Early Japanese Motorcycles

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by HIKO, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Tsubasa when the first 250 model came on the market had already the next model ready the G1 20
    250cc OHV,shaft drive,Earles type fork.
    TsubasaNoG120type_zpsb95eeee9.
    It was distributed through the Daihatsu dealers.
    The next model was the Falcon GY in 1958 and it was redesigned by Mr Tamura:
    tsubasaGYtypeFalcon_zps17c90577.

    Tsubasa_zpsdde9bc49.

    It seems they had plans for further models including a boxer twin designed by MrTamura again.
    Monocoque frame(sounds better than pressed steel)with the engine suspended from it?
    tsubasafuture_zps3ce06541.

    But from 1960 the Tsubasa has merged into Daihatsu completely and Daihatsu didn't want to hear anything about radical designs and new engine development and in 1965 they pulled the plug on bike production.
     
  2. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    And the last industry that I know with a BMW type of engine is Olympus.
    Olympus was made by the Katayama industry which was founded in 1947 to make farming or(and) agriculture machinery starting from '48.
    In 1950 they started making motorcycles with their own 150cc engine in the English style.
    this is the first model,150 cc OHV:
    olympus1501951_zps7071bc59.

    The engine was also sold to other manufacturers and IMC was one of them.IMC was also using the
    Cabton 250 twin in one of their models.
    The next 150cc of 1953:
    Olympus1501953_zps86f8ba8b.

    next in 1955 they made the King with a 250 engine which was a copy of the Horex Regina and was also sold to other industries.(I believe Hosk bought it for their AB 250 and this must be the conection between Hosk and Horex):
    OlympusKing250cc1955_zpsf172c924.

    Next a 250 OHV which I think was called Max like the NSU that inspired it:
    Olympus250_zps9f6556c7.
     
  3. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Olympus in 1956 made an OHC twin 250 cc but I can't find anything on this and it was propably a
    prototype.
    In 1957(56?) they made a boxer twin with shaft final drive and they named it Crown.But it wasn't a BMW copy.It was a 2stroke and was inspired by the east German IFA ,later MZ 350 BK.MZ used an engine from an airplane starter and it was more like a mariage between a BMW flat twin and a DKW 125 2stroke:
    The Olympus Crown.
    Olympus2stroke_zpse5b57bb8.
    olympusboxer_zpsc1f3e688.
    Next the MZ that inspired it:
    MZMBK3501961_zpsf7c33d21.

    But it seems that they hurried it into the production without enough development and the bike had mechanical problems which as I read finaly drove the co. to bankrapty.
    But they still haven't said their last word.
    In 1960 they made what seems to be the first Japanese 2stroke twin.It had a parallel twin engine with horizontal cylinders a la Moto Rumi and "futuristic" design.
    The model that was presented at Osaka auto show in 1960 with hidden exausts in the rear mudguard:
    olympustwin_zps704c9eaf.

    and the production model Olympus Crown:
    olymmpus2_zps2f0c72bc.
    The huge gas tank which hide the carbs and air filter looks better with the horizontal engine than the empty space that the Rumi has under the tank.
    But in 1960 the cheap light cars where starting to be more popular and Olympus slowed down the production and in 1963 stopped production of motorcycles.
     
  4. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Oops!Mistake,the flat twin Olympus is named Crown not the horizontal twin.Here I take the oportunity to say that all these
    things I write and post are definetely NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.I just like the subject and I like to search in the net for old Japanese bikes but somewhere between my ignorance on the subject and the google translation I am sure some wrong info is posted.As I learn more about it,I already see some mistakes in my previous posts so dont take any information for certain.This is the reason that many times I say"I guess" or "it seems" or it looks like" or (?) etc.
    As for the pictures I dont post any that have a copyright sign,I try not to use any pics that include people or others that look
    professional (in a studio etc).I try to post pics that look "public",from old magazines,old brochures,classic bike gatherings ,museum snapshots,photos that are already doing the round of the blogs etc.
    I make these posts because I like the idea that all that info will be in one english speaking forum for anyone to see.
    If by doing that I offend someone please say so and let's fix whatever problem there might be.
     
  5. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi today afew things that I found out about HOSK.
    The Hosk is an important part of the Japanese motorcycle history even though they made bikes for such a sort time.
    The co.starts in 1909 by Mitsushige Yamada as a bicycle and bike importer.(Yamada rinseikwan co.?)
    They imported Triumph,Bsa,Calthorpe,NSU and other makes and from 1916
    Harleys,Hendersons,American Excelsior,Reading Standard.
    In 1913 they will become distributors of Asahi for all Japan but they don't just sell motorcycles.They employ a lathe master and a sheet metal expert(?) they make parts for the foreign bikes since parts ordered from abroad might take more than 6 months to come to Japan.
    They also sell and repair clocks radios home appliances.
    hoskariel_zps6bf25cbc.
    This is an Ariel SF 1931 barn find that was imported by Yamada

    hoskarielb_zps75398298.
    It has the Yamada badge to prove it

    All these continue until 1938 when heavy import taxes make the import of bikes almost impossible.
    In 1940 the only son of Mr Yamada dies in the war and he loses his interest in the co. and in 1949 Mr Yamada dies.
    But he also had 2 daughters and his son in law Mr Ozeki establishes a new co.(Japan high speed engine?) with the Brand name Horse to make their own engine and other parts:speedometers ,seats ,oil pumps and others.
    hoskhorse_zpsfab63acc.
    A brochure with the Horse brand from a blog that had old brochures of motorcycling clothes so I suppose
    it advertises the overcoat.

