It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas or if not Christmas the time when motorcycle manufacturers populate their Wishbooks with tantalizing machines that may or may not come to fruition no matter how many hopeful motorcyclists may leave a note for Santa requesting a Motoroid for Christmas – it rolls, it talks, it wags it’s muffler! Its show season that gets this bouncing ball of excitement rolling. Events like Intermot and EICMA and the Tokyo show announce to the world what is up a manufacturer’s sleeve for the coming year. There will be a few models that will roll down the road in 2018 – Honda seems to have what is most likely a newish version of the Gold Wing in the works – along with a few surprises from other companies – will Kawasaki be putting a supercharged engine in something other than the H2 bikes? – but the eye candy is the concepts.
Yamaha has already announced the treats for Tokyo and they include the return of the “Luke I am not your father but I ride like him” MOTOBOT. Apparently he/she is a little faster this year with new 2.0 software aiming to motobotically ride around the track at 200kph and race with Valentino Rossi for a best lap time – after which they may ride to a coffee shop for a latte …. it would have to a Tim’s drive-through as the MOTOBOT can ride but he can’t walk.
And then there is the Motoroid which appears to be an electric motorcycle prototype that looks fantastic although the grabby nature of the rear seat seems a little alarming. Motoroid’s specialty is recognizing it’s owner and, I quote, “interacting like a living creature”. Whether that means it will wags it’s muffler and bounce excitedly when it sees you and possibly leak a little fluid on the garage floor remains to be seen.
The third Yamaha highlight in the company’s “Future Garage” is a four wheeled tilting vehicle that is also electric but has a range extender. This type of vehicle is one of the grails of the motorsport world. With a tilting chassis you get some of the visceral thrills that define motorcycles but with four wheels you can reach a lot of potential customers that where nervous with only two wheels beneath their seat.