Kei cars and motorcycles (Was: Rick Dickinson, ZX Spectrum designer, RIP)

Alan Perry aperry at
Fri Apr 27 10:42:44 CDT 2018

On 4/26/18 11:52 PM, Liam Proven via cctalk wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Apr 2018 at 00:48, Fred Cisin via cctalk <cctalk at>
> wrote:
>> The Honda 600 was NOT a bike. Well, mostly not.  After demise of the mid
>> 1960s Honda S600/S800 ("poor-man's-Ferrari" design exercise that got out
>> of hand and went into production), Honda engineers took a 360CC parallel
>> twin, detuned it and upped it to 600cc, added a differential, and a
>> reverse (tacked on to the outside of the case), and put it in a car body
>> that resembled the Mini.  AN600 was the first Hondas officially imported
>> into USA (1970).  A later Z600 had a "sportier" body, and one was cut in
>> half in the down-under movie "Malcolm"
> Never heard of any of them. I guess they were not sold outside North
> America and Japan.

The Z600 was sold on the Continent. Per Wikipedia, about a thousand were 

> Kei cars are extremely rare in Europe as there is no financial advantage or
> incentive to own them, and without that, they're cramped and overpowered.

That mostly sums it up, but there are some kei cars that interest 
enthusiasts, such as the Honda Beat and certain versions of the Suzuki 
Alto. A local shop here has three Mazda/Autozam AZ-1s and I am very 
tempted to get one.

> Oddly, the 600cc "supersport" motorcycle category is huge, in contract,
> because insurance is much cheaper for machines of 600cc or less.
> But I know little of cars. Evil tin boxes, to me as a bicyclist and
> motorcyclist, generally driven by homicidal morons.

Given the other people on the roads around here, I will take the 
additional protection provided by my evil tin box. I won't ride my 
motorcycle in the city unless it is to the dealer for service. Too many 
very close calls. Then again, I saw a motorcyclist almost take out a 
pedestrian (in a crosswalk, with the light) yesterday.


P.S. To get this kinda back on topic, yesterday I managed to take the 
two SPARCstation 20s that I got from Pