Japanese classics have now become 'main stream'. That is because there are now many people who have their reference / nostalgia framework around 1960-1970. And certainly when it goes towards the mid-1970s - again 40 + years ago - then Japanese memories still play a more important role than names such as Ariel, Vincent, Brough and other greats of the past. And even the time that everyone at 'Norton' thought about software is over. On the other hand: Norton as a motorcycle is back. But that has happened several times before.
So back to the Japanese
The Classic Japanese Motorcycle Association came into existence when a couple of young wandering lights who just came out of it that they liked 'old' Japanese motorcycles around 1986 started talking to each other. That was at the time when old motorcycles, but certainly old Japanese motorcycles, were worth nothing. That price was expressly also a reason to be interested in old Japs. Something about 'being young and having little money'. The appreciation for Eastern genius only came a little later.
There was not much documentation about the Japanese motor heritage outside of yellowed motorcycle magazines. There were no computers yet, let alone the Internet. The Saturday Telegraaf and the small advertisements in the Weekblad Motor, those were the sources that were used for. 'Honda, The Early Classic Motorcycles' by Roy Bacon (publisher Osprey) was studied as if it were the Holy Scriptures.
Ancient Japanese did not cost anything
Okay, the second half of the eighties. If you found a classic Japanese motorcycle there, it would cost little. 950 guilder for a moving CB450 with four-speed. Later 1250 guilder for a beautiful Yamaha XS2. It was younger. So more expensive! A nice CB750 K2 with a good original exhaust system for 2200 guilders? You left it there. Because too expensive. You could find refurbishers or donors for hundreds of guilders. You did the tinkering yourself. And in the process you learned. Such as the fact that early Japanese engines often had poorly documented changes in parts. Then something seemed to fit perfectly until you later noticed that after replacing an 'identical' part, two oil cups really were no longer in line ... Engineers gave you cheering boxes with NOS if you only offered a few guilders plus some filled cakes.
Later it turned out that parts were also for sale, but those turned out to be pricey
Later on it became clear that finding original parts became increasingly difficult and expensive. In the meantime, the parts supply - thanks to the Internet - has become much better, but not much cheaper. A Dutch specialist in classical Japanese parts said: “I never advertise. They will come anyway ”. And that can be true because the young motorcyclists from then are now about forty years away and most now have more to spend. And others apparently find their stuff online with people who do advertise.
That forty years and wider cut means that the quality level within the Classic Japanese Motorcycle Association is now at an impressive level. And 'investing' in a Japanese classic is no longer seen as stupid boyhood. The shining results are there.
Party on November 10
To celebrate all these developments, the Classic Japanese Motorcycle Association, founded in 1987, will hold a club day cum show on November 10, where about 60 iconic (and not necessarily Japanese) classics will be on display.
The great thing is that there are still places left for that show, you can sign up. Then you have a whole summer of fun. Your classic Japanese can therefore proudly stand there. You can register via firstname.lastname@example.org. The party itself starts at 1200 at Hotel de Rijper Eilanden in de Rijp. And of course you are welcome there.