Is Honda Planning a Move in the Electric Superbike Niche with Mugen?

It's been quite a while since Honda revealed their RC-E electric superbike concept, but we heard very little about this new direction Honda might be interested in, until now. And the news are quite interesting, to say the least.
Mugen Shinden Yon 3 photos
Mugen Shinden YonMugen Shinden Yon
Honda has announced that the Mugen Shinden Yon, the fourth incarnation of Mugen's electric superbike, will be on display at the Honda booth on January 15-17, at the Tokyo Auto Salon. No mentions about Honda and Mugen getting officially closed were made, so we've been left guessing.

If anything, this might be an indication that House Tokyo might have some undisclosed plans to enter the electric superbike niche. Now, Mugen and Honda are very close, because the former was founded by Soichiro Honda's son Hirotoshi, and even used Honda's TT rider John McGuinness in their debut TT Zero race, back in 2012.
Once proven a successful machine, the Mugen might look very appealing to Honda
The Shinden project went a long way from its original version and is now proven as a successful enterprise. The bike dominates authoritatively on the Snaefell Mountain, with McGuinness and Bruce Anstey almost breaking the 120 mph (193 km/h) lap speed. In 2014 and 2015, the Mugen Shinden machines took the first two podium places, with a serious gap between them and the rest of the electric motorcycles.

Now that Mugen made a name for themselves in the TT Zero, Honda's interest in a commercial version of the Shinden appears to have increased. Honda doesn't say a word on their electric plans, but we suspect that things may be more advanced than the optimist public thinks.

This autumn, BMW showed the eRR, a concept bike derived from the S1000RR, with the engine replaced by batteries and a motor. Harley is also working on their LiveWire, even though no anticipations as to when it will reach a commercial phase were made public.

With a platform that proved it can win, Honda might be interested in trying their hand in this segment. If Honda indeed plans to add an electric superbike to their line-up, 2016 might be even more interesting than we anticipate.


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