If you’re just starting your routine this Friday morning, you’ve likely already seen that a massive earthquake struck Japan about 230 miles offshore from Tokyo. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake is one of the top seven most powerful quakes in recorded history, and the largest to hit Japan in over 100 years. Occurring relatively close to the surface, the Sendai Earthquake, as it’s being called, triggered a tsunami, with waves as tall as 30 feet. Since the initial quake, a series of aftershocks have hit Japan as well, with many of those having a magnitude of 5.0 or greater on the Richter scale.

While Japan has more serious issues to contend with at the moment, the immediate ramifications for the motorcycle industry appear to be the now expected delays in shipping motorcycles from Japan to other countries. So far Honda has confirmed that it has shutdown production at its Saitama factory, while production at its Suzuka factory has resumed. Honda has also confirmed that one worker died and 30 others were injured when a wall collapsed in its research and development facility in Tochigi.

“The earthquake which hit Japan earlier today was one of the largest ever recorded and is a major catastrophe for the nation,” read a statement from the company. “Honda’s number one priority is to help and support the affected areas in whatever capacity we have at our disposal. Honda can confirm that there has been one fatality at Honda R&D Co. Ltd in Tochigi prefecture. At this time, thirty injuries have also been reported.”

Our thoughts go out to our friends on the other side of the pacific.

Source: Carole Nash

  • Anybody that thinks about ‘motorcycle shipments’ in a time like this should get their heads checked.


  • Woody

    Oh no! I’m gonna get my CBR late?! This is bullshit!

    *meanwhile hundreds to thousands are homeless, several have been killed*

  • Spytech

    I could give a Sh!t about the honda factory, when one nuclear reactor is not cooling down and they may need to release some radioactive steam. Japan, is well prepared and lots of the big factories shutdown automatically, but this is a huge disaster that if it where anywhere else it would certainly be 100x the damage and loss of life.

    My GF tried for hours to get a phone call in, and when she got through they exchanged some words and knew everything was fine, her father rushed her off the phone, so not to clog the phone lines for emergency calls. these people are well prepared.

  • ML

    This is a motorcycle news site. What do you guys expect?

    True, motorcycle shipments aren’t important compared to the lives and livelihoods that have been destroyed by this disaster, but this website isn’t a place to report on such aspects of life. This is a site about MOTORCYCLE related news. The earthquake effecting Honda is news worthy for such a site. I don’t see anything in this article that was out of line or suggesting that the REAL tragedy of this event was the delay of motorcycle shipments. If anyone is out of line, its you guys.

    Another motorcycle website reported that the Motegi round of MotoGP might be delayed due to this event… does that mean they only care about MotoGP?

    Again, the events in Japan are tragic but still, if you want the human side of the story, there are a plenty of places for such news. You came to a motorcycle news site and complain about motorcycle related impact of this earthquake. Kinda silly if you ask me.

    With that said, my heart and prayers are with those in Japan. Especially those who perished and those who are dealing with the loss of loved ones.

  • @ML: I do apologise for the lack of nuance in my comment, I very much appreciate A&R as a source of motorcycle related news and I can see how it may have come across as a an unintentional direct stab at them.

    Merely the thought however of anybody complaining about not getting their new CBR in time because of this immensely tragic disaster, is making me sick.

  • Spytech

    @thingymadoodle – correct.

    in a situation like this, everything is about the disaster. when 911 happened, every channel talked about the tragic moment – not “the towers are down the stock market wont open”.

    dont get me wrong, i like this site. much better than hellforaa$holes.

  • Spytech
  • At the end of the day A&R is what it is, a motorcycle news site. I don’t expect readers to come to this site looking for a CNN level of treatment on Japan’s earthquake disaster. We honestly couldn’t do it justice. I too would be upset over the 18 y/o punk kid who complains that his crotch rocket won’t be available because of the recent events. There’s not much you can do about those kind of people except hope that they grow up a bit more in life.

    This sentence was my sort of way of saying that this story is a relatively low priority in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still the pertinent information as it applies to motorcycles:

    “While Japan has more serious issues to contend with at the moment, the immediate ramifications for the motorcycle industry appear to be the now expected delays in shipping motorcycles from Japan to other countries.”

    David did a great job on his piece (even mentions A&R which is always nice of him). He also didn’t have to travel 19hrs today to Doha. I’m actually in Dubai right now, and will be meeting David in Doha in another hour or two, as we’re sharing a room for the GP.