American Honda recently released information regarding nine street motorcycles and 13 off-road bikes planned for 2005.
Announced streetbikes include the Shadow Sabre; Shadow Spirit; Shadow Aero; Shadow Spirit 750; Shadow VLX; Rebel; and the VTX1300C, S and new R model. Dirt bike product announcements pertained to the CRF50F, CRF70F, CRF80F, CR85R, CR85R Expert, CR85RB, CRF100F, CRF150F, CRF230F, CRF250R, CRF450R, and XR650L and 650R.
Such “initial introductions” usually take place at the beginning of peak riding season, a few months before the Honda dealer meeting, to stoke brand awareness and continued interest. However, the models usually included in such announcements rarely depict radical departures from the norm, instead benefiting from updated graphics, wheel or bolt-on packages.
The 2005 Shadow Sabre ($8,299-$8,599) will be offered with a new flame paint scheme; the Shadow Spirit ($8,299) receives a new candy red color; and the Shadow Aero ($6,299-$6,599) will come in an array of new colors, including candy red, metallic silver/pearl white, black/metallic silver, and black/candy red.
The Shadow Spirit 750 ($6,099-$6,299) is scheduled to be offered in schemes of black/red flame and pearl blue/metallic silver flame, as well as black.
The Shadow VLX ($5,099) receives new pearl white, candy orange and pearl blue colors while the VLX Deluxe model ($5,399) gets chromed cylinder head covers, right and left engine covers, and left rear engine cover.
The venerable 234cc Rebel ($2,999) receives a new candy orange color in addition to the classic black.
The VTX1300 models (the C, S, and new R, $9,299-$9,399) which now feature a chrome tank emblem. The 1300S will arrive in candy red, classic black, magenta metallic and metallic silver; the 1300C will feature candy red, classic black, bright blue metallic and titanium.
The “R” further distinguishes itself through what Honda calls “retro-style” cast wheels. The VTX1300R is available in candy red magenta metallic, metallic silver and classic black.
The CRF50F ($1,249), 70F ($1,549), 80F ($1,949), 100F ($2,249), 150F ($2,999) and 230F ($3,499) all receive CRF-R-inspired graphics for 2005.
Honda says prices for the returning CR85R/CR85R-Expert are $2,999 and $3,099, respectively.
Garnering a major revision from Honda, the CRF250R’s ($5,899) updates for ’05 include revised cylinder head porting; a new camshaft profile for low-rpm torque; a new ignition map; new spark plug and tube; a lightweight right engine cover for improved transmission and clutch lubrication; stiffer clutch springs; a new shift drum, shift forks and shift fork shafts; a new rear hub; new swingarm; new exhaust pipe and muffler design; refined fork and rear suspension valving; updated front axle placement for improved fork action and turning; and improved Pro-Link ratio.
Another off-road bike with lots of updates, the 2005 CRF450R ($6,599) receives a fourth-generation twin-spar aluminum frame; a new swingarm; the updated shift drum, shift forks and shift fork shafts; revised front and rear suspension valving; new front axle placement for improved fork action and turning; a new exhaust pipe heat shield, airbox and intake tube; a new side number plate with built-in airbox vents for improved air flow; new aluminum clutch cable bracket for lighter weight; a stronger and lighter rear hub; narrower radiators for improved rider ergonomics; and updated radiator hose routing for lighter weight and improved cooling.
In the XR series, the XR650R ($6,099) and XR650L ($5,599) also get Honda Racing-inspired colors and graphics. psb
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business