Today, the term “Scrambler” means a retro/classic looking motorcycle that’s been given higher bars, off-road tires, and exhaust that looks cool but will likely burn your leg. And, quite honestly, there isn’t anything wrong with that. However, it used to mean something entirely different.
The term scrambler came from guys taking the motorcycles from their day (often standards or UJMs) and making them as off-road appropriate as they could without access to real dirt bike suspension. A true modern day scrambler would look...well, it would probably look just like the Honda CBSix50 concept above.
The CBSix50 is a road ready version of the Honda CB4 concept, both of which are based on Honda’s CB650F fairing’d standard. The CB650F is a fine motorcycle. No, not fine as in nice, fine as in sufficient. It’s perfectly capable at being a motorcycle, but doesn’t do anything well enough to really pick it over anything or for it to have any real strengths. Think of it like the kid picked second or third to last in lunchtime sports.
The CB4 and CBSix50 concepts take that fine motorcycle, and try (and succeed) to give it some personality in the form of streetfighter and modern day scrambler. The CB4 gets a single sided swingarm, brown seat, rad little tail light, and solid front brake discs with red calipers, while the CBSix50 gets knobbies, lever guards, a belly pan, and urban camo graphics.
The CB650F motor is really bland, and its inline-four cylinder configuration seems like a strange choice for a bike like this (outside of the fact that it’s available). I’ll always prefer a twin is for my naked streetfighting/scrambling.
The concepts were done by Honda Europe, where these bikes or production derivatives of them would certainly do well. Let’s just hope they include us on this one.
See the rest of the bikes released with our EICMA 2015 coverage here.