1. Earthquake Rocks Japan

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook Japan on March 11, sending giant tsunami waves towards the small nation. The earthquake, aftershocks and tsunamis claimed over 15,000 lives, injured thousands more and left countless homeless. The earthquake was the largest to ever hit Japan, and the nation continues its long road to recovery.

The earthquake’s effects on the motorcycle industry were small in comparison to the lives affected by the disaster, but the Big Four Japanese manufacturers, and numerous part suppliers and other Japanese companies in the industry, continue to feel the effects.

Honda was particularly affected, with at least one confirmed workplace fatality and a halt in production. Suzuki and Yamaha also idled their factories. Kawasaki was the least affected by the earthquake but still briefly stopped production.

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Honda Halts Production Following Earthquake
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Suzuki Suspends Production After Earthquake
Kawasaki Factory Undamaged by Earthquake
Yamaha Closes Japanese Plants