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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah - I know the rule, but when it's a flattie from WWII, we bend a bit. For those interested, I've been on Guam most of this year and recently befriended Roy, the docent of the Pacific War Museum. Very cool place - lots and lots of WWII ephemera.

Anyway - there's a trike in the Museum, and it's not like any I've ever seen. Motor looks vaguely like a WLA - but not quite. Yes - it's Japanese, and supposedly it's the only one on US soil.





Sorry the photos aren't the best. I'm going to try to do a little research on it this evening - and can go back any time to take more pix. It was found abandoned at the Japanese officer's quarters on Guam and supposedly ran a few years ago only if it was tow-started. Based on the broken spark plugs and missing ignition/exhaust, I'd say it's been longer than a couple years ago. Roy claims he keeps the pistons oiled and free.

If you know anything about it, please let me know.

If you like this sorta stuff - I've a blog going with the non M/C stuff in this museum at:

http://dangerboyandpixie.wordpress.com

In the meantime, I'd love to get some details on this little sucker.

Thanks!
 

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Research Rioku,(spelling may be wrong). Harley had a factory in Japan, before WW!!, and built 45's. After the invasion of Pearl Harbor, the japs took over the plant and built jap 45's, and Rioku is what the bikes were called. Maybe no connection, but it sure seems strange that it is a vtwin flatty.
 

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shovithead, you're real close. it was Rikuo, and there's even a short wiki page about them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rikuo_Motorcycle

i see them from time to time here. not all that familiar with them myself, so i can't be sure if that's one of them or not, but it's a place to start.

-dan
 

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hmmm, doesn't look like a Rikuo, the more i look into it. may be one of the Japanese companies' early efforts at copying the HD before finally giving up and buying a license from Harley???

please post up what you learn, i'm immensely interested.

-dan

btw, here's a Rikuo type 97 just for reference.
 

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"Rikuo" was the right name for the Harleys produced under license. An American, Alfred Roth Child, I think his name was, was the go-between, I think the Japanese firm was Sankyo, and the Milwaukee Founders needed the money at the depths of the Great Depression, early '30s. The Japs bought the blueprints and rights to what amounted to H-D's "RL" model 45 (constant-loss oil, 1929-36) and kind of went off on their own from that. The photo below shows that the final drive chain of this one is on the left side, like a VL 74. They took a lot of liberties like that.

This looks like something the Japs might have developed from the Harley technology, but off on a tangent all their own. I'd be very interested, too, in seeing more photos and finding out more.

The Japs left examples of their military motorcycles on islands all over the Pacific Ocean, after their operators left suddenly on hastily-organized banzai charges, 1942-45. This is the only trike with a transverse v-twin I've seen, tho. It probably would run, if someone who knew what they were doing got to pay it a couple hours' attention.

Here's a Rikuo that went in a London auction last year. Someone "restored" it with a pseudo-American Harley paint scheme and decal. Just a photo I snagged offa the 'net:
 

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In Escondido CA at the Steam Tractor Museum, there is a Mazda trike, just like that one sorta, I think it was based off the Indian shaft drive war bike, but ya never know, so there are two In the US and one in the Lower 48!!
........Roach.
 

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I was not implying that it was a Rikou, but just as a start for a search. This one belongs to a local collector, who I will not name, but he is also a member of JJ. I had the luck of meeting him and seeing his 45 and a 74 too. Hope to learn more about yours. So post what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I spotted it in the museum, I figured it was an H-D derived Riuko. The transverse shafty setup is what's thrown me. At first I figured it was a quickie engine relocation job - then I noticed the cooling fins were aligned with airflow.

Nope - designed thataway.

There's virtually no information on these machines that I can find; best I've done so far are grainy pictures of abandoned machines on Pacific islands. This is the beefy one, as near as I can tell - 1000# carrying capacity, three forward speeds and one reverse. Maybe 1000cc.

Documentation is sketchy on origin - finding Sankyo, Riuko, and the predecessor to Mazda as manufacturers. Kind of like the Jeep - Ford made some, too.

I'll try to go back and take some detailed photos with a better camera this week, maybe even float the idea of letting me work on it a bit. Bet a valve lap and lash would go a long ways towards making it start easy. Wonder if they noticed the compression releases?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just got back from a second photo session with the real camera - not the pocket rocket.









It's evident by the addition of the floorboards (blocking exhaust route) the wasp nest where the carb hung, and the overall level of rot this thing hasn't been lit in a ****'s age.



Most damning, however, was the cracked timing cover. A PTO gone bad, methinks.





At this stage of its life - a lump of iron and steel masquerading as a vehicle. I doubt this one will ever run under its own power again.
 

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back in the early 90's at a classic bike rally in hamilton nz somebody turned up with some odd ball japanese trike that ran, produced and lot of blue exhaust smoke, it had been liberated out of singapore

can't remembered if I took a photo or not, but I do rememeber taking a photo of the two 841 Indians that were there
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HMMM the fuel switch position instruction are in English only ????
Sharp eye!

Actually, the trike has been modified a bit - the original wheels looked a lot like 6 lug Divcos, and what's on there now are trailer rims. Same with the diamond plate footboards and the overly-fat front fender to accommodate the later rubber.

Interestingly - and I've not posted a pic on the blog yet of this - there's a landing craft control in the museum, and the first language on the control is English, followed by Japanese. It strikes me as incongruous that controls with be bilingual, yet occupied lands of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (nice name for imperial domination, yes?) were forced to speak only Japanese.
 

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Maybe it's the sole survivor that wasn't parked in Hiroshima or Nagasaki? You know, when we bombed the living fuck out of them
I love Political Incorectness. Not to mention, the truth.
 

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Sharp eye!

Actually, the trike has been modified a bit - the original wheels looked a lot like 6 lug Divcos, and what's on there now are trailer rims. Same with the diamond plate footboards and the overly-fat front fender to accommodate the later rubber.

Interestingly - and I've not posted a pic on the blog yet of this - there's a landing craft control in the museum, and the first language on the control is English, followed by Japanese. It strikes me as incongruous that controls with be bilingual, yet occupied lands of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (nice name for imperial domination, yes?) were forced to speak only Japanese.
hell, i get a kick outta the fact that ALL the controls in the cars over here are all in English. why???

-dan
 
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