What’s a motorcycle designer to do, in the middle of a pandemic?

If you’re Hisao Tomimoto and Shogo Nishida, who both work for Honda, you adapt an existing motorcycle … into paper.

Tomimoto and Nishida are behind Honda’s paper craft version of the CBR1000RR-R. Not familiar with paper craft? It’s kind of a combination of origami and model building; you print off the design onto paper, then cut out the outlines. From there, you fold the thing together into a model. Below, you can see what it looks like:

That Cub model was an earlier Honda paper craft project, by the way. You can download the design for the Cub and the latest model, the CBR1000R-RR at Honda’s Virtual Motorsports Land website (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

For whatever reason, these paper craft motorcycles are something the Japanese OEMs are really into. Yamaha also releases similar paper models every once in a while. Ostensibly, they’re aimed at kids (Honda’s designers say their models are doable by 10-year-olds, or kids even younger). However, there’s another possible answer here: Maybe, just maybe, they’re really training tools for the OEMs!

If you, like me, have ever struggled with tiny bits on Japanese bikes, unable to fit them together properly due to fat fingers, maybe we’ve got the answer to the question,“How did they ever fit this together in the first place?”. Maybe they did paper craft models for years beforehand, to get that manual dexterity …

Or maybe not. Honda’s interview with the CBR paper craft designers has Nishida saying “We designed the paper craft CBR1000RR-R as the world was reeling from COVID-19. But we hope you don’t just stay home, but enjoy it. That’s why we made the paper craft model. We designed it so that you can enjoy assembling the model the same way we design real motorcycles. Have fun making our paper craft model with your family and friends.” And, as many areas approach another lockdown, and riding season ends in northern regions, it gives us some indoors moto-fun that won’t cost a fortune. Too bad there’s no Africa Twin model though.


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