When it comes to motorcycles, Honda is best known for its stunning, top-tier sport bikes, winning dirt machines and cool classics. But lately, it’s been testing the waters with a spate of unusual citybikes, namely the Grom mininike-on-steroids and the cult-y Ruckus city scoots. Now, a big — or at least bigger — dog may join the fun.
Revealed at the Osaka Motorcycle Show, the Honda Bulldog concept bike is a 400cc city machine with an emphasis on storage, simplicity, and all-around riding capability. Low seat? Check. Knobbed tires on 15-inch wheels? Check. Side cases on the gas tank to hold your swag? Wait. What?
That’s right, the Bulldog mines the traditionally limited carrying capacity of a motorcycle (as if that really ever stopped anyone) by including two racks and some storage space built into the tank area. How much storage space remains a mystery, but we’ll admit that any is better than none.
The look of the Bulldog seems to be an outgrowth of the inside-out styling of the Ruckus line of scooters, particularly the defunct 250cc model. The Ruckus has a strong worldwide cult following, with the disco’d 250cc “Big Ruckus” models going for well over their original price if you can even find one.
The Bulldog looks a bit more traditional than its Rucky siblings, but still carries that industrial language forward with dual headlights, bold roll bars as stock, and essentially the same seating arrangement. And we dig the go-most-anywhere tires that are perfect for the urban jungle.
Disc brakes stop the wheels and the engine is liquid cooled, so feel free to abuse it in city traffic. A clutch lever is on the concept but there’s no reason Honda’s slick DCT auto tranny from the CTX line couldn’t drop right in.
A 400cc engine was likely chosen as it’s the maximum displacement for lower-tier licenses in Japan and other Asian countries, if the Bulldog ever sees the light of day and comes to the States, Honda should bump it to at least 500cc for us well-fed ‘Mericans and our 85mph Texas speed limits.
That’s a lot of ifs and wishes, of course, for a bike that may never get built. If it does, Honda should make sure you can put some foot-long sub sandwiches and soda cans in those tank pockets.