You probably thought all the motorcycle show cancellations were done for the year, didn’t you? The thing about years—even 2020, if you can believe it—is that, sooner or later, they always roll into the next one. Most 2020 shows were cancelled a while ago, but that doesn’t make 2021 any less precarious.
Leading the charge on 2021 cancellations is the 48th Tokyo Motorcycle Show, originally scheduled to be held in Spring, 2021. Since the coronavirus pandemic is very much still with us and still has the potential to cause serious medical consequences, the Tokyo Motorcycle Show Association is taking the precaution of canceling it entirely for 2021. Organizers hope to be able to hold the next show in 2022.
The original theme of the 2021 event was meant to be “seeing, touching, and experiencing,” according to Young Machine. While seeing isn’t in and of itself dangerous, touching and experiencing—especially in an indoor setting, and especially among large groups of people—is probably not the best idea at this time.
That of course doesn’t mean that we won’t see any new models in 2021 from Japanese OEMs. After all, they’ve had some time to adjust to the specifics of hosting virtual shows instead. For 2020, Honda unveiled both the CT125 Hunter Cub and its intriguing CB-F concept via virtual means. Suzuki also held a virtual motorcycle show to bring its Gixxer250, V-Strom 1050 XT, Katana, and SV650X to the international masses.
In a way, it has to be kind of nice to plan for an event like this, because the potential to get so many more eyes on your bikes than you might have the opportunity to do in person is very real. Since anyone with a decent Internet connection can attend a virtual motorcycle show from just about anywhere, there’s some additional freedom in planning—even if you have to go about things a bit differently. We’re sure OEMs are working hard behind the scenes to learn from what worked well and what didn’t in 2020, and look forward to seeing what they roll out on a virtual world stage in 2021 that we’ll want to ride immediately (hello, CT125 Hunter Cub, I am looking at you).