Mystery Honda-powered FF racer

This FF racer in Japan was uncovered by Colorado-based FF racer Rob Horn on this Japanese website:

It's clearly an air-cooled Honda single. We believe it's only 100cc.

Note the sophisticated suspension front and rear. And the length of that swinging arm and chain!
I think I would want a short chain to the pivot point so at least the long section was parallel with the swinging arm all the time.

See below for more information uncovered by our Japanese-reading reading friends!


Mystery Honda-powered FF racer

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And then?

As this racer pic seems to date from the 9th. of the 5th. 2010 - or possibly the 5th, of the 9th. etc. - what would be really interesting would be any news of it since. Anyone?

Not to mention a picture with the rider fitted - seems to need fairly odd proportions for a human to be able to reach the foot and hand controls. It's similar to the Alligators in adopting the "C-clamp" riding position, but possibly even more so...

Ian's picture


This is what Mari has translated from the web page

"After that, we went to see the race around the paddock and the pit, we even went up to the top of the paddock. There was a class called Yoshimura 4 Mini Sprint, where small bikes go around in the huge track. Amongst them, there was a bike, on which the rider sits in the ‘American' position. We went to the paddock after the race to check it out. To our surprise, it is made specially with a tubular frame. At a first glance, it wasn’t clear how the link suspension on both front and back worked, but the welding around the frame was superb. It was obvious it was a frame made by a specialist. It must be a FSW special that focused on lowering the aerodynamic drag, which is actually too long for its class.

I looked it up after I came back, it turned out to be an entry by Beater, who are famous for manufacturing aluminium tanks. It makes sense."

(FSW is shorthand for Fuji Speedway - where the race and the meeting took place.)

Kyle Bowker wasn't able to

Kyle Bowker wasn't able to log in here so he posted this to the mc-chassis-design list:

"I'm unable to login into the Bikeweb Feet First Powered Two Wheelers site ( to comment on the picture uploaded there. But my
Google-fu is pretty good and I discovered the rider of that bike is named
Hasebe Keisuke (長谷部 啓介) and it is sponsored by Beater (ビータ), the company
who makes some of the finest aluminum gas tanks known to man. They are
calling it a Honda Ape 100, albeit one that has been extensively modified.
The bike was raced at the MCFAJ race meeting at Fuji Speedway on September
5, 2010 in the Yoshimura 4Mini Sprint Challenge class. MCFAJ hosts club
and vintage motorycle racing events in Japan.

Here are some more pictures

Here are the race results for that meeting. It finished in 7th place out
of 10 riders,



That really is a remarkable demonstration of the lengths motorcyclists will go to to avoid doing the right thing! I thought the rider contact points looked a little 'unergonomic' and these pictures (nice pics!) really make the point.

Why is it so difficult to understand what a comfortable riding position looks like? The one that everyone on earth, except motorcyclists, use? If it's good enough for F.1/LMP drivers (5g forwards, 4.5G lateral etc.) Fighter pilots (6-9G in most directions) why do motorcyclists (having trouble reaching 1G in any direction) have to get into such contortions? Do they still think (it's 2015) that rider position is a control method? Even the IAM has got over that! Here's a clue;- Use the steering to steer.... Do motorcycle "engineers" not do ergonomics as part of their courses? Here's another clue;- race vehicles are for Humans, it helps if they fit....

Possibly a final clue;- Dan Gurneys alligator isn't a mainstream FF (Shock!). Look at what all the other damm fools have done, Rob Horne, he's racing an FF, Monoliner (Cda.21) It's not exactly difficult, not like "superb welding" for instance.

Please guys, it's great that you're seeing past the motorised bicycle but there is other stuff out there to see!

Steps both forward and back...

I'm guessing it is just further proof that motorcyclists are afraid to make too many changes at once, even if all those changes are required to make any of them effective. I don't remember reading about too many jet propelled delta winged...fabric covered biplanes.

On the other hand, it is funny how pictures of the above bike are so hard to find, yet there are very popular photocentric low/no information motorcycle websites devoted to fashionable dimbulbs.

Dim bulbs and biplanes

It's true that innovation tends to be incremental, interupted occaisionally by radical change - just like evolution actually. Aeroplanes moved gradudally from fabric coverings to metal monocoques (so gradually that the RAF were flying jet fighters post WW11 with some fabric covering) But Monoplanes took over as soon as ways were found to build them - the Hurricane was basically a monoplane version of previous Hawker biplane fighters - because they were so much better.

I think there's something else going on with motorcycles though. It seems to me that 'western' society has become much more risk-averse, much less willing to try really new things. Maybe software development has taken over from hardware innovation - it's certainly cheaper and quicker - but that implies that the hardware world has become static and unchanging.

Maybe it's just that there isn't the general knowledge of mechanical engineering that there once was. Software engineering doesn't require any grip of Newtons three laws or Gallileo's key experiment with two cannon balls. So motorcycle 'enthusiasts' have no means of evaluating engineering-based innovation and instead lap up exotic imagery or 'celebrity' endorsement, both tending to showcase what is, rather than what could or should be.

I've certainly had people who race motorcycles (as opposed to motor racers) tell me that they've adapted to E-power for their motorcycles and "isn't that enough?", unaware that what they've adapeted to is efficiency, rather than power, racing.

No doubt that the only way to brighten these bulbs is for people like Rob and Colin to get out there and beat them.