Home » Finally, The Harley F-150-inspired Honda Odyssey CBR Edition You’ve All Been Waiting For (And Other Ridiculous Imagined Moto Tie Ups)

Finally, The Harley F-150-inspired Honda Odyssey CBR Edition You’ve All Been Waiting For (And Other Ridiculous Imagined Moto Tie Ups)

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If people from the distant future ever dig up information on cars from the late twentieth century, they would think that affluent people of this past society drove cars with the most shiny bits on them. However, they’d also conclude that the richest members of society drove cars with the names of higher-end clothing or luxury products on them. They wouldn’t know why, and I’m not sure either, but it was everywhere.

This mutually beneficial way of combining brand equities was a win-win for the names that got exposure for their products as well as the car companies. The automakers really lucked out since most of these “special editions” required nothing more than a different paint scheme and different upholstery inserts that cost pennies on the dollar of the premium they charged to allow you to drive a Warner Brothers Venture van or Eddie Bauer Bronco.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In retrospect, it looked like you couldn’t have a top-of-the-heap car back then that didn’t have a tie in with some big-name brand. American Motors–always looking to make something out of nothing to stay alive– gave us a Gucci edition of their rather lowly Hornet sort-of-wagon, the Sportabout.

Gucci Amc 1
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This special edition is typical of the genre with the tape stripes, logos, an interior that looks like is was outsourced to a local boat upholstery shop and even a patterned headliner. I could be wrong, but it truly doesn’t look like Gucci’s creative director flew out to AMC in Kenosha to analyze the piping on the seats before production.

Gucci Amc

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For some reason, Ford’s attempts at doing this were most notable. I particularly remember the “Designer” Lincolns from my childhood. As a kid, they seemed like magical handcrafted beasts made to the exacting specifications of some big-named fashion designer before I was wise enough to know that they were just cash grabs.

S L1600
Ford

Of these, the most infamous might be the versions by American designer Bill Blass, since they marked the first appearance of the “Carraige Roof” that “recalls the classic convertible.” Translation: a fake ragtop complete with phony top bows and stitching. Even after convertibles came back into production (after Detroit feared the NHTSA would outlaw them) this dumb accessory continued in popularity through the ’80s.

Bill Blass Lincoln
Ford

Later in the decade, there was a DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince track with the lyrics:

So I combed my hair then I brushed my teeth
Threw on my Fila suit and my Fila sneaks
Threw on my Fila underwear and my Fila hat
Then I ran downstairs and kicked the Fila cat

Ford must have taken this seriously since they offered the FILA Thunderbird, where you could dress like your car and vice versa.

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1985 Ford Thunderbird Fila Edition
Ford

By around the year 2000, this branded-car trend began to dissipate, but there were still a few notable examples remaining. One that came up last week was a 2002 Harley-Davidson branded Ford F-150. Thomas wrote about this truck in detail, in particular the example below which had 55 miles on the clock and sold recently for $46,250.

F-150 Harley-Davidson Bat Record Holder
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This boomer-baiting special had the requisite stuck-on trim, wheels, and graphics combined with different upholstery on parts of the seats. At least in this “special edition” there was some mechanical massaging as well in the form of a detuned Lightning motor. Still, even with the low mileage and engine that seems like a stratospheric figure for something like this.

F-150 Harley-Davidson Interior
Ford

The surprising auction results on a truck had me thinking that there might be something to the idea of reviving this whole motorcycle branding thing. This will be awful. Let’s take a look at how bad it could get.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Indian Scout Edition

With Harley having already found a dance partner for this branding game, we can always look at competitive brands of old-school cruisers for “special editions” of everyday cars. Indian motorcycles might be a good one to choose, and collaborating with Jeep seems like a good American-American-fuck-yeah combination. Better yet, we can make a Jeep Grand Cherokee Indian Scout model, taking culturally appropriated names from both brands and putting them into one potentially offensive vehicle (though still not as bad as Jeep’s earlier “Commanche Eliminator” model that seemingly celebrated Native American genocide).

Jeep Grand Cherokee Indian 2
Indian/Stellantis

 

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Two-tone paint like on the Scout bike, black wheels, and big logos with the “Indian head” on each side complete the package. As a kid that grew up in Northern Virginia, it looks a bit like a big Washington Redskins football helmet. If you’re the kind of owner that loves to drive onto a college campus and park at the humanities studies building with the intent to stir up shit and pick fights, this is the special edition SUV for you!

Suzuki Jimny Hayabusa Edition

With such a legendary name as “Hayabusa” under their umbrella, it’s a surprise that Suzuki hasn’t done an automobile tie-in yet with this ultra-powerful bike. Let’s fix that with the Jimny Hayabusa Edition!

