Unveiled at the first Vietnam Motorcycle Show in Ho Chi Minh City, the fourth concept model of Yamaha's Gen series pursues an innovative approach to scooter dynamics and body structure that is based on the company's Refined Dynamism design philosophy. Instead of hiding the frame behind exterior parts, the 04Gen concept wraps them in semi-transparent parts that pivot up to give the scooter wings.
Yamaha established its latest design philosophy in 2013 in an attempt to define a unique and clearly identifiable style. Under the Refined Dynamism umbrella, Yamaha has introduced three design concepts, starting in 2014 with the 01Gen tilting three-wheeler that had two wheels at the front.
With the 02Gen concept, also unveiled in 2014, the company's design study ventured into a field somewhat removed from the typical motorcycles and scooters, assuming the form of a futuristic electric-powered wheelchair. In 2015 the third model of the Gen series was based on the Tricity three-wheeler, offering two different options – the 03Gen-f, which took the shape of a sporty roadster, and the 03Gen-x, which was designed to appeal to the off-road enthusiast.
The latest 04Gen concept is essentially a typical two-wheeled scooter, adorned with an elaborate flowing style. Although Yamaha does not disclose any specs, it is obviously powered by an internal combustion engine – as evidenced by the exhaust can on the right side of the rear wheel.
There are some interesting features that help differentiate the 04Gen from typical scooters. First of all there's the frame design, with Yamaha employing a monocoque frame that resembles the basic structure of a Vespa, where the steering column, the footboard and the whole rear section are incorporated in a solid metal construction.
At the rear, a single shock absorber on the left side connects to the typical scooter transmission that doubles as a single-sided swing arm, but it's at the front where things get interesting. Here Yamaha opts for a setup that looks like an Earles fork, with two shock absorbers and a triangular pivot joint that includes the rear part of the fender – a design dating back to the 1950s, owing its fame to some iconic BMW models like the R50 and R60 that used it for several years.
Equally unusual is the braking system, with what appears to be typical disc brakes enclosed in hubs both at the front and rear.
Yamaha adds a finishing touch in the form of semi-transparent resin bodywork, with pivoting rear side panels that can be lifted to look like insect wings and provide access to the parts that lie beneath them.
For the time being Yamaha makes absolutely no mention of any actual production plans for the 04Gen or if any of its features will make it onto other vehicles. However, it's worth remembering that the Tricity 125 scooter sported essentially the same suspension that appeared previously on the 01Gen. The two 03Gen variants are also both based on the Tricity architecture.
In this sense, the 04Gen concept may well prove to be the forebear of a new scooter family from Yamaha. or it may just be a flight of fancy.