• 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look

  • Yamaha Resonator 125
  • Yamaha Resonator 125
  • Yamaha Resonator 125
  • Yamaha PES2
  • Yamaha PES2
  • Yamaha PES2
  • Yamaha PED2
  • Yamaha PED2
  • Yamaha MWT9
  • Yamaha MWT9
  • Yamaha MWT9
  • Suzuki Feel-Free-Go
  • Suzuki Feel-Free-Go
  • Suzuki Feel-Free-Go
  • Honda Neowing
  • Honda Neowing
  • Honda Neowing
  • Honda Neowing
  • Honda Lightweight Supersport Concept
  • Honda Lightweight Supersport Concept
  • Honda Lightweight Supersport Concept

From improvements to existing rides to concept bikes that look to be pulled from the pages of a science fiction novel and even a motorcycle-riding robot, this was an exciting year in Tokyo. All the big names were present and accounted for, and it was interesting to see what the major players have in store for us in the foreseeable future. While I am certainly looking forward to having all the specs and pertinent info on hand for some review action, I can scarcely contain myself for the teasers and tidbits we have so far.

Continue reading for my look at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015 motorcycles.

Yamaha

Resonator 127

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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One of my favorites has to be a new concept bike from the Tuning Fork Company; the Yamaha Resonator 125. Chromed and gilded components dominate the overall look, and the factory even graced the tank and cafe’ racer-esque rear-fender fairing with real wood-finished-bright panels, no doubt from its musical instrument branch. For those of you too young to remember the old station wagons that had wood sides (and the later, horrible, genuine imitation wood-like sticker), it was a popular look, and this ride takes me right on back to “the day.” The 125 cc engine and stripped-down look relegates this bike to the basic-transportation category, but I gotta say, “basic” transportation never looked so cool!

PED2 & PES2

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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Next on my list would be the Yamaha electric concept bikes. The factory went two distinctly separate routes with the PED2 trail bike, and PES2 sportbike. The PED2 looks pretty much like a standard dirt bike, until you notice the lack of exhaust components and the little blue whirlygig on the side of the motor. It’s built to handle like a mountain/trail bike, and is nearly silent so you can enjoy nature without also disturbing it.

While the important metrics such as speed and range are still unknowns, what we do know is that it comes with an electric motor in the front wheel, making it the first two-wheel-drive electric sportbike as far as I know. There are plenty of cool little details, but the coolest by far, says I, is the “smart helmet” that pipes performance info and video feeds from front and rear cameras in to a heads-up display of sorts. Sounds really nifty, but I shudder to think how much that bucket will set you back.

MWT-9

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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Now for the ride that has the Batman theme music stuck in my head: Yamaha’s MWT-9 concept bike. Actually another funny-backwards-trike, the factory took the parallelogram steering from its Tricity scooter (or Piaggio’s MP3, depending on who you ask) that lets the wheels articulate and lean into the corners. Although the front wheels are set apart, they remain fairly close together, more like the Tricity, and less like the Can-Am Spyder for a bike-sized footprint rather than a small car sized one. Each front wheel gets a pair of hydraulic forks, for a total of four, which stiffens up the front end and makes it look really beefy. The factory powers it with a 849 cc, inline three-banger mill with a radiator in evidence up front, and the overall look of the thing is pure sport with a dash of Bruce Wayne thrown in for good measure.

Robot Rider

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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Last but not least, Yamaha’s robotics branch lent a hand to the motorcycle wing, and developed an anthropomorphic robotic rider complete with articulated hands and feet meant to handle all the controls on the bike with no special modifications – a true plug-n-play, autonomous robot (supposedly) capable of competing with human superbike pilots. I’ll believe that when I see it, and I have to ask, at what point does the thing become self-aware? (Queue the Terminator music.) Personally I don’t see the point of this exercise, but I imagine Yamaha has an end-game in mind, and we will just have to wait and see.

Honda

Light Weight Super Sport

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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For the “Red Riders,” Honda unveiled a teaser concept bike it calls the Light Weight Super Sport. Details are sketchy, but we do know it runs a two-banger mill, and it shows a 14,000 rpm redline on the digital tach. Typically “Honda” in design, it seems to push into science-fiction, or even alien, territory with the wicked-looking light layout in the front fairing, and angular features. Motor shows are notorious rumor mills, but word on the street has it we can expect this to be the shape of things to come in Honda’s lightweight sport sector.

Neowing

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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Speaking of shapes, Honda picked a new one with its Neowing concept trike. Another funny-backwards trike, it looks like a slightly-narrowed Can-Am, and it comes with proprietary, leaning front wheel technology that should be able to stay clear of Piaggio’s team of lawyers. The biggest surprise with this ride involves the drivetrain. A true, hybrid powerplant (literally) uses a four-cylinder engine to drive a generator, which in turn powers the electric drive motor, a move that produces oodles of torque according to the factory. It will be interesting to see how well this is received on an actual dealer showroom floor, though if the buzz surrounding it at the show is any indication, Honda may have a winner on its hands.

Kawasaki

SC 01

Kawasaki fans got a treat in the form of a concept drawing of the SC 01. While I don’t get excited about concept art, I did manage to glean a few noteworthy tidbits; namely that the SC 01 will serve as the replacement for the S2. Another Easter egg involves a new engine from Kawi, and the volumetric efficiency thereof. The compressor (supercharger) comes with variable resistance in the intake tract, a move Kawi says will improve fuel efficiency and induction flow. Again with the rumors, but we expect to see this engine together with the new S2 replacement as early as 2017.

Suzuki

Feel Free Go!

2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Motorcycle Quick Look
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Suzuki went a slightly more organic route with its Feel Free Go! concept bicycle. A tribute to its early days of mounting internal combustion engines on bicycle frames, this new concept uses a 50 cc mill to power the thing sans pedals. Personally, I don’t see how the word “bicycle” comes into play at all. To me, a bicycle implies pedal power yet this bike has none, so it’s really more of a bicycle-shaped scooter, for all intents and purposes.

KTM

Ion

KTM unveiled a new ride similar in spirit to the Feel Free Go! in the form of its new Ion motorized bike. Much like the Suzuki, this ride has no leg-power pedals for auxiliary propulsion, and it relies entirely upon the motor for locomotion. Unlike the Suzuki, KTM took the green approach and went with an all-electric motor powered by a 260-volt battery pack. The most intriguing aspect would be the suspension. Instead of running any sort of telescoping fork, the “spokes” between rim and hub compress and expand as needed to absorb bumps. While there is at least one other similar system out there, the KTM version is much skinnier, and I have to wonder how it handles bumps while in corners, ’cause I don’t see a lot of lateral stability with such a narrow setup.

About the looks; I don’t want to sound unkind, but it rather reminds me of the earliest bicycles, with the impossibly tall seat perched on top, and the rider triangle forces a strong, leaned-forward position. In short, I have seen CIA torture techniques that looked more comfortable, and I can’t help but wonder if a more traditional shape to the upper lines would make this ride more attractive.

Outta Here!

OK folks, that’s all I got for now, but tune in as the year progresses as I will be watching these like a hawk to see what becomes of this year’s motor show darlings.

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Source: The 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015

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