Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In conversation with Shigeru Takagi – Senior MD, Honda

Shigeru Takagi, Senior Managing Director, Honda Motor Company, speaks about what to expect from Honda over the next few years. And yes, motorcycle airbags is one of those things...

Honda are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, MCN recently spoke to Shigeru Takagi, Senior Managing Director, Honda Motor Company Ltd., and President, Honda Motor Europe. Here are some interesting excerpts from the interview:

On Honda’s biggest achievements over the last 60 years

"To pick one big achievement, it would have to be Honda’s first participation in the Isle of Man TT in 1959, and also the 1961 TT just three years after, when Honda dominated the top 1st to 5th positions in both the 125 and 250 classes. I think that these were great achievements for Honda and inspiring motivation for the business going forward."

"Looking at a broader viewpoint however, there is no doubt that Honda’s biggest achievement has to be providing mobility, and therefore independence, freedom, convenience and joy, to so many people around the world."

On the innovation people can expect to see from Honda in the coming years

"We are planning to apply fuel economy technologies such as ultra-low-friction engines for small displacement motorcycles and Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) engines for bigger displacement motorcycles, to create exciting yet environment-friendly motorcycles in the future."

"In our recent activities, we have applied our fuel injection system to our smaller displacement bikes and also applied HFT Transmission to the latest DN-01 for improved fuel economy."

"Safety is another other important area. We have been proactive in implementing active safety technologies designed to prevent accidents and passive safety technologies designed to mitigate injuries in the event of an accident. Honda is committed to enhancing motorcycle safety through innovation and this is an area where you will visibly see developments over the next few years."

"We will be introducing the electronically controlled Combined ABS braking system to the CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR600RR from early next year, and as already seen on GL1800 Goldwing, the development of airbag technology on motorcycles is another important area for us, as is the advancement of motorcycle recognition through enhanced visibility features, and vehicle communication technologies."

On whether Honda are really working on electric bikes

"As we progress towards 2010, we will accelerate our plan to develop and provide environment-friendly mobility. Fuel cell technology and electric powered vehicles feature in Honda's technological direction, but for Honda motorcycles this is still in a development stage with no specific information about specifications, timescales, pricing, performance or images available at present."

For the full interview, visit MCN here

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