Pops Yoshimura

Last updated
Peeps Yoshimura
Born
Hideo Yoshimura

(1922-10-07)October 7, 1922
Fukuoka City, Japan
DiedMarch 29, 1997(1997-03-29) (aged 74)
Japan
OccupationMechanic, entrepreneur
Years active1954–1995

Hideo "Peeps" Yoshimura (October 7, 1922 – March 29, 1995) was a Japanese motorcycle tuner, race team owner, and manufacturer of speciality motorcycle accessories. He is remembered for his ties to the beginnings of Superbike racing and the Yoshimura factory racing team. [1] [2]

Motorcycle two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle

A motorcycle, often called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.

AMA Superbike Championship

MotoAmerica Superbike Championship is an American motorcycle racing series. It is the premier superbike racing series in the United States, part of the American Motorcyclist Association sanctioned events group.

Contents

Motorcycling career

Born in Fukuoka City, Japan, Yoshimura was called into military service during the Second World War where he was trained as an aircraft mechanic. [3] After the war, he began tuning motorcycles for American servicemen stationed in Japan and in 1954, he opened his first shop, with his wife and children helping him. [3] [2] In 1971, he moved his business to Los Angeles at the beginning of the four-cylinder superbike era. He gained a reputation as an excellent motorcycle tuner. [3]

Fukuoka Designated city in Kyushu, Japan

Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, situated on the northern shore of Japanese island Kyushu. It is the most populous city on the island, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972, by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka, with a population of 2.5 million people, is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka–Kitakyushu zone.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

In 1976 the AMA introduced a racing class for production based bikes and Yoshimura established himself by entering fast, reliable Kawasaki Z1 bikes. [3] In 1978 he switched to Suzuki bikes and began winning races. [3] Steve McLaughlin won the 1978 Daytona Superbike race while Wes Cooley and Mike Baldwin won the prestigious 1978 Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan. [2] [4] [5] With Wes Cooley as his rider, Yoshimura claimed the AMA Superbike national championship in 1979 and 1980. [3] Yoshimura formed a close relationship with Suzuki and eventually his team became the official Suzuki factory racing team in the United States. His company experienced success as one of the world's largest performance aftermarket sportbike exhaust manufacturers. [3]

American Motorcyclist Association nonprofit organization

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is an American nonprofit organization of more than 200,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists' legal rights. Its mission statement is "to promote the motorcycling lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling." The organization was founded in 1924 and as of October 2016 had more than 1,100 chartered clubs.

Kawasaki Z1

The Kawasaki Z1 is a four-cylinder, air-cooled, double-overhead camshaft, carbureted, chain-drive, two passenger motorcycle introduced in 1972 by Kawasaki. Following the introduction of Honda's CB750 in 1968, the Z1 helped popularize the in-line, cross-frame four-cylinder a format that became well known as the Universal Japanese Motorcycle or UJM.

Wester Steven Cooley,, better known as Wes, is an American former motorcycle road racer in the AMA Superbike class. He won the 1979 and 1980 AMA Superbike Championships on a Yoshimura Suzuki GS1000s.

Yoshimura died of cancer in 1995. He left a legacy as a master craftsman, tuner and fabricator and was one of the pioneering personalities of superbike racing. [3] In 2000, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. [3] His son continues to operate the company which still enjoys success in the AMA superbike class with rider Mat Mladin winning six championships in seven years, and Ben Spies winning the 2006-2008 championships.

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Transport museum in Pickerington, Ohio

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is an offshoot of the American Motorcyclist Association, recognizing individuals who have contributed to motorcycle sport, motorcycle construction, or motorcycling in general. It also displays motorcycles, riding gear, and memorabilia.

Mat Mladin Australian motorcycle racer

Mathew Mladin is a retired Australian professional motorcycle racer who last raced in 2009, riding a Yoshimura Suzuki in the AMA Superbike series. He won the title seven times, and holds series records for wins, poles (50) and poles in a season (10).

Ben Spies American motorcycle racer

Ben Spies, is an American former professional motorcycle road racer. He is nicknamed "Elbowz" due to his riding style where his elbows protrude outward, Spies won the AMA Superbike Championship for Yoshimura Suzuki in 2006, and successfully defended it in 2007 and 2008.

Yoshimura celebrated its 60th Anniversary event at the 2014 Suzuka 8 Hours race in Japan. Kevin Schwantz and Satoshi Tsujimoto raced a "Pops Yoshimura" special race bike for the Yoshimura Legends race team.

Kevin Schwantz American motorcycle racer

Kevin Schwantz is an American former professional motorcycle road racer. He was the 1993 FIM 500cc world champion.

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References

  1. "Peeps Yoshimura at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Hideo Yoshimura". yoshimura-jp.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Pops Yoshimura at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  4. "1978 Suzuka 8 Hours results". motoracing-japan.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. "Yoshimura Racing History". yoshimura-jp.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.