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Silver Wing 650 Rumored
By Dirck Edge
Is Honda about to increase the displacement of its Silver Wing scooter? That is a rumor emanating from Europe, where scooters are much bigger business than they are here in the United States. The current 582cc twin may be punched out to 650cc to match Suzuki's Burgman 650, according to the grapevine.

from Motorcycledaily.com
 

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Wouldn't be suprised at all

I wouldn't be suprised at all if Honda made that move with the Silverwing.

Piaggio is said to be bringing a 850cc twin to the maxi scooter line up in a year or two. This year the only advancement, albeit a cool one is ABS for the Piaggio and Aprilia 500cc scoots.
 

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If Honda follows through on what it likes to do sometimes, it may very well come out with a scooter that completely trumps everything else on the market. They do like to do this from time to time, like with the GW1800, but they haven't really done it in the scooter market. I think the Reflex and the Silverwing have been getting whipped in the marketplace by the Suzuki's. Hell, I'm a Honda guy and I bought a Suzuki, right?

I bet if they make any changes to the Silverwing at all, they will be substantial
 

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I kind of agree with Bech on this one. I see honda making a bigger leap in displacement than 70cc. Lets face it , we have seen pics of 800cc or larger machines in development or concept form.
 

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Bechtoea,

I think I understand where you are coming from, but remember that the US is by no stretch of the imagination the centre of the big scooter world. To say the Silverwing and Reflex don't lead the market is very far from the global reality.

The Silverwing outsells the AN650 even though the AN650 is a *better bike*. It outsells it because it is a *better scooter*. Most buyers in the large Japan and Europe markets still want to use a scooter of 250-650cc capacity as a commuter or for (congested city) city transport for al or part of it’s use. The SW600 is better than the AN650 for this. On the open roads of the US, or as a tourer (which it is the equal of an R1150RT) the AN650 shines brighter than the SW600.

The Reflex not leading? This is a bike that was replaced by a new model in Japan two years ago – you still get the MF06 whislt we get the MF08. It was the top seller or damned near to it alongside the Majesty 250 for it’s three years of sales (2000-2003). It completely revolutionized the concept of the big scooter, taking it out of the ‘boring commuter’ league (like the Foresight, old Majesty and old AN250/400) into the ‘young, fashionable and trendy’ league. No big-scooter released since the 2000 Reflex is unaffected by it. Take the AN250/400 for example (bottom seller) – pre-Reflex model had no tachometer, ‘mature’ looks, quite colours. Post Reflex model has stylish speedo and tachometer, a body clearly styled on the Relfex (complete with the fin) and a Type-S model from the start (in Japan) that aped the Reflex ‘Hi-Sport’ branding. The standard model gathers dust in shops that choose to stock it. Take the Majesty (top seller) again, pre-Reflex had no tacho, post had tacho and speedo. Customisers almost always fashion a Reflex style fin onto the Majesty. It is the Customisers favourite.

In Japan, the (Forza) Reflex was replaced by a new model in 2004 complete with:
• 55w/60w headlight
• e-CVT with 6-speed manual mode (which shifts instantly as opposed to the slower action of the AN650)
• keyless entry
• 62-litre trunk that can cosume golf-clubs
• electroluminescent instrument panel
• built in speakers with a speed sensitive amplifier.

It is the top-seller and is a cut above the new Yamaha Majesty and ageing Suzuki.

If Honda revamps the SW600, a simple over bore will be a *tiny* filler as you suggest. They have already grafted on a ‘Power Mode’ button that gives it a similar feeling to the AN650 – no-one uses manual mode, anyway. The next SW is rumoured to be between 650 and 750cc, will have all the gismos that are now being happily tested on the Forza (Reflex) 250 and will be the market leader. I am a Honda man that bought a Suzuki. When they release the new SW I am sure that I will return home.

Watch this space.
 

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If what I was told this past February while in Tokyo is true that Suzuki is trying to fit the 920cc from there concept into the Burg then I am sure Honda will not up the silver to just 650 but match the 920 or close to it as they can fit in the silver wing.

I also believe that by now if there was any engine chance in store for the burg or silver in the very near future say for the model year 2006 or 2007 we would have heard for sure by now, these things are never keep a secret for long but I also believe that at some point not too far in the future the style bikes we all have come to enjoy will go thought a major change in both design and engine size and I for one look forward to a much larger engine and a new design change and hope that Suzuki has been listening to what we all have been saying.
 

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Burg,

Remember, the SW600 outsells the AN650 globally whilst being a lower specification - having a more conventional type scooter frame as opposed to a motorcyle frame, less torque, less power, less brakes, no manual mode. There is not going to be a capacity war to build machines that a handful of people will buy, IMHO. If someone buys an automatic feet first machine - engine in frame or on the swing-arm - they are still making a conscious decision to buy a scooter. This typically means that they will be riding in congested cities for part of their use - a 920cc lump will either lengthen the 650 to GW1800 proportions (it's already almost there) or make it even wider, and make it even harder to use in such circumstance. They would struggle to sell any in Japan (the biggest scooter market in the world) and would watch ageing SW600s keep selling like hotcakes with mild minor changes.

IMHO, the world is not ready for a 1000cc scooter. They will still buy R1200BMWs and STX1300 Hondas - at US$15,000 each, or GW1800 at considerably more. The AN650 gathers dust on shop floors now in Japan as it is - I don't mind at all as it suits the two person touring application that I put it to perfectly, and ride a Reflex to work. An AN900cc giant would signal a departure from the lucrative Japan market for Suzuki, and a massive gift to Honda. Not impossible, but not a wise move if they want 'P' than 'L'.

Piaggio may claim to be developing an 850 scooter, but it doesn't mean that they will be able to sell it. Besides, they are producing engine on the swingarm scooters now. They've got to make a massive leap to produce an AN650/TMax/SW esq engine in frame motorcycle style big-scooter. A missive leap.

Whatever some may think about the SW600, Honda made the right call in terms of gauging the market - eerily so, in fact. And I'll be damned if the current Japan models don't look good. Have a look at the Forza (Relfex) page on the Honda Japan website for a feeling of what is to be present on the new SW - put all these gismos on the present SW600 alone and you have more than an equal for the AN650.

http://www.honda.co.jp/FORZA/

Not to say that Suzuki can't pull something special out of the hat. They are very good in fact. I just wish it bolted together better...
 

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In reference to the Silverwing sales worldwide, remember that there are TWO silverwings, not one. Worldwide, there is a "400" and a "600."

The point I was trying to make is really kind of listed here, the point that overseas no one is really interested in anything bigger than a 600. However, if Honda is going after the SuperScoot market in the U.S., then the idea of "bigger is better" applies.

The superscoot phenonmenon is literally exploding in the U.S. and this fact is not lost on Honda or, for that matter, Suzuki.

Also, Honda is losing sales to Suzuki because of customers that are moving "down" from a Wing to a scooter and want the same functionality. Neither the Silverwing nor the B650 offer this, but the B650 sure does come alot closer.

Bold prediction: I look for the new Silverwing to be able to "real world" function at about 70-80% of the capability of the GW, probably foregoing trailer towing, some storage area, and maximun acceleration.



We'll see.
 

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Bech,

I wrote SW600 - I didn't write SW. The SW400 doesn't sell well because it's heavy and underpowered being a SW600 with 200cc missing. Again, Honda gauged the market eerily well in realizing that 400cc as a displacement for scooters was not key - 250 and 600cc is. They have best sellers in both categories in the largest scooter market in the world. Being from Europe and living in Tokyo gives me a bit of insight on this. If we were debating pick-up trucks of ten years hence, you may be the authority on that.

As for Honda going after North America as a scooter market? You are suggesting that they turn there back on lucrative markets to pioneer a market that still has collective stigma attached to purchasing Japanese motorcycles - not every American wants a 'rice burner' right? And in this effort to win Americans they scrap the SW600 and produce a SW1300. And what of their very well selling STX1300 Pan-European? I don't see it happening. Furthermore, I am not sure that I would call a few geared bike owners converting to a 600cc scooter an 'explosion' – that is a shift in purchasing trends of motorcycles and a disaster for manufacturers that have spent millions on RnD of models that now seem obsolete. Perhaps you could call this an ‘implosion’ of a certain motorcycle category. An 'explosion' would be car owners selling their cars and using a scooter for both the commute and daily chores instead, as is happening in Japan and in Europe – actually increasing the franchise of motorcycle owners. Yes, Honda makes cars, too but this won’t worry them as small cars have very low margins so they want to sell more mid-sized cars anyway.

You are right that some Goldwing owners are moving to big scooters as some big-scooter owners move to GL1800s. I imagine however that the movement down is greater than the movement up, and I agree that this probably not lost on Honda. With this in mind, what is more likely is that they produce a North America focused bike of 1200cc or so, perhaps a GL1200. This would sit in the line-up below the GL1800 and above the SilverWing, a bit like the Hummer series H1, H2 and H3. This won't replace the SW600-750 (whatever it may become) as the Hummer H2 and H3 have not replaced the H1. They’ve done this before with the PC800. This was a Honda designed to fill a need in the US market for something that was easy to ride, could carry luggage and was grunty - introduced in 1989 to sit above the Helix 250 but below the (Europe focused, top selling) ST1100 Pan-European, and US focused cult-like GL1500. Didn’t sell outside the US, and wasn’t deemed successful enough in the US to continue as a model in it’s own right beyond tens years after introduction. Note that it was not called a CN800 (to identify it as part of the Helix line) or an ST800 (to identify it as part of the ST1100 line), or indeed a GL800. However, IF Honda does produce this hypothetical US focused bike of the future, they may call it a ‘GL1200’ as it is GL1800 customers that are defecting to something lighter yet are spending their time customizing their SW600/AN650 back to GL spec (CB/Radio/CD/additional lights/etc). They would have the largest interest in it, and the GL brand association may be positive.

Anyway, as you say: we’ll see.
 

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That new forza is really nice the question is why don't we have it in the US yet? On another note I talked to my local Honda/ Suzuki/ Yamaha dealer and He said that at their nation dealers meeting everybody burst out laughing when the Morphus a.k.a. maxam was introduced. :eek: they all thought it was a poor imitaion of the Honda Helix. :roll: As to these rumors about the silverwing it would not suprise me if they installled a larger engine at least for the american and european markets.
 

