New Bikes

Yamaha 04GEN shown

Vietnamese debut for new concept scooter

THE idea of clear transparent bodywork on bikes isn’t a completely new one but Yamaha’s new 04GEN concept scooter uses it as a surprisingly effective alternative to the usual painted plastic.

The bike’s heavily-tinted transparent plastics allow the aluminium chassis parts underneath to show through, while the lattice-style bracing moulded into the rear sides of the body panels gives an interesting visual effect.

In the words of Yamaha’s overblown press release: “Showcasing the beautifully-engineered interior structure brings a lightness to the majestic body, creating a new design which synthesizes the interior and exterior to achieve a rare beauty.”

Err… Okay.

We’re not sure that the firm’s assertion that the bike “evokes the image of women with an air of dignified elegance and grace of mind and body” really adds much to the mix, other than hinting that this concept is really aimed at the fairer sex.

The firm’s dedicated microsite to the new concept takes both the female parallels and the cringe-worthy design-speak to an even higher level, saying: “04GEN creates a lively atmosphere with a trapezoidal, long and low overall silhouette. Its innovative design, which consists of the frame that evokes the image of a woman with vibrancy and inner fortitude, and the light exterior designed in the motif of a swan, synthesizes the interior and exterior to achieve a rare beauty.”

We might be mistaken, but isn’t that just a load of bollocks?

Unfortunately, while effusing over the design elements the firm has forgotten to mention any of the technical details of the bike. It’s clear that they’ve gone for the design cliché of replacing the instruments with a smartphone (could end badly when it rains), but there appears to be something interesting going on with the enclosed brakes. From the look of it, and one design sketch that shows a cross-section, it seems there’s a rim-mounted disc hidden under the black cover. The cover itself doubles as a bracket for the single-pot caliper.

Powertrain-wise, it all looks pretty conventional, with an engine/transmission/swingarm combo from one of Yamaha’s existing models.

Overall, it’s not the worst concept we’ve seen, and the tinted, semi-transparent resin bodywork is an interesting touch that could easily be ported across to other models to create a distinctive new look.

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