Story & photos by Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes
IT was a sellout crowd—as usual. The annual Inside Racing Bike Festival and Tradeshow at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, to say the least, wasn’t a disappointment—for the 12th time.
Tens of thousands of riders were again customarily on their toes, in fact, most were running around like headless chickens for their first dibs on the latest and cheapest motorcycle accessories on the block, not to mention their first glimpse of the industry’s newest offerings in the market with the variety of grandiose product launches lined up for the day.
The public’s common habit of seeing top motorcycle brands perform and dominate the charts in terms of sales was no different even to this kind of stage as if for these companies, every lavish ovation up to the brightest spotlights was synonymous with making every single penny.
Thus, the number from Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA)’s 2017 sales report of 1,319,084 unit sales had from its finest crop their biggest players steal the show yet again and grab the whopping pieces of the festival pie’s glamor and spectacle.
Living the Filipino dream
Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI), the country’s number-one motorcycle manufacturer, for one, consumed most of the attention when it introduced its new communication campaign: “One Dream”.
Here, it sought to inspire Filipinos in achieving their dreams, tickle their fancies and, thus, unite motorcycle riders into this kind of vision.
“Knowing that people strive to achieve their dreams and aspirations motivates Honda to continue with our efforts of helping them realize it,” said Daiki Mihara, president of HPI.
Its recent partnership with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the Commissioner’s Cup is a testament of its genuine purpose of reaching out by being part of the Filipino culture and touching more lives.
Its latest collection of motorcycles of various segments, including the new Honda BeAT color variants and all-new PCX150 for the automatic (AT) segment, The new CBR150R for the high on-road sports segment, and the all-new CRF150L for the off-road sports segment were also another showcase.
It also introduced two of its newest big-bike models during the event, namely the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and Honda CB1100EX, to complete its lineup of big bikes which were first launched in December 2017.
Owning the future
Having its own “show within a show”, this year’s edition of the Yamaha Motor Show brought pride to the manufacturer as it fetched machines to life with their cutting-edge innovative technology and passionate human touch.
The future was unraveled, specifically, with the debut of the MOTOROiD, Yamaha’s most futuristic concept motorcycle to date. This mechanical ingenuity uses image recognition artificial intelligence (AI) which uses machine learning algorithms for facial and gesture recognition functions. This “self-riding” bike recognizes its owner’s face and from there, the movement of MOTOROiD is controlled through simple hand gestures. It can move forward, backward, turn in every direction, and stop without being physically handled. The Active Mass Center Control System is a technology that stabilizes two-wheeled motorcycles using electronic active controls to optimize the vehicle’s posture and prevent it from falling.
Also on display were the MAX series, highlighted by its newest model, XMAX. Together with them were the big bikes: MT09, Super Tenere, Tracer 900, XSR 900, SR400, YZF-R6 and YZF-R1, not to mention the Mio lineup of under-bones.
The brightest stars
Suzuki Philippines’ self-acclaimed “brightest stars” during the three-day affair had proven its point. First, taking the limelight at its illustrious display was its “Suzuki Next 100” campaign, which aspired to guide each customer with its signature Japanese precision technology in the next 100 years.
The Twin Pillar Hub, meanwhile, indicated Suzuki’s alliance with its riders, a partnership that puts its customers first in crafting forms of mobility that will perfectly fit their lifestyles.
Also in the spotlight were its Raider R150 fuel injection and carburetor models, together with the winners of the Raider R150 Summit 2018 custom-bike contest and other models in its GSX series.
Of course, having an energetic singing and dancing president in the person of Hiroshi Suzuki may have its perks as his pure vigor was truly contagious and eventually brought the whole World Trade Center down. Their all-star cast of celebrity phenoms who ignited the sprawling grounds include the cast of actress/director Bela Padilla, sexy and witty Valeen Montenegro, hottest calendar girl and cosplay princess Myrtle Sarrosa, Pinoy hip-hop icon Ex-Battalion, millennial trio JBK, DJ and singer Joyce Pring, Youtube sensation Ashley Rivera a.k.a. Petra Mahalimuyak and renowned DJs Nicole Hyala and Chris Tsuper.
Other standouts in the show were “The People’s Champions” Kymco motorcycles, the Kawasakis and the BMWs.