Best of Tokyo Bike Show
THIS year’s 42nd Tokyo Motorcycle Show saw the big Japanese four of Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki with an array of production and concept models on display.
Gizmag joined the crowds at Tokyo Big Sight to check out the scores of cafe racers, cruisers, trikes, scooters and superbikes on show.
For the five million or so motorcyclists who roam Japan, the Tokyo Motorcycle Show is very much an event to see and be seen at.
The crowds were a welcome sight for the many manufacturers at this year’s show as motorcycle sales in Japan have slowed recently, dropping 0,6% last year compared with 2013 (416 723 units, down from 419 398 units).
The majority of these sales are in the under 50 cc category, but sales of bikes over 125 cc are on the rise.
This could in part be due to the growing trend of middle-aged “return riders” looking to revisit their misspent youth of the sixties and seventies on suitably retro-styled machines — a trend reflected in the many retro-styled machines on the show floor.
In terms of motorcycle production within Japan, the big four produced almost 600 000 motorcycles in 2014 (Yamaha 222 297, Suzuki 150 985, Honda 142 388 and Kawasaki 80 532) and all took their wares to Tokyo, along with a wide assortment of international and boutique producers.
Honda had the biggest presence on the floor with its chunky Bulldog Concept grabbing plenty of attention.
On the Yamaha stand, production machines took centre stage. Unfortunately, its recent concepts were not there. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to see them in the flesh at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year. What was new was the 950 cc Bolt Café racer, along with a racing version of the same machine, the Bolt C.
The buzz around the Suzuki stand was the news of its return to racing MotoGP as the Suzuki Ecstar team. The GSR 250 F and a face-lifted GSX 1300R Hayabusa were also on show.
On the Kawasaki stand, the main focus was on its Ninja range, with the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R occupying centre stage.
The best of the rest included KTM, which marque used the Tokyo Motorcycle Show to debut its new compact sports bikes — the Duke 250 and the RC 250.
On the BMW stand, two very interesting custom creations drew the crowd — the Juggernaut and Ken’s Factory Special. Both of these machines used the mechanics of the K 1600GTL and were created to celebrate the straight six.
Two concept bikes from Zuun Kumamoto at the Junk Art Studio also deserve mention — Kazama and the Big Bike. These machines don’t run, but made a serious impact on visitors arriving at the show.
Can-Am showed its Spyder F3 and RT.
These custom specials are based on the K1600 GTL.
Ducati’s Urban Enduro.