    In 1949 they hire Mr. Haruo Shimizu who in pre war times had made from scrach ,a motorcycle engine, then he made a hand made frame to install that engine and then he raced it.
    The engine was an OHC 200cc copy of the AJS OHC K7 250.After the war, wounded
    on the leg, he couldn't race but he entered his bike in autorace with other riders.There are stories here about some seroius gambling,races being set upetc.but I lost the details in translation.

    hoskbrochurec_zps103af802.
    Another brochure for the parts they were making(headlights, direction indicators etc) with the Hosk name
    There is a horse with a rider in the corner that reminds of Ariel's bagde.(looks a little like a donkey to me).

    Eventually he started a small production run of this engine to sell to others.
    In one of the races Mr Ozeki found him and told him they can produce together
    a bike with that engine and sell it through the nationwide Yamada distribution.
    In 1951 they produce two prototypes in 150 cc.One OHC and one side valve.
    They also start importing more European bikes:Ariel,Sunbeam,AJS,Horex,
    Zundapp,Parilla and others.
    hoskimports_zpsed2064ea.
    An advertisment of the imports of Hosk.

    In 1953 they hire Mr. Hori Yoshiro who was production manager of Asahi Miyata.Next year they announce the new brand that will make motorcycles,
    the HOSK from the initials of Hori(H),Ozeki(O),Shimizu(S)andKimura(K)(he was a technician).
    hoskemblem_zpsc58a547e.
    The HOSK badge reminds alot of the Horex one
    Next episode:The Hosk production bikes.
    To be continued...
     
  6. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    In 54 they announce the AB OHC 200 based on Shimizu's pre war racer and also
    the CA 143cc a split single two stroke similar to Puch.(double piston single ,not a twin)
    But it was expensive the market needed cheap utilitarian bikes and not sport bikes.so they didn't sell well and the OHC had issues when the engine was hot the cam chain would get stretched rising more the temperature
    and blowing gaskets Just like AJS had discovered when they first made
    this engine.(This is the grandad of the post war AJS 7R) but then they put a
    "weller" tensioner and ..problem solved.Why Shimizu couldn't do the same I have not a clue..
    hoskNAAA_zps828a7842.
    This I think it's a racing version of the OHC 200cc.It is called AA200.

    At the same time they made the DA 498 OHC twin prototype but they chose not to produce it.
    There's also a bunch of models from 250 to 500cc OHV of the Horex Regina blood line.
    hoskbrochureb_zpsccc00ddf.
    AB deluxe 250 OHV,FA 350 OHV,GA 500 OHV and DB 500twin OHC

    hoskfa3501957_zps430b80b9.
    The FA 350 A horex clone
    HoskFA4stOHV500ccsingle-cylinderair-cooled_zps9587e3d6.
    This one is a FA 500 OHV.Maybe they made a 500 version for racing only because I haven't see this mentioned
    as a production model.

    hosksh500twin_zps7e10fb3d.
    Another racer .SH 500 twin.

    Somewhere along the line the DA 498 OHC prototype became DB 498 with a chain drive to the camshaft between the cylinders but still with separate gearbox dry sump lubrication.The DB despite the OHC was based on the Royal Enfield twin.(maybe the Meteor?)
    hoskasama_zpsc96b4eda.
    The db 500 in Asama races.

    HOSKDB_zpse1d69132.
    And acivilian DB 500.

    They also sell the OHC 200 single to Showa (Masakazu)who are making the Cruiser brand and where very successful in autorace at Asama and at Fuji mountain race.
    showa150ohc_zpsfb8456b5.
    Cruiser 150 OHC with the HOSK engine of Mr Shimizu.

    showaLightCruiser125ohc1955_zps5a6af2c6.
    Another Showa the Light Cruiser 125 OHC.

    Masakazu was a company founded in China in the, then Japanese, Manchuria to produce a light motorcycle based on the Sachs 2stroke(?).
    But Showa (Masakazu) seeing the problem that the cam chain was creating
    they decided without the permission of Hosk to develop the engine for themselves.Somehow, to solve the problem of the cam chain stretching, they
    turned the engine into a side valve which was a technological step back.
    showaMasakazucruiserWorks_zpsce2a2ff4.
    This is the side valve Cruiser.If your cam chain gives you trouble make a bike without one!!!

    In 1959 showa buys out Hosk and moves all the manufacturing rights and the production facilities to their industry.Yamada co. returns to imports until 1968 when the president Mr. Ozeki dies.
    Showa continued with the Hosk bikes but I can't find if they sold them as Hosk or as Cruiser.They also had their own two strokes very competitive in the races
    and selling well in the lightweight market and at the same time they were developing a small car and a scooter.All that seems to have been too much for them.
    To be continued...
     
  7. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    . In 1960 Yamaha bought Showa mainly to get access into the four stroke technology of Hosk and eventually made the XS 1 which according to every Japanese source that I read was designed by the Hosk engineers and developed together with Toyota .Yamaha has helped Toyota (I haveno idea how) with the development of the first Toyota 2000 engine.
    In "western" blogs I see that the xs through the Hosk is aHorex clone but I think this is a misunderstanding that I believe has it's source in google translation.
    hosk500da_1955_zpsd7cd888a.
    The DA 500 I believe that it was made only as a prototype.The only pictures that I can find are of this very same bike,shot at different angles from the same meuseum (?).

    I can see how the Hosk DA was similar to Horex but it has nothing to do
    with the post war Horex Imperator and this becomes obvious if one sees how different the engines are.If the Hosk engineers did get inspired by Horex,
    which seems to me that they did ,then the model they have in their minds
    was the pre war Horex S6 and S8.A long stroke sports bike that was made
    in about 100 pieces plus a few more that Tornax bought from Horex for their
    Tornado model.So inspired by that ,should be the right word, because it is
    difficult(but not impossible) to have a rare Horex S6 in Japan to take apart and reverse engineer it.
    horexs8_zps18521058.
    Horex S8.Twin 800cc OHC(I want one).

