2023 Vintage Festival Grand Marshal
Fujio Yoshimura was born to Hideo “Pop” Yoshimura and Naoe Yoshimura in 1948. As the son of the world famous motorcycle tuner Pop Yoshimura, Fujio learned quickly about four stroke engines and how to make them perform above expectations. In his teen years Fujio would spend time at Yoshimura motors and glean the passion of engine tuning from his dad. Though his duties were small, Fujio was with the team at the new Suzuka Circuit for the now famous inaugural running of the 18 hour endurance race.
Fujio would go on to become an integral part of the Yoshimura racing effort throughout the 1960’s. After graduating high school, Pop made Fujio join Yoshimura’s own racing team, Nishitama Speed Club. The team mainly consisted of customers, many of them naturally talented riders
In 1971 a close relationship with former American GI — Larry Snively, who had set up a small business in Waterford, California — led to Pops and Fujio venturing to America to try their hand tuning a bike for AMA road racing. Shively asked Pop to build the race engine for the 1971 Daytona 200, ordered by Ron Krause (Honda Dealer in Penn). The bike was to be ridden by Gary Fisher, a rookie who led the race for 10 laps but retired with a broken cam-chain. Right after the race at Daytona, Ron Krause came to Japan for further collaboration, which included the first 4-into-1 exhaust for AMA road racing in the US. For the 1972 Daytona 200, Roger Reiman joined the team, with the bike featuring Pop’s new 4-into-1 exhaust system concept. Pop and Fujio would then settle in Los Angeles, and Yoshimura Racing, established in 1972, (later changed to Yoshimura Research & Development) was rolling. The groundbreaking history of Yoshimura and what would become a superbike in the 1970’s was undeniable, and Fujio was there through it all. Highlights were four consecutive Daytona Superbike wins from 1978-1981 with Suzuki GS1000 and winning the first ever Suzuka 8 Hour Race in 1978. At the end of 1979, Pop went back home to Japan, placing Fujio in charge of taking Yoshimura R&D of America to the next level. Through the late 70's and early 80's, Fujio's creative foresight and innovative design helped Yoshimura R&D of America Inc. to become a leader in the art and science of sportbike performance technology. Due to the years of success, Yoshimura found that the North Hollywood location was becoming increasingly cramped and decided in 1981 to move from North Hollywood to Chino, where we are located till this day.
Pop Yoshimura was famous for grinding camshafts by hand. Fujio made the jump to perfecting the art, grinding and extracting the performance of the camshaft using the HP41C handheld computer, while still keeping the recipe of the Yoshimura profile.
Another gift that Fujio has brought to the performance department is the MJN carburetor. Rather than using the orthodox tapered needle with one exit for the fuel from out of the carburetor the MJN (Multi Jet Needle) disburses fuel more evenly and helps to atomize the fuel more efficiently.
Today Fujio is semi-retired and oversees all of the Yoshimura divisions. He is very proud of what the Yoshimura brand has become and is known for worldwide. Fujio still loves to come to America to visit his grandkids Yuhi and Lilly and see his son Yusaku Yoshimura who now is the President of Yoshimura R&D of America.
four consecutive Daytona Superbike wins from 1978-1981 with Suzuki GS1000 and winning the first ever Suzuka 8 Hour Race in 1978