While the big European shows are the places to reveal important new models, the Osaka and Tokyo shows are where Japanese manufacturers like to show off some of the fun work they’ve been doing on the side.
One of our personal favourites is the Honda CB1100RS concept that has been built by Honda Japan in collaboration with White House, a Japanese custom builder. The most striking aspect is the front cowl that has some serious retro cool, resembling the classic bikini fairing on the BMW R90s. There’s also a custom single seat cowl covering the Alcantara seat, while the standard tank has been styled to match. Adding some performance to match the looks, the RS concept has Galespeed wheels and a Moriwaki exhaust.
HRC 250 Racer
How close is this to production? Well Honda have a bad habit of producing great-looking CB1100 concepts that never come to anything, but our source suggests that the body kits are standing by with the potential for general sale.
As well as displaying the last iteration of the current Monkey bike, which isn’t coming to the UK sadly, Honda also showed a custom version of their 250 Rebel. While the 250 isn’t planned for production, the 500cc twin cylinder model is coming to the UK soon.
Also gorgeous, but not officially for sale in Europe, was an HRC racing version of the CBR250RR. The HRC Racer has a new ECU with three power modes: Standard, Standard with reduced engine braking and Rain. Honda were coy with the exact specifications but they are claiming it’s the most powerful bike currently competing in the JP250 and AP250 racing series.
Yamaha also presented some interesting concepts that were all made in association with Y’s Gear, a genuine accessory manufacturer. Arguably the most exciting is the MT-09 Authentic Sport as it’s the only one scheduled for production. Apart from the stand- out paintjob, it also has a new screen, fog lights, seat and Prunus exhaust. Prunus are a sub-brand of Sakura Kogyo, who manufacture some parts for Yamaha. We think it’s rather tasty but it is quite lairy, so it might not be to everyone’s liking.
Future production models
Also on show from Yamaha was an MT-10, similar to a sportier model of the Tourer with Galespeed wheels and a Prunus exhaust, and an SR400 with new wheels and a short, bobbed mudguard. The only bike on show that had any prices was the XSR900, which shares some style with the RD350LC Mars. The body kit is priced at approximately £1100 while the seat is approximately £200.
Are we likely to see any of this stuff back here in Blighty? It’s hard to be definitive – but probably not. However, it does give us a great indication of what the manufacturers are working on and what direction we can expect future production models to take.
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