Tokyo Motor Show

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
From Tokyo AutomotiveWire:

It was another high turnout day, and as the Show reaches the end,visitor interest is turning to the marketed models in the floordisplays. You can see more people listening attentively to theexplanations offered by booth staffs. After a slow start affected bylow consumption, the shops and restaurants have been doing well in thesecond half.

The domestic market is by no means good, but there have been somemodest improvements in the environment for motorcycles. It is easierto get a large motorcycle license now, for instance. Exhibitors aretaking advantage of the changes to enhance their offerings and meet awider range of rider needs...

Domestic motorcyclesCompeting on fundamentals: "Power" "Performance" and "Sound" The North Hall is connected to JR Kaihin Makuhari Station by along mall. The motorcycle booths are located near the entrance. Thefirst thing you see is the Honda booth, situated to the left of thecentral aisle. Honda's main theme is "Have Wings?" It proposes twodifferent kinds of wing for its customers: "Sports" wing for ridingpleasure and "Style" wing for more enjoyable lifestyle. Among theprototypes on display are the "ELYSIUM," a large 750cc scooter withadvanced hydraulic controlled CVT, and the compact, collapsible"e-DAX" that weighs a mere 25kg.

As they enter the Yamaha booth, visitors are startled bymotorcycle sounds coming from overhead. Yamaha initially attractedattention for the "Passol," an urban commuter bike powered by alithium-ion battery, but the highlight of its booth is the "SoundSimulators" the central space. The 3D sound system faithfullyrecreates the sound and vibration of the "YZR500" racing machine, andthere are long lines of men and women waiting for their turn to ride.

Suzuki says there are 4 categories of motorcycle appeal,"Excitement" being one. On the main stage it has 6 concept models,including the "B-KING," which features a supercharged "Hayabusa 1300"engine and a wealth of the IT know-hows, all packaged in a near-futureform.

Kawasaki's staff is dressed in flashy black and green costumes todisplay the "ZZ-R1200," scheduled for market launch very soon, not tomention the super sporty "Ninja ZX-12R," the wild "VULCAN 1500," andthe single cylinder air-cooled "250TR." Its new models emphasize thejoy and fun that bikes bring to riders throughout the world.

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