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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ran across this while wasting time. I guess these strange beasts are a thing in Japan.
 

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MOTORADOR
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Yeah, those races are pretty amazing.

It's very telling of how much traction you can actually get out of skinny tires when you are smooth on your control inputs.
Notice how the yellow rider treats the entire course as a single, wide and constant curve so he never needs to stress his tires with changes in speed or lean angle. I doubt he'd fare very well on a regular racetrack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, those races are pretty amazing.

It's very telling of how much traction you can actually get out of skinny tires when you are smooth on your control inputs.
Notice how the yellow rider treats the entire course as a single, wide and constant curve so he never needs to stress his tires with changes in speed or lean angle. I doubt he'd fare very well on a regular racetrack.
Pretty amazing stuff. Yep on smooth inputs. When learning to race, we ultimately find you must go slow to go fast.

The tire patch on that thing must be that of a bicycle. Crazy.
 

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Yeah, those races are pretty amazing.

It's very telling of how much traction you can actually get out of skinny tires when you are smooth on your control inputs.
Notice how the yellow rider treats the entire course as a single, wide and constant curve so he never needs to stress his tires with changes in speed or lean angle. I doubt he'd fare very well on a regular racetrack.
Definitely not with those handlebars :oops:
 

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I guess the winner's bike is the Japanese version of flat trackers. This race must have been some kind of joke or promo effort since they had one purpose built bike for this track take on race bikes and super motos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the winner's bike is the Japanese version of flat trackers. This race must have been some kind of joke or promo effort since they had one purpose built bike for this track take on race bikes and super motos.
Check this one out. It's a thing there.
 

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I wonder if any of these guys can walk a straight line on their own two feet?

I dig how the numbers on their jerseys are at an angle. Racing culture in Japan is fascinating to me. Has anyone ever checked out the van racing they do over there?? Dajiban: basically big 18-passenger Dodges with everything gutted... looks like a blast o_O
 

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Yes, it's Friday and I'm ready for the weekend.
Same here Geo, it'll be a good one. I doubt I'll be getting out to do any serious riding but I may do some 8s on the street just to get a little seat-time. One of my neighbors just picked up one of those big Victory full-dressers (like an Electra Glide I guess) and he's been wanting to practice with me. He's still rusty but honing the skills (y)
 

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MOTORADOR
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Everyone: Any plans for the weekend?

Geo Smith:


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Same here Geo, it'll be a good one. I doubt I'll be getting out to do any serious riding but I may do some 8s on the street just to get a little seat-time. One of my neighbors just picked up one of those big Victory full-dressers (like an Electra Glide I guess) and he's been wanting to practice with me. He's still rusty but honing the skills (y)
I'm sealing my rusty tank over the weekend, so no bikey for me. But the weather will be hot and beautiful, so pool and beer time's a must for me.
 

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I worked for a couple of years for Ebara Corporation which is a huge Japanese company and their engineers were a really fun bunch of guys and gals to work with. GREAT sense of humor and easy to make laugh. I still have my hard hat with their writing on it that they said meant 'Crazy like a pepper' or something like that. I've got no idea but they all thought it was funny as hell so we got along just fine....except for the 'Old Man' who was a grumpy old bastard and every Japanese engineer was afraid of him...and for good reason. I can picture him being the head of a prisoner of war camp...you know like the one that ate the livers of prisoners they killed. Kept everyone on their toes!

One day I was walking past the meeting room and the 'Old Man' was screaming at the top of his lungs about something...really pitching a fit and blowing a gasket. I asked about that afterwards and the fellow Satoshi apologized that I'd heard it and said that was the 'normal meeting' with him. Crazy. I spent a lot of time working with Satoshi and he said he enjoyed our conversations because my vocabulary was more extensive than most of the others at the plant and he really liked if I used a word he was not familiar with. The 'Old Man' complained that he was 'too American' with how he dealt with problems as the Japanese are VERY concerned with 'saving face' and you can't be direct with an observation and suggestion...you have to kind of work your way around it and let the other person come to the conclusion you want before you actually say it...let THEM offer the solution! Great idea but it's VERY cumbersome in practice and trying to solve complicated problems is difficult enough without having to worry about the other persons feelings. A side effect of this is that we'd almost NEVER have one of the Japanese engineers admit that there was a mistake...that's MAJOR loss of face, so they try to just add something else to fix a problem...'we didn't make a mistake...we just didn't go far enough'!! This sort of explains why some Japanese things seem so complicated...they kept adding to it until it worked rather than just doing a redesign to fix whatever was not working right. Interesting people and I have much fondness for them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I worked for a couple of years for Ebara Corporation which is a huge Japanese company and their engineers were a really fun bunch of guys and gals to work with. GREAT sense of humor and easy to make laugh. I still have my hard hat with their writing on it that they said meant 'Crazy like a pepper' or something like that. I've got no idea but they all thought it was funny as hell so we got along just fine....except for the 'Old Man' who was a grumpy old bastard and every Japanese engineer was afraid of him...and for good reason. I can picture him being the head of a prisoner of war camp...you know like the one that ate the livers of prisoners they killed. Kept everyone on their toes!

