Photokina 2014 highlights

Tokyo Motor Show 2009

The Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere twin

The 2009 Tokyo Motor Show last October saw some bizarre non-debuts as there had been an accord between the Japanese manufacturers that all would cut back their expenditure on the show in deference to the retrenchments resultant from the GFC. We mentioned this with our coverage of the Yamaha stand's Super Tenere “Art installation” at Tokyo. Here was a somehow fully formed motorcycle that was not really on show. Well the mystique has been maintained, because no images have been released yet, but we now know a lot more about the bike's fine details – the 1200cc parallel twin will have a 270 degree crank (for a v-twin feel), and will use Yamaha's YCC-T ride-by-wire throttle, have switchable engine-mapping, traction control, three-position anti-lock braking, a Unified Braking System that links the front and rear brakes, …  Read More

Nissan's LandGlider

Since Nicholas Negroponte first came up with his landmark teething ring visualization of the coming together of communication, computing and content, the term convergence has become the uber buzzword. Now there’s convergence going on in the personal transport industry, with the car and the motorcycle morphing as car makers attempt to downsize their vehicles to make them better suited to the world’s increasingly crowded roads. This article begins with Nissan’s tandem two-seat, half width tilting car, the Landglider, and examines all the other work being done around the world as narrow track vehicles seriously begin to make their case.  Read More

The full-scale see through model of the Lexus LFA on display in the 'art gallery' at the T...

It’s been a long time coming. The Lexus LFA that first appeared as a concept car at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show is finally production ready. Lexus made the announcement at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show where a prototype of the production car was on display along with a full-scale see through model in the company's “art gallery” - and the stunning 202mph V10 supercar is indeed worthy of a place in an art gallery, although keen collectors will still have to endure a bit more of a wait since the car isn’t expected to reach garages until early 2011, with only 500 units being produced.  Read More

Yamaha Super Tenere

Tenere is a desert region in the south central Sahara - a place where, in 1977, Frenchman Thierry Sabine famously got lost on his motorbike for three days during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. The rest as they say is history - Sabine returned to France to create the Paris-Dakar rally and Yamaha's two wheeled namesake dominated the event in the 90s. The Yamaha Tenere made a comeback in recent times in with the new XTZ660, but the brand has bigger things in store with a twin-cylinder "Super Tenere" in the pipeline which will compete against the BMW R1200GS. Yamaha gave some hints as to the makeup of the new adventure bike at the Tokyo Motor Show with its eye-catchingly bizarre mock-up - which was appropriately wrapped in desert garb - sporting a shaft drive and side mounted radiators.  Read More

Lexus HB Concept 2WD pedal-assist, carbon-fiber racing bike

Designed totally inside Lexus by Lexus designers, this sleek electric pedal assist bicycle is among the many hidden gems to be unearthed at the 41st Tokyo motor show. Sporting carbon fiber everything – including the battery cover – the Lexus HB Concept has a 2WD system that uses a smaller electric motor on the front wheel and a larger pedal assist motor at the crank. Head on through to the video to learn more.  Read More

The SX4 is one of the existing vehicles Suzuki has adapted to its new fuel cell technology

Suzuki’s carbon free mobility effort at the Tokyo Motor Show used three existing models to demonstrate the benefits of its growing hydrogen fuel cell expertise: the SX4 fuel cell car, a two-wheeler based on the existing Burgman 125 feet-forward enclosed scooter, and the fuel cell powered Mio Electric Wheelchair. Although Suzuki also showed a plug-in hybrid version of the Swift, another existing car being adapted to a future power train, the company is clearly staking a claim in the Fuel Cell technology arena. Check out the video to see what Suzuki has planned for our garages in the coming years.  Read More

Honda's VFR1200F

Honda has finally unveiled its much-anticipated V4 road-sports VFR1200F, though sadly it has gone the verbal-diarrhea-PR route with its press announcement and not a great deal has been revealed about the machine. Isn’t it high time that Honda allowed its knowledgeable engineers to tell the story directly to a public that it should know by now is allergic to unsubstantiated prose, and deliver some facts. We understand that the bike is quite special, and raises the bar much higher for its competitors, but in allowing advertising copywriters to write the press statements and its communication strategists to indulge in prolonged onanistic delight, it is simply selling its engineering prowess way-too-short.  Read More

Nissan to show half-width 'Land Glider' tilting electric vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show

The term convergence normally refers to the merging of consumer electronics, entertainment and media, but if recent trends are anything to go by, it could equally apply to the melding of the car and the motorcycle. BMW’s enclosed C3 motorcycle is now emerging as a road safety pin-up vehicle and at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month both Volkswagen and Renault exhibited tandem half-width cars that looked for all the world like four-wheeled motorcycles. Now comes news that Nissan is to unveil an electric tandem four-wheeled “Land Glider” concept at Tokyo Motor Show, and the wording of the press statements looks like Nissan is very confident the vehicle will reach showrooms.  Read More

Toyota to show very futuristic FT-EV compact concept

Toyota is set to show a new compact four-seat electric vehicle concept at the Tokyo Motor Show which is even smaller than the iQ. The FT-EV II is designed primarily for urban driving with drive-by-wire technology controlled by a joystick which incorporates the accelerator, brakes and steering to free up legroom in the space currently used by those components. This is a very futuristic vehicle with a second windscreen below dashboard level, and see through tailights for greater rearward visibility.  Read More

There's no word on speed just yet, though we'd imagine it won't be much faster than a bris...

A self-balancing unicycle experimental vehicle from Honda to be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show next month might just be history in the making. Weighing less than 10kg, the 24 by 12 by 6-inch U3-X experimental vehicle runs for an hour, is small enough to be carried onto an airplane as hand luggage, has a wheel which spins in two planes and is set to challenge, perhaps even change, society’s concept of personal mobility.  Read More

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