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HONDA GETS INTO THE SPIRIT OF ‘GLEMSECK 101’

  • Eight customized Honda’s on display
  • Four based on models in current line-up, four customized classics
  • Freddie Spencer to join ‘Sprint International’ 1/8th mile invitational race event on stripped-back CBR1000RR Fireblade SP

Honda Motor Europe will be in full attendance at this weekend’s Glemseck 101 in Leonberg, Germany, showing eight customized machines and participating in the event’s ‘Sprint International’ 1/8th mile invitational race.

Four of the machines are based on Honda’s current model line-up:

A CBR1000RR Fireblade SP has been sharpened up and stripped back in preparation for Glemseck’s Sprint International race. It features WSB-style aluminium rear sub frame and carbon fibre fairings, a longer swing arm and aluminium fuel tank both derived from Honda’s endurance racing programme, a shorter final drive, bespoke crank case covers and full titanium Akrapovic exhaust.

Three time World Champion Freddie Spencer will pilot the re-worked Fireblade in the ‘Sprint International’ invitational race on Sunday 3rd, and also take a trip down memory lane with a demonstration run alongside his erstwhile rival Kevin Schwantz.

Two versions of the neo-retro classic CB1100 will also be on display: the first is a fully blacked-out version of the current CB1100 EX made in collaboration with Milan-based customisers South Garage. It is a dark and elegant mixture of café racer and bobber styles. The matt-black tank, blacked-out engine, clutch covers and wheels create the overall mood; low-slung clip-on bars, radial master cylinder and short tail section give it the café racer edge. Touches like miniature LED indicators, new headlight and matching diamond-patterned leather seat and tyre tread give an elegance in keeping with the appeal of the CB1100 EX.

The second is the CB1100TR concept created entirely in-house by Honda’s Rome-based R&D design team to convey the emotion and excitement of USA flat track culture. It was developed as the ‘King of Urban Flat Track Circuits’, as a counterpoint to the off-road oval circuit look of the traditional flat tracker, with a street-orientated design familiar to European customers.

Rounding out the four customizations of current models is an ultra-modern, urban ‘scrambler’ version of the 500cc A2 licence-friendly Rebel, which has seen order books full across Europe since its arrival at the start of the 2017 season. It is fitted with big-block tyres, oversized brake discs and handmade ‘lobster’ welded bespoke exhaust. The look is embellished by references to BMX and skateboard culture (complete with skateboard holder located on the left-hand side) and moto-cross influences.

The other four machines on display draw on Honda’s uniquely rich and varied manufacturing history.

The world’s first mass production superbike, the CB750 – a longstanding favourite among customizers – has been given a raw, naked re-imagining by Billy Mackenzie, an ex-MX1 level moto-crosser, who has swapped the dirt track for the workshop. His black and red version of the CB750 is designed to showcase the clean lines of the frame and the seminal air-cooled in-line 4 engine, without interfering with the perfect proportions of the base machine.

The CX500 - with its transversely-mounted V twin engine - is another favourite among customizers; two CX500’s made by Kingston Customs of Gelsenkirchen will be at the Honda stand. Both have been given the full Café Racer treatment, one of them using as a base the well-known turbo-charged version of this classic Honda of the late 70s and early 80s.

The ‘joker’ in the pack is a CB250G made by Munich-based customizer Black Beans. It is the result of a painstaking part-by-part re-build of a ‘barn treasure’ machine. New carburetors and muffler were fitted, creating a rich, deep exhaust note, and new brakes, footrests and shock mounts added. The overall aesthetic is minimalist, elegant and quirky.

The eight machines are a powerful, eclectic mix of influences and individuality that show case the work of enthusiasts united by the desire to place their own imprint on their Honda machines; and all of them are in tune with the spirit of freedom and creativity that underpins the Glemseck 101 – the biggest annual motorcycle ‘happening’ of its kind in Europe.

Post script:

Photos of Honda’s 2017 Glemseck line-up at the event itself are available on www.hondanews.eu. They include the specially-sharpened CBR1000RR Fireblade SP entered for Freddie Spencer in the event’s Sprint International tournament. Having won the first round in this 16-strong knockout competition, Freddie tied with a customized VFR1200F ridden by German stunt rider Mai-Lin Senf. He lost out in the subsequent re-run to the VFR, whose DCT gearbox allowed a lightning quick start and seamless mid-race gear change.

Saturday’s event-opening ‘demo run’ saw Freddie – on a stock specification Fireblade – take the finish line ahead of Kevin Schwantz on a Suzuki GSX1000R.

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