Special: Tokyo Motorcycle Show report (more bikes)

Honda True Adventure

Honda True Adventure

Honda is being rather tight-lipped about this model, not having a shred of press material on hand. There is just a bike, shorn with heavily used rubber, and as they did at the EICMA show, it is caked with dirt that the reps are quick to tell you is the real deal. That dirt looks quite functional as a means of hiding what one can glean about the bike. It’s high up on a stage-like stand, which makes figuring out anything even harder.

Honda True Adventure – truly dirty, truly mysterious

So, what can we see? The first thing that is apparent after a look at the brakes is that it comes equipped with ABS. A bird’s-eye view shows a fully digital instrument cluster below Honda’s own “Gathers M” G3 GPS navigation/audio/video system. (The G3 is, strictly speaking, a road-oriented unit that uses routes rather than tracks and is a popular accessory across Honda’s domestic road bike range.) Suspension-wise there’s little to be gleaned beyond the obvious USD forks and rear suspension with a readily-accessible preload adjuster.

The bike does have some nice touches that suggest it will be suitable for reasonably gnarly off-road work. Lurking in the front end is a separate oil cooler along with the expected twin radiators. The bash plate is fairly meaty and has a cutaway to access the oil drain plug. With luck, normal servicing won’t require dismantling half the bike. Honda reps wouldn’t discuss any of it, merely smiling and being happy with both the mystery and the attention.

Suzuki Gixxer 150

Suzuki Gixxer 150

Made by Suzuki Motorcycle India, the  150cc air-cooled single ‘Gixxer’ hopes to capture a significant share of a very  crowded market. While the Gixxer name might conjure up images of  sporting pretension, the mechanicals are pretty basic. That actually  bodes rather well for a bike that is just as likely to carry a farm animal to market as it is to be used for a family — as in full family  — outing.

The Gixxer was voted one of the bikes of the year in India, so it appears that the market likes what it sees. I think it looks pretty  good. What do you think?

Wheelbase: 1,330mm
Seat height: 780mm
Weight: 135kg
Engine: 150cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke single
Fuel capacity: 12.0L

KTM 250s

The Ready to Race brand has been enjoying good growth in the Japanese market. In an effort to keep that growth happening, KTM is planning a couple of important changes to the Japanese lineup.

KTM RC 250

In their other Asian markets, KTM has been offering their small bikes in displacements of 125-, 200- and 390 cc. In Japan, however, the 250 cc class is vitally important and represents the largest displacement that slides underneath the mandatory vehicle inspection regulations. To address the displacement mismatch, KTM has brought to market 250 cc versions of both their Duke and RC models.

When I asked about the base package of the bike, the KTM rep explained that the increased performance required a number of upgrades to ensure the bikes handled as well as they should. It’s good to see that KTM didn’t just shoehorn a bigger motor into the frame and call it a day. ABS is standard.

KTM 250 Duke

250 Duke / RC 250 Specs
Engine Type:    Single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, DOHC, 4-valve
Displacement:    248.8 cc
Bore x Stroke:    72 x 61.1 mm
Power:    32 hp @ 9,000 rpm
Torque:    24 Nm @ 7,250 rpm
Transmission:    6-speed
Fuel System:    Bosch EFI with 46 mm throttle body
Frame:    Powder-coated steel trellis
Front Suspension:    43mm WP-USD
Rear Suspension:    WP-Monoshock
Front Brake:    4-piston, radially bolted caliper, 300 mm rotor
Rear Brake:    Single-piston, floating caliper, 230 mm rotor
ABS:    Bosch 9MB-Two Channel
Tires:    110/70-17 Front    150/60-17 Rear
Seat Height:    800 mm (Duke) / 820 mm (RC)
Fuel Capacity:    Approx. 11 litres
Weight (without fuel):    Approx. 139 kg (Duke) / Approx. 147 kg (RC)


  1. “One thought why leave out the scooters and just take motorcycle pictures?”

    Good question, Dav, and it’s something that I thought about during the write-ups. I’ll be totally honest and say that the mandate by CMG was to take photos and write about stuff in which I’m interested. Despite nearly wheelieing a Vespa over backwards a number of decades ago, scooters just don’t show up on my radar as a rider.

    That’s not to suggest that scooters don’t fill an important role in the scheme of things. If CMG wants me to run through the vast array of Japanese domestic-market scooters, I could probably do so. Do be warned, however, that most of them really only warrant a description similar to “has two wheels and an engine along with the expected 49cc displacement.” The only really interesting scooter stuff happens in the custom builder realm. Truth be told, it’s not an area with which I’m at all familiar.

    None of this should be taken as an excuse. Just an explanation. I just kind of assumed that anybody who is truly interested in Japanese scooters would avail Google Translate and the domestic OEM sites.

  2. Thanks for the new pictures of the TA, a close up of the mysterious left “spark plug” and that small electric motor driving that tiny gearcase would have been nice.

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