Motorcycles

In pictures: 41st Tokyo Motorcycle Show 2014

In pictures: 41st Tokyo Motorc...
The Kawasaki 650 Ninja and the Ninja
The Kawasaki 650 Ninja and the Ninja
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Another show outing for the very interesting Suzuki Recursion
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Another show outing for the very interesting Suzuki Recursion
For young couples the big scooter is the ideal urban mobility. Here people try out the Suzuki range.
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For young couples the big scooter is the ideal urban mobility. Here people try out the Suzuki range.
The Honda NM4-01 was very much in demand for photos
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The Honda NM4-01 was very much in demand for photos
The Suzuki Extrigger concept on display at the show
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The Suzuki Extrigger concept on display at the show
Being able to try out many different models one of the main draws to the show
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Being able to try out many different models one of the main draws to the show
The Recursion generated a lot of interest on the Suzuki show stand
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The Recursion generated a lot of interest on the Suzuki show stand
The annual show is held at Big Sight near Tokyo
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The annual show is held at Big Sight near Tokyo
The Suzuki stand the the Tokyo Motor Show
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The Suzuki stand the the Tokyo Motor Show
Triumph had an extensive range of Motorcycles on display
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Triumph had an extensive range of Motorcycles on display
All smiles on this Triumph Cruiser
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All smiles on this Triumph Cruiser
The Victory Vision is one of the American dream rides in Japan
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The Victory Vision is one of the American dream rides in Japan
"American corner" at the show
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"American corner" at the show
Indian, like Harley Davidson and Victory, is a brand very much in demand in Japan
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Indian, like Harley Davidson and Victory, is a brand very much in demand in Japan
The Kawasak Neo Classic range
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The Kawasak Neo Classic range
The Kawasak Neo Classic range
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The Kawasak Neo Classic range
The Kawasaki 650 Ninja and the Ninja
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The Kawasaki 650 Ninja and the Ninja
The Kawasaki Ninja range goes from 250cc to 1400cc
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The Kawasaki Ninja range goes from 250cc to 1400cc
The Boss Hoss is the ultimate three wheel Trike
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The Boss Hoss is the ultimate three wheel Trike
If you do not have a Motorcycle license yet still don’t want a car to do your touring this is the best of both worlds, the Boss Hoss
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If you do not have a Motorcycle license yet still don’t want a car to do your touring this is the best of both worlds, the Boss Hoss
The Harley Davidson Lehman Trike - for those that want the American experience on three wheels
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The Harley Davidson Lehman Trike - for those that want the American experience on three wheels
Japan is Harley Davidson's second largest market
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Japan is Harley Davidson's second largest market
The Cafe Racer style Yamaha Bolt 950cc
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The Cafe Racer style Yamaha Bolt 950cc
The Yamaha EC-03 electric commuter
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The Yamaha EC-03 electric commuter
The Yamaha Majesty S 155c mid range scooter
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The Yamaha Majesty S 155c mid range scooter
With the Yamaha TMAX 530, the company competes at the very top of the Big Scooter market
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With the Yamaha TMAX 530, the company competes at the very top of the Big Scooter market
First seen at the Tokyo Motorshow last year the Tricity is still at concept stage, but is promised for production sometime this year
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First seen at the Tokyo Motorshow last year the Tricity is still at concept stage, but is promised for production sometime this year
The Yamaha Tricity concept
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The Yamaha Tricity concept
The Yamaha Vino twins are the double offering in the step-through scooter market
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The Yamaha Vino twins are the double offering in the step-through scooter market
The Honda Grom Adventure
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The Honda Grom Adventure
The Honda Monkey bike – a true classic in Japan
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The Honda Monkey bike – a true classic in Japan
The Honda Monkey Bike will get you almost anywhere e you want to go, but not very quickly
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The Honda Monkey Bike will get you almost anywhere e you want to go, but not very quickly
A true star of the show – the Honda NM4-02
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A true star of the show – the Honda NM4-02
The front of the Honda NM4-01 features some clever storage holes either side of the front screen
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The front of the Honda NM4-01 features some clever storage holes either side of the front screen