    HorexS8detail21932_zpsb4fea3dd.
    Another S8.What a work of art.(I want this one too please)

    From the other hand Yamaha wanted to make "something like a Triumph"
    twin but without the problems of the ageing design of the Triumph.That's why they made an engine in unit with the gearbox to avoid the oil leaks from the many gasket faces that a non unit engine has, plus an OHC because with it the engine goes to higher rpm and needs less maintenance(or it is supposed to).
    If you see the engine characteristics(boreXstroke,HP,primary drive etc)it is clear that they had Triumph in their minds. Triumph in '68 was still a top selling big bike.
    There might have been some inspiration from the unit construction Horex
    Imperator ,since there were the same engineers that admired Horex,but that bike was ancient history in 68 the year of the first XS Yamaha.
    Another story says that the Hosk engineers were developing a new OHC twin even before the Masakazu take over of Hosk.In which case there were,propably,ready designs or maybe even a pre production Hosk engine when Yamaha acquired Masakazu with the Hosk included.
    All that of course is just my opinion and every body knows what Dirty Harry thought about opinions all this time ago.

    hoskworkforce_zpscb970fd1.
    The Hosk workforce.

    Ah before I forget in aprevious post on Olympus I said that maybe HOSK bought the Horex-like engine from Olympus.
    Now that I know a little more this doesn't seem to be true.

    So that's it about Hosk.Anybody wants to know something about a specific bike?Hiko?
    I have hundreds of pics of old Japanese bikes and a little bit of history for most of them.
     
  8. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    A little note here to say that: The Asahi brand has nothing to do with theAsahi Pentax cameras(Asahi I think means sunshine or sunrise).The olympus bike has nothing to do with the cameras with the same name.The Showa has nothing to do with the famous suspension Showa of today or with the Showa aircrafts co.( I think Showa is an era.It started early 20's and ended somewhere in the 50's or 60's.Japanese blogs sometimes mention the years by Showa.Like.."this happened during Showa 23..." Just to add to the confusion of google translation.)
     
  9. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Another interesting bike was the Monarch motorcycle.
    It starts with Fujio Murata who was the son in low of Osamu Murata the president of Meguro in the 50's.(What?the same last name?)
    So Fujio Murata was manager of the "body plant"(?) at the headquarters of Meguro
    He was also racing in autorace together with Shigeru Kuwahara(?)
    In 1950 Shigeru Kuwahara(?) died in an accident in auto race and the president
    withdrew the Meguro team(?)from autorace and asked his son in low to stop racing.
    He offered to Fujio Murata funding and an old factory of Meguro to build his own engine with the condition he will not participate in the races.
    They hire Nomura Fusao of "international film equipment" as president of the Monarch motor co.
    MonarchPony1952MurataFujio_zpsb6ec033d. Fujio Murata on a Monarch pony.He was a good looking guy and he was used as a model for promotion pictures and also motorcycle magazine photos.

    They make a prototype.The NM1, 142cc four stroke OHV with a high camshaft inspired from Velocette.Also the 149 OHV that Meguro was making for another bike industry
    (Abe Motors who had the Abe Star brand) becomes the Monarch Pony PM3.
    monarch150_zps8359dabd.
    monarchpony_zps1d465fa2.

    The Monarch pony engine was an improved Meguro engine.

    But they don't have the performance expected and they redesign them with higher camshaft and shorter push rods.
    Then an enlarged 190cc model comes which is entered in the Nagoya
    TT of 1953.But the frame wasn't up to the competition .
    Next year they made a 250cc the M3 with "rotary" gearbox something that was adopted by many other brands.
    They enter it to Fuji mountain races and they take the 1,2,3,4,and 7 position.
    monarchm3250_zps97e4d00f.

    But the Korean war brings recession to Japan and Monarch motors was seriously lacking in management.It seems they where more interested in bikes and races than accounts.
    Monarch1_zpse8207405.
    Fujio Murata (I presume) on a Monarch M3.

    In 1954 they bankrupt having 1 billion yen debt.
    In 1955 the father in low steps in once more and invests more money
    in the restructured Monarch Industries co.ltd.
    monarchsp1250_zps44777e04.
    Monarch SP1(and Mitsubishi gas station ?)

    They make the 250 SP1 and the racing F1 but it was too late.
    I read that they went bankrupt again in 1960 but I can't find any activity
    between '55 and'60. monarch250_zps27bcf5e5.
    The racing F1
    monarchb_zps2ee90de7.
    Monarch Sp 1 with earles fork.Nice engine with smooth casting.High camshaft,short pushrods like the Velocette but looks like it has much shorter stroke.

    The Monarch was another high quality expensive Japanese bike with very good performance made by passionate bikers and not a cheap copy just to save development funds.
    Monarch_zps9cd1eadf.

    Monarch F1
     
  10. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi again
    Today another unknown cool small industry.

    The Pearl motorcycle that was made by Kosakusho Yamashita Mfg. co.,an engineering firm which was founded in 1941 to produce machinery tools(?)in Nagoya prefecture.
    Nagoya for a few years had more than 80 motorcycle industries. In 1953 it became the home of the Nagoya TT.A race in public streets in the spirit of the Manx TT.The idea behind the race was to help improve the engines of the small factories of the period and it was restricted to Japanese bikes only.It was organised by the Ministry of trade and industry(?) and local authorities.In the first race there were 19 different companies participating and 57 riders.
    In 1947 Kosakusho Yamashita Mfg. co.decides to enter the motorcycle market and they start designing their own engine.
    In 1950 they make a side valve engine the Z53 150cc and an OHV the P53 150cc as well.
    pearlsv150002_zpsed02a670.

