– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Bike Market Growing Everywhere But Japan?

According to an interview with Yamaha Motor Co. President Takashi Kajikawa in the Times of London, the Japanese motorcycle market has continued to shrink despite rising worldwide demand for bikes – the worldwide motorcycle market has grown 30% in the last three years.

Kajikawa says that Japanese youth are no longer buying bikes – many have been discouraged from riding by parents who consider it too dangerous, and Kajikawa thinks they would prefer to stay in and play video game anyway.

These days, domestic sales make up only 10% of Yamaha’s overall motorcycle market, but the company still would like to reverse the decline in domestic profits. In order to do this, they plan to expand beyond motorcycle production and begin manufacturing high-tech motorised wheelchairs for Japan’s burgeoning elderly population!

We expect that the wheelchairs will be the realm of a new Yamaha division, seperate from the motorcycle manufacturing branch. Still, the typical Japanese policy of moving engineers and product designers between divisions could produce some interesting products for the wheelchair-bound, especially if the engineers are transferred from Yamaha’s MotoGP program!

The continuing decline in domestic market motorcycle sales provides at least partial explanation for some of the more outlandish concept bikes that we have seen from all the Japanese factories in recent years. In an attempt to recapture the attention of a generation hypnotized by video games, the designers seem to be creating concepts heavily influenced by the stylized vehicles found in the games themselves.

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