One of the great crown jewels of Japan’s manufacturing industry is its motorcycle companies. So it’s no surprise that when the eyes of the world turn to Tokyo for the Tokyo Motor Show the two-wheeled turnout is huge.
From retro concepts to pimped-out Groms and even a Canadian interloper, the show produced some spectacular bike porn. Here are our favourites:
Yamaha Self-Riding Motobot
Can a robot ride a motorbike? Well, yes. It can even ride a Yamaha YZF-R1M – one of the most hardcore bikes there is. Yamaha’s motorbike riding Motobot was the star of the Tokyo show, but until we see Motobot shifting his weight and getting that big metal butt off the seat a bit we think his challenge to Valentino Rossi shown in the video above rings hollow. Motobot’s main aim is to help Yamaha explore rider safety and support systems, advanced versions of which are already available on the 2015 Yamaha R1.
Honda Light-Weight Super Sport Concept
This wee little fella looks like it’s based on the Honda CBR300R but there are some key differences. Firstly, it looks tough as hell! Secondly, the forks are inverted rather than conventional, the brake rotors look upgraded and the sports rubber it's running is pretty serious business. Oh, and if you look really, really closely you might notice that the engine has two exhaust outlets poking out the front. “That can’t be right!” you might say, “The CBR300R only has one cylinder….” Intriguing, isn’t it? Race series special? We hope so.
Honda Cub EV Concept
Ever wished you could take your e-bike’s battery inside with you and charge it anywhere you can find a plug? Honda does too, which is why this iteration of the world’s most popular motorcycle has a removable battery. Not only that, but it’s not really just an e-bike – the Cub is more than capable of doing traffic speeds on most inner city roads and is basically a full-size motorcycle…
Honda Monkey Bike
… Then again, Honda’s understanding of a “full-size” motorcycle and yours might differ. Take this epic Honda Monkey Bike for example. If that’s not the coolest tank badge ever seen, we don’t know what is.
Honda Grom Concept
The most in-vogue design method of the moment is clearly the Scrambler. Ducati has a production model, Triumph has one too, hell, even BMW has a concept at least. Honda has one as well. Actually, they have two, both based on the diminutive and frankly, brilliant, Honda Grom. The first is a more conventional retro style scrambler.
Honda Grom Concept
This second one is a little more “Call of Duty” with modern structures in the familiar scrambler style and of course, a military paint job. Because Hoo-RAH.
This is an old one, but it’s still epic. Except in North America, where it’s been neutered to hell with emissions junk.
Honda MotoGP Bikes
MotoGP is a little bit like Honda’s own private playground. I mean, sure, Yamaha get the wins every now and then – and most importantly this year, and yet Ducati have snatched a title here or there, but in recent years the Repsol bikes have delivered a bit of a clobbering. Not this year though, this year they spend most of their time being tumbled through a gravel trap. Anyway, these two examples were on display, and are presented here for your enjoyment.
MV Agusta F3 AMG
Ever since Mercedes-AMG bought a 25 percent stake in the Italian bike legend we’ve been waiting for some sort of collaboration between them and MV Agusta. First shown at Frankfurt, Tokyo also got a look at the first edition. A mostly cosmetic upgrade to the already breathtaking F3 800, the MV Agusta F3 AMG packs graphics, upgraded bolt-ons like bar ends and a few other sexy shiny bits to leave us all with high pitched voices and distant, longing gazes.
More Grom. More Good. All Grom. Grom all the things. Grom.
We like the Grom.
Naked Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
No, not a naked version of the infamous Ninja ZX-10R, but rather a regular Ninja ZX-10R with all its kit off! Ever wondered what it would like? Hint: It’s sexy.
Fully-Clothed Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
If we’re honest, the naked version was sexier, but adding fairings, a seat, handlebars, etc. does mean you get to take it out on the road…
Kawasaki also had their supercharged H2 bikes on display, both the road-going H2 and the insane track-only H2R. 300 hp? Yes please!
Made in Quebec, the Can-Am Spyder is motorized proof that Canada is an open-minded nation which embraces all walks of life with equal fervour. Quite how this not-a-motorcycle was received by Japan’s general population we don’t know, but the Spyder is one of the quirkier things at the Tokyo Motor Show – and if there’s anywhere “quirky” is welcome, it’s the Tokyo Motor Show.