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What about the Griffin concept scooter/bike with the flat four 750 cc motor. Did Honda decide that this was not a direction they wanted to continue on with? Did the Suzuki G-Strider concept give them a reason to go in a new direction?
 

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lycheed said:
Bechtoea, said in part, "...On the open roads of the US, or as a tourer (which it is the equal of an R1150RT) the AN650 shines brighter than the SW600."
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Surely you jest?

I owned an R1100RT and I currently ride an AN 650. They are both fine machines and while the Burgman is a very capable touring machine, it isn't in the class of the R RT. From one who has owned both the Burgman is better than the RT around town and more ueful than lots of so-called touring motorcycles, not including the RT.
 

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lycheed said:
Bech wrote in part, "...You are suggesting that they [Honda] turn there back on lucrative markets to pioneer a market that still has collective stigma attached to purchasing Japanese motorcycles - not every American wants a 'rice burner' right?"
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I think the 'stigma' to which you refer is about 25 years out of date. Except for the purveyor of 1940s technology at 22nd Century prices (H-D), Japanese companies own the U S motorcycle business. I think the real question is how big is or will be the scooter demand in the U S. We can safely bet that market research is underway.
 

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Sorry Ben, but I don't buy your snap-shot of American attitudes to Japanese products for a moment, and the experiences of many of the Americans on this site when riding doesn’t go along with that. Let me contrast the American motorcycle community with the European community – ‘rice burner’ is a phrase used in US. This is undeniable. This is a phrase unheard of in Europe. Fact. Indeed Japanese products are a sign of quality and are highly desirable to the average person.

I don’t want to get into this, as it’s an ugly subject. For that reason, even if you do post a rebuttal I shall not contribute further on this issue.

I agree that the other issue is how Americans will take to scooters of varying capacity. The point I made before is that in Japan, UK and Europe (the large scooter markets) buyers have been abandoning small cars to use scooters as commuters or runabouts. This sees an increase in the motorcycle franchise as opposed to a simple shift in buying trends of existing motorcyclists, which is very interesting for the motorcycle manufacturers. I don’t see that sort of shift from the car to the bike in the US where gas guzzling 6-litre V8 engines are commonplace and where gasoline is cheap. Remember that in Europe most people drive 1600-2000cc 4-cylinder cars, often running on diesel to see increased fuel economy. Regular gasoline costs approx US$6 per gallon as opposed to what Americas feel is high at US$2.50 per gallon. One size does not suit all.

Each to their own on the RT thing - one size doesn't fit all, you see. I toured them back to back for a weekend each before buying the AN650, and I felt the AN650 performed equally well fully loaded with a passenger to the RT and vibrated far less on the rare occasions that I ran it on the highway at 100mph - I tend to stick to more interesting back roads. All that without a clutch and at half the price - that's a no brainer. Good luck, Ben.
 

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Terry, you are right about the concept bike with the flat-four. A great concept. That said, any concept bike is preciesly that, and rarely do they make it through to production as they were when they dazzled the photographers at motorshows long forgotten. Flat 4 engines cost money to make, as do V-fours and they have to pass on that cost to the user - not good. Remember that the CBR1000RR was supposed to have a V4 to be closer to the V5 Moto GP racer, yet turned out to be fitted with an in-line 4? If they can get away with slotting in a simpler engine they probably will.

Nice bike, the Griffin.
 

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lycheed said:
I'm not sure I understood "lycheed's post of August 30. My posts that preceeded it were for two purposes. (1) I pointed out my observation that Japanese 2-wheel vehicles have been accepted in the U S as witnessed by their market share, and (2) that as nice as the Burgman is, my impression after owning and riding both is that the BMW R11 through 12 BMW RT is superior as a long distance touring machine.

Maybee he/she confused my observations with someone else's... :)
 

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Reading the original post got me thinking, as did a Cycle Canada comparison test between the Silverwing and the Burgman 650.

There really is no fair comparison to the Silverwing. At this time it is in a league of it's own. Yes it is within 56cc's of the Burgman 650, but that is where the similarities stop. Its' basic design dictates that it cannot compete with the Burgman 650 in any other way, so why compare? It is more closely related to the Burgman 400 in every sense, other than 197cc displacement discrepancy, therefore that comparison would be invalid as well. It may be close to the Aprilia Atlantic 500 or Piaggio X9 but there is still enough of a size difference in engines (122cc) that no fair comparison can be made.

So there you have my latest thoughts on the tired, old 'wing/burger debate.
Thanks for listening.
 

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Rubble said:
There really is no fair comparison to the Silverwing.
I have to agree, having previously owned an X9 500 & a Swing before my AN 650 the Swing is flawed in its design due to being rear weight biased, having half length front forks and lighter flexing frame and just cannot handle the power and speed it's capable of (great looking scoot though)
These hybrid scoots have many plusses over there biking counterparts in the practical everyday use sense and are still relatively new on the scene, I'm sure they will improve.
Regards to all.
 
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