Tohatsu Motorcycle Page

Dedicated to the restoration of Tohatsu motorcycles

            A real long time ago in a far away land. At least according to my grand children. It doesn’t seem that long ago to me. My Father Richard purchased new motorcycles for my brother and myself. When we went looking for motorcycles I sat on all the small motorcycles at all the shops around. Every time I sat on one my feet would not even get close to the ground. I was 8 years old and all of 45 pounds soaking wet. I sat on Honda Yamaha and the bike was just so tall I could not hold it up. Then we found a shop that sold a bike called a Tohatsu. As luck would have it I could sit on the Tohatsu 50 Trailmaster. I could point my toes to the ground and manage to keep the bike from falling over. This shinny new motorcycle was soon mine.

            We lived in a remote portion of Los Angeles County. The town was mostly deserted as Aerospace was down at the time. It was 1962 All of the Antelope Valley was populated by 15,000. This remote town we moved to from the safe secure West Covina seemed on the edge of the earth. Palmdale was soon to be a city and The Antelope Valley Freeway was starting construction. Palmdale had but one traffic signal in the middle of town.

            I soon learned the proper riding tricks from my dad such as how to turn a bike on a hill. Always keep the rear brake on the outside of the hill. Always put your foot down on the up hillside wen stopping on a slope. And how to walk the front end around when turning around on a grade.

            I soon became competitive with my brother who was 2 years my senior. He and I would ride together in the field across from our house. The small dry lake soon became a dirt track oval and I became quite good at power sliding the Tohatsu. In short order I was the king of my dirt track and would lap any competitor that would attempt to keep up with my little Tohatsu. My brother called it the "Not To Hot SU." I think he was upset because I could go so much faster than his Yamaha 80. I rode the Tohatsu from 1962 to 1966 when my brother purchased a Yamaha 180 twin. We also moved to San Bernardino. I then moved up to the Yamaha 80. I rode this until 1968 when I purchased a new DT1 Yamaha 250. I rode the Yamaha 250 and soon purchased the GYT kit. It consisted of a different barrel piston Carburetor and tuned pipe. In 1969 I rode my first desert event the Green Horn 500 Enduro. It was a 500-mile National enduro over 2 days. I placed 8th in the 250 B class. About 475 bikes entered and 137 finished. Today the girly-man events only about 10% fail to complete the event.

About 6 years ago, after the invention of the Internet, I started looking for a Tohatsu Trailmaster. And just before July 4, 2004 I found one up for auction on Ebay. It looked like a possible bike for restoration. As advertised the motor was being sold as a core that was frozen. Once I won the auction and arranged with the seller to pick up the entire bike not just the motor he emailed and stated he could locate another. Great I drove 600 miles and purchased both bikes.

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 I do have some technical information on the bikes I have collected. Please email me if I can help. New pictures when I get a chance.

On Thanksgiving weekend of 2006 I rode the LA to Barstow to Las Vegas Dual Sport Ride on a Tohatsu.

Here is the complete story.  [Tohatsu LA B to V] 


Now starts the work. Bike #1

This is bike #2


After about 80 hours of work.