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2015 Tokyo Motor Show

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Suzuki is making it no small secret that it plans to get in on the forced induction game in the two-wheeled space. The Japanese manufacturer first teased us with the turbocharged Recursion concept back in 2013, at the Tokyo Motor Show. Since then there have been rumors that the Suzuki Recursion will go into production, and just a few months ago we spotted Suzuki trademarking the Recursion name in the US and European Union. Now at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki has a turbocharged engine on display, though little to say about it. Named the EX7, the only information Suzuki is telling is that the engine has two cylinders, four valves, and a dual overhead cam (DOHC) layout. Suzuki also confirms the obvious: that the EX7 engine features a turbocharger and an intercooler.

Let’s face it, we knew this day would come. Technology has finally progressed to the point where our beloved past time of riding motorcycles can now be done by a robot. Sarah Connor was right. Skynet is coming. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords. As tinfoil hat as we can make this story, let’s be honest…it’s pretty cool that Yamaha is developing a humanoid robot that can ride a motorcycle. It’s sorta creepy, but it’s also really cool. That’s fun and all, and it certainly grabs headlines, but the Yamaha Motobot is a really big deal for a lot more reasons that are less obvious than what has been put forth. Let me explain.

Yamaha Motor Corporation is known better for its powersports offerings, but what if the tuning fork brand followed Suzuki and Honda down the rabbit hole of also making a automobiles? Yamaha might just be considering such a path, releasing what it calls the Sports Ride concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The two-seater concept is very sporty, and Yamaha is quoting a 750kg weight…that’s roughly 1,600 lbs. While we are well into Lotus territory, there is no information at this time as to what could be powering the Sports Ride concept (if it even exists outside of computer renderings). It would be interesting to see if Yamaha goes the same route as Honda, opting to use its MotoGP power plant in the concept.

When we first saw the Kawasaki Ninja H2 and Kawasaki Ninja H2R motorcycles debut, we knew this wouldn’t be the last of the forced-induction machines from Team Green, and Kawasaki is now giving us our first glimpse at its next supercharged model. Debuting the Kawasaki SC-01 “Spirit Charger” concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, we suspect Kawasaki is teasing us our first glimpse of the rumored “S2” motorcycle, which is expected to be a 650cc engine mated to Kawasaki’s special supercharger design. The concept certainly looks a bit softer than the H2 or H2R, as we expected to see, though it should promise strong power figures with its supercharged engine.

As expected, Yamaha has a leaning multi-wheel concept at the Tokyo Motor Show for us to chew on. Without further ado, let us introduce to you the Yamaha MWT-9 leaning trike concept. The key to understanding the MWT-9 is the number three. Three wheels to grip the road, three cylinders to power the engine, and three Predator movies to get the aesthetic jussssst right. Three groups of three makes nine, and blammo, you have the MWT-9. In seriousness though, there is a lot to take in with the Yamaha MWT-9, once you get past its alien/insect/whatever-that-is look. At the heart of the machine is what appears to be the Yamaha FZ-09’s engine, though Yamaha only lists it as an 849cc three-cylinder, instead of a 847cc triple.

The first images are starting to emerge from the Tokyo Motor Show, and already we have some excitement. Naturally one of the items we are most keen to learn more about is the Honda “Light Weight Super Sports” concept, which many are saying is a pre-cursor to a Honda CBR250RR successor. A product from the glory days of small-displacement warfare, the Honda CBR250RR was a screamer of a machine, even by today’s standards, and the CBR250RR made big horsepower from its quarter-liter engine. While the Honda “Light Weight Super Sports” concept may not rev into the stratosphere like the CBR250RR did, reports show that the LCD dash does indicate a 14,000 rpm redline.

Things are about to kick-off in Japan, with the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and we expect to see some interesting things from the Japanese OEMs there…finally.

One of those items of interest is Kawasaki’s next supercharged motorcycle, widely expected to be the Kawasaki Ninja S2 – a 650cc machine with liter-class horsepower figures.

The above is certainly not what we expect the Kawasaki S2 to look like, though it might not be too far off the mark.

For 2016, we know that Honda will bring its big “adventure-tourer” the US market, known to Europeans as the Honda Crosstourer, and introduced to Americans as the Honda VFR1200X. For the 2016 model year, the Crosstourer gets some minor updates, as does its 700cc sibling the Honda NC700X.

So if you’re keeping score, that leaves one more machine to get a modest update for 2016…yup, Honda CB500X, we are talking about you!

A Goldilocks-busting lineup of street-focused ADV machines, the 2016 Honda CB500X rounds out Honda’s lineup with a lightweight and nimble machine that is also good for the A2 licensing countries.

Modesty might be the name of the game so far for Honda’s 2016 lineup, as Big Red announces its lesser models for next year, ahead of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where we expect to see some interesting machines.

One of those models getting a modest refresh for the upcoming model year is the Honda NC700X, Honda’s other road-hobbled adventure-touring machine. The big change for 2016 will be “exciting new styling”, though other changes are afoot as well.

Yamaha says it will have a new leaning multi-wheeler (LMW) concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, which is funny because Honda will have a leaning three-wheeler as well at the Japanese trade show as well. Kawasaki has already shown us the Concept J three-wheeler, back in 2013, and the Yamaha Tesseract has been making the rounds on the internet since 2007. Add into the mix the popularity of the on-road snowmobile that is the Can-Am Spyder, and the surprising surge of sales with the Polaris Slingshot, and clearly OEMs are considering making unique play toys for public streets. Like the Spyder or Slingshot, they might not be motorcycles, but these leaning multi-wheelers tap into the same fun-factor that comes with riding a motorcycle.

Astute readers will realize that if there’s a Yamaha PES2 electric concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, then surely there must be a Yamaha PED2 concept as well, as the two electric concepts were two-sides of the same coin, back in 2013. Yes Virginia, there is a PED2 concept, and while it looks closer to being production ready than its predecessor, Yamaha seems content to simply call this electric motorcycle a concept…for now. Yamaha says that the PED2 is designed for hitting mountain trails, where riders can capitalize on its clean and quiet performance characteristics. Like the PES2, the Yamaha PED2 is supposed to make similar power to a 50cc-125cc moped or motorcycle, so it isn’t going to blast your socks off.