Honda reveals its first eBike and it looks set to be a downhill monster

Honda's e-MTB concept is a full-suspension bruiser with portable charging capabilities

Honda e-MTB Concept
(Image credit: Honda)

Despite Honda’s deep love for all things motorcycle and its penchant for a little engineering experimentation, it surprising that it has taken this long for the brand to dip a tentative toe in the electrified bicycle genre.

Porsche, Aston Martin and even Mini have had a go, but Honda appears to have been taking its sweet time with the e-MTB Concept. Likely a good thing, as the full-suspension, off-road monster it has unveiled looks fantastic and like it is able to pulverise a few trails.

Full details are scarce, as this was one concept that arguably faded into the background of a very busy Japan Mobility Show this year, but we do know the frame and swingarm, which forms part of the rear suspension system, have been built using thin-wall aluminium casting technology. This is usually the manufacturing reserve of some of Honda's high performance motorcycles.

Honda e-MTB Concept

(Image credit: Japan Mobility Show)

The battery packs, which remain unnamed, are stowed within the simple but elegant frame, while the motor is a fairly ubiquitous crank-based affair… again from a currently unnamed supplier.

Keen eyes will spot some fairly classic mountain bike components, from the SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain and Shimano disc brakes, which could do with being a bit larger in our opinion, to the Fox suspension and dropper seat post at the back.

There's also a neat, built-in mudguard, which forms part of the overall design, and that rear swingarm is a slice of engineering genius, appearing simultaneously intricate and bomb-proof.

One unique element that we haven't spied any rival eMTB manufacturers using to date is the portable charging station that appeared on the show floor next to the bike.

Honda e-MTB Concept

(Image credit: Japan Mobility Show)

This part-wheelie suitcase, part-Honda ASIMO concoction packs onboard batteries for charging the e-MTB, as well as a built-in tool chest at the top for impromptu tweaks out on the trails.

We have no idea whether this machine will go into production, despite it looking decidedly production-ready, or how much it would eventually cost.

But Honda has a reputation for putting its money where its mouth is (check out the Motocompacto for proof) and there is a big drive at the moment for automotive brands to produce "mobility solutions" beyond the car, so perhaps we will see this busting gaps and cresting berms in the near future.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.