Honda makes e-bike moves with striking moto-inspired e-MTB Concept

Concept model on display at Japanese Mobility Show

Clock18:30, Wednesday 1st November 2023

© Honda

The Honda e-MTB Concept

The latest motor vehicle manufacturer to enter the e-bike market looks set to be Honda, with the Japanese brand unveiling an electric mountain bike at the Japanese Mobility Show this week.

Honda has already made strides into the electric car market, and has made the electrification of its motorcycle range a key part if its growth plans, but this week saw its first pedal e-bike, a full-suspension mountain bike offering.

Read more: E-bike sales are soaring in Germany, and car makers are taking note

“The Honda e-MTB Concept expands the field of mobility in nature,” read a statement from Honda accompanying its exhibition in Japan. “Easily going uphill with electric assistance, this bike offers a new riding experience that combines the FUN of motorcycles and FUN of a mountain bike. It is being developed to enable anyone to enjoy riding mountainous trails more freely.”

The influence of Honda’s motorcycling expertise is obvious, with this almost looking like a trials bike with pedals and a saddle. The frame is made from thin-wall aluminium and features a swingarm design and even a cut-out hole that would appear to act as a handle for carrying the bike.

The “unique frame design”, according to Honda, “expresses a fusion of functionality and styling”.

It was built up at the Japanese Mobility Show with SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain and Shimano disc brakes, while the DT Swiss XM 1700 wheels are paired with Maxxis Minion DHF tyres, Maxxis tyres. The front and rear suspension is from Fox, and there’s also a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post.

Honda has not confirmed what’s powering the bike, although some reports suggest it’s a system from German company Brose.

Interestingly, the bike was photographed at the show by e-bikejapan.com alongside what looks like a portable charger, a small unit with wheels that would in theory allow you to charge on the move on multi-day adventures. The lid of the unit also houses a toolbox.

“Going out with this bike in the car, a sustainable, healthy and family-oriented six-wheel (bike+car) lifestyle can be enjoyed,” says Honda. “This is a FUN mobility that expands the possibilities for a new and active lifestyle.”

Read more: How to replace your car with an e-bike

The e-MTB Concept is very much a prototype at this moment in time, but e-bikejapan.com reports that it “is being positively considered for commercialisation”.

Keep up to date with the latest tech news, features and pro bikes on the tech section of the GCN website.

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