    Pearl Z 150 side valve

    In 1951 they install the side valve engine in a racing frame and they enter the bike in Autorace(or dirt track?).The rider was Mamoru Yamashita the 9 year old son of the founder of the industry(Yes really! 9 years old!!!)They chose to race the side valve instead of the OHV because it was lighter and easier for the kid to race.It had a special,lowered,frame.
    pearlyamasitasidevalve_zpsc48f5c56.
    Yamashita Jr. on the 150cc side valve racer.9 years old and he already has "The look".

    In 1952 they make an OHC version of the engine,called K engine.They make a bike with the new engine called P52 150(or golden arrow ).The engineers that designed it were Imamura Masateru and Miyazaki Kyosuke.Imamura,was a successful racer on a velocette(KTT 250?) before the war.
    Pearlp-52-150cc1952OHCbeveldriveboretimesstroke56X50mm_zpse6b97fe8.
    The Pearl P52. 150cc,OHC,bevel drive,boreXstroke 56X50mm.

    With the OHC K engine they prepare race bikes for autorace,dirt track,and for the Nagoya TT(only one bike for each version).In 1952 Yamashita Jr. races the OHC 150 in various dirt tracks and wins theToyohashi (?)race .
    pearlYamashitaboy_zps9b289b55.
    1952 Yamashita Jr.and Pearl 150cc OHC winner of the Toyahashi dirt track race.Check out the "alternative" front fork.(Cool shoes too!)

    In 1953 they enter the 1st Nagoya TT with a scaled down 125 OHC and take 8th position.The same boy is the works rider for all kinds of races(!!).The racing "authorities' made an exception and gave him a racing license ,even though he was under aged.
    pearl125earlesfork_zps82749a88.
    The TT 125 OHC with Earles type fork.

    In 1955 they entered the 1st Asama mountain TT,a similar venue as the Nagoya TT with this 125cc OHC bike.
    PearlTT123cc54X54_zps6e72182a.
    The Pearl in the 1st Asama TT.OHC,123cc,54mmX54mm and Earles type fork

    The times where difficult though and the Korean crisis made things worse for small industries.Mizuho who made the Cabton motorcycles and sold engines to a number of small industries,files for bankruptcy drifting with them the rest of their customers.
    At the same time the government cuts the funds to the small companies and eventualy,within a few years, only the big ones survive.
    It was a real slaughter but Pearl soldiers on and in 1956 they introduce a new engine.A 250cc,unit single,with bevel drive to the OHC.They market it as KM250 but they must have sold very few of it.
    pearl1_zps3306ae3d.
    The pearl KM 250 of 1956.OHC,232cc,70mmX65mm,14.5Hp,4 gears.The frame is not unlicke a BMW frame.(like most of the previous street bikes they made)

    pearl250_zpse2d91cc5.
    The KM 250 engine.Looks very advanced for 1956.It is of the Italian school but I have never seen an engine with the bevel drive at an angle

    They also make a racing version(they made a racer out of each engine they produced!)but with gears driving twin overhead camshafts.They want to enter it in the 2nd Asama TT but they don't have the funds to do it.I think they couldn't pay the,substantial,entry fee.
    Mamoru Yamashita ends up racing a Masakazu (Showa) Light Cruiser 125(with a Hosk OHC engine).I think he takes the 2nd place.
    After the race Pearl motors withdraws from the motorcycle market.
    pearl4_zps8e47f2a3.
    The DOHC engine.
    pearl3_zpsdfefe05b.
    Gear drive to double OHC and hairpin valve springs.Very "Italian", high performance set up.

    Mamoru Yamashita became a works rider for Honda and he had a successful racing career until a serious accident(1967?)forced him to retire.
    pearl007_zps2356c0ea.
    Pearl KTT 1955.250cc,bevel drive OHC,65mmX75mm,compression 7,3:1,10,5PS/5700rpm,158kg.

    The parent co.,Kosakusho Yamashita Mfg. co.,continued with the production of car and airplane parts .Later doing work for Mitsubishi heavy industries (construction of wind tunnel models?)and is still alive and well doing a variety of engineering constructions and aerospace research and testing equipment for airplane construction(?)and and...A very busy company,still small with 42 employees.And guess who is the managing director.Mr Mamoru Yamashita himself.Young and enthusiastic as always,gives interviews and speeches on the Pearl motorcycle and the history of racing back then.
    They even have a page dedicated to the Pearl in the Kosakusho Yamashita Mfg. co official web site.
    There is still motorcycle passion in Nagoya where Mr Yamashita's headquarters are.
    pearl150ohctt_zpsd698443f.
    Pearl TT 150cc

    pearlp53150_zps3c263489.
    Pearl brochure with the OHV P53 and the side valve Z53

    pearl003_zpsda942717.
     
  11. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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  12. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hello again,
    for today the IMC.

    IMC was one of the ,so called, assembly manufacturers,factories that were buying the engines from other industries.
    It started in 1947 by Ito Tadaschi (later he changed his name to Ito Jinichi)who during the war was working for Mitsubishi aviation in the design of jigs(?).
    In 1947 he established a company (Ito Movers Works?) with 3 employees to produce motorcycles in Nagoya.
    The first one was the IMC (Ito motor cycle) Falcon A.It was a bicycle with a clip on engine.As it was usual with other industries of the era he used a war surplus engine that was made either to charge the batteries of the tanks or it was the starter of the tanks(?).It was a two stroke of 78 cc and it became popular thanks to it's good performance.

    imcfalcon_zps186d7d44.

