Honda’s Simple Change Could Be Disastrous

Imagine, if you will, that you purchase a new car, and the turn signal stalk is on the right side of the wheel, and the horn button is on the dash, mixed in among the radio and A/C controls.

Why the Hell?

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]magine, if you will, that you purchase a new car, and the turn signal stalk is on the right side of the wheel, and the horn button is on the dash, mixed in among the radio and A/C controls. Every time you need to signal, you’d have to really think about it.

I want to signal right. OK, here’s the stalk. Oh, hang on, that’s the shift lever. Where’s the turn signal stalk? It’s not there. Oh yeah, it’s over here. Down for right and up for left. Damn! I’ve missed my turn.

Or worse, there is a dangerous situation up ahead. I need to warn that guy texting and walking that he’s going to walk out in front of me. I’m pushing on the center of the steering wheel. Nothing is happening. Oh right, the horn button is on the dash. Here it is. No, that turns the heat off. Where the %$#&^*%$ is it? Oh, there it is. But it’s too late and I have to clean my car. Again.

Honda has decided to reverse the positioning of its horn  and signal button. This simple switch could cause confusion while riding, and maybe something worse.
Honda has decided to reverse the positioning of its horn and signal button. This simple switch could cause confusion while riding, and maybe something worse.

This all came to mind when I rode one of the newer Honda motorcycles. For some, strange, unguided reason, Honda has decided to reverse the horn and signal button. So when I went to honk at a car drifting into my lane, I turned my signal on. Fortunately, I got out of the situation before it became dangerous.

Later, I went to signal a turn and only succeeded in honking my horn. At least I tried. But the business end of the horn button was so far away from the grip, I found I had to release my hold on said grip to move my thumb all the way over to honk the horn. Yes, I do have short stubby thumbs; but that’s not the point.

The point is that I have been riding motorcycles for more than four decades and the horn button was always at the bottom, and just above that was the turn signal switch.

Now, there are those of you who will say that I’m creating a tempest in a teacup, and once you get used to it, there shouldn’t be a problem. You may be right. However, what about those who have just taken a training course, as they should, purchased a new bike, and lo and behold, the horn and signal switches are not where they should be?

Can you not see a lot of danger in a situation where a novice has to rethink his entire signaling/noisemaking strategy? In an emergency!

What about those of you who may ride several bikes? How would you keep track of which bike had which switches in what location? I realize that certain vintage British motorcycles have the brake and shifter reversed; never mind that the shift pattern was sometimes reversed as well! When you went from your Honda to a Norton, how many times did you shift when you wanted to stop? This is why they standardized levers and foot controls in the ‘70s.

Now imagine a dangerous situation where every millisecond could make a difference. And you can’t find the horn button.

Or you turn on the signal by accident, and the car moving towards you now thinks you are turning. Could that perhaps cause a problem?

In my particular situation, a properly timed horn beep would have warned the ignorant, unaware SOB that I was there. As it was, I wasted several moments trying to honk my horn, leaving myself in a dangerous situation that could have been much ameliorated by a shrill blast. But at least my signals were on…

The bottom line is that Honda, for whatever reason, has created a control interface that possibly could get someone killed. I know; that’s a bold statement. There may be a very, very slim chance that someone could get hurt, but the courts are filled with cases where there was a very, very slim chance of something going wrong, but it still happened.

Even one death or injury is too much, especially when we already have so much else to contend with. Honda should revisit the reasoning for designing such a control set. Now! Before it results in a death or severe injury, and Honda has a big recall on its hands. It may already be too late.

You May Also Like

Destination Dealership: Southland Powersports

At the intersection of work and play.

Southland Powersports

While it might not look like it on first glance, Southland Powersports might be one of the best situated powersports dealerships in Tennessee. Located in the small town of Lexington with a population of only 8,000 people, it not only serve its small community but also the neighboring metropolitan areas. Lexington is only 30 miles east of Jackson and smack dab in the center of Nashville and Memphis — approximately an hour and 40 minutes east or west to each city.

Dos and Don’ts for AIMExpo 2023

Tradeshows are something I try to maximize. Here are some dos and don’ts for AIMExpo.

The Future of Motorcycling: ICE vs. EV

But does it really have to be a battle between these two types?

ICE engine, EV, internal combustion, electric vehicle, charter, gas pump, motorcycle
V-Twin and Cruiser Trends

Which parts of a bike are riders most likely to customize?

cruiser, motorcycle, V-twin
Destination Dealership: Savannah Motorsports

Savannah Motorsports describes itself as a “small, hometown dealership,” but customers are willing to travel the extra miles from all over the Southeast thanks to the dealership’s can-do, friendly attitude.

Other Posts

Honda’s Multipurpose ATVs and Compact Side-by-Sides Return

Pioneer 520 and 500 side-by-sides deliver impressive performance in small packages.

Honda Pioneer, FourTrax
Honda Announces 2 Beginner-Friendly 2023 Dual-Sport Motorcycles

The all-new XR150L offers value-focused dual-sport versatility.

Honda, XR150L, CRF300L
Custom Honda Navi miniMOTO

After being given early access, Steady Garage was one of the shops to put in long hours in order to complete a custom Navi.