The All Japan MX National Championship Series makes its annual stop in Kobe, Japan, this weekend, and 10-time Champion Akira Narita will be racing a works bike that is said to be a prototype 2017 model. In addition to being all-new from the ground up, the bike is equipped with an electric starter, as evidenced by the below video from Masanori Inagaki.
Our man on the scene, Toru Matsunaga, also sent us some detail shots of the bike, which HRC personnel tried to keep hidden beneath a bike cover at Kobe. What do you think of the all-new Honda? Comment below!
The engine is all-new and is said to have a twin-cam design. This marks the first time in Honda motocross bike history that the manufacturer’s Unicam design has been abandoned. Note the extra long header pipe, which is required for good low-end power since the exhaust port is on the right side of the cylinder.
Narita’s engine is equipped with an electric starter and a cable-actuated clutch. Narita prefers the feel of a traditional clutch over a hydraulic system.
Look closely, and you’ll spot four buttons on the handlebars: an electric starter button, a kill switch, a dual ignition switch, and a fourth button that likely has to do with either data acquisition or a launch control feature.
A closer look at the new engine cases and clutch cover. The bike is equipped with a back-up kickstarter.
Here’s a better look at the new bodywork on Narita’s bike, including a full-coverage radiator shroud. Look closely, and you’ll notice that the chap still runs a set of mechanical spring works Showa forks.
Narita is third in the championship standings, but with a victory at the last round and this new machine, momentum and confidence are on his side this weekend in Kobe.