The most important new bike on Yamaha's stand this year was easily the new R6. In a time when journalists, especially in the UK, are hailing the end of the 600 super sports, it was really interesting that this was one of the bikes that was generating the most buzz at the show. The tech blurb about the bike is promising traction control and a quickshifter and its redesign brings it right in line with the latest R1. Could Yamaha be looking at moving in on Honda's territory in Moto2?
Its also really great to see Yamaha building on the success of their MT brand, and taking this progress forward to breath new life into their sportsbike range. Speaking of the MT, the bike is this year joined by a super trick SP version, which comes fitted with a Ohlins electric racing system. Yamaha are calling this the R1M of the MT range, but for me, it kinda goes against everything the MT is supposed to be. The reason why the MT10 is so liked is because its under ten grand. You start adding more bells and whistles to the bike, it starts to dilute the purpose of the bike. Saying that, Im sure the SP is lovely.
I will freely admit that I have always liked Kawasaki stands at the bike show I've gone to. Their marketing team just gets it and they really play up the green and black trademark colour scheme to great effect.
With several new models this year in the shape of the new ZX10RR, Versys 300X, Z1000R, H2R Carvon, Z900 and Z650, Kawasaki were able to pull in serious numbers of visitors to the stand. As you can see in the video above, the H2R was still their centrepiece, but what was different this year, was they had an H2 road bike that you could actually sit on. With a serious pricetag, a lot of riders wouldn't get to see an H2 on the road, let alone get the chance to ride it, so being able to actually get on board and get a feeling for the controls and layout of the bike was hugely popular.