    The IMC Falcon A with the war department surplus engine.The same engine was used by Honda for their first model

    When the stock of engines dried out he approached Tohatsu to commission the production of an engine for IMC.Tohatsu agreed with the term that they were going to use the engine to market their own moped as well.
    IMC made the Falcon B in 1948 and the Falcon C in '49 with the Tohatsu engine and with improvements to the frame to differentiate it from the Tohatsu.
    1950 brings the model D with a Mitsubishi 150 cc engine(I think side valve),in 51 the IMC E with the same engine and rear suspension and in 52 the 150cc F and a 175 version the G model.

    imcmodelF_zps4408bfd6.

    The IMC F with the mitsubishi 150 engine.The black ractangular"things" on the crash bars are aftermarket blinkers.

    In 52 they build a new factory 100 square meters (only?) with the capacity to build 200 bikes a month!
    Next year they introduce the IMC H with the 150cc OHV valve engine from Katayama industries( Olympus).
    They enter it in the Nagoya TT race.They take the 23d position and the 7th place in the team awards.
    In 1954 they build the K model with a Mizuho (Cabton) 250 OHV.

    imcmisuho_zpsdcb5ddcb.

    IMC 250 cc K model.Very Triumph like.

    This was a 250 single cylinder version of the,Indian Warrior inspired, RTS 500 Cabton twin engine.
    The K model was voted the best motorcycle design in a "motorcyclist"magazine contest and it became news on the national TV and together with a photo shoot with IMC bikes and pretty girls and an advertising campaign on 50 nationwide newspapers, gave much needed publicity to IMC.

    imcmizuho_zpsff8580af.

    The IMC K during an advertising run of 500 km.

    The same year they produce 1963 motorcycles,K model and J model with a 175cc Mitsubishi side valve engine, and they become the number 14 moto industry of Japan

    IMCb_zpsfded84cf.

    The 250 K again.From this angle it looks to have just one cylinder.

    But the success of the K model wasn't going to last.
    Mr Ito ,who,from what I read was an honorable man,a gentleman of the"old days", had an agreement with Mizuho to buy their engines with the condition that Mizuho will not sell complete bikes.
    This was an old fashioned business deal that was sealed with a hand shake and no paperwork.
    Next year Mizuho introduces the Mizuho 250 MJ with the same engine but with a single exhaust port and one excaust pipe and at the same time stops supplying the engines to their other customers.There was 5 different industries using the Mizuho 250 for their own bikes.

    cabtonmijuho250mj_zps6ecb4733.

    The Mizuho 250 MJ.With single excaust and other cost cutting solution looks cheaper than the IMC K.
    .
    They sell the Mizuho MJ for 135000 yen while the IMC K costs 165000 yen.
    As mentioned on the Cabton-Mizuho post earlier they tried to corner the market with prices lower than the competition but they ended up cornering themselves.
    They spoiled their brand image and soon went bankrupt.
    IMC is forced to find another engine supplier and they end up with a Kawasaki 250 OHV engine to make the M model with the same cycle parts as the 250 K but with a swinging arm rear suspension.

    IMC1955250CctypeM_zpsf85453ff.

    The IMC M with the Kawasaki Aircraft co. engine.

    The same year,1955,they make the 125 NB a 2stroke with a Fuji engine made by Gasuden(really that's the name I didn't make this up).
    Gasuden was a company that,after WW2, was making a minivan and produced their own engines for it.Later Fuji used the engine for the Fujicabin three wheel car and eventually bought Gasuden and used the engines for their own bikes and to sell to other companies.

    imc1252stroke1960_zpsb1e17f48.

    Maybe the 125 NB or a similar model with the Gasuden engine

    In 1956 Mizuho goes bankrupt and many other small industries close their doors.The "natural selection", that will end up with only 4 big industries left in Japan, has started.
    IMC builds a new factory in their own land.With 50 employees and a cost cutting policy they try to keep the 300 bike per month production target.
    They introduce the P 200 and R 250 2 stroke twin.

    imcr250_zpsc0a6fb8c.

    The IMC 250 R with a twin engine was fast and sold well.

    The engines from now on are all from Gasuden exept one more Kawaski engined 250 OHV the MS 250 with Earles fork.

    imcc_zps75e5681e.

    A brochure from'57.At the bottom right the MS 250.

    In 1957 they sell 2528 bikes.
    In 1959 the Ise Bay typhoon(?) hits the factory that submerges into water.
    The co. has to stay closed for 2 months.
    At the same time the popularity of the small car and of Honda and Yamaha motorcycles rises.
    IMC finds themselves in debt for the first time.They continue with 2 strokes of 125-250 cc.In 1960 they make only 52 bikes per month.
    In 1961 they stop production of motorcycle but they still make parts for the older models.
    Finally in 1962 they sell their factory to pay back the debts and they close the doors.
    The IMC merged with Nissan diesel and nothing was heard of it any more...

    IMC250ccmitsubishieng_zps345535c4.
    At the blog that I found this picture the caption said:IMC with Mitsubishi engine.
    I don't know of any Mitsubishi engine with upright cylinder and to me it looks like the M model with the Kawasaki engine from the brochure a few pictures back.The picture must be from the photos with the girls.This is the first time I see a Japanese bike of the era with a double seat.Or is just a cover pretending to be double seat?
     
  13. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi,today one more unknown but interesting bike.
    The Sanyo motorcycle was made by the Yagi Light Vehicle industry from 1951 or 1953 until 1959 and has no connection with the well known Sanyo company.
    It was founded on Himeji,a city that didn't have other motorcycle industries.
    The first model,Y53, was a 148cc with a unit construction engine and OHC.

