Watch the Kawasaki J Concept Transform Itself

12/17/2013 @ 12:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS


The Kawasaki J Concept isn’t the first example of a leaning mutli-wheel vehicles that you ride upon, as I’m sure you have all seen the similarly themed Yamaha Tesseract by now. Neither a motorcycle, nor a quad…we would even be reluctant to call the Kawasaki J Concept a trike, as the riding experience is complete different from other three-wheelers (technically it has four wheels, though the two rear tires act as one).

As such the J Concept and Tesseract exist in a class all to themselves, and that is probably the point of these concept machines: to explore new forms of vehicle recreation and transportation.

The design as it looks now, doesn’t seem too practical, but the idea of a completely adjustable riding position sounds like a concept with some merit — a sport machine for when you want to go fast, an upright sitting position for when you want to cruise. Hmm…

Showing us how the Kawasaki J Concept would transform on the fly while being ridden, Kawasaki explores this idea further in its video. If you feel like fighting for the users after watching it though, we understand.

Source: Kawasaki (YouTube)

  • Wut

    ” If you feel like fight for the users after watching it though, we understand.”


  • Tron? No?

  • Richard Gozinya

    No sir, I don’t like it.

    Unnecessary complexity without any viable benefits. Seems more like being different for the sake of being different, to make people believe they’re innovating something. I don’t know why they’d start now, it’s not like motorcycle makers are the least bit innovative. They just adapt technologies a few decades after they’re introduced on cars.

  • Zander

    From a purely design exercise standpoint, this is phenomenal thinking. Actively variable geometry may include handling aspects as well as riding position. Both attributes are valuable concepts in their own right and may very well find their way into “classic” motorcycle designs of the near future. The “J” concept is clearly not ready for mainstream acceptance let alone production but to see that kind of creativity alive in the minds of engineers/designers at Kawasaki is positively reassuring.

  • Andrew

    It could be the design has a lot of merit but I just can’t get past the fact that in the upright position holding these separate bars the rider looks exactly as if pushing a lawn mower… or a pram.

  • smiler

    At last some sensible innovation in motorcycling. Unlike most of the rest of it. Good idea to be larger and more upright in traffic so as to be seen or when riding slowly and down and forward when riding on the open road. The tyres look a bit sensible bicycle though.

  • paulus

    Not interested… but slice it along it’s length and make it 2 wheels….then it is an intersting concept for me.
    A long, low racing machine and then a more practical upright ride.
    Performance width tyres, single sided front and rear, hub driven hydraulic motors.
    As said above ‘ride on lawn mower’ is the feeling from this current concept :)

  • Andrew

    @paulus: that’s been done too, I remember there was a design like that floating around a couple of years ago… actually I tried to find it but apparently my google-fu is weak today.

  • Andrew

    … I found it. it was called R-bike, designed by Erik Brinkman. I doubt I could post any links in the comment but search for these terms if you want. Nothing much came of it, BTW: ccording to kneeslider, they were hoping to start production by 2008 but obviously the project never progressed past computer renderings.

  • Kevin White

    I like this a lot, but I have as much shot at being able to buy this in the next twenty years as I do at being able to buy a flying VTOL car.

  • Norm G.

    re: “to explore new forms of vehicle recreation and transportation.”

    more to the point, to get you chatting and coming off the dime for brand Kawasaki this holiday season. do it.

  • MrDefo

    I got the Tron reference. It amused me.

    I think it looks pretty neat. Kind of reminds me of this anime, Rideback. Of course that was a motorcycle turning into a robot but…this is close.

    I would consider buying something like this if it’s well executed. I think it would be nice to be able to change configurations while in motion. As someone stated before, riding in traffic would benefit from the added height of the tall form. And since most of America won’t let you lane split anyway, might as well go with it. So I could see someone riding in bike mode, come up to traffic and switch to upright mode to deal with that, then back to bike mode when it clears, all in fluid motion. That would be something awesome.

  • Joe Sixpack

    I’d love to see a panic stop in upright mode.

  • jackie

    Bugs up my crotch.
    Tire spray up my nose.
    I cant wait!

  • Singletrack

    Very cool concept. Couldn’t you just imagine being the first to show up at a rally on one of these?
    I think leaning 3/4 wheelers will open a whole new market up. In my opinion, that’s the main failing of the BRP Spyder – leaning, the wrong way. Kids raised on Xbox/PS and those that might feel more secure with 4 wheels will still spend money.
    Purists bemoaned cruisers/touring bikes from Ducati and SUVs from Porsche. But in the real world, more profit from large volumes provides the cash for high performance vehicles.