Honda has revealed its full 2019 European motorcycle line-up at the EICMA show in Milan, with the introduction of two new model names and three extensively upgraded models, which bring new energy to the middleweight area of Honda’s uniquely broad and deep product line-up.CB650RHaving introduced the CB1000R, CB300R and CB125R trio of naked models for 2018, Honda now brings its unique Neo Sports Café’ look to the middleweight arena. The styling language’ is modern and minimalist, and mixes café racer inspirations and a super-compact trapezoid’ form to eye-catching effect. The in-line four-cylinder engine is fully on display, and the signature round headlight and sculpted fuel tank underline the Neo Sports Café’ family feel.With the premium look comes premium specifications: 41mm Showa upside-down Separate Function’ forks, radial-mount four-piston front brake callipers, Honda Selectable Torque Control, assist/slipper clutch and ultra-modern instruments.The result is a desirable naked middleweight with a unique combination of looks, performance and top-line specifications.CBR650RAnother new model name on the Honda line-up is the CBR650R sports middleweight.It features new styling which draws strongly on the CBR1000RR Fireblade for its sharp, aggressive lines and extended side fairings, plus super-short rear section and narrow dual LED headlights. The CBR650R is 6kg lighter than the CBR650F (which it replaces) with a sportier riding position thanks to handlebars repositioned 30mm forward, and footpegs moved both rearward and higher.It’s classically-Honda in-line four-cylinder engine revs 1,000rpm higher, producing 5 per cent more top end power with a peak output of 94bhp arriving at 12,000rpm ensuring that along with the sculpted looks and honed chassis the new machine’s new R’ designation is well deserved.advertisement47bhp conversions will be available for both the CB650R and CBR650R.CB500F, CBR500R and CB500XHonda’s lively parallel twin 500cc engine has been sold in over 75,000 motorcycles in Europe since its arrival in 2013.Having first arrived in the A2 licence-friendly CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X, for 2019 the engine has stronger power and torque between three and seven thousand rpm, and powers the light middleweight trio in upgraded packages with higher specifications and stronger roadster, sport and adventure identities.All three models now have new rear suspension, assist/slipper clutch, full LED lighting, modernised LCD instruments with gear position and shift-up indication, and new dual-exit muffler for a richer engine note.The CB500F roadster has sharper new styling from front to back, with more angled nose fairing and side shrouds that interlock cleanly with the fuel tank. The CBR500R is also re-styled: it’s narrower and sharper with strong Fireblade styling inspiration and a sportier riding position.The CB500X compact adventurer, meanwhile, has a much stronger X-factor’ thanks to a new 19 front wheel, longer suspension travel front and rear, slimmer seat, wider steering angle and tougher, more rugged fairing which also improves wind protection.The 500cc and 650cc engine platforms constitute 35% of Honda’s large motorcycle sales in Europe. These five new products for 2019 offer a well-rounded balance of exciting middleweight performance for riders of all experience levels while providing potential stepping stones to Honda’s flagship roadster, adventure and sports models.Also revealed at EICMA are a number of other product updates:CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR1000RR Fireblade SPAfter a full model change in 2017, the Fireblade’s Next Stage Total Control’ is enhanced for 2019, with changes to its electronics package aimed at optimal circuit performance. Thus, HSTC and ABS have been modified, and the top Power setting boosted based on input from the HRC MotoGP programme. Honda Selectable Torque Control and Wheelie Control functions are now separated, with a new W’ indicator on the instrument panel.The Grand Prix Red colour has a thicker white stripe for a slightly more tricolore’ effect, while the Matt Ballistic Black Metallic version is now totally black, save for its red CBR logo.X-ADVHaving been an instant hit on its arrival in 2017 and upgraded in 2018 with multi-level Honda Selectable Torque Control and a G’ switch for more off-road friendly gear changes from its Dual Clutch Transmission, for 2019 Honda’s motorcycle SUV’ will now come in new colours including a striking camouflage’ green.GL1800 Gold WingSynonymous with long-range comfort, luxury and quality for over 40 years, the Gold Wing was redesigned from the wheels up for 2018 to be sharper, lighter and more compact, while maintaining its reputation as a technological flagship with numerous new features including the first adoption of Apple CarPlay on a motorcycle.advertisementFor 2019, both the GL1800 Gold Wing itself and the Manual Transmission version of the Gold Wing Tour’ will be available in a new moody’ Darkness Black Metallic colour. The top of the range Gold Wing Tour’ with Dual Clutch Transmission will be available in a new Pearl Hawkeye Blue’.SH300iFor 2019, the perennially popular high-performance mid-sized scooter is newly equipped with Honda Selectable Torque Control and a Smart’ Top Box linked with its remote key system.Further colour updatesCB1000R Honda’s flagship Neo Sports Café’ naked model will be available in a sharp new Sword Silver Metallic colour, both in standard guise and in a CB1000R+’ version with a wide range of factory-fit’ accessories including heated grips, aluminium fender panel and rear hugger panel, flyscreen, single seat cowl, radiator grille with CB1000R logo, and quickshifter.Rebel Honda’s unique 500cc take on custom cool will be available in a new Pearl Cadet Grey and Matt Axis Grey Metallic.Integra a new Pearl Glare White for the machine which integrates scooter usability and motorcycle dynamic performance.NC750X darker silver side fairings for the supremely practical do-anything’ 750cc machine.SH125 and SH150 black (silver for the white colour) front panels and floor side panels add further class to the premium step-through scooter.
