November 13, 2011 – OK, here’s a bit of fun for you.
I don’t normally think of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers as being a bunch of wild ‘n’ crazy guys — at least not in 2011. Back in the old days, maybe. But not now.
The three-piece-suit, corporate Board of Directors profit mentality seems to have taken hold in each of the Big Four, with a look-down-their-nose attitude towards anything that might actually be considered fun. Or passionate.
Until now, that is…
Suzuki is the last company I would think of who would do something like this — create three outrageous concept bikes for the pure fun of it, with absolutely no intention of ever building any of them. But they did, and here they are.
It’s obvious when you look at them that this is a low-buck effort at fun, probably cooked up by a local Suzuki distributor with a couple of cans of spray paint and a $50.00 bill from petty cash to spend down at the marine supply store.
So these are not to be taken seriously; they are simply a fun exercise that, somewhat ironically, paid off big-time, if the crowds surrounding the concepts were any indication.
You think if those crowds were surrounding anything, it would be Alvaro Bautista’s MotoGP ride on display in the Suzuki booth and close enough to touch. Nope. Instead, the smiles were breaking out over at the Suzuki “Marine”, a concept that first made you go “Huh??”, followed up by a hearty belly-laugh.
After all, who would think of mounting a combination oar/boat hook on one side, a mooring bumper on the other, along with a marine compass on the handlebars and a fish basket with a marine police blue light on the back of a Suzuki VanVan (aka TW200 when it was sold in the U.S.A.)?
And, to finish the effect, how about a pair of marine cleats on the front fender, complete with a white and blue line for anchoring and a matching line on the handlebar grips and forks. Paint it white and blue all over and there you have the “Marine”.
The Marine concept (probably better to call it a whimsey) had a partner, the Suzuki “Extreme”. Same concept, but this time it was a new V-Strom 650 with a pair of snow skis, a sheepskin-lined set of hand guards and matching sheepskin seat cover!
But wait — what about the Suzuki “Golf” — a Burgman scooter with putting greens on the floorboards and a built-in club holder?
All just for fun and I’d bet more than one Suzuki Europe exec was surprised at the reception from the attendees. Who knows, maybe this is the type of thing that will loosen up those button-down collars in Hamamatsu? It just goes to show that it doesn’t take a lot of money to attract crowds and put a smile on a lot of faces.