Pit Lane News
and the
Fast Dates
Racebike Pinup and
Ripped Pavementand

Roadracing Calendars feature
the photography of
Jim Gianatsis and
Gold & Goose.

Click on Covers to Order

Natalia Sokolova
in Member's Corner!

She's our official SBK World Superbike trophy girl and a Playboy Playmate. Russia's
sexiest blond blondshell makes
her American debut in the
2001 Fast Dates
Iron & Lace
Custom Bike, and Garage Girls Calendars now available here on our website.

Click on the book cover
to visit Collector's Corner

Books, Videos, Music...

The new CORRS! -In Blue


An organic skeleton theme echoes repeatedly from the front wheel back to the frame, swingarm and rear wheel, justa s bones are connected in the human form. These structural elements combine thick and thin sections, like a paired tibia/fibula in the lower leg. This organic, sculptured look blends with the hardware and technology for a fresh, aesthetic appeal. (What ad agency copywriter wrote this BS?).

The Honda New American Sports
A beautiful naked sports concept bike from HRA. But will it ever be built?

Honda R&D Americas (HRA) is American Honda's top-secret think-tank, and it exists for one reason: to shape our motorcycling future. By all appearances, this latest creation from HRA will achieve exactly that goal. Meet the New American Sports, an innovative exercise in sportbike design aimed at the very heart of what drives every mechanically minded motorcyclist across the USA: gorgeous hardware.

According to Martin Manchester, executive designer at HRA, "This concept bike takes a new direction in motorcycling, a path that emphasizes the beauty and aesthetics in the execution and creation of a sportbike. Performance always takes a high profile in motorcycling, but we are reinforcing the emotional attachment that owners have with their bikes. There's a major emphasis on the exposed hardware on this machine; it's dressed up rather than concealed behind bodywork. We've also
stressed forward-looking technology and distinctive styling by lavishing a huge amount of detail work on this bike. Because every bit of hardware on this machine has been designed for aesthetic appeal, the NAS purposely ranscends the constraints typically dictated by production, function and cost issues." (Meaning it will probably never see production in this form -Ed.).

The front brake's large size and outboard mounting serve a functional purpose in enhancing stopping power, and also accentuate the wheel's airy and lightweight styling. HRA designed the billet aluminum wheels, taking cues from organic, asymmetrical shapes contained within the human skeleton.

Tony Schroeder, HRA Senior Designer, launched the NAS project in the winter of 1999 (After Ducati first introduced it's inovative retro/modern/art deco Halliwood Replica at the Milan Show that year from which the American Sports is obviouslky inspired, but in a fully modern application), and he described how this futuristic concept took shape. "Our goal was to not only create the image of a futuristic machine, but we also took the bike to an unusually high degree of finish work, perfecting new methods of model construction. And we purposely pushed motorcycle engineering concepts into the "what if" realm."

"We wanted to set a new direction for sportbikes, back to the street rather than toward the racetrack. Since the vast majority of consumers spend their entire riding lives on the street, not the track, it's not necessary to establish racing function as the top priority. So we gave the New American Sports a highly personal, owner-directed allure, using visible mechanical parts that are highly stylized and finely finished."

The NAS is pure mechanical eye candy: carbon-fiber, titanium and machined billet aluminum all rolled into one package. This concept should attract enthusiasts who appreciate the leading-edge, high-quality elements in a motorcycle and would take pride in owning superior hardware. Look at the New American Sports, and see a future fueled y imagination, where an appreciation for the mechanical aesthetic is every bit as cherished as pure performance. We can't help but wonder what else is caroming around in the minds at Honda R&D Americas.

The NAS began with a liter-class liquid-cooled V-twin, an attractive-looking powerplant that would generate much-desired torque as well as a resonant, booming exhaust note. With such a large engine, the bike's mass was centered on the engine compartment, thereby giving a light, open and airy appearance to the front and rear sections.

The radiator nestles under the bodywork in the tail section. Cool air is force-fed through one of the two nostril intake ducts, routed under the tank and seat, and down through the radiator. To keep the rear portion as clean as possible, HRA designers created an exhaust system beneath the engine in the shape of an aerodynamic cowling.

The preceeding text was from a Honda supplied press release. Now for the reality. It takes Honda of Japan and any large volume manufacturer some 4 years to take a prototype design such as this to production. And this includes utilizing readily available components like suspension, wheels, brakes, etc. If Honda of Japan would build this bike to compete in the current sportbike market at an affordable price between $10,000 - $20,000 it would have to have conventional forks, brakes and wheels and a big ugly exhaust system. However, if Honda did try to replicate the American Sports as it is now in smaller numbers with the trick single sided suspension, rim brakes, etc., they could build it as quickly as 2-3 years but it would cost as much as the $105,000 Honda RC51 Superbikes they susposedly homologated for public sale. But which no one realy bought because of the price. Such is the disapointment of reality, because this prototype is a bitchin' bike. Great work HRA!