    SanyotypeY53148Cc4stOHCsingle-cylinderair-cooledmodelyear1953_zpsf4776e0c.
    Sanyo Y53 150cc.

    It had two patents,one for the combustion chamber(?)and another for "force fed rotary oil pump "(?) it also had linked brakes and forged"head pipe"(?).
    It had 6,5 hp at 4800rpm and as I read was faster and more sophisticated than the Honda D.

    Sanyo148cc1953_zps79f20b33.

    The engine.with the camshaft drive and the unit construction reminds me of the small Benelli OHC bikes.

    In 1955 they produce a new engine of 250cc and separate gearbox this time which,as I read,was based on the Royal Enfield but it had an OHC.

    SanyotypeYSvehicle250cc4stOHCair-cooledsingle-cylinderbasemodelyear1955_zps96a21109.
    The new for '55 250 YS

    The model was called YS 250 and it had also a racing version theYS55 that was entered in the Asama race,with Takaya Tsuneo and finished 12th in the lightweight class.There was 2 more riders that retired.

    Sanyo250cc_zpsa811cbc8.
    Sanyo YS55 racer.Earles type forks where very common on racing bikes of the era.

    In 1956 they introduce a 125 cc model.I think it was a two stroke.

    sanyobrochure_zps9d732af0.

    A 1956 brochure.The bike on top must be a 2stroke judging from the intake and excaust port that are low on the cylinder block.On the left of it it says"rotary".Maybe the rotary oil pump patend was for this 2stroke model?

    But in 1957 the company stops to exist.I don't know how and there is very little information on this company in the Japanese blogs.
    I didn't find any production numbers but for sure they made very few bikes.

    sanyo250twin516B67288EFD8ECA8F0C88FD4F5C6240306E_zps08454188.
    The YS 250 in an exibition on motorcycle history in Hamamatsu in 2012.Rear bumpers on bikes must have been in fashion 'cause Pearl(and other bikes) had it too.Next to it a Liner TW 250.

    sanyoYS541954_zpsd486cde4.
    The engine with the beautiful OHC drive casting.I wonder why they went back to a separate gearbox.Propably it is cheaper to buy the box from another industry that mass produces gearboxes.

    sanyob_zps2c88101c.
    Space age indicators with metal "protectors" and a speedometer with the Sanyo logo.Great attention to the details.This must have been luxury specification for the era.

    sanyo250ohc_zps75f3ba63.
    The other,more"British" looking,side of the YS250.I like the unrestored condition of it.A Lilac UY2 from'57 stands next to it

    sanyo1956_zps35524242.
    This from 1956 must be a touring version.It has an enclosed chain,valanced mudguards and other small differences.

    sanyo-go-yagi_1954_110215b_zps4e3c517d.

    And a special.Sanyo engine on some unknown (to me),different frame with plunger rear suspension.
    Next to it another Lilac.V twin 125 I think.

    SanyoFFasama_zps8e4af2e7.

    Another racer.It is tagged:Sanyo FF Asama races.Is it the same as the YS55 from the picture before?
    It has Earles fork but other than that I don't know.
     
  14. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hello everybody,today the Abe Star motorcycle that was a side shot of Meguro.
    In 1950 Meguro had a factory,in the Tokyo area,dedicated to the production of a small displacement engine so Meguro could enter the small bike market that was getting more popular.During that time Meguro was producing the Z series but the demand for 500cc bikes wasn't big so they ordered the production of a 150cc engine to that branch factory(probably called EB motors).
    When they came up with this new engine, Nobuji Murata (sometimes called Osamu Murata) the president of Meguro at the time,was afraid that a small bike would ruin the image of Meguro as the only big motorcycle brand in Japan,and decided not to produce the engine.
    Rihathi Abe,the manager of the branch industry,decides to split from the mother company and Abe Motors is founded.
    But Abe Motors don't want to compete with Meguro.They order the production of the new engine,that they developed, to Meguro and the first Abe Star A1 150 cc side valve comes to the market.
    It becomes an instant success and next year is followed by an OHV version the BR.

    abestar30A830FC30D630B930BF30FCFF22FF32FF12FF11FF15FF10FF43FF431953_zpsb8c3422c.
    Abe Star 150 BR.

    This also sells so well that Mr Murata cannot ignore it anymore and Meguro adopts the engine for their first small motorcycle(the model BHK?).They also sell the engine to other assembly manufacturers and to the other Meguro branch industry,the Monarch Motor co.,for their Pony model.
    Abe using the funds,for auto race engine development,that were granted by the ministry of trade and industry(!!!) they develop a new,quite revolutionary.engine.An OHV V twin of 350cc. abestartwin_zps699e6dde.
    The CV 350 V twin.With double telescopic front end! OHV V-twin 338cc, 11.8 bhp / 4,200 rpm.

    In 1952 the CV 350 comes out.This was a sophisticated for the era motorcycle with high performance and at 250000 yen it had the same price as the Meguro 500.
    abestarbroc_zps221ff0bd.
    Another brochure with the CV 350.I didn't find any picture of a surviving CV.

    In 1953 they sell an enlarged version of the BR 150.It is called the GR 200
    abe1953AveryStarsGR200cc_zpsc083efc4.
    Abe Star GR 200.198 cc,60X70mm,5,8hp,3 speed gearbox.With all these external oil pipes and exposed wires the engine has a pre war look.

