Classic, Vintage, Old-timer, call it what you will – ‘Historic’ racing is an ever-more globally popular branch of two-wheeled sport, one which frequently attracts improbable participants mounted on unlikely bikes.
Yet few come more unlikely than Japanese Yamaha tuning guru and Over Racing boss, Kensei Sato, and the Royal Enfield 500 Bullet single which he and his son Takeshi race in the country’s LOC Classic racing series.
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Sato is the Japanese artisan of aluminium, creator of a host of deliciously innovative special-framed bikes which have taken shape down the years in the workshop of his Over Racing team headquarters near the Suzuka race circuit.
Each comes equipped with Over’s distinctive oval-section aluminium-tube chassis, and most carry Yamaha engines, like the bikes powered by an Over-tuned XTZ660 five-valve enduro motor, which twice won the European Supermono Championship run as a mid-90s World Superbike support class, or the TDM850-based OV-15 Eurotwin, which came within a wheel of beating Andrew Stroud’s infinitely more exotic Britten V-1000 at Assen in 1992.
Read more in June’s edition of CBG