We haven’t seen the likes of the Jimny since the Consumer Reports-reviled Samurai was last sold in the U.S., but this mini-SUV is still going strong overseas. The Hayabusa Edition adds low-profile tires, a dramatic two-tone paint job to match the bike, and silver finish running board trim to simulate motorcycle exhaust pipes. Damn, I bet this thing hauls ass with that Hayabusa mill under the flat black hood, right?

Jimny Hayabusa
Suzuki

Well, no. As a typical “special edition”, the Hayabusa Edition would be mechanically bone-stock. If anything it might be slower with the extra weight of those add-on rocker panel things. Come on, if it really were fast, we’d need to make an underpowered tribute to that as well, right?

Honda Odyssey CBR Edition

This one, despite being a joke, almost makes sense. First of all, the Odyssey is still the top-of-the-heap choice for enthusiasts wanting (or, let’s be honest, needing) a minivan. Not that the graphics on the Odyssey CBR Edition with fake carbon fiber hood and BMW 2002 Turbo-style backwards bumper logo don’t look ridiculous, but the bike connection has a practical application.

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Cbr Odyssey
Honda

You can certainly fit a motorcycle into a minivan, but doing so is easier said than done. The CBR edition solves that by having a sort of “tray” that you place the bike on that electrically pulls into the back of the van from a winch in the spare tire well behind the front seats.

Bike Sled

The tray could be removed and replaced by seats for when you aren’t carrying the bike (plus that tray can catch any road debris that could soil your van’s carpets). Better yet, the bike can stay on the tray to roll around your garage easily.

Yamaha YZF-R7 EDITION GB1K GRAND PIANO

So far we’ve looked at brands that can get the trickle-down effect of their superbikes onto bigger, more pedestrian products. Typically those products are cars, vans, or SUVs. But what about brands with an even broader range of products, like fine musical instruments?

Yamaha Yzf Pian0
Yamaha

 

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Here we have the Yamaha GFX-R7 Edition Grand Piano. White finish with bold graphics and lightweight composite casters, as well as carbon fiber keys and titanium components inside for high-performance concerto playing. Our own ivory tickler on staff, Rob Spiteri, has tried one and after pounding out a few Rachmaninov pieces claimed that the R7 “was agile and played like a piano half its size”. Impressive!

A New Trend?

Rising values tend to indicate changes happening in the market. That Gucci AMC Sportabout shown at the beginning of this post sold for $22,000, a value equally as confounding as that high-dollar auction Harley F-Series.

Could I be on to something with these ideas, or am I in fact “on” something as many readers have surmised? Either way, the branded special edition still has some life left in it. Automakers too chickenshit to try it are likely missing out.

Relatedbar

Our Daydreaming Designer Creates The Minivan Of Motorcycles – The Autopian

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You Won’t Believe How Hot Second-Tier Street Trucks Are Right Now – The Autopian

Our Daydreaming Designer Imagines The Nightmares That Could Have Happened If Dead GM Brands Survived – The Autopian

How I’d Build A ‘Big Wheel’ For Adults Using Modern EV Technology – The Autopian

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Panzycake
Panzycake
3 months ago

I think you missed the mark with the Jimny. Although I agree about the sport bike, I think a Kawasaki would’ve been better so you could boost both brands. A Samurai/Ninja venture would’ve done well.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

I’ve long thought a PHEV Odessy with the silly smooth H6 Goldwing engine would be NVH heaven so Odessy Goldwing edition it is.

A Civic type CBR could be a hoot.

A ressurected Fit now with a 6MT CBX edition featuring the howl of that inline six…Mmm.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
3 months ago

I like that AMC Hornet and the Honda CBR. That would make a nice two car garage..

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
3 months ago

Help! I need to find a match for my 1952 Studebaker Champion. Must be eye catching with no pretensions to performance.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
3 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

Hmmmm…how about one of those Royal Enfields that were branded as Indians?

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
3 months ago

McDonald’s Bugatti Royale with Cheese.

Maymar
Maymar
3 months ago

Every few decades Toyota slaps the Yamahauler tag on a concept truck, it’s probably time for them to do it again. If we want to loop in the instrument side of the conglomerate, the US racing livery (yellow with a black/white stripes) is reminiscent enough of either a guitar fretboard or inversed piano keys that you could include a third special edition item.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
3 months ago

We’re missing the Mercury Villager Nautica edition for weird tie-ups

As for now, Fiat seems more than happy to do its Gucci 500s and all the rest

TexianRebel
TexianRebel
3 months ago

Kinda surprised no mentioned the Troy Lee Designs Mazda B-series. I mean, I knew a guy who had one and he was a cringey asshole best left forgotten, but … what was I talking about again?

Andy Summers
Andy Summers
3 months ago

I’d love to see a James Brown / Kia Soul mashup.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy Summers

Or a James Brown Edition Chevy Express: The Hardest-Working Van in Show Business.

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