This winter will mark 8 years since the “New American Sports” (NAS) concept was started by Tony Schroeder, HRA senior designer. Will the concept make it to production in 2 years to commemorate the 10th anniversary? Thousands of fellow motorcyclists could only hope.
Celebrate a 10th anniversary of a design concept? Yes. It is that good in function potential and aesthetics.
First, function potential. HRA wanted to build a sport bike with performance oriented towards the street rather than the race track. Schroeder said:
We wanted to set a new direction for sports bikes, but back to the street rather than toward the racetrack. The market for racer-style bikes is obviously strong, but we envisioned a different group of riders searching for a new category of sport machine
To this end, a liquid-cooled, 1000cc 90-degree v-twin was chosen, in part, for its better torque characteristics. (A dry clutch was intended for this concept. A dry clutch rattle emanating from a modern Honda? Cool!)
Additional performance potential was added by stressing mass centralization around the engine. A single perimeter front-brake, innovative front suspension, and under-engine exhaust system contribute to removing weight from the ends of the motorcycle. Weight was removed from the ends of the motorcycle by relocating components and using light weight material. For example, the front arm connecting to the mono shock is made of aluminum and carbon fiber.
The innovative mono front shock not only reduced un-sprung weight from the front wheel, but HRA also added the ability to adjust trail by using an eccentric cam around the axle. Adjusting the trail without changing the entire front-end pre-dates the Moto Czysz mono shock front-end.
Second, aesthetics were equally emphasized along with performance for the New American Sports. Front-to-back, this concept oozes with impressive styling, executed with attractive materials & machining. The wheels were designed by HRA from billet aluminum. Note the integrated, aluminum reservoirs, the minimal aluminum frame, shapely exhaust system, and sculpted aluminum single-sided swingarm. The details and overall balance are tremendous. HRA did not leave any component on the table.
So, when will Honda produce this bike? There are a couple of items that could be a challenge for production: stricter EPA guidelines may require changes to the shape of the exhaust system. In addition, the single radiator under the rear cowling may not be sufficiently fed by the one intake duct.
Some may cite use of billet aluminum, carbon fiber, unique castings, & radical technology as factors that will stop this bike from reaching production. Good points until you consider the company behind this concept and the amount of people willing to make the financial stretch to buy this motorcycle. Honda, a company involved in everything from aerospace to your weed-whacker, can handle the unique castings required. Honda can handle the development of the radical front-end.
Honda could manage the questionable profit margins on a limited production-run. Indeed, Honda could make this stellar concept come to life….if they wanted. Honda, we want you to produce this motorcycle. It will be good for the brand.