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2014年6月 6日 (金)

Motorized Bicycle

次回、この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

A few months back, I happened to visit a department store and the bicycle section was promoting rust removal solvents, touch-up paint, chrome polish and other bicycle restoration goods.  There on display was a great "attention-getter", an old motorized bicycle.  Upon close inspection it turned out to be a bicycle manufactured by Maruishi, a company still in the bicycle business.
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It is hard to believe but the famous motorcycle and automobile manufacturer Honda first started out by producing a similar motorized bicycle back in 1947, the Honda A-Type,  also, referred to in Japanese as the Bata-Bata Bike, taken from the sound the engine made.
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The engineering design behind the suspension equipped offest front forks on these old motorized bicycles, or mopeds, is quite interesting.   
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Heavy duty spring to smooth out the bumps.  Road conditions over half a century ago where certainly nowhere near what they are today.
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Japan has come a long way; espescially when one considers two wheeled motorized transportation. None of the big four Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki or Suzuki were producing motorcycles prior to WWII.

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