2009 Tokyo Motor Show

2009 Tokyo Motor Show

2009 Tokyo Motor Show

If the Tokyo Motor Show is any indication of the health of the motorcycle and automotive industries, things are still looking a bit grim. The global recession's impact was apparent as representation by manufacturers was thin, with only Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and, oddly enough, recently shut-down Buell in attendance on the motorcycle side of the pavilion. The most notable absentee was Kawasaki (its home-market show, after all) but no European manufacturers made it either.

New models were scarce, with the highlight of the show clearly being the recently unveiled Honda VFR1200F (CW will ride the bike at the Sugo circuit on Friday), which was introduced by company president Takanobu Ito to a packed crowd in the Honda display area. Other models, including many design concepts focused on alternative-energy commuters including electric, hydrogen and hybrid concepts, were also shown.

The next biggest splash of the show was at the Harley-Davidson display, where the entire new 2010 line of motorcycles was introduced. Japan is the Milwaukee company's number-one export market, one in which H-D is the leader in the 751cc-and-above displacement range.

According to Honda president Ito, despite the bad economy motorcycle sales remained profitable in 2009, the company selling 15 million units world wide, 14 million of which were commuter models (like the Super Cub) sold primarily in Asian markets. High-end models that are bought primarily for recreation are the segment hit the hardest, meaning sales in Japan, Europe and the U.S. have suffered the most.

At the Yamaha display, the focus was on technology. Many of the company's latest innovations, including engines from the M1 MotoGP racer, the YZF-R1 crossplane-crank sportbike and YZ450F motocrosser were on center stage.

Suzuki rolled out a fuel-cell Burgman scooter, a couple of 400cc Japanese-domestic-market bikes (a Gladius and Boulevard cruiser), with the company's biggest (news and displacement) being the GSF1250S ABS.

The only real aftermarket/accessory company with a real presence was Arai Helmets and its massive display of autographed lids from stars like Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, John Hopkins, Dani Pedrosa and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

Honda VFR1200F dual-clutch transmission

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

2010 Honda VFR1200F

Tokyo Motor Show 2009

Hall flags

Harley-Davidson

Race helmets

Yamaha YZ450F

Can-Am Spyder

Honda EV-Cub

Yamaha EC-f

Yamaha YZF-R1

Suzuki Gladius 400ABS

Yamaha YZR-M1

Honda CBR1000RR

Harley-Davidson FLH

Honda CB1100

Harley-Davidson XR1200X

Yamaha SR400FI

Honda DN-01

Suzuki GSV-R