MXA TAKES OVER
GO TO THE SUGO
Location: Murata, Japan
Distance: 215 miles north of Tokyo
Going to an All-Japan National
allows you to look into a crystal ball to
see the bikes and parts of the future.
These races are the testing grounds
for the Japanese manufacturers, but
they are not closely watched by U.S.
fans. The factories’ secrets are somewhat safe in their ancient homeland.
Oh, photos are leaked from time to
time, but information about how,
when or what’s coming down the
pipeline is far from accurate. Loyalty
is the supreme virtue in Japanese culture. This is a culture where warriors
would commit suicide if they lost a
battle. There are no leaks in data or
secrets until the information leaves
the Japanese shores.
This was not my first All-Japan
National. This was my fourth trip to
the Land of the Rising Sun in three
years and my third All-Japan National.
During my first trip in 2014, I saw the
prototype Showa BFRC (Balance Free
Rear Cushion) shock on Akira Narita’s
Factory CRF450, which also had a
titanium tank that came standard on
the 2017 CRF450. The Showa BFRC
shock will see its first production year
in 2018 on the all-new RM-Z450. In
2015 I saw the all-new KX450F and
RM-Z250 in factory form, long before
their public releases. Both the YZ450F