Two Wheel Tuesday: Honda Bulldog

This is the Honda Bulldog, which was shown at last week’s Osaka motorcycle show. It’s a concept bike right now, but it looks to be pretty close to production ready. It uses a frame pretty similar in concept to that of the 500 series bikes already in production, and cribs its 399cc engine from the Japanese market CB500F. It’s road ready, and I really realy want one. I’ve always liked the concept of relatively small bore utilitarian bikes, and this one fits the bill to a T.

I’ve always held steadfast in my view that if I ever got a liter bike, I’d kill myself in a week on it. 400cc is all I would ever need. I don’t need insane fast, I don’t need crazy cornering speeds, and I don’t need anything that is more at home on a race track than a city street. This bike would make a great commuter, and it looks to me like this could be an excellent 3-seasons vehicle for most people. It’d be fun to ride (because what isn’t fun to ride?)
This bike looks tough. It looks like it could handle the day to day beating of city commuting. It’s big enough and quick enough to get out of its own way, but not fast enough to get you into trouble. It’s got awesome little racks to strap things to on the rear and the front above the headlight. If that’s not enough, the plastic lockers on either side of the fuel tank open up for more storage. Seriously, this is the coolest bike ever, and I really hope Honda makes one. If I could have my old Honda MB-5, a new Honda Grom, and this Honda Bulldog, that’d be all the bikes I’d ever need in my entire life. I love Honda’s quirky little bikes, and this one is just another in that long list. Besides, who doesn’t want an exhaust heat shield that says “Bulldog – Tough Dog For Your Trip” on it?
[Photos provided by Honda]

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  1. Tanshanomi Avatar

    The Bulldog is getting some serious flack online from the motorcycle community, but I think it’s fantastic. Put it into production tomorrow. Its supposed to appeal to millennials, but I think its scooter-slept-with-an-adventure-bike look is truly new and innovative, and could create a whole new genre. If they build it, it will surely be a cult favorite, á la Ruckus, at the very least.

    1. CherokeeOwner Avatar

      Yeah, I don’t get the flack either. This is both a modernized scrambler without the retro-looks, and an adventure bike without the farkles, a true utilitarian bike which the internet cries out for regularly. The only thing I’d be concerned about is the fact that the exhaust is routed underneath the bike with no protection, (where it’d get bashed on the rocks) but that aside, this thing has protective crash bars in all the right places. It’d be a great “big” bike for training schools, and an excellent commuter.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        My only reservation is that exhaust as well. It won’t just get bashed on rocks, but kerbs as well. There really can be no excuse for this as Honda went through this exercise in 1976 with the XL175 and other off-road capable bikes. Other than that, I like it too.

        1. Tanshanomi Avatar

          To be fair to Honda, factory motocross bikes were running low pipes as late as the mid 1970s.

          1. pursang Avatar

            That is Jim Pomeroy on a looks like a 74 ? Bultaco Pursang. First American to win a motocross Grand Prix race, did it at the Spanish Gran Prix.
            Passed away a few years ago after rolling his Jeep off roader. Great guy.

          2. Rover 1 Avatar
            Rover 1

            And the mid to late seventies is when everyone realised that low mounted exhausts on off-road bikes were a bad idea and combined it with single shock rear suspension which worked better, as suspension, as well as allowing more room for higher exhaust routing in a technological win-win. That pretty much gave us the modern motocrosser and enduro bikes.

    2. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

      It is weird. They get all ga-ga over the scrambler and then this hits and all you hear is “WTF is this?!”
      It comes off as a squared up version of a BMW Adventure bike.
      I am more than okay with it.

    3. Vavon Avatar

      Indeed, a weird Ruckus, that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the Bulldog.
      I’m not a biker but you are… So I would like to hear your opinion on the Honda FTR…

    4. Jeep Jeff Avatar
      Jeep Jeff

      It looks no more ridiculous to me than the tw200. (And I really want a tw200… You may have sold a Yamaha, Tanshanomi.)

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Then you’ll be needing this:

      2. dead_elvis Avatar

        The TW is likely the most low-speed fun you can have on two wheels, and quite possibly not in need of that “low-speed” qualification if your tastes run to anything involving surfaces where you wouldn’t take a street bike. Still low speed, but just stupid amounts of fun.

    5. Tiller188 Avatar

      I’m not the first to say it, but my first thought on seeing this was “our little Ruckus is all grown up…” I do like that utilitarian, approaching-Mad-Max-y exposed frame and big dual headlights look.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        They really should have gone all-in and named this the “Even Bigger Ruckus.”

  2. Kiefmo Avatar

    This is what the NC700X should have been. Its low-revving, torquey, half-of-a-Fit engine character looks like it belongs in a bike that looks like this.

  3. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    It’s interesting to look at, but I can’t say I’d spend my money on it. I like the idea of a small twin but the wheels look too small and I’d prefer a lot more suspension. The powder blue isn’t working for me either.
    Overall, a bike I’d love to borrow for an afternoon but would never buy.

    1. Top-dead-centre Avatar

      If one were to change the powder blue to Honda Red, it’d look much better.

  4. pj134 Avatar

    I’d definitely consider it as long as it’s well below the Scrambler price point.