Innovations: A look into the future at the Tokyo Motor Show


Innovations: A look into the future at the Tokyo Motor Show

Looking into the future: innovations

Tokyo vision

Will the motorcycle soon be obsolete? Is the combustion engine running out? The Tokyo Motor Show gives no answers but suggestions. One thing is certain: the future will not be boring.

E.s is there, real and incarnate. Not a movie fantasy, but inspired by one. “Tron” ran in the early 1980s, was produced by Disney, and was the first Hollywood movie with longer computer-animated frequencies. And the vehicles looked – yes, like “J”.

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Innovations: A look into the future at the Tokyo Motor Show

Looking into the future: innovations
Tokyo vision

Four wheels, three wheels, two wheels?


This is what it could look like when “J” is humming. Presumably with a little stubborn turning behavior, whether as a two-wheeler or a tricycle. But certainly with a high level of attention.

That’s the name of the thing that electrifies the masses in Tokyo. But that doesn’t make the definition any easier either. What is “J”? Most likely a mutant, because the number of wheels is not exactly specified. There are clearly two at the front, but they can link on one track. At the back there is actually only one wheel, but it consists more of two that are permanently linked, because the direct common drive between the two takes place via a drive unit swing arm, whose electric motor in turn acts as a swing arm bearing.

Question: Is all of this practical? Answer: It doesn’t matter, because the thing wasn’t driven in Tokyo. Nevertheless, it becomes clear that one answer to future challenges at Kawasaki is electric mobility. “J” has a nickel-metal hybrid battery instead of the usual lithium-ion technology – and thus a house-style energy store, for Kawa-
With the GIGACELL label, saki Heavy Industries is committed to precisely this area. On the one hand. On the other hand, of course, the Greens don’t lose sight of their traditional terrain. Strong, efficient internal combustion engines – maybe with supercharging again soon. In Tokyo, Kawasaki showed a new variant of the old Kawa theme (GPZ 750 Turbo!) Of the inflated four-in-line, but this time with a compressor.

Suzuki offers fun bikes with electric drives

But not only Kawasaki is concerned with it. At Suzuki, the subjects of “turbo” and “electric” were right at the top of the future agenda. However, under different, more conventional signs. The Suzuki Extrigger is a fun bike of the usual shape, just with an electric drive, with which Suzuki wants to inspire a new, non-motorcycle-savvy clientele.

The study “Recursion” is much closer to the subject and takes up a highly topical and technically fascinating development in the automotive sector, namely the subject of “downsizing”. Obtaining great power from small engines by means of charging – with sheet metal bodies, the main aim is to optimize consumption. In the two-wheeler sector, on the other hand, there is a completely different aspect that makes things so interesting, namely the size and weight advantages of the small engines. The “Recursion” carries a dainty two-cylinder in-line with 588 cubic centimeters in the bridge frame, which thanks to its charging could cover almost any performance spectrum. 100 hp, 150 hp – it’s all a question of boost pressure. The whole thing has only one crux. If it is not possible to train the turbo to be as responsive as a vacuum cleaner, the motorcycle thing is doomed to failure. However, it is precisely in this respect that enormous progress has been made in the past.

Yamaha relies on lightness


“Yamaha Smart Power Module” is the name of the heart of the nicely drawn study; What is meant is the monocoque structure, which simultaneously represents the battery pack and frame. The motor is a brushless AC motor, the weight of the PES 1 is only 100 kilograms.

Which brings us back to the topic of “electronics“. In addition to formally very successful new approaches with conventional drive, Yamaha showed – of course, studies with electric drive. PES 1 and PED 1: These are by no means unusual, but formally very successful prototypes. In contrast to Suzuki, Yamaha has the experienced motorcyclist in its sights and promises a conventional driving experience on both bikes despite the electric motor, which also includes the option of changing the gear ratio on request.

It remains to be seen whether this old braid is suitable for making the electric motorcycle more popular. But the topic is still very topical. And if at some point the Kawasaki “J” whispers almost silently through the streets like a Batmobile, skeptics will bury their last doubts. Maybe, maybe not.

Tokyo News

What does the future hold? Tokyo is traditionally the field of Japanese finger exercises, while the European trade fairs reserve the right to present the next model year. Nonetheless, the Japanese naturally want to offer their compatriots something to enjoy. Honda presented the F6C with Gold Wing engine and the CB 1100 EX, Yamaha a beautiful XV 950 variant, a well-made 250cc athlete and a 125cc scooter with a third wheel. And Kawasaki is thinking about charging again.

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