At the 2023 EICMA Show, the Japanese Big Four (Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha) showcased multiple interesting products with potential for India launch
The 2023 EICMA Show is ongoing in Milan, Italy. 2W manufacturers around the world are showcasing their newest tech, concepts and other charades. India-based motorcycle manufacturers like Hero MotoCorp and Royal Enfield have made their presence known as well. But what about the Japanese Big Four? What did Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha showcase? Let’s take a look.
One of the Japanese Big Four, Kawasaki expressed quite a vision with its motorcycle lineup. The company stressed future 2W mobility on Hydrogen based fuels. Apart from that, Kawasaki showcased Special Edition Ninja 1000 SX and Ninja 650 with unique Ninja 40th Anniversary colour and treatment, paying tribute to colours on ZXR machines from the 90s.
Getting into juicier bits, Kawasaki introduced two brand new machines – Ninja 500 and Z500, based on the new 451cc parallel-twin motor debuted with Eliminator 500. The company mentions this new platform combines low-end performance for the city and peaky performance for highways in the same package.
Speaking of package, the engine makes 45.4 bhp at 9000 RPM, 42.6 Nm at 6000 RPM, mated to a slipper clutch and a 6-speed gearbox. Features include keyless ignition and TFT display with Bluetooth on top-spec SE trim. All of these are mounted on a trellis frame and the bike is compliant with Europe’s A2 license. Both Ninja 500 and Z500 are likely to be India-bound.
Ninja 7 Hybrid’s naked counterpart, Z 7 Hybrid made a grand debut at 2023 EICMA Show as well. It comes with the same 451cc engine as Ninja 500 and Z500 along with a 9 kW electric motor with total output of 58 bhp. Electric range is around 12 km and features a sophisticated gearbox too.
Renowned Japanese brand, Honda Motorcycles, showcased over 10+ 2W vehicles at 2023 EICMA Show. Among the army of 2W that Honda showcased at the show, we have 2024 CB1000 Hornet, 2024 CBR600RR and CBR600RR HRC Race Kit, 2024 CBR650R E-Clutch and CB650R E-Clutch, 2024 NX500, 2024 CB500 Hornet, 2024 CL500, 2024 CBR500RR, 2024 CMX 1100 Rebel DCT, Hornet F18M, SC e:concept and more.
Prominent among these and with relevance for Indian market are Honda’s flagship litre-class CB1000 Hornet, updated CB650R and CBR650R with E-Clutch along with CB500 Hornet and NX500. For a change, Honda could even launch CBR600RR super-sport in India. Starting with naked flagship, CB1000 Hornet uses previous Fireblade’s engine, but ekes out more than 150 bhp and 100 Nm.
New twin spar frame, Showa fully adjustable suspension with USD telescopic front forks and rear mono-shock setup, advanced electronic rider aids, traction control, riding modes, a 5-inch TFT dashboard are highlight elements of Honda’s new naked flagship.
With its 500cc lineup, Honda has shuffled the names slightly. The outgoing CB500F is now CB500 Hornet and CB500X is now NX500. Both machines still get the same 471cc parallel-twin engine making 47.5 bhp and 43 Nm. The USD front forks, 5-inch TFT display as outgoing models are retained. But for MY2024, Honda is adding traction control too.
Honda has sharpened the design of its 650cc inline-four lineup. Both 2024 CB650R and CBR650 now look slightly better. Where features are concerned, they now get a TFT dashboard. Biggest update has to be Honda’s proprietary E-Clutch with these new machines. The hot-headed 2024 CBR600RR is now Euro-5 compliant and still a screamer going till 16500 RPM. Electronics are now more extensive.
From the makers of iconic Hayabusa, we have two all-new products displayed at 2023 EICMA Show and a bunch of others. The new ones are GSX S1000 GX ADV and GSX-8R fully-faired machine. Other showcases include 25th Anniversary Edition of Hayabusa with special colourways, 2024 V-Strom 650XT, 2024 GSX S950, 2024 V-Strom 800 SE and 800 DE, 2024 V-Strom 1050 DE and 1050 SE.
The company even mentioned how they are striving for greener mobility for the future with various alternate fuel, flex fuel, fully electric and hydrogen powered vehicles. The minor updates to V-Strom 650XT should make it India along with Hayabusa 25th Anniversary Edition as well.
Of all the showcases, GSX-8R, GSX S1000GX and GSX S1000GT are of the most prominence. GSX-8R is based on the same platform that Suzuki offers with GSX-8S and V-Strom 800 DE. So, the same 776cc parallel twin motor is found on GSX-8R. Performance figures were not revealed, but should be around the same ballpark as others at 82 bhp and 78 Nm.
As opposed to GSX-8S, 8R has a full fairing that not only looks handsome, but is also extensively aerodynamic. Speaking of GSX S1000 GX, it is basically the same motorcycle as GSX S1000 GT, with a taller stance and features the new electronic suspension from Showa with Suzuki’s Active Damping Control and a ton of new electronic aids and an advanced 6-axis IMU.
Currently offering zero big bikes in India, Yamaha is bringing YZF-R3 and MT-03 in the coming months. That said, we hope Team Blue offers more big bikes in India, especially the ADVs. At 2023 EICMA Show, among all other Yamaha showcases, Tenere 700 and Tenere 700 Explore are of prime importance along with MT-09 SP.
Starting with Yamaha’s Triple, MT-09 SP, it is a higher-specced machine as opposed to regular MT-09 and has updated looks along with new electronic package. Brembo master cylinder, Brembo Stylema calipers, 41mm fully adjustable USD front forks from KYB with DLC coating, fully adjustable Ohlins rear mono-shock, customisable ride modes, a 5-inch TFT display, keyless start, and other upgrades are highlights.
With the recent launch of Honda XL750 Transalp in India, we wish Yamaha would bring in the Tenere 700 Extreme. Or at least Tenere 700 and Tenere 700 Explore that was recently showcased at 2023 EICMA Show. This touring-focused ADV has 43mm KYB front USD forks and KYB mono-shock rear, large windscreen, a quick-shifter, 16L fuel tank, 5-inch TFT screen, 21-inch front and 18-inch wire-spoke wheels, 689cc parallel-twin engine, 72 bhp, 68 Nm, and more.