Japanese classics: Real classics

Japanese classics
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Japanese classics? Those are fully accepted classics. But actually quite a recent phenomenon. European and American motorcycles? They were already there before 1900. And in 1900 Japan was only kind of freeing itself from what for us was a kind of Middle Ages 2.0.

Ladies and gentlemen, historians, I know I am doing the Land of the Rising Sun very short. But to get to the basics of life's most important side effects: Serious motorcycle production in Japan didn't amount to much until the very beginning of the XNUMXs.

Japanese classics: everything within a lifetime

That actually changed in an enormously interesting way: The Japanese Motorcycle History took place in practice under our eyes. Within one lifetime.

First we Europeans found Japanese motorcycles just weird. The first major Japanese, 250 cc Dreams' arrived in 1959 in Hamburg. They didn't look. But were technically very progressive. And from the very first day at least technically as reliable as the best that Europe had to offer. They came after the lighter models that, in the eyes of the phlegmatically arrogant British motorcycle makers, were so ridiculous that they almost had to smile. But the British were not worried. The Japanese would never have a chance on the market for heavy motorcycles.

'May not join in'

After the CB450 was presented, that 444 cc machine in England drove the British 650 twins in mind during club competitions. The British reacted fantastic: They banned the CB450s. Club races were for standard production engines. And a motorcycle with two overhead camshafts and torsion bar valve suspension? That was not a standard machine. Problem solved.

The Honda CB750, and you don't want to know how many technical differences have been made under that flag, has rightly become legendary. The Kawasaki three-cylinder. The Suzuki T500s, the six-cylinder, the Goldwing ... They are all in the canon of engine history.

They were not worth a drop

And yet a great many of us have experienced the time that those machines as second or 'so many' hands machines weren't worth dripping. You often hear that now under the chapter 'If only I had bought or kept it'. A Kawa five hundred with an already priceless Robinson brake with eight ascending shoes, an E-Glass polyester combat kit and three expansion exhausts? I bought it for 800 guilder on the Utrecht Canal Island well before it changed to Klein Tehran. A nice K1 for 15090 guilder. An XS1 for 1250 guilders. "If only I had kept them." A very nice T500 for 1000 tolerated.

In the meantime, of course, there is the Classic Japanese Motorcycle Association

And turn on the 10e November in the agenda. Then the club organizes a show day on which 70 shows off those pieces of historical Japanese heritage in top condition. In addition, extra attention is paid to the 50th birthday of the CB 750. The Suzuki T500 and the Yamaha XS1 also see Abraham.

The show is at Hotel De rijper Eilanden in de Rijp. It lasts from 12.00 / 18.00 hours. And if there is another Japanese topper in your garage, you can register it via

And the current club magazine contains the entire model history of the CB750. And if England declares war on the Japanese, it is because the Trident T150 is provided with a pre / unit block in that text. Well ... Knowing the British: That could have been just like that.

Japanese classics


Give a reaction
  1. Maybe just a really old Japper. With 50 years a GWing onion 82 feels fresh and fruity.
    By the way, is it a tactical date, on or after December 1 had there been a lot fewer Jappers?

    • As one of the co-founders of the KJMV, I welcome everything. But the CBF125 from 2011 is one of the things where Soichiro would turn like a fan in his grave. What a cheaply made trash

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