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2013 Honda motorcycle lineup: First look at CB500s, Gold Wing F6B

Mamas, lock up your children. Honda Motor Co. wants the boys and girls of America to start riding.

The company this week has taken the wraps off a batch of 2013 motorcycles, going after new riders with some old-school styling.

Leading the pack are a blacked-out version of the Gold Wing cruiser, a line of low-priced, lightweight CB500 sport bikes, and a timely iteration of the timeless CB1100.

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The CB500s represent the company’s desire to grow its U.S. market share by attracting new riders -- “beginner bikes that don’t look like beginning bikes,” one Honda executive said. With entry-level models starting at $5,499, the line includes the “modern, sporty and naked” CB500F, the “middleweight” MotoGP-styled CBR500R, and the affordable “adventure-style” CB500X.

Hoping to entice new riders with a timely twist on a timeless standard, the 1800-cc, six-cylinder Gold Wing F6B is Honda’s latest attempt to sell some Harley-Davidson heat to customers who might not be able to afford the pricier American classic. With hot-rod lines, a “gunslinger-style” seat, and a sales pitch that says it’s “designed for serious riders,” this battleship of a bike is priced at $19,999.

The styling of the CB1100 is also a throwback, marrying 1970s lines and a candy-red color scheme with modern electrics, suspension and braking. The retro feel comes with a “value for money” price of $9,999.

Honda unveiled its new line last week at an invitation-only event at its Torrance home office. The evening included first looks at the CBR600R -- a mid-range version of the MotoGP CBR1000RR -- and an updated version of the CBR1000RR itself. Described in media materials as “fast, fun and easy to ride,” the smaller-cc version is clearly designed for the rider who wants a real superbike but can’t afford one. Evidence: It’s available in the signature white, orange, red and black color scheme of Honda’s prize-winning Repsol MotoGP machines, the ones ridden by Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrossi.

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