One day I was walking past the meeting room and the 'Old Man' was screaming at the top of his lungs about something...really pitching a fit and blowing a gasket. I asked about that afterwards and the fellow Satoshi apologized that I'd heard it and said that was the 'normal meeting' with him. Crazy. I spent a lot of time working with Satoshi and he said he enjoyed our conversations because my vocabulary was more extensive than most of the others at the plant and he really liked if I used a word he was not familiar with. The 'Old Man' complained that he was 'too American' with how he dealt with problems as the Japanese are VERY concerned with 'saving face' and you can't be direct with an observation and suggestion...you have to kind of work your way around it and let the other person come to the conclusion you want before you actually say it...let THEM offer the solution! Great idea but it's VERY cumbersome in practice and trying to solve complicated problems is difficult enough without having to worry about the other persons feelings. A side effect of this is that we'd almost NEVER have one of the Japanese engineers admit that there was a mistake...that's MAJOR loss of face, so they try to just add something else to fix a problem...'we didn't make a mistake...we just didn't go far enough'!! This sort of explains why some Japanese things seem so complicated...they kept adding to it until it worked rather than just doing a redesign to fix whatever was not working right. Interesting people and I have much fondness for them. :)
That is fascinating Rob. What an experience. When I was in grad school one our main focuses was on Japanese manufacturing systems. Remember Edwards Deming and Kaizen? We were extraordinarily interested their QC systems, and how they could be so much belter than us at making things.

The story goes that an American car manufacturer hired a Japanese company to build a component of one of their cars. And being very strict with quality control the American company stressed to the Japanese company they would accept no more than a 2% failure rate in the products they received from the Japanese company. This confused the Japanese company, so they sent two bad products out of every one hundred shipped. They had no acceptable failure rate. Amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The video reminds me of Japanese Keirin racing. Everything that goes into being one of those racers is intense.
I had to look that one up Jayson. Yes, that looks very intense. It reminds me of the velodrome we had at LSU, but much bigger. And their training regime is crazy.
 

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That is fascinating Rob. What an experience. When I was in grad school one our main focuses was on Japanese manufacturing systems. Remember Edwards Deming and Kaizen? We were extraordinarily interested their QC systems, and how they could be so much belter than us at making things.

The story goes that an American car manufacturer hired a Japanese company to build a component of one of their cars. And being very strict with quality control the American company stressed to the Japanese company they would accept no more than a 2% failure rate in the products they received from the Japanese company. This confused the Japanese company, so they sent two bad products out of every one hundred shipped. They had no acceptable failure rate. Amazing.
When I was at P&W we had a big meeting in the conference hall with a movie and speech about how we need to do better and that the Japanese are killing us. This was 1990 or so and both Ford and Mazda produced the same automatic transmission at the time so they had an independent company tear both versions apart, measure them to the ten-millionth and report on their findings. The Ford built transmission used 98% of the tolerance while the Japanese version only used 5%...and they were imploring us to do better work. At that time my ass was still on fire from being burned on my quarterly performance evaluation where I was gigged for 'taking too long and making the parts too good'. Can you believe they'd even SAY such a thing? But what it was...when turning something down when you get to the maximum allowable dimension I was told to stop...going farther into the mean dimension is wasting time and tooling. Same goes for inside dimension so they said if I turned in everything I built with near perfect dimensions (which I prided myself in doing) I was 'wasting time'. I was hot....so all of a sudden I couldn't control myself and stood up in this meeting and let the speaker HAVE IT...ALL of it. Boiled down it wasn't US who were the problem as everyone I worked with were some of the best people in the aerospace industry and did excellent work....but it was the guys in the suits down in front who were writing furiously on their note pads who were the problem. Let us alone and we'll BEAT the Japanese...you can count on it.

Well..the place literally erupted with about a 3 minute standing ovation and I found out later this meeting was teleconferenced to all of United Technology and standing-O's were had in every place it was being shown. Caused quite a stir. But trying to maximize productivity is an American Ideal while the Japanese DO try to make things as good as possible...as do many workers in technology fields. The 'bean counters' are the enemy...not the workers.

