In December, 2021, Honda Motor Company filed a handful of designs for what appears to be a smaller-displacement NX model with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). These were marked “registered and fully published” with EUIPO as of January 11, 2022, with an expiration date of December 17, 2026—or five years since the date of first filing.
While these design filings don’t tell us everything about Honda’s upcoming NX-series dual sport revival plans, they do give some insight into how the upcoming NX family could likely appear. The design here shows a single-cylinder engine, spoked wheels, smooth tires (not knobbies), a skid plate, handguards, a high-mounted right-side exhaust, and a rear carrier mounted behind the pillion seat.
The square headlight, cowl, and front fairing show stylistic nods to the NX’s past, while still retaining a sufficiently modern look to neatly walk the line between what was and what could be. There’s a small windscreen up front that bears a resemblance to (but isn’t an exact copy of) the one on the ADV150. The shape and placement of the exhaust clearly echoes the design of NXs past, while simultaneously taking that idea and giving it a more streamlined, modern look.
Gallery: Honda NX Design Drawings
There’s plenty of handlebar real estate to mount any electronic gadgets that a rider wants, and the ergonomics look upright and fairly comfortable. The cowl comes up to offer a bit of a sun shield to the digital display, which can also only be a good thing for riders. It’s not clear at this point just how dual-sport capable modern interpretations of the NX will be. Still, whether you’re riding off-road or on, blindingly bright sun can definitely be a problem if you can’t see your display when you need it.
The tires shown in this design appear to be more road-oriented, smooth tires, and 2022 is most certainly part of an era where there are a large number of bikes with ADV-inspired looks that aren’t really intended to do a lot off-road. Honda already has some of these, as well as a fair range of bikes (and scooters) meant for light off-road duty.
This is all speculation, but if Honda’s planning on a range of NX bikes in multiple displacements—and across different markets—it's not difficult to imagine some of the smaller ones being more road-oriented and, say, a 500 being more truly dual-sport oriented. Honda already has the CRF300L/Rally as a true dual-sport, so an NX in that range that spends more time on-road seems reasonable.
Likewise, while the CB500X got a little more dual-sport capable with its most recent update, we could see a future NX500 leaning a little harder on the off-road chops as a nice alternative. If you’re an OEM like Honda, after all, you want to try to hit as many different types of riders with something they want as you can, right? As always, though, we’ll have to wait and see what actually materializes going forward.