Honda NM4-01 attracted a steady stream of admirers
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Honda NM4-01 attracted a steady stream of admirers
Honda NM4-01 attracted a steady stream of admirers at the Tokyo Motor Show
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Honda NM4-01 attracted a steady stream of admirers at the Tokyo Motor Show
Sleek machines from Zero Engineering
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Sleek machines from Zero Engineering
Formed in 1992, Zero Engineering produces the Ultimate Custom Bike
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Formed in 1992, Zero Engineering produces the Ultimate Custom Bike
A company called Sakuma Engineering fit together a Honda Grom and a sidecar to produce this tiny tandem
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A company called Sakuma Engineering fit together a Honda Grom and a sidecar to produce this tiny tandem
The Adiva AD Tre 55 had its world debut at the show, joining the growing market of leaning three wheelers
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The Adiva AD Tre 55 had its world debut at the show, joining the growing market of leaning three wheelers
This was the spec board that showed how the Adiva AD Tre 55 transformed from open to closed form
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This was the spec board that showed how the Adiva AD Tre 55 transformed from open to closed form
On the Adiva stand they also had a single front wheel Trike
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On the Adiva stand they also had a single front wheel Trike
The Adiva AD trike is powerd by a 170cc engine
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The Adiva AD trike is powerd by a 170cc engine
The Adiva AD Tre 55 with the canopy in the up postion
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The Adiva AD Tre 55 with the canopy in the up postion
A classic name and a classic style of bike, the Royal Enfield Classic Series
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A classic name and a classic style of bike, the Royal Enfield Classic Series
The Harford mini is a competitor to a scooter, but with the style of a large bike
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The Harford mini is a competitor to a scooter, but with the style of a large bike
KTM stand at the Tokyo Motor Show
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KTM stand at the Tokyo Motor Show
Leonart motorcycles at the Tokyo Show
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Leonart motorcycles at the Tokyo Show
A custom scooter based on a Honda Live Dio Zx
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A custom scooter based on a Honda Live Dio Zx
The Plot Custom Zoomer X -Scooter
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The Plot Custom Zoomer X -Scooter
Rin Parts had these two machines on display, but it was very difficult to tell what the base Scooter was
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Rin Parts had these two machines on display, but it was very difficult to tell what the base Scooter was
Scooter bling in Tokyo
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Scooter bling in Tokyo
Part of a display of custom bikes – the Bull Dock GT-M
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Part of a display of custom bikes – the Bull Dock GT-M
A Japanese custom chopper bike
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A Japanese custom chopper bike
A heavily modified Suzuki Hayabusa was among the custom bikes on display
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A heavily modified Suzuki Hayabusa was among the custom bikes on display
A Kawasaki custom on display in Tokyo
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A Kawasaki custom on display in Tokyo
Team PMU had one of its GP3 bikes on display
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Team PMU had one of its GP3 bikes on display
One of the bikes ridden in the "Kamen Rider" TV series was part of the Superhero movie display
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One of the bikes ridden in the "Kamen Rider" TV series was part of the Superhero movie display
A whole line up of the bikes ridden in the Kamen Rider TV series
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A whole line up of the bikes ridden in the Kamen Rider TV series
ACEWELL show how Waterproof its instruments are
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ACEWELL show how Waterproof its instruments are
Heatech had a large stand showing all the ways they can keep a rider warm in cold weather
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Heatech had a large stand showing all the ways they can keep a rider warm in cold weather
On the MV stand there was no easy way in – a very interesting design you just had to try
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On the MV stand there was no easy way in – a very interesting design you just had to try
The outside testing area was full of interesting and new motorcycles, just waiting to be ridden
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The outside testing area was full of interesting and new motorcycles, just waiting to be ridden
They start Motorcycle training young in Japan
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They start Motorcycle training young in Japan
Quite a crowd gathered around the Honda NM4-01/02
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Quite a crowd gathered around the Honda NM4-01/02
The Z 250 and represents the bottom end of the Z series
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The Z 250 and represents the bottom end of the Z series
The Kawasaki Z 1000 ABS
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The Kawasaki Z 1000 ABS

