Nov. 21 - Kawasaki Motors is turning heads at this year's Tokyo Motor Show with its futuristic, transformable motorcycle, called simply the ''J''. There are no plans to commercialize the three-wheeled concept vehicle, but the ''J'' does offer a glimpse into what commuters might be driving in the future. Ben Gruber reports.
It's designers call it "J" …a sleek hybrid motorcycle that envisions new possibilities for bike riders of the future. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SENIOR MANAGER, STYLING AND DESIGN DEPARTMENT, MOTORCYCLE AND ENGINE COMPANY, KEISHI FUKUMOTO, SAYING: "The distinctive feature of the J is that it can transform and by transforming, we are able to achieve, to a high degree, our company's mantra which is 'fun to ride' and 'ease of riding.'" Kawasaki's Keishi Fukumoto says the concept vehicle will allow riders to change the configuration of the bike from a two wheeled speed demon to a three wheeled cruiser better suited for comfort and stability. The transformation shortens the bike while simultaneously elevating the rider by splitting the front wheel in two. But Fukumoto says that when a rider has a need for speed, the J can deliver. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SENIOR MANAGER, STYLING AND DESIGN DEPARTMENT, MOTORCYCLE AND ENGINE COMPANY, KEISHI FUKUMOTO, SAYING: "When the rider wants to gun it, this machine can go fast. But when the rider wants to slow down and enjoy the scenery, this machine can conform and go slow. It can answer to both needs and we want users to maximise its potential." Fukumoto says the "J" was not designed for mass production. But he believes the concept will pave the way for what motorcycles will look like in the not too distant future.