When Honda released its Grom in 2014, the 125cc single quickly gained a cult following. From hooligans jumping curbs to road-racers cruising the pits, the Grom provided cheap fun, and became the focus of many forums and clubs.
And during this week’s 31st Osaka Motorcycle Show in Japan, Honda proved it clearly has a thing for these tiny niche bikes. How? By unveiling its newest concept model – the Bulldog.
The Bulldog may sound mean, but Honda’ gives it a cushy tagline – “Lovable Touring Partner.” Honda says the bike was “designed to go beyond the boundaries of conventional leisure motorcycles – to actively enjoy outdoor life.” The intended buyer? The laid-back camper (hmm..the hipster camper?).
Unlike the Grom’s single that limits the machine to urban usage, the bulldog will be capable of highway speeds due to its powerplant – a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC 400 twin. And no four-speed here; unlike the Grom, the Bulldog’s 399cc engine is hooked to a six-speed gearbox.
The Bulldog arrives with 15-inch tires – street-style knobbies on the concept – and a low center of gravity for enhanced handling. The bike also arrives with a 28.7-inch seat height – a full inch shorter than the Grom.
Speaking of the Bulldog, Honda says “Its unique robust, yet charming styling undoubtedly brings smiles to the faces of not only riders, but people who don’t usually ride motorcycles. (the) engine has powerful, yet easy to handle output characteristics, realizing a nimble ride in a wide range of environments from urban to rural areas.”
As of this writing, there’s no word if the Bulldog will go into production. But considering the wild popularity of the Grom, you should see the Bulldog barking at dealerships soon.