Man TT Race (1958)

"Competing for the First Time in the Isle of Man TT Race"
Young Men Put All They Have into this Challenge to the World

Kiyoshi Kawashima was put in charge of the great project of entering the Isle of Man TT competition.

"When that declaration was made, I was wondering who would handle such a huge job," he said. "Then, it was given to me. We immediately started working on a prototype engine, which was finished by the end of the year. However, the Old Man was being troublesome, people all around us were being troublesome, everybody was telling us what to do, and the situation was a mess. I told them, please make us into a specialized unit or I won't go on with this, and the response was the simple, 'Do it!' We started what was called the Number 2 Research Section and brought in engine design men, body design men, assembly men, riders, and a team manager. We were attached directly to the top, with only the Old Man above us. this was after the second Asama race. The engine was handled by Tadashi Kume and Kimio Shinmura, and the body by Toshiji Baba, who had been on the verge of starvation in Scõo Paulo. The riders were members of the Honda Speed Club, an in-house organization created when we entered at Asama. In those days, we could decide things by asking a question and getting a show of hands, so I don't remember if we ever had any directives. So all of us, from the engine men on out, were nonconformists in one way or another," he added, laughing. "Anyone who was a respectable engineer wouldn't have considered getting into anything so reckless as competing in the Isle of Man TT Race. As for us, from the Old Man on down, none of us were respectable."

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 Man TT Race (1958)

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