Saturday, 15 May 2010


Here is a cool Triumph powered Japanese Auto Race bike from the Dan Rouit Flat Track Museum:
This rare Triumph powered racer was found in the early 1990s under a wood pile, behind an antique store in Tokyo. Wayne Bialls, an American car collector from Phoenix, returned to the USA with his prize and proceeded with the restoration. When Bialls decided to sell the machine, he chose the VFT "For Sale" page and a quick call to Dan resulted in it being added to the growing museum collection. Dan’s good friend Aver Hensley, from Clovis, provided a proper set of handlebars, additional chroming and installation of the knee hook and number plates. The motorcycle was most likely raced until the early 1980s.
The picture above shows another Autoracer fitted with a twin cylinder Triumph 650cc engine, whilst the picture below is a Japanese Meguro engine, showing it's Triumph ancestry very clearly.
This Autoracer above looks like a Japanese Kyokuto KT2. * Thanks to Bennie Ludolphy we now know that this bike is not a Kyokuto but a twin cylinder, DOHC 4-valve Toyo; see this update *.

Kyokuto, (roughly translated as "sunrise" or "rising-sun"), were one of the oldest motorcycle engine firms in Japan. The Kyokuto Motor Industry Co Ltd produced its first engine in the mid 1930s, and ironically, the family name behind the company was Honda, in no way linked to the Honda Company of today. By the early 1960s, Kyokuto were producing around thirty 350cc and 500cc single cylinder engines every month
Todays Autoracers are powered by Suzuki SEAR (Suzuki Engine Auto Race) units, mostly AR600 twins but 500cc units are also produced for the novice riders.
Many other engines have been used in Auto Race over the years including BSA, EiCoH and HKS Hasegawa. At least two Kyokuto engines have found their way to the UK and are in private collections. I also know of at least one complete HKS powered Auto Racer in a UK collection too.


  1. The red bike is not a Kyokuto because they not made a twin cylinder for autoracing only single
    cylinder engines.

  2. I had my doubts about this one in fairness. The KT1 and KT2 were indeed both 500cc singles, but I have also seen a twin port KT unit and also a prototype 600cc twin engine made in the 1980s. Any ideas as to what the engine in the red bike actualy is anybody? The cam chain cover is certainly reminiscent of the Kyokuto design.

  3. The engine in the red bike is Toyo 2 Cyl, Dohc.
    Very interesting what writing in your comment, but I never seen the twin port KT and a prototype 600cc twin.??? would love to see more of these two.
    There is a HKS Twin cylinder type HR with 663cc.

  4. Thankyou "Anonymous" you obviously know your auto race bikes. The Kyokuto twin I saw was in Holland fitted to a sidecar motoX outfit. The owner told me it was a prototype, but you can never be sure. There are some photos of HKS and Toyo machines on subsequent posts. Thanks for dropping by... ciao. BCB

  5. Interesting because I am from Holland, and remember that sidecar Motor outfit. It was used by the Father of former Dutch Grand Prix rider Patrick van de Goorbergh.
    The outfit was a combination of a BSA and a Kyokuto KT1 engine but I am sure he never used a 600c prototype.
    I have from that outfit a pic that was published in a motorcycle magazine.
    The Toyo engine was 1 of the first Japanese autorace engines with a DOHC 4V head.
    See the last pic in the mystery section.

  6. I only know of two people in Holland who have this depth of knowledge... Cok Van De Heuvel and Bennie Ludolphy, is that you Bennie? My friends Roy Young and Ian Paterson speak very highly of you if it is. It was a long time ago that Cok introduced me to the owners of some very rare Japanese engines, including the EiCoH and Kyokuto. Something may have been lost in translation as I always believed the engine to be a prototype, it seems I could be wrong now! A combination of BSA and Kyokuto you say? Now that sounds interesting!

  7. I am Bennie.
    If you are interested I will try to find that pic and article of the BSA (Frame) and Kyokuto engine for you but the quality is very poor.
    And who is the Black Country Biker ?

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  9. Hi Adrian.
    The (Red) Toyo bike is on diplay in the Ogano Motorcycle museum.
    Interesting on this red bike is the camdrive.
    There is a rollerchain that is connected with the (front) exhaust cam.
    Both cams are connected by gears in the head.
    The (Green) Toyo bike is allmost the same, but on this one the camchain is connected with the (rear) inletcam.
    Here is link to the Ogano museum in Japan.


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Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disenchanted City Boy who rode out of the fast lane and into the back lanes! Life on Two Wheels is so much fun.