MCN’s Top 10 concept bikes that were never made

Published: 08 June 2010

We’ve all drooled over Honda’s CB1100R concept bike, willing Honda to bring it to the UK. On the other hand there was Suzuki’s B-King and Yamaha’s MT-01 that did hit the showroom floors.   

But what about the others? Over the last 25 years there have been dozens of show specials or concept bikes that the leading manufacturers have teased us with, never to go into production.

Here’s our 10 of the best – which do you think should have been made?

Suzuki Falcorustyco (1985)  
Unveiled at the 1985 Tokyo Motor Show in November 1985 the oddly-named Falcorustyco had no frame with, instead, front and the rear swing arms attached to the 500cc square four four-stroke engine with 16 valves and three camshafts. Further weirdness was the hydraulic final drive, hydraulic hub-steering system, electro-magnetic brakes and electric suspension. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it never made production nor, reputedly, ever ran…

 

Suzuki Nuda (1987)
Hard to believe it’s over 20-years-old. When unveiled at the 1986 Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki’s Nuda was a huge leap forward in motorcycle design and engineering. Underneath the swoopy modern clothing was a conventional Suzuki GSX-R750 motor which transferred power to both front and rear wheels via a shaft drive and single slided swingarm. Fanciful of not, Suzuki claimed the bike was fully operational.

 

Yamaha Morpho1 (1989)
Unveiled at the 1989 Tokyo Show and designed by Yamaha’s specialist design studio, GK Dynamics, the Morpho was intended primarily to explore adjustable riding positions. Instead, while never making production itself, within four years the clearly derivative, hub-centre-steered GTS1000 was launched…

 

Aprilia Blue Marlin (2001)
Unveiled at the 2001 Milan Show, the Blue Marlin was based on the SL1000 Falco and designed in conjunction with French company Boxer Design to provide, and I quote, “a rawer sportsbike experience”. Striking yet simple, its spec included Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes. Sadly, despite a universally enthusiastic response, it never made it into production.

 

Honda NAS (2004)
Developed by Honda USA, the NAS (for ‘New American Sports’) boasted a VTR1000 Firestorm derived V-twin engine, carbon fibre mono-arm front suspension system complete with integrated steering damper, large, single disc front brake, billet aluminium wheels and four projector beam headlights…

 

Suzuki Stratosphere (2005)
Great things were expected of the six-cylinder Stratosphere when it wowed the Tokyo Show in 2005, especially considering its near production-ready spec and the fact that Suzuki’s previous significant concept, the B-King had made it into production. Sadly it wasn’t to be…

 

Suzuki G-Strider (2005)
First unveiled at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, the G-Strider was a half-scooter, half-cruiser hybrid with automatic CVT transmission which you could also change manually (electrically) if you want to, by push button, similar to the Burgman 650. Seat, footpegs, windshield and the back rest are all adjustable while, curiously, the engine was a 916cc parallel twin.

 

Yamaha MT-0S (2005)
This hotted-up, sportified MT-01 was unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Show and was, for a long time, a hot favourite to actually go into production. Maybe the MT-01’s dismal sales put Yamaha off…

 

Yamaha Tesseract (2007)
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it even a motorcycle? No, it’s the Yamaha Tesseract, a wacky concept quad-bike which was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. Two features stood out: a hybrid combined V-twin motor and electric powertrain and what Yamaha called a ‘dual scythe’ suspension system which allegedly allowed it to lean like a regular two-wheeled bike.

 

Yamaha XS V1 Sakura (2007)
A V-twin, retro roadster unveiled in 2007 which again looked, for a while at least, quite likely to make it into production. Effectively a retro but modern, fuel-injected V-twin inspired by Yamaha’s first four-stroke roadster of 1979, the XS-1 – hence the name. ‘Sakura’, incidentally, is the Japanese word for cherry blossoms, hence its pinkness…