By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsFacing rising legal costs, cuts to its budget, a booming Indigenous population and a rights-based opposition, the federal Aboriginal Affairs department faces a “high risk” of a deteriorating relationship with First Nations that could lead to increased protests and “violence,” internal department documents show.The documents were obtained by Shiri Pasternak, a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York City, and provided to APTN National News.Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office did not provide a response to the content of the documents as of this article’s posting.Called Corporate Risk Profiles, the documents, ranging from 2011 to 2013, reveal a bleak picture of Aboriginal Affairs and depict a department on the brink of crisis, struggling to make ends meet as a result of government-wide cuts while facing increasing demands on its dwindling resources.The documents show that First Nations, despite limited financial resources, are drawing blood in their repeated legal, rights-based assaults on Ottawa. The documents also reveal that the current government’s policy direction is alienating First Nations and leading to increased tensions.“As the Aboriginal population grows, the demand for services also increases and (the department) is unable to respond. Funding cuts will make it more difficult to respond to Aboriginal needs,” according to the department’s Corporate Risk Profile from 2011. “As (First Nations) become impatient with outcomes, they often move disputes into the courts in order to increase the pace of resolution. Courts increasingly ruling that the federal government is not living up to the ‘Honour of the Crown’ obligations.”The same observation appeared in 2012.“Growth in the Aboriginal population outpaces (the department’s) funding growth making it increasingly difficult to respond to the needs of Aboriginal communities and people,” said a draft listing of the department’s risks from June 20, 2012.The observation was listed under the heading, “Risk 7: Aboriginal Relationship; (The department) will not build and sustain strong, productive and respectful relationships with Aboriginal people, communities and organizations to contribute to the delivery of its mandate.”The list was based on input from the department’s director generals.It notes that the Harper government’s position “vis-a-vis” the “rights-based agenda” and its willingness to “entertain reforms to the Indian Act” were “a source of frustration from some Aboriginal stakeholders.”In an updated draft version of the 2012 risk list, under the heading, Aboriginal Relationship Risk, the department notes, “Aboriginal people, communities, organizations and governments remain frustrated with some of Canada’s positions on Aboriginal issues (vulnerable communities, rights-based-agenda, treaty management, youth issues, reform of Indian Act, Bill C-38).”Bill C-38, the 2012 omnibus budget bill, streamlined environmental regulations and removed federal oversight over a large number of waterways.In a separate section titled Legal Risk, the document notes there is “tension” between the “rights-based agenda of Aboriginal groups” and the “non-rights based policy approaches grounded in improving socio-economic outcomes.”The documents show that First Nation groups that seek to push Section 35 of the Constitution, which guarantees Aboriginal rights, have been wrecking havoc on the department, both costing it millions of dollars in legal fees and forcing it to change course as a result of successive court wins.“Where (the department) is perceived as unresponsive or unwilling to adopt a rights-based agenda, FNs and other organizations increasingly turn to litigation,” according to the draft risk list. “The legal caseload is very heavy and fully consumes both legal and program/operations…. Court decisions can result in the need for (the department) to very quickly ‘change course’ which is very difficult in an environment where funding commitments are locked in through multi-year contribution agreements and contracts.”Ottawa has faced rights-based court challenges over everything from education to resource extraction. Shortly after unveiling a “historic” agreement on education with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), a Quebec organization, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, launched a legal challenge against the federal government. Education is seen as a treaty right. Ottawa has also faced a litany of court challenges over Aboriginal rights and title linked to mining and energy projects. Many of these court challenges are based on Ottawa’s failure to consult.The department admits that it faces an “ongoing challenge to align…programming with treaty rights,” according to its updated draft 2012 Corporate Risk Profile.Many First Nations see their relationship with Canada defined through treaties, either signed with the British Crown, or, as in the case of the numbered treaties, with Ottawa.The same risk profile also identifies the “increasing demands for consultation as development increases on and near reserves, within traditional use areas” as “emerging in 2012.”The document notes that the potential consequences of these risks could lead to “actions, demonstrations, public protests, violence.” In one instance, the Idle No More movement, was listed and then crossed out as an example of these consequences.The document also notes that “economic development projects will be delayed.”Added to this, the documents show, budget cuts have also decreased the amount of personal contact department officials have with First Nation communities.“Cuts to (the department’s) travel budget are limiting level of face to face contact with FN communities and stakeholders which may limit (the department’s) ability to fully understand and respond to Aboriginal issues/concerns and the ability to build and sustain relationship,” said the draft list of risks from June 2012.The Corporate Risk Profile is a “point in time of summary” of the department’s most “significant strategic and operational risks.”[email protected]@JorgeBarrera