The Chinese we've worked with were largely the same way. I knew a fellow who was building a VW based 4 cylinder engine for experimental aircraft use who was getting his crankshafts made in China. He sent them the prints and as soon as they got there he got a phone call because they didn't understand what the 'tolerance' meant. He'd given them the 'min', 'max' and 'mean' dimensions and tried to get them to understand that anything within those numbers was good...but they just couldn't get it...so he said..'Make them to the middle number'....and they were happy. He went over to inspect the first batch of cranks when they were ready and they presented them in containers full of oil and gave him a set of mic's to check them....all were within the measuring capability of the mic or 1/10,000'th of an inch. He was impressed and then asked how many rejects there were? The foreman lowered his head and painfully admitted that there were some that didn't pass and the workers had been severely punished! When he asked to see the rejects they were very reluctant but eventually gave in and let him see them. They looked great and all measured well within the tolerances...just not perfect. So he suggested that they regrind them .001" undersized and then they could be sold with undersize bearings and all would be good! The foreman almost dropped to his knees to kiss his feet because he'd likely just saved some of his children from the gulags or something. They REALLY wanted to do good work! Got to like that in a people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When I was at P&W we had a big meeting in the conference hall with a movie and speech about how we need to do better and that the Japanese are killing us. This was 1990 or so and both Ford and Mazda produced the same automatic transmission at the time so they had an independent company tear both versions apart, measure them to the ten-millionth and report on their findings. The Ford built transmission used 98% of the tolerance while the Japanese version only used 5%...and they were imploring us to do better work. At that time my ass was still on fire from being burned on my quarterly performance evaluation where I was gigged for 'taking too long and making the parts too good'. Can you believe they'd even SAY such a thing? But what it was...when turning something down when you get to the maximum allowable dimension I was told to stop...going farther into the mean dimension is wasting time and tooling. Same goes for inside dimension so they said if I turned in everything I built with near perfect dimensions (which I prided myself in doing) I was 'wasting time'. I was hot....so all of a sudden I couldn't control myself and stood up in this meeting and let the speaker HAVE IT...ALL of it. Boiled down it wasn't US who were the problem as everyone I worked with were some of the best people in the aerospace industry and did excellent work....but it was the guys in the suits down in front who were writing furiously on their note pads who were the problem. Let us alone and we'll BEAT the Japanese...you can count on it.

Well..the place literally erupted with about a 3 minute standing ovation and I found out later this meeting was teleconferenced to all of United Technology and standing-O's were had in every place it was being shown. Caused quite a stir. But trying to maximize productivity is an American Ideal while the Japanese DO try to make things as good as possible...as do many workers in technology fields. The 'bean counters' are the enemy...not the workers.

The Chinese we've worked with were largely the same way. I knew a fellow who was building a VW based 4 cylinder engine for experimental aircraft use who was getting his crankshafts made in China. He sent them the prints and as soon as they got there he got a phone call because they didn't understand what the 'tolerance' meant. He'd given them the 'min', 'max' and 'mean' dimensions and tried to get them to understand that anything within those numbers was good...but they just couldn't get it...so he said..'Make them to the middle number'....and they were happy. He went over to inspect the first batch of cranks when they were ready and they presented them in containers full of oil and gave him a set of mic's to check them....all were within the measuring capability of the mic or 1/10,000'th of an inch. He was impressed and then asked how many rejects there were? The foreman lowered his head and painfully admitted that there were some that didn't pass and the workers had been severely punished! When he asked to see the rejects they were very reluctant but eventually gave in and let him see them. They looked great and all measured well within the tolerances...just not perfect. So he suggested that they regrind them .001" undersized and then they could be sold with undersize bearings and all would be good! The foreman almost dropped to his knees to kiss his feet because he'd likely just saved some of his children from the gulags or something. They REALLY wanted to do good work! Got to like that in a people.
Damn Rob, you've been around the block a few times. Pratt & Whitney is a heavy hitter. In respect to the "productivity being an American thing", I don't fully agree. The Japanese were building a better product, and they were doing it more efficiently. I think Deming found their systems were superior to ours, in addition to their natural "do it better" mindset. Kaizen described how they focused on improving the process with little improvements at each step of the way. Once the process was perfect, it would become a part of the system.

In other words, they took the time to improve everything, they paid the price in time and effort to get it right, from top to bottom. The American way was to bull-rush manufacturing speeds immediately, and fix things along the way. With such differing mindsets, we will loose every time. And it has little to do with the skill or pride of the guys on the lines. As you said, the suits develop, install, and control the systems of production. So our hands are tied.

Even today, at the risk of starting a shit-storm, the Japanese are killing us in terms of quality. My Tundra is lightyears ahead of my friend's F-150 regarding fit and finish and engine and transmission. It is simply tighter and smoother. I'll bet if they tore both engines apart as they did with the Mazda and Ford decades ago, they would find the Toyota miked at or near the mean, while the Ford miked in the tails.

And China...wow, that's a Pandora's Box. To me. China is where Japan was in the 70s. Building crap products, but building a lot of it. I think the difference is, Japan improved their product quality because it is in their nature. As you pointed out, to loose face in Japan is the same as failure. In Chine, rather than loosing face, you loose your life. The workers may want to do well, but the dangers of failure limits their potential. It's democratic vs. communist management systems. And command and control systems have never built good stuff in the long term. Look at Russia's crappy cars for an example. In fact, we know so many products coming out of China are junk in terms of quality. But we are addicted to the low prices so we put up with the crap.

Wow, long post, but this is fun.
 
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