A Rare Japanese HKS Speedway Special From The 1970s – Selling For ~$450 USD

This is a rare HKS Speedway Special from 1976, it was designed and built for Japanese Auto Racing – a form of motorcycle racing somewhat similar to American flat track racing but held exclusively on wide tarmac ovals.

HKS is a globally renowned Japanese aftermarket tuning company based at the foot of Mount Fuji. The company started in the same location all the way back in 1973 in a disused dairy shed when former Yamaha engineer Hiroyuki Hasegawa and Goichi Kitagawa formed the company with funding by Sigma Automotive.

The company name was taken from the first letter of each founder’s surname with the letter “S” for Sigma.

Although HKS is now famous for its racing exploits and its broad range of aftermarket parts for Japanese sports cars they have also done signifiant work in the motorcycle racing world including superbikes and back in the early days of the company – Japanese Auto Racing.

The HKS Speedway Special you see here is powered by an in-house developed HKS 600cc single cylinder engine, it’s an air-cooled long-stroke unit with double overhead cams, a single carburettor, and a single exhaust however further information is scarce – we don’t know how many valves it has, what compression ratio it has, what its power output is or much else about its development.

Japanese autoracing is a fascinating sport, it’s mostly seen as a gambling sport in Japan similar to horse racing. Rather than sliding around the corners like in flat track racing, auto racing riders lean their bikes in at impossible looking angles while leaning back and keeping their left foot out. The riders wear armour under their brightly coloured jerseys for protection, and each rider has a distinctive jersey so they’re easily identified by punters observing from trackside.

The only way to really understand Japanese auto racing is to see it, so I’ve added a video below of Guy Martin trying it and competing with Japan’s Auto Racing champion.

Interestingly the riders who compete in auto racing live in closed compounds and they’re not permitted any contact with the outside world for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. The average auto racing rider spends 6 months or so away from home each year – they’re isolated to ensure there is no race fixing. Sadly they never achieve the fame of top racers in other forms of motorsport.

The HKS Speedway Special you see here was built in 1976, we know the engine is an HKS unit thanks to the HKS stamps on the head and crankcase, but company that made the frame is lost to history. The frame is tubular steel and it has a single down tube and a hard tail rear. There is discreet front suspension and a very small fuel tank – enough for just a few laps in order to keep weight as low as possible.

We know that this bike was bought by Mr Morbidelli in the USA however much of the motorcycle’s history is lost to the sands of time. Bonhams estimate that it’ll sell for as little as £250 to £350 ($320 to $450 USD) when it’s auctioned on the 16th of August which makes it seem like the deal of a lifetime for anyone looking for a fascinating piece of motorcycle history.

If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Bonhams.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

Founder + Senior Editor

Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

You can follow Ben on Instagram here, Twitter here, or LinkedIn here.

Recent Posts

  • Australian
  • Cars
  • Classic Cars
  • Hot Rods

Aden’s Hot Rod by Retromotive Magazine

Aden Jacobi rummages through drawer after drawer brimming with artwork that should be framed and mounted on the walls. ‘I’ve… Read More

September 21, 2020
  • Cars
  • Extraordinary Engines For Sale
  • Ferrari

There’s A 533hp Ferrari 612 Scaglietti V12 Engine For Sale On eBay

  This is a complete Ferrari 612 Scaglietti V12, it's listed as being a running engine from a car with… Read More

September 21, 2020
  • British
  • Cars
  • Films

Short Film From 1977: The Rise Of Car Imports On The British Car Industry

This short film first aired on British TV in 1977, in it Shaw Taylor and Tony Bastable take a look… Read More

September 20, 2020
  • Cars
  • Classic 4x4
  • Gadgets
  • Gear

The Tamiya Dynahead 6×6 R/C Truck – The Perfect Vehicle For 2020

  Despite its 1:18 scale the Tamiya Dynahead 6x6 R/C Truck may very well be the perfect vehicle for 2020.… Read More

September 19, 2020
  • American
  • Custom Motorcycles
  • Flat Trackers
  • Japanese
  • Motorcycles

A Honda XR650R Custom Flat Tracker by Mule Motorcycles

My friend Adam Lesley, whom I had previously built a Sportster 1200 Hooligan racer for, approached me with interest in… Read More

September 18, 2020
  • Cars
  • Classic Cars
  • Furniture
  • Home

VW Beetle Club Chair by The Rag and Bone Man

  This is the Beetle Club Chair by The Rag and Bone Man, a company founded by British couple Lizzie… Read More

September 18, 2020

Notice: AMPforWP\AMPVendor\AMP_Post_Template::get was called incorrectly. Called for non-existant key ("metadata"). Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 0.1.) in /home/288206.cloudwaysapps.com/kxhpffkugw/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5225

This website uses cookies.