Trial Magazine - - EXOTICA -

Men­tion the name Masat­sugu Mi­tani, and knowl­edge­able peo­ple in the tri­als world know he is some­thing of a four-stroke Honda tri­als spe­cial­ist. His num­ber-one team rider is To­moyuki Ogawa, who scored two top-ten plac­ings in the Ja­panese World round. To­moyuki speaks very good English and along with Masat­sugu, in his ‘bro­ken English’, they ex­plained about the Honda he was com­pet­ing on.

It’s quite well

known that To­moyuki helps with the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment of the four-stroke Honda en­gine we find fit­ted in the Cota 4RT. The Mi­tani car­ries a def­i­nite ‘works’ look about it. Ev­ery sin­gle part ap­pears to have been taken off, ex­am­ined and im­proved, even if it’s only been pol­ished or an­odised. The heart of the ma­chine is the en­gine. This has seen the cylin­der ca­pac­ity in­creased to 321cc and as I un­der­stand it the stroke was also length­ened.

Dur­ing the trial when on full throt­tle the Honda cer­tainly car­ried a lit­tle deeper ex­haust note, not nois­ier but more throaty, and it was def­i­nitely not short on power!

The other point that they made was the fact that they had man­aged to re­duce the weight of the ma­chine to 73kg. How this was achieved I did not fully un­der­stand though!

While we were talk­ing, a Ja­panese spec­ta­tor ar­rived with a very orig­i­nal 1974/1975 Honda TL 250cc. When I asked what it was for, Masat­sugu bowed and said: “My col­lec­tion”. What a lovely guy.

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