Report: Honda to Launch Hybrid Motorcycle by 2011

Will volatile gas prices and global-warming concerns cause trickle-down adoption of hybrid tech?

Earlier this month, Japanese media reported Honda and Yamaha were each planning a line of electric motorcycles by 2010. The new bikes, which reports say can travel up to 60 miles on a charge, will use lithium-ion batteries for power. Now, word from Japan's Mainichi news service is Honda is also planning new gas-electric hybrid motorcycles.

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2009 Honda Fit: A Little Economy Car Grows Up, a Little

Honda updates its smallest, most economical US model with more space, new features and increased refinement. Does that mean it's over the hill?

The first Japanese hatchback I ever loved was a borrowed, battered 1978 Honda Accord CVCC. It was punchy and raw, light as a laundry basket and it loved to be tossed into a dusty bend and coaxed back out. It was just the thing for a teenaged-hack Stig Blomqvist with more hormones than money, and I returned it reluctantly, a changed not-quite man.

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Natural-Gas-Powered Cars Fetching Big Bucks Online

A PopSci contributor's experiment with a Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle turns into a high-return investment on eBay

We reported last week on how feebly powered, fuel-sipping 1990s-vintage hatchbacks have been lighting up the used car market recently due to skyrocketing gas prices. In an interesting twist to this phenomenon, I actually benefited myself somewhat from this hysteria when I had to sell my beloved natural-gas-powered 2006 Honda Civic GX last week on eBay, turning it into one of the smarter investments I made all year.

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Born to be Mild

A new automatic transmission lets newbies tear up the road without grinding up gears

Engineers have tried and failed for decades to build motorcycles with automatic transmissions. Honda finally gets it right with the new DN-01 "sports cruiser" bike. Conventional automatic transmissions, like those in cars, lag when you hit the throttle and can throw a bike off balance during turns. Honda's HFT (for Human Friendly Transmission) responds to the throttle instantly by using hydraulic pumps instead of standard gears.

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Natural-Gas Guzzler

Will Honda's natural-gas-powered Civic GX blow other "green" cars off the road? See the first reports from our year-long in-depth test

For more on the Civic GX's natural-gas powertrain and the innovative home-fueling station that keeps it going at a fraction of the cost of gasoline, launch the slideshow.

Behold the car that could displace the Toyota Prius as the eco-ride of choice. The new natural-gas-powered Honda Civic GX uses domestically produced fuel–the same stuff your gas stove burns–that costs as little as one third the price of gasoline. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy calls it the cleanest-burning internal-combustion vehicle on Earth.

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Hydrogen-Bombing Down the Track

PopSci goes pedal-to-the-carbon-fiber in Honda's next-gen prototype fuel cell car after a rare one-on-one interview with Honda's president and CEO Takeo Fukui

For a closer look at the Honda FCX, click 'View Photo Gallery.' And for a rare Q&A with Honda's president and CEO, continue reading on the second page.

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The Fastest R&D Lab On the Planet

The tech behind the 200mph MotoGP superbikes is taking to the streets. Get a taste of the action with our heart-pounding, high-speed video lap around the Laguna Seca racetrack

For a video lap around Laguna Seca, scroll to the bottom of the page (and turn up your volume).

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The Car That Drives Itself

See Honda´s U.K.-only smart car in action

It's not KITT, but it's close: The Honda Accord ADAS, written up in the May issue of PopSci, can sense its proximity to other cars and objects and steer itself to stay within lane lines. And you thought cruise control was cool.

You'll need the QuickTime plug-in to view this video. Download it here for free if you don't already have it installed.

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Tech Trends: Sub-Subcompacts

Inexpensive and efficient, the smallest cars are finally available in the U.S.

Small streets and pricey fuel have shaped the European car market to favor smaller cars. In fact, what we call a compact car is a midsize on the continent. But now that Ameri- cans are feeling the burn of expensive gas, automakers have responded by bringing a fleet of smaller-than-subcompact vehicles to our shores. Unlike previous stripped-down econoboxes, these will be equipped to appeal to both the budget-minded and the car-savvy consumer.

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Perception: Rosie. Reality: Roomba

We've come a long way since the Hoover, but an autonomous robot-maid is still a long way off. Don't throw away the dish gloves just yet.

From the Jetsons' Rosie to Richie Rich's Irona to Robby of Forbidden Planet, we've been promised digital domestics that look and act a lot like . . . a maid. But that isn't going to happen anytime soon, robot experts say. The problem? Today's machines are a long way from having the anthropomorphic qualities-above all, sight-found in human help.

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Adding computer brains to power-equipment brawn

Car engines have been governed by computers for years, but Honda’s iGX440 ( is the first power-equipment engine with a microchip. The electronically regulated iGX440which will show up in lawn mowers, water pumps and pressure washers later this yearruns at a constant engine speed even under changing loads. Thick grass usually causes mower engines to slow, bogging down whomever's pushing the machine, but the iGX440 maintains speed, and thus power, by giving the engine more gas and manipulating ignition timing.

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