Tokyo Motor Show – 2007 Report. – Scooter Community, Everything about…

7 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Tokyo Motor Show – 2007 Report. – Scooter Community, Everything about…

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Tokyo Motor Show – 2007 Report.

Some stuff seen previously at the ScooterScoop and in Scootering . but as there’s so much new stuff this year, here’s a regurgitated report.

The Tokyo Motor Show is always an interesting combination of wild crazy excess, and interesting machines for the real roads. If you are a scooter rider too, the major manufacturers do not disappoint, with both extraordinary show machines and interesting releases for the road. Held every two years, this year’s show was no exception with Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda all making a big statement with either pure scooters, or scooter-like motorcycles.


Suzuki was unique among the Japanese motorcycle and scooter manufacturers present at this year’s show, as its centre stage release was a scooter prototype. Though showing scooters, all other manufacturers showcased motorcycles centre stage.

Suzuki, while previously selling a range of small scooters and top-end ‘auto-bikes’, has lacked a mid-market machine to compete in the popular, two-up street cruiser market segment. Released centre stage, their scooter concept the Gemma would position Suzuki well to compete against the market leader, Honda’s Fusion, and Yamaha’s recent entry, the Maxam (all equipped with liquid cooled, 250cc singles).

The Gemma is described by Suzuki’s as a `fresh new vehicle for adult couples actively breezing their way in the city`. It has a full flat seat `built to let the rider and co-rider ride with a greater sense of togetherness` – a clear result of the two seating positions being on a similar horizontal plane. This seating configuration results in a much lower centre of gravity, unlike other large scooters, where the co-rider takes a very high position up, and behind the rider.

The styling too of the Gemma is quite unique. With shades of future manga, it combines both modern design cues such as enveloping panels, with curvy retro-like functionality. Similarities too perhaps can be drawn from a previous Suzuki motorcycle – the SW-1.

If released, it would make a great style-based machine for the Tokyo couple to cruise the neon boulevards of Omotesando and Shibuya.

Many of the Suzuki models displayed showed extensive use of their eco-friendly paintless plastic panels. Elsewhere on their stand Suzuki displayed their exhibition model of a production Skywave, the Skywave SS. Fitted with an aero front mask, replacing the normal short screen, machined aluminium billet pieces, and a very bling set of diamante SS badges, it is Suzuki’s response to the DJ scene’s `individual style that doesn’t get buried in the crowd`.

While the SS was a talking point, the production Skywave M was more interesting to the scooter rider – fitted with a seven-speed manual mode electronic controlled CVT, its dynamic transmission control can be switched on or off depending on your riding style. In manual mode Suzuki describes it as `better acceleration, opening up new realm of riding quality and sporty performance`. A test ride would be interesting…


Length: 2350mm

Width: 760mm

Height: 1050mm

Engine: 249cc, DOHC, single


As in previous years Yamaha displayed an extensive range of concepts, prototypes and production models. Their `Art of Engineering` philosophy is Yamaha’s quoted response to the Japanese principle of kando – the parallel feelings of satisfaction and excitement when you experience something of value.

In line with their ecological awareness, Yamaha always feature a wide range of alternate fuel scooters. This year they displayed the very smoothly styled prototype `Cute, Clean Compact` or C3+ for short. The C3+ is a lightweight and compact electric scooter designed clearly for the style conscious.

With Yamaha’s existing production electric scooters both being very utilitarian in design, the C3+ is designed more as a fashion accessory or as Yamaha expresses, `as cute and modern as the latest laptop`. Features include a removal lithium iron cell, and under-seat storage for a helmet (or shopping).

While many of their small production scooters feature Yamaha’s 3-valve SOHC water-cooled engine, the FC-AQEL small scooter prototype is driven by a hybrid drive system combining a hydrogen fuel cell and a secondary rechargeable battery; both feeding electricity to drive the rear wheel electric motor. No under seat storage is available however, as this is where the compressed hydrogen gas cylinders are stored.

As Yamaha already sells a number of zero emission scooters in Japan, I would expect their prototypes to be geared towards production of road machines, and not just a flashy show presence. The question appears to be when will they be available, not will they be available…

Updated models include the European T-Max 500 with 15-inch wheels a design makeover, and based on their existing model, the Majesty Special prototype. Nicely fitted out with leather seat, special bars, and LED projector headlamps, the Majesty looked very modern.

In their prototype section Yamaha displayed their Luxair and Tesseract – both extreme examples of design imagination. The hybrid electric liquid cooled engined Luxair is Yamaha’s `Jekyll and Hyde` machine. Cruising quietly on electricity, then bursting into power from its liquid cooled motor.

Being a series of ideas, not much more information was available, but it is supposedly equipped with a Natural-Sound Motorcycle Audio System to project a sound `beam` from a special noise cancelling speaker array. This is to surround the rider in an `ideal sound space`.

If not for the existence of Piaggio’s three-wheeled MP-3, the four-wheeled Tesseract would be considered totally ridiculous on today’s roads. Not much wider than many motorcycles, and narrower than a lot of large scooters, due to its inherent stability, perhaps the concept, if not the execution does have a future? Especially as Japan already sees a number of four-wheeled ATCs driven as daily commuters. Insert joke about motorcycles developing like multi-blade disposable razors…

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