Held at the end of March each year, the annual Tokyo Motorcycle show is a "hands on handlebars and bums on saddles" kind of event which, as well as being a world showcase for the latest innovations from local manufacturers, aims to function as a shop window and proving ground for the millions of motorcyclists in Japan. So while Honda's 750cc NM4 Vultus was the star of the show, there were plenty of other new and interesting machines for crowds to get astride and even ride. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

The motorcycle market in Japan

The Motorcycle market in Japan has gone through some tough times recently. Sales declined in 2012 compared to previous years, though last year they bounced back by 4.4 percent to 419,398 units. Domestic production has also seen a decline, falling from 595,473 units in 2012 to 563,169 units in 2013. Of the big four, it was Yamaha who just nosed out Suzuki to become the largest manufacturer in 2013 with 173,918 units. After Suzuki (173,319 units) came Honda with 141,800 units and finally Kawasaki with 72,651 units.At this year`s show there were several distinct types of machines on display. These ranged in price and scale from the small step-through scooters, to the big American Style Cruisers. Machines under 50 cc are the market leaders in Japan with over 238,786 sales in 2013. Their popularity is mainly due to the non-requirement of a motorcycle license for car license holders, so they are commonly used for local commuting and home delivery.

However, the 50 cc machines are experiencing a slight decline of sales (3 percent in 2013) compared to a rise of 23.5 percent for machines over 250 cc machines. By the end of 2014 it is expected this number will rise even more significantly. This shift comes from the fact that bikes over 250 cc mark a crossing point where the top end of the big scooter market meets the bottom end of the sports bike market. The real sweet spot in this market comes around the 400 cc limit, where the rider in Japan is required to take a special license.

Quite a crowd gathered around the Honda NM4-01/02
Quite a crowd gathered around the Honda NM4-01/02

The stars of the show

The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the new Honda NM. There were long queues waiting patiently to get astride and get the feel for this new feet forward, 750cc motorcycle design. It's popularity can be attributed to similarities with the futuristic motorcycle ridden in the classic Japanese animation film, Akira.

All smiles on this Triumph Cruiser
All smiles on this Triumph Cruiser

Japan is Harley Davidson`s second biggest market and all of the big four manufactures have their own Cruiser style of bike, all of which made their presence felt at the show along with other big American names such as Indian and Victory. The next step up for Harley fans is the three wheeled Lehman Trike, and if that's still not enough then perhaps the 445 hp Boss Hoss will satisfy your Cruiser cravings.

The Adiva AD Tre 55 with the canopy in the up postion
The Adiva AD Tre 55 with the canopy in the up postion

Three wheel leaning machines were also in evidence at the show with Yamaha showing its TriCity concept (production is slated for the end of the year) and a world launch by Adiva. The 200cc AD tre 55 incorporates a retractable canopy covering its two seats. Also on the Adiva stand was the AD trike, a single front wheel leaning Trike with room for two people.

The Cafe Racer style Yamaha Bolt 950cc
The Cafe Racer style Yamaha Bolt 950cc

A classic name and a classic style of bike, the Royal Enfield Classic Series
A classic name and a classic style of bike, the Royal Enfield Classic Series

The middle ground in the Japanese market belongs to the Sports Racer, and there was no shortage of these for crowds to paw over. Also much in evidence was the Café racer. Along with true stalwarts of the style like Triumph and the Royal Enfield Motorcycles, there retro-styled racers in every major manufacturers range at the show.

The Honda Monkey bike – a true classic in Japan
The Honda Monkey bike – a true classic in Japan

There were also some homegrown classics at the show with some manufactures outing new versions of their 1970's machines. Most notable of these was Honda with its Ape and Monkey Bikes.

Rin Parts had these two machines on display, but it was very difficult to tell what the base Scooter was
Rin Parts had these two machines on display, but it was very difficult to tell what the base Scooter was

A custom scooter based on a Honda Live Dio Zx
A custom scooter based on a Honda Live Dio Zx

Click through to our gallery for more of the highlights from the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.

1 comment
Martin Hone
That Yamaha Bolt 950 looks like a cross between a cafe racer and a bobber......