    But the auto race plan(whatever that was) doesn't go well and the depression of the economy in 1954 brings the Abe management to bankruptcy in October of that year.
    In February 1955 Kobayashi Motors from Nagoya saves the co.and the Abe motor company becomes Shinsei co.ltd.(?)
    They make the Abe Star FR 250 and with a 350 version of it the FR1 they enter 2 bikes in the 1st Asama race.
    One takes the 6th place while the other one retires.
    abestar250frohv_zps933ab7fb.
    The FR 250.With a swinging arm rear suspension and adjustable rear spring mounts a la Velocette.

    abestarFR11955yearOHVair-cooledsingle-cylinder349cc_zps6fefca99.
    The FR1 350 from the Asama race.the No 10 is the bike that retired from the race.

    abestar350_zpse1c39ed5.
    And the street version of the 350FR1.It had a 4 speed gearbox.

    In 1956 they introduce a new bike with a unit construction engine the GA 125.It had good performance but at 135000 yen it was expensive and didn't sell well.It is sold together with the FR 250.
    abestar1956AveryGAtype125cc_zps6c8d249d.
    The Abe Star GA 125.55mmX52mm,5,8 hp5500rpm,three gears with rotary shift patern and gearchange lever on the left.

    In 1957 another 125 the AG (?) and a 250 with the unit engine,the FA 250,are sold together with the FR1 350 but Abe is bankrupt once again the same year.
    abefa250_zpsa661f2f3.
    The FA250.

    Kobayashi Motors probably moved the production in Nagoya where they where based and produced and sold a few bikes for the next 2 years,including a new model the FK 250. But in 1959 the Ise bay typhoon damages the factory(like many other factories on the area) and the production finished for good this time

    abestarb_zpsa6da27d2.
    Another GR 200 from '53

    l
     
  15. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

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    Thank you for these well researched and informative posts
    jerry
     
  16. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for the good words monsterman.I put together the next one.It will be ready in 3-4 days.
    Stay tuned...
    Kostas.
     
  17. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi again,today a few things to add to Hiko's old post on the Pointer motorcycles.
    The Pointer was made by Kawanishi Aircraft co, which later became Shin meiwa Industries.
    Kawanishi industries were founded by Kawanishi Samurai(!!!) in 1896 as a textile factory and soon the "JapanWool and Textile co."established a big number of industries to become Kawanishi conglomerate.
    In 1920 they invest in Nakajima aircraft co. and the son of the founder,
    Kawanishi Ryuzo,learn the design and production of aircrafts.
    In 1928 they pull out of Nakajima and with some Nakajima engineers they establish the Kawanishi aircraft co.
    They go on and build the flying boats as mentioned in Hiko's post earlier,
    together with textile machinery until the war.
    pointerKawanishiType2_zps17b24c3b.
    Kawanishi flying boat Type 2This was the biggest of it's kind in the world.

    Kawanishi Ryuzo designed the famous(or infamous)zero fighter planes of WW2.
    After the war,since they were not allowed to build airplanes anymore,they decide to start the production of a small motorcycle engine.
    They rebuild the Naruo factory that was used for the Kawanishi airplanes and was heavily bombed.

    pointerakituNaruofactory_zps860b77e6.
    An advertisment with the Naruo factory and the 3 wheel truck (kurogane) Akitu that ShinMeiwa were making together with the Pointer.In 1956 Daihatsu took over the production of Akitu to make the Daihatsu Midget.

    The first engine was a 56cc two stroke clip on engine.
    In 1946 they develop the first 4stroke.It was a 142cc side valve to sell to other small industries but also to use on their own bike.
    pointer1946_zps414db1cf.
    This is outside the Naruo factory with the prototypes of the142 cc bike in 1946(or is it the 56cc?). Everything looks very lightly constructed,should be the 56cc.

    pointerShowa29Bicyclesbike_zpsd0a65451.
    This,I believe is the first 2stroke 56cc.
    PointerSB_zps0cda11ed.
    The side valve Pointer 142cc.The model is called SB according to the caption of this picture.

    pointer_ok2-a_zps88ea6d89.
    .And another one with girder forks.This one is tagged:model OK2.

    It was the only engine on the market at the time and they sold well.
    In 1949 the company name changes to Shinmeiwa Kogyo co. and they expand into specialised vehicles and airplanes again.
    The motorcycle side of the business is also expanding and in 1951 they produce a 148cc OHV engine.

    pointerbr_zpsb8dce06b.
    Pointer brochure with various models from 1953.

    In 1953 they make the Pointer Comet PC 150cc.They sell 700 bikes per month and they pass Honda in production numbers.Also in '53 they enter a150cc Comet in the first Nagoya TT race and finish 14th.

    pointer1953Comet53PCtype150cc_zps8cbe2f63.
    The PC 150 OHV 57X58mm 5,6 hp/4800rpm

    In 1955 Kawanishi Ryuzo dies and the same year they participate in the 1st Asama race with a 248 cc OHV Pointer PA model and finish in the 3d position.But for the 125 class they choose a yamaha engine to race with.There they realise the potential of the 2 stroke engine but also how much cheaper and easier it is to produce.

    pointerNobuoMori_zpsb7ec7b69.
    a picture from the Asama race.The man with the coat is Nobuo Mori the manager of the Naruo factory.
    The bike with the No 76 took 3d place.The rider is named Tamura.

    pointerpaasama_zps2ffadf13.
    Pointer PA 250 at Asama.

    The same year they market the Ace PA 250 OHV.

    pointerAce4st250ccair-cooledsingle1955_zps518fdfb1.
    Pointer Ace 250 1955.

    In 1956 they make the model Ace PA 4 or PE4,their first 2 stroke bike.

    pointeracePA-IVKogyoShinmeiwa_zps4e58cc85.
    Pointer PA 4.

    In 1957 they make the Ace PA 7 250 OHV,the last four stroke Pointer and the same year their first attempt into small bikes the Lassie 90cc step thru.

    pointeracePA71957modelyear_zpsa9669119.
    Pointer PA 7.182 kg heavy with 12 PS only!

    pointer90cc_zps61e46c3f.
    The Pointer Lassie 90cc had rubber in torsion for suspension.Like the English Greeves.

