Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Honda’s missing the Frankfurt Show. Is that all it’s missing?


2009 will be remembered as the year that car manufacturers started to really reconsider their involvement in international motor shows. Although the effects of mass pull-out won’t become truly evident until Tokyo, where Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo will be conspicuous only in their absence, in a case of what may seem to be a little bit of East/West tit-for-tat, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti and Honda have all decided to skip Frankfurt.

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Honda Hotness (I think)

I’ll be up front with you: I’m not a massive bike person (motor or pedal). Although I grew up riding around the bush back home on a Honda XR80 (which taught me how much Hondas like to rev…) and briefly owned a South African-built Honda CD125 Benly (Which taught me that even Japanese designed products can be horrifically unreliable), a throbbing passion for two wheeled objects has evaded me thus far.

This thing below could be the start of something, however:


This is the 2009 Honda Fury which isn’t being revealed (officially) until Friday but, as is often the case with these things, the first image has leaked onto the web.

Now the biking purists out there will probably scream at me because it seems that this bike is pretty impure as choppers go. It looks hardtail but has a secret shock absorber, it should be belt driven but uses shaft drive and  if you thought it was properly air cooled, you’d be wrong on that count too (the radiator is hidden somewhere in the chassis rails). Basically it’s designed for old, rich blokes who want to look hard but whose bad backs rule out going the whole Hog. But all that aside…it looks supremely cool!

The last time I remember Honda producing something so un-Japanese was the completely unhinged (and pretty vulgar) Rune. This is on a different plane with it’s satin grey paint job, an engine that looks like a jewel and a superb  front wheel with the orange pin-stripe. Only the seriously cheap side repeater on the rear guard detracts from what is a very pure, graphical design.

I’m looking forward to seeing more images after the official launch on Friday.

(Sources: Hell For Leather )

About DownSideUp Design

I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Westpac. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I help teams host an event called Rising Minds in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.

DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.

Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.