Patent and trademark filings are typically viewed as routine administrative tasks by some, but for enthusiasts in the motorcycle and automotive world, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the future. In a recent development from August 2023, Toyota filed a trademark application in Japan for a name that raised eyebrows: “Land Hopper,” as initially reported by Motor1.
Now, you might be wondering why we, RideApart, a motorcycle-focused platform, are discussing Toyota. Well, it turns out that the Land Hopper is not what most automotive enthusiasts anticipated when the trademark surfaced. To be fair, it’s understandable that many thought “Land Hopper” could be linked to the venerable Land Cruiser, possibly a more affordable version. That assumption seemed perfectly logical.
However, the big reveal came on October 21, 2023, just as anticipation for the 2023 Japan Mobility Show reached its peak. Toyota finally unveiled the Land Hopper, and it’s nothing like what car enthusiasts imagined. It’s not a smaller Land Cruiser, but rather a “three-wheeled electric personal mobility concept.” In essence, it’s an electric trike, resembling a moped more than a full-sized motorcycle.
Toyota has been tight-lipped about the technical specifics of the Land Hopper, which is understandable, considering this is just a teaser for its showcase at the Japan Mobility Show.
So, what do we know about the Toyota Land Hopper? First and foremost, it’s not just a three-wheeler; it’s a foldable three-wheeler. Toyota positions it as a last-mile vehicle, something you can easily store inside your car or truck (maybe even your Land Cruiser) and use for short trips once you’ve reached your destination.
What’s intriguing is that in Japan, you won’t need a motorcycle license to operate the Land Hopper, and this might be the case in most countries. Japan follows a tiered motorcycle licensing system, but vehicles meeting specific requirements (primarily low-speed capability) can be driven by individuals aged 16 and above without a motorcycle license. This licensing system is also prevalent in Europe and most parts of Asia, making it an important factor if Toyota plans to expand the Land Hopper’s availability beyond Japan.
Now, some might wonder if the Toyota Land Hopper has any connections with Yamaha, given its leaning three-wheeler design with two front wheels. While Toyota has collaborated with Yamaha in the past, and Yamaha has its own line of leaning multi-wheeled vehicles, there is currently no concrete evidence linking the Land Hopper to Yamaha.
Yamaha’s Niken GT is perhaps the most famous leaning multi-wheeled vehicle they’ve produced, being a unique three-wheeled motorcycle. Yamaha’s Tricity line of leaning multi-wheeled scooters is available in Asia and Europe, while the Tritown, a leaning multi-wheeled last-mile vehicle, remains a concept in 2023. However, concepts often evolve over time, so it’s still possible that Yamaha could surprise us. While there’s no indication of Yamaha’s involvement with the Land Hopper so far, it’s a possibility that shouldn’t be completely dismissed.