    Next follows a 125 step thru with the PE4 engine,named Bikelet(?)

    pointerbikeletPSK125cc1960_zps2f5f42d6.
    The Bikelet with the 125 engine of the PA4 and trendy colour.

    In 1960 they become a subsidiary of Hitachi and they aim to enter full scale airplane production.They change the name of the company into
    ShinMaywa Industries Co., Ltd.A name they still have today.
    In '61 they make the Super Lassie 90cc.A two stroke sports motorcycle and the Pointer Ace PT 250.They also make a prototype 350 with the PT cycle parts but the brakes and the frame prove too weak for the performance of it.

    POINTERSUPERLASSIE90cc1961-1962_zps688bfa46.
    Pointer Superlassie 90cc.

    PointerPAT-2161displacement247ccmaximumoutput15ps6000rpm_zps7b5b42d2.
    Pointer PT 250.15hp/6000rpm.

    pointer19626Seniatype125cc_zps49b1af52.
    Also in "61 they make the Pointer Senia (or Senior or Xenia),125 cc,9PS/6000rpm.

    In 1962 they produce the RJ1.A racer to take part at the Japanese clubman TT.It is 125 cc twin with 22PS!!!The rider is Yoshimi Katayama,later to gain fame as a Honda and Yamaha rider.
    A civilian version of this racer the Sports 125 is in the 1962 Tokyo
    MotorShow.
    POINTERSports1963_zps34c02b23.
    The sports 125.

    But it doesn't go into production and in 1963,after another prototype the Pointer JWAX that had mechanical problems,Toshio Ito of Hitachi, Ltd. who was now the president of ShinMaywa decides to stop motorcycle production.The sales were good but the profitability wasn't.

    POINTERJWAX1963_zpsf17ecf90.
    Pointer JWAX.They made 3 prototypes but the connecting rod was breaking at high rpms.The pic is inside the Naruo factory.

    ShinMaywa is still a big corporation with a variety of subsidiaries.
    In 2004 they got independent from Hitachi and they still produce sea planes and body and wings parts for Boeing and Airbus.
    The latest seaplane is the US 2 and together with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Shimadzu are preparing a full program of production, service and maintenance for the Indian sate.

    pointerus11974_zpsf0254230.
    The US1(!) sea plane from 1974.

    pointerUS-2_Shimofusa2012_zps4ccf064d.
    And the US2 of today.

    Other branches of ShinMaywa are making dump trucks,airport passenger bridges,industrial submersible water pumps and automatic multi storey elevator parking systems.This one takes the car from the ground floor and parks it in an available space by itself with no people involved!
    Cheers. pointer_ok2-h_zps9badc6a3.
     
  18. diverde

    diverde New Member

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    hi just joined fourum
    found this thread by accident and just spent 4 hours reading it (LOVED IT THANK YOU).never realised the early jap history was so interesting learned a lot today.only thing i think may be incorrect is where you mention is the olympus 2 stroke boxer being a aircraft starter engine was told by a old friend in germany it was a dkw prototype that never made it in the late thirties then resurrected by the russians in east germany.thank you for all your time and the information.

    regards david lax england (bikes i have mz rt125 1955 ifa bk 350 1954 izh 49 1956 bsa b31 1949 bsa bantam d3 1955honda cbr 600 f2 honda fireblade 1991
     
  19. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi diverde,you're probably right about the 2 stroke twin being a prewar DKW engine
    but even if it was an airplane starter it was definitely a DKW engine since east German MZ ,or IFA earlier, was actually made at the old DKW factory
    and it appeared too soon after the war to be a new ,eastern ,engine.
    As for the Japanese history,I had no idea either how rich it was.
    There is a lot more but it is the high tourist season over here and I don't have free time to continue the research and posting for the moment.
    A new post is coming around the 10th of September.
    Stay tuned and thanks for the feedback.
     
  20. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

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    Xerete Kostas!

    That's all highly interesting stuff you dug up there, it's a great read. Thanks for putting in the work!

    Efkaristo parapoli!
     
  21. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi KZ 25
    Parakalo.
    I am tryiing to put together a new post these days.
    I like your quote:Save the earth...
     
  22. cobraace

    cobraace New Member

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    Hello just joined the forum found it doing a Google search for pointer motorcycles . Great info here I have a pointer ps6 does any body have a picture of one as mine is in boxes.
     
  23. fkostas

    fkostas Ol'Timer

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    Hi cobraace,
    I don't know of any Pointer PS6.Maybe PS stands for Pointer Senia like the Pointer comet was designated PC and the Pointer Ace PA.In this case PS6 is Pointer Senia 6 which is the one in the B&W photo from the Pointer post with the legshields and a box on the rear rack . But other models didn't follow the same trend.The Pointer Bikelet was calledPSK.Could it be PSK instead of PS6?Is yours a 4stroke or a 2stroke?Any photos of the engine or the Gas tank?I have a bunch of pictures of Pointers without model names.Let's find out which one is yours.
    I have seen a Pointer catalogue in English.Were they imported in the U.S.A.?
    Are these enough questions?:smile1:
     
  24. cobraace

    cobraace New Member

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    Thank you for your reply . Yes after looking at the pictures again it is the one with legshields :crazy: the legshields made it look different:lol: here are some pictures of mine came in a box:roll:

    tmp_CAM00293554621068_zps16325aec.

    tmp_CAM00294849980690_zpsd482b818.
     
  25. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

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    In the photo above it says in katakana "Pointer Senia" PS-6 (bottom line).

    (Ego ksero ligo iaponiko.) :)
     
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