Small is big, monkey bikes are the new black. After years of being relegated to cob-webbed tales told by speckled-bearded men that begin with "Back when we was kids..." (and typically involving a Honda Z50 soaring skyward to miraculous heights), the petite low-power/high-fun concept is making a comeback. The latest sign of this renaissance is the battery-powered Suzuki EXTRIGGER concept due to be exhibited at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, kicking off November 22rd.
Now, this whole retro-runt revival began with the emergence of the awesome Honda Grom – fittingly, since they created both the niche and the monkey moniker back in the early 60's – but we find its spread into other brands and other motivational forces encouraging. This new niche seems to be filling with younger riders put off by the cruiser and crotch-rocket scene, who are encouraged by the low-cost entry fee to the two-wheeled world. It only makes sense, then, that a battery-powered bike would be a positive step forward in this newbie market, what with no-gear, twist-and-go simplicity and a proclivity toward smart phone integration.
Speaking of which, the EXTRIGGER boasts a quirky feature. Mounted fore and aft are light-emitting devices that transmit information via complex blinking. Using communication technology that originated in the Picapicamera app, it is thought that it could be used to the future, for example, to send out data which might be captured by stores, which would then send you coupons.
While there isn't much out there in the way of specs, we can tell you that the aluminum-framed machine, with fancy inverted forks and disc brakes front and rear, tips the scales at a mere 136.7 pounds and has a 37.8-inch wheelbase. It also borrows the Panasonic-sourced motor found within the back wheel of the e-Let's scooter despite not using an in-wheel design itself.
Of course, the big question is, will Suzuki actually make one for the masses? If it can approach the performance levels of the Grom and boast a battery big enough for 40 miles of fun, we certainly hope so.