Friday, June 19, 2009

Mitsuyoshi Kohama talks about future Honda motorcycles


Honda's chief designer, Mitsuyoshi Kohama. Among others, he's worked on the NS400R, VFR750F, NR750 and CBR900RR. He'll also be involved with the design of future Honda V4s

Honda are all set to launch a brand-new V4-engined motorcycle in 2010. Shigeru Takagi, President and MD of Honda Motor Europe has confirmed that the company will indeed introduce the new machine – which would be based on Honda’s V4 concept bike shown recently – during the first half of 2010, and other V4 bikes will also be launched over the next few years.

These new V4 machines will be designed by Honda’s 48-year-old chief designer, Mitsuyoshi Kohama, who’s been working with Honda for the last three decades. Among others, Kohama has worked on bikes like the NS400R, VFR750F, NR750, CBR900RR, RC211V and the CBR1000RR Fireblade.

‘With motorcycles, there is no difference between the interior and the outer skin. Parts that determine the outward visual appearance are internal functional units. For example, the petrol tank is a container for the fuel which simultaneously fulfills a function for knee contact. The design of a motorcycle requires that such functional units be shaped into a pleasant form,’ says Kohama, who’s obviously deeply passionate about motorcycle design.

‘Motorcycle design means shaping a vehicle as a whole – it encompasses all the components from A to Z, regardless of whether they are made of metal, plastic, rubber or leather. Even the layout of the wire harnesses is part of this. The only thing that designers do not touch is the inner life of the engine,’ says Kohama.

‘I think that the design of a motorcycle is very similar to that of a living being – the proportions must be right. Also, an important point in design is to be satisfied with the result oneself. If you do not like something, you can't let it go through. Honesty is necessary. I cannot offer the customer something that does not convince me,’ he adds.

‘I shall try in the future as well to design motorcycles that excel not only in functional design and beauty, but cause a stir around the world,’ concludes Kohama. Hmmm, so those new Honda V4s should be worth waiting for then…!

Via Honda V4
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