2009 Honda Big Red - Natural Gear Camouflage

9/3/2008 2:00:00 PM

The science of camouflage is all about blending in with your environment. You wouldn't wear a suit and tie to a tractor pull, right? In the terrain where you ride off-road, a more traditional form of camouflage is called for, one that lets you disappear among the trees, rocks and vegetation. That's why Honda is pleased to offer the new Big Red in a Natural Gear camouflage scheme, in addition to Honda Red.

Those in the know recognize the essentials that effective camouflage must address: position, shine, shadow, color, texture, outline, height, tone and location. Natural Gear has a unique take on developing camouflage patterns. The company constructs its camouflage on seven natural laws.

First, the law of tone. Much camouflage is either too dark or too light, especially for the black-and-white range in which many animals see best. Natural Gear patterns are photographically derived, so its natural tone blends well.

Second is the law of gravity. Trees and other vegetation grow vertically, so Natural Gear patterns have a vertical orientation.

Third is the law of shadows. While other camouflage patterns add dark, "shadowed" areas that blob up, Natural Gear figures that since shadows occur in nature, there's no need to add them artificially.

Next is the law of the open. Too much camouflage yields to the temptation of adding and adding to the pattern. Sure, it looks great from a couple of feet away, but it turns into a single dark mass at distance. Natural Gear camouflage uses an open pattern to blend at a greater variety of ranges.

Some camouflage is highly specific, working well only in pine forests or the desert. Natural Gear embraces the law of versatility: Since it's not situation specific, it blends over a wide variety of outdoor areas.

Finally, there's the law of definition. Animals identify objects as threats by their shape or image, so Natural Gear has soft, blurry edges that defy sharp focus. This is part of the reason it doesn't feature the "sticks and leaves" details of other familiar camouflage patterns.

Honda's Big Red uses a thin-film application technique to print the camouflage pattern directly over the bodywork. It's an extremely durable process that bonds perfectly and leaves no wrinkles or bubbles. And because the base color of the hood is a tan/beige, even if you do suffer a deep gouge on the hood of Big Red Camo, the effect isn't compromised.

Effective camouflage is a total package. If you want your Big Red to blend in, you've got to pay attention to all of the details. Don't skyline it; parking in the shadows and against an irregular background will work much better. And don't think that you'll be hiding from much if you're riding around with a big, red ice chest strapped to the rear rack.

In fact, if there's any single drawback to Big Red's new Natural Gear camouflage bodywork, it may be this: You'll have to pay close attention to where you park because it blends so well you may have a tough time finding it when it's time to leave.

To learn more about Natural Gear Camouflage, including its line of clothing, log on to its Web site at www.naturalgear.com or call 1-800-NATGEAR.