MotoHouston.com MotoHouston.com
Register Members List Member Map Media Calendar Garage Forum Home Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MotoHouston.com > News & Media > Motorcycle News & Media > Racing News
Forgot info?

Welcome to MotoHouston.com! You are currently viewing our forums as a guest which gives you limited access to the community. By joining our free community you will have access to great discounts from our sponsors, the ability to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content, free email, classifieds, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, join our community!

Register Today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.


Like us on Facebook! Regular shirt GIVEAWAYS and more

Advertisement

Reply
Share This Thread: 
Subscribe to this Thread Thread Tools
Old 03-29-2016, 07:00 AM   #1
NewsBot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Feedback Rating: (0)
Posts: 130,491












Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here

those pesky rules and regulations

Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here ON the face of it selling bikes designed for the Japanese market shouldn’t be tough in the UK.

We drive on the same side of the road so there’s no need to redesign headlights. We’ve got overcrowded cities where parking is a nightmare. We’ve got a passion for motorcycles, as a nation, that’s higher than average.

But there’s a host of models made and sold in Japan that don’t make it to these shores, at least without being ‘grey’ imports. They don’t make it either because there’s no perceived demand or, more commonly, because they’re older designs that don’t meet European regulations in terms of noise, emissions or some other design detail – it can be as simple as not having the right markings stamped on an exhaust or moulded into a light lens.

The latest type-approval laws in Europe make it even harder. Mandatory ABS from next January on new bikes over 125cc and linked brakes on bikes below that capacity, along with tougher emission limits and requirements for on-board diagnostics - all these things conspire to ensure that old bikes remaining in production in Japan are never likely to get here. They may even make grey imports harder to come by in future.

So what are we missing out on? Let’s embark on our tour of the top 10 current Japanese-market bikes that we wish made it over here.

10: Honda Monkey

Honda’s Monkey is nothing short of an icon, sitting somewhere next to beach buggies and flowery flares in an imaginary Austin Powers-style false recollection of the '60s. It’s not been offered in the UK for years but remains available in its homeland. This is the 2016 version – not that it’s changed much since it was introduced, although it’s fuel-injected these days. There is enough of a Monkey market in the UK to support a small industry bringing copied versions of the machine to the country – the Skyteam Mini, for instance.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 9: Kawasaki Estrella

There’s definitely been a growth in the number of 250cc class bikes being offered over here in recent years and equally undeniable is the rising interest in retro-styled neo-classic bikes. So maybe Kawasaki’s Estrella – which slots into both categories – would make some sense. However, given the slow sales of the larger W800, perhaps it doesn’t. Still, it’s a fairly pretty machine in an inoffensive sort of way, and one that’s crying out to be given the café racer treatment. Don’t expect to ever see one here, though.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 8: Suzuki ST250 E-Type/Grasstracker

The same arguments in favour of the Estrella could also be applied to the ST250 (also known as the TU250), but it’s built with a touch more 1970s-style flair. There’s a fairly strong following for these bikes in Japan, and loads of aftermarket bits. A variant called the Grasstracker is basically the same bike given a faux-scrambler style with higher bars, a smaller headlight and cut-off rear mudguard.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 7: Honda CB223S

If we’re going to include the Estrella and ST250 we can’t ignore Honda’s competitors in the same part of the market, the CB223S. Slightly chunkier-looking and even more 1970s-ish than its rivals, the CB223S has a hint of scrambler to its style and even gets a monoshock.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 6: Honda FTR223

The CB223S might be a little on the bland side, but its cooler FTR223 sibling takes the scrambler theme further still and it’s not hard to imagine that at least a few would find buyers in the UK if the price was right. In Japan it’s available in two versions, with or without the number boards on the sides.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 5: Honda Ape

Given the surprise success of the Honda MSX125, it’s not beyond the bounds of imagination to think that the firm’s age-old Ape might be reasonably popular here as well. Effectively a grown-up Monkey, made big enough to be something that you might actually ride in traffic. It’s nicely aligned with the scramblerify-all-the-things theme that seems to have gripped the European bike industry for the last few months, too. It’s a shame that sales would probably never be high enough to justify the conversion to Euro-friendly spec.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 4: Honda VTR250

The number of 250-class bikes (and 300cc derivatives) is ever increasing and the latest trend seems to be twins in that market. The Yamaha R3 and MT-03, for instance, and the forthcoming Honda CBR250RR as well as the Ninja 300, Z300 and Suzuki Inazuma. But there’s already a water-cooled, twin-cylinder, 250cc Honda in production in both faired and naked forms that we don’t get offered. It’s the ancient VTR250, and despite its age there’s no denying that it’s got an appeal of its own. The trellis frame and V-twin engine makes its something of a miniature Ducati Monster in naked form while the faired version harks back to the old VTR1000. No ABS or Euro4 certification means that it’s never likely to come here other than as a used grey import, though.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 3: Honda CB400 Super Four/Super Bol D’Or

There’s something about the jewel-like 400cc four-cylinder engines of the 1980s that remains appealing to this day, and even though the era of high-spec 400cc sports bikes ended in the early '90s, the CB400 is a living fossil that carries some of the same DNA from that period. The Super Four is the naked version, with old-school muscle bike styling, while the Super Bol D’Or adds a half fairing to the mix.

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 2: Honda CB1300 Super Four/Super Bol D’Or

No, we haven’t just included the same bikes again – these are the big brothers to the previous pair. The CB1300 was actually sold here until a few years ago, but despite disappearing from the European range it’s still available in Japan in both naked and half-faired Super Bol D’Or forms. It’s even had some technical and styling updates in the meantime, although you’d be hard-pushed to spot them (the headlight, side panels, instruments and six-speed gearbox were all new a couple of years ago).

Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese
Top 10 Japanese bikes that arent offered here 1: Kawasaki ZRX1200

Back in the early 1970s the Kawasaki Z1 was the undisputed king of the then-new ‘superbike’ class, and the ZRX1200 is its direct descendent, having evolved through the KZ1000, GPz1100 and ZRX1100. Its evolution stopped soon after the capacity hike to 1164cc, and the bike still sold in Japan now is pretty much the same as the original ZRX1200 of 2001. Okay, so the wheels and nose got tweaked in 2011, but other than that the changes have been little more than annual revisions to the paintwork. In fact, we used to be sold the ZRX until around 2008, when imports were halted. At the time, superbikes and 600s were still massively popular and retro hadn’t really taken off. Would it be more successful here now? Given that Yamaha has recently seen fit to revamp its XJR1300 – a bike that evolved as a direct rival to the Kawasaki – and still sells it here, maybe Kawasaki will be encouraged to rethink its decision not to import them. We wouldn’t suggest holding your breath for that moment, though.
  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.
Related Content

Top 20 ‘grey’ import motorcycles: Part 1
Top 10 'grey' import motorcycles
Top 10 most SORNed bikes
Top 10 racing rivalries
Discuss: Chinese bikes will take over from Japanese


More...
NewsBot is offline   Reply With Quote
Similar Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Top 10 Strangest Japanese Gadgets and Accessories ArturoC Off Topic 1 06-27-2006 01:07 AM
Reply


Thread Tools

Advertisement


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 AM.


MotoHouston.com is not responsible for the content posted by users.
Privacy Policy