Author Topic: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?  (Read 582 times)

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Offline BRT-GTR

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Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« on: December 10, 2016, 12:43:27 PM »
    I was having a look for  the history of Tohatsu and came across this :-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrRp9Ix0jfU

   Did BS buy out Tohatsu or were they simply able to recruit Tohatsu staff when they pulled out of motorcycle production. I'll bet our dear friend Graham Weeks would have known.
    Can you see any similarity between the two makes that would suggest cross fertilisation of design ideas took place.
       Brian.
Growing old is compulsory, Growing up is optional.

Offline OldSwartout

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 06:05:48 PM »
According to one of Graham's posts, both Lilac and Tohatsu engineers were hired to help design Bridgestones.
Karl Swartout
Mooresville, IN
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BS350 GTR

Offline mike ridley

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 09:58:30 AM »

In 2013 I was lucky enough to go to Japan, for a month.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Ken (Takio) Suzuki,
Ken started out at Tohatsu then onto BS. He also come to as
technical adviser to Stan Shenton  with the Kawasaki GB race team.
I understand that he worked mostly on R & D race machines either for moto-cross
or on the EJR 50cc racers  1/2/3.
Ken is pure motorcycle through and through, and a pleasure to talk with an his english is still good.
My other contact was Atsushi Yokayama, but sadly he past away some six years ago. An like moved
from Tohatsu, BS, Kawasaki, and vespa in Italy. Both seem to work mostly on two-stroke design.
mike ridley.

Offline rwgibbon

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 03:37:28 PM »
Thank you Michael for your in put.
Do you have any trips planned for 2017?

Randy

Offline BRT-GTR

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 04:58:04 PM »
           Mike,
                     Many thanks for your very interesting input. I've since established that financial problems led Tohatsu to cease motorcycle production in 1964. Their entire Race Development team moved to Bridgestone resulting in the production of the BS EJR2 racer. This suggests that BS may indeed have bought out the Tohatsu motorcycle section as indicated in the video description above.
              Brian.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 05:05:58 PM by BRT-GTR »
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Offline paul

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 04:37:11 PM »
I would be curious to see if official Bridgestone corporate history show a buy out of Tohatsu.

Offline paul

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Re: Tohatsu - How much did they influence Bidgestone ?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 05:24:21 PM »
Mick Walker's book Classic Jaapanese Racing Motorcycles published in 1991, state the following in the Tohatsu chapter, page 121. " ..the company announced that it was considering the sponsorship of a factory team for the 1964 European GP season...unfortunately, the idea was to remain but a dream..in February 1964 , the company was declared bankrupt. All the remaining racers, including spares, jigs, and tools were purchased  by John Honda..Meanwhile after the bankruptcy, almost all the engineers formally employed by Tohatsu moved to the Bridgestone Motor Company" This implies to me that the unemployed Tohatsu engineers found employment at BS Motor. This doesn't imply a purchase of a bankrupt company.Walker states that the Tohatsu racing twin is the basis for the Bridgestone EJR-2. I disagree, I don't see enough similarities. The Tohatsu is an air cooled piston port design with 6 gears and the EJR-2 is water cooled  dual rotary valve design with 10 gears.

 


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