Find or Sell Motorcycles & Scooters in USA

Racing vows renewed at Motegi

Mon, 04 Oct 2010

Over the weekend, an aged Japanese racer reacquainted himself with one of his early loves.

Celebrating 50 years of Suzuki racing, Mitsuo Ito took his former flame, the RM63, for a trip down memory lane and a lap around the Motegi circuit.

The miniscule 50cc race bike was born from the legend of MZ employee Ernst Degner's defection from East Germany to Japan during the early days of the Cold War. Using his highly advanced knowledge of two-stroke engineering principles and his undoubted abilities as a rider, Degner rode the 1962 version of bike to that year's 50cc World championship. For 1963 Suzuki were determined to crack the 50cc race at the Isle of Man TT, Mitsuo Ito was fielded alongside an impressive entry of eight other RM63s.

Even today, considering it’s diminutive size and 49cc engine capacity the disc-valve induction RM63 wasn’t a slouch on the straight hitting a smidge over 109mph.

In honour of Ito-san and his legendary win at the 1963 Isle of Man 50cc TT race, a special commemorative coin was minted to celebrate his record as the only Japanese rider to win at the island.

Head over to YouTube to watch this clip of this tiny racer blipping away.

1963 Suzuki RM63 Specifications

Engine type Air-cooled 49.64 cc single cylinder rotary valve 2-stroke. 11 ps/ 13.000 rpm.
Bore x stroke 40.0 x 39.5 mm
Compression ratio 8.8:1
Top speed 109mph
Clutch type Dry multiple plates
Transmission 9 gears
Tyres 2.00-18 / 2.25-18
Brake type (front) 1 drum, 2 cam
Brake type (rear) 1 drum, 1 cam

By Robin Goodwin

See also: Niall Mackenzie Blog number 4, Leon Haslam replica Arai RX-7 GP, Get down on your knees and play.