Reports from Asia indicate that the Big Four are on the verge of a big elimination. Japan-based Nikkei, the world’s largest financial newspaper, says Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha plan to drop around 20 motorcycles from their lineups.
Of course, increasingly stringent emission standards are to blame. This time it’s the emissions standards in Japan itself. Japan’s emissions standards have already been stringent for years, and the country’s motorcycle market reflects that (ever wondered why so many kei trucks end up being exported to North America? They are repelled by emission laws!). However, it looks like the latest crackdown will tighten things up even further.
Which bikes are going to be discontinued? Details are limited; here’s what Nikkei reported:
Honda, the world’s largest motorcycle maker, will retire about 10 out of 80 models. Motorcycles affected include popular models like the CB400 Super Four, a mid-size motorcycle that has been a bestseller since the 1990s.
Also on Honda’s chopping block are models of the full-size Gold Wing series, as well as the Benly scooter designed for delivery services.
Yamaha will stop selling two models in its flagship FJR1300 tourer series. Suzuki will pull at least five of about 20 models off the production line by October, including the midsize GSX250R.
So some of these machines are available in the US (FJR, Gold Wing) and some are not (CB400). Perhaps we will not be affected by the decision, especially since it seems that it is only series specific sub-models, and because there is a particular focus on the market Japanese.
However, the Nikkei article also highlights something we all need to take much more seriously: the shift to EV technology is happening whether we like it or not, because governments have mandated it. Honda and. Al. will not make bikes that they cannot sell, and this means we need to see electric motorcycle technology develop much faster, or we’ll all be left behind in about a decade. All of these pattern cancellations and announcements of oil energy bans are going to have a cumulative effect; indeed, if you do not notice the early stages of this change, you are not paying attention to it. Have you ever wondered why manufacturers are so much more conservative than before? It’s because they’re not interested in developing technology that they can’t sell.