Honda’s new CB4X Concept shows that the Japanese manufacturer is playing around with the idea of inserting its middleweight four-banger, found on the CB650F and CB650R, into its crossover range.
Honda’s first CB4 Concept was shown in EICMA 2015, utilizing the CB650F and CBR650F’s 649 cc inline four. At EICMA 2017, Honda then exhibited the CB4 Interceptor concept built around the CB1000R’s liter-large four-banger. At the 2018 Mondial Paris Motor Show, Honda then debuted the CB650R Neo Sports Café concept with the production version revealed soon after. This year’s CB4X Concept puts Honda’s CB650 engine into a crossover platform.
If Honda does put the CB4 Concept into production, it will be the only inline-four to make its way into Honda’s current crossover lineup marked with an “X.” Honda has the V4-powered VFR1200X Crosstourer and VFR800X Crossrunner, as well as the parallel-twin NC750X, CB500X, and CB400X. All are road-biased, sport-touring adventure bikes built with long-distanct comfort in mind; the CB4 Concept follows the same mindset.
The Honda CB4 Concept went for a striking design with much of the front bodywork moulded together to appear like a single piece. The rear was kept short and aggressive with the clean streetfighter-esque tail. The aluminum subframe was designed to really unify with the motorcycle’s overall design, and the top of the fuel tank does something funky by hanging forward. Meanwhile, the 17-inch wheels and Pirelli rubber confirm this middleweight sport tourer’s preference for the road.
Combine all those sharp lines and interesting facets with nifty features like the single-sided swingarm, SC Project exhaust, high-performance Öhlins suspension, and Brembo brakes… And you get another eye-catching, contemporary design exercise by Honda. The CB4X Concept feels a bit like a Neo Sports Crossover.