As we head towards the last quarter of 2020, most of the major motorcycle shows scheduled during the year, including EICMA and Intermot have already canceled their events. Major motorcycle brands such as KTM and BMW have already chosen to opt out of these events despite their prior announcements. While it may be sad it was done in the interest of public health and safety. Yet, as early as September 2020, organizers of the 48th Tokyo Motorcycle Show already announced the cancelation of its event scheduled in the spring of 2021.
With the exception of a few shows in Asia such as the Bangkok International Motor Show, and China International Motorcycle Trade Exhibition (CIMA), most new motorcycle brands have opted to go with virtual launch events instead. This of course makes perfect sense considering the health and safety concerns brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The threat of the deadly virus is still pretty much with us and could still potentially cause some serious medical consequences especially in events like these. The Tokyo Motorcycle Show Association already chose to take the necessary precautions by canceling the event entirely for 2021.
According to Young Machine magazine, before the event organizers decided to cancel, its organizers already had an original theme for the 2021 event which was meant to be “seeing, touching, and experiencing” the bikes on display. Having a visual experience on the bikes can be done with other means without endangering the participants. However, when it comes to touching and experiencing the bikes, this could spell a whole lot of danger, especially among a large number of groups of people present in the event.
However, this wouldn’t stop major motorcycle brands from introducing us to its 2021 offerings, especially from the ‘Big 4’. For 2020, Honda already hosted its Virtual Motorcycle show where it showcased its CT125 Hunter Cub and the exciting CB-F concept. Suzuki also recently held its very own virtual motorcycle show to showcase its latest offerings including the new Gixxer 250, V-Strom 1050 XT, Katana, and SV650X. That being said, they have all been working hard behind the scenes to try to be more creative in delivering an equally enriching experience through the internet. 2020 was a proving ground for OEMs to tweak and ramp up its new motorcycle launches in the absence of major motorcycle shows.
In any case, it will still be interesting to see how the ‘Big 4’ and other major motorcycle brands would be making use of the virtual space on introducing its latest offerings, while at the same time striving to deliver an equally enriching experience that major shows would normally bring.