After Yamaha, Kawasaki is high on three wheels
The concept "J" is back and has an Attack modeby Sagar Patil, on
We saw Yamaha’s fancy new Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW) launched at the 45th Tokyo International Motor show last year. A stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken which is based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform.
Crazy as it might sound, it looks like the Niken is slowly feeling the heat of the competition. And it is coming from none other than its green nemesis, Kawasaki with a new electric-powered concept.
Coming hot on the heels of Yamaha acquiring leaning front-end technology from the Norway-based Brudeli Tech Holding AS this week, Kawasaki has teased the J concept motorcycle/three-wheeler in all seriousness. And it comes with an “Attack mode.”
If your brain is telling you that this looks and sounds familiar, your brain is a bloody damn good one. Back in 2013, the Japanese Green guys had unveiled this radical Concept J at the Tokyo Motor Show. It had four wheels and could transform its shape and geometry to adapt to the riding conditions. It stretches and narrows its profile to go hunting apexes and straights, and widens and sits upright to go cruising around the streets.
Over the years, the concept creeped up on a few stands here and there and was most often just another concept in a myriad of concepts in the industry. Not anymore though. Kawasaki have taken it to the next generation and have released a teaser video showcasing what the “J” could actually do.
And true to the word ’concept,’ the “J” sure does look like one. The alienated machine runs on battery packs, of course, and is sure a lot cleverer than your average motorcycle. On the looks of it, it just makes no sense. But so was the concept of flying in the 19th century.
That’s not even the weird part here. What is, is the shape-shifting mechanical extravaganza showcased on the J. Working along with the rider and the embedded AI, the bike can go from a narrow track leaning superbike stance to a wide track upright moped on the fly. All the rider has to say is “Attack mode” or “Upright mode.”
The motorcycle will also provide the rider with literally every information he will need to traverse his journey without a hitch and make it even better. The system can manage bike systems and update the firmware via air for hassle-free maintenance of the machine. It will update you on traffic situation and weather conditions on your route to make the ride as seamless as possible.
Making use of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and Artificial intelligence, the system will be able to recognize the rider’s voice and emotions, and if given instructions, it will react accordingly. This will enable both rider and machine to communicate and open a whole new dimension to the phenomena called ‘motorcycling.’
All this development is a part of Kawasaki’s rider-centric development philosophy, ‘RIDEOLOGY,’ which believes that their products are meant to be more than just taking you from one place to another, but transport you to a world of fun and rewarding traits.
It will be interesting to see how Kawasaki will take this concept forward and merge it with everyday riding. Two other Japanese honchos are investing in AI systems and developing their own version of the concept. Honda, as we all know has the ASIMO and Yamaha is on with developing its Motoroid, an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot.