The Arab oil cutback -- which has forced the Japanese Government to declare a State of Emergency -- has hit the nation's industries hard, especially the oil-dependent motor industry.
GV EXT Suzuki factory
GV Honda sign on factory
GV Yamaha factory
GV & CU Mechanics and riders check new bikes before testing (2 shots)
CU New motorcycle engine
GV Riders looking at bikes
SV Mechanics filling tanks with petrol
CU Mechanic tops up tank with water from teapot
GV Rider rides bike onto test track
GV Motorcycles down road
GV Motorcycle around corner
GV Motorbikes down road and around bend
GV PAN Motorcycle along track
Initials BB/2120 BL/AH/BB/2152
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Background: The Arab oil cutback -- which has forced the Japanese Government to declare a State of Emergency -- has hit the nation's industries hard, especially the oil-dependent motor industry.
Half-completed cars clog the country's assembly factories because oil-derived products are not available to complete them.
But the motor cycle industry is enjoying a boom, as the demand for low consumption machines increases, and the manufacturers prepare for the coming racing season which looks like going ahead despite the fuel shortage.
Yamaha -- Japan's second largest manufacturer of motorcycles, has reported a 20 per cent increase in sales during the past few months.
The company has begun tests on a new machine and has signed a contract with the World champion, Giacomo Agostini, to ride it in Europe next year.
The new models are tested at the Fukuroi test track near Hamamatsu, 150 miles (241 kilometres) southwest of Tokyo. The latest model, the TZ 750 has a top speed of more than 170 miles (273 kilometres) an hour. Its engine is water cooled.