Engine concepts drawn up overnight

Aerial view of Moto Honda da Amazonia, photographed in 1981.

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Following such market research it was concluded that Honda should develop a motorcycle that was above all practical and durable; and that it should have an engine with a maintenance-free, four-cycle design.

Immediately on their return from abroad, Inagaki and Miyachi submitted their findings to the Board of Directors at the R&D Center. Upon hearing the report, Tadashi Kume, the center's managing director, told Inagaki to "bring me some triangles, a compass and graph paper."

Inagaki was puzzled by the request, but nevertheless, he fetched the items for Kume and started out for home. All the way, though, he was curiously uneasy about what Kume was planning.

"Then it hit me, when I was enjoying that first meal at home after such a long time," he said. "Mr. Kume was drawing up a new engine concept." That same night, Inagaki drew up a concept for a lightweight, OHV inline single-cylinder engine with a short pushrod; an idea much like the one he had thought of on the flight home to Japan. The following morning, Kume walked into the engineering design room with an engine layout, just as Inagaki had expected. His plan beautifully and precisely depicted an OHV engine, despite the fact that it had been drawn freehand. Inagaki, too, presented his conceptual drawing.

"We learned a lot by comparing ideas," Inagaki said. "In the end, Mr. Kume kindly said, 'your lightweight, short-pushrod design is an interesting one,' so my plan was selected."
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