t seem to be built for two-up touring. Instead, it’s a machine for sporting jaunts and a measure of profiling. The latter might be misguided. Have you ever noticed the guys who try to look cool on Can-Am Spyders? It just doesn’t seem to work. Now, a hybrid Gold Wing trike with the wheels in the rear? We’d put on our old-man trousers and two-way headsets for that. And we’d ride from Cape Saint Charles to Coronado. Just as soon as we can find a lady willing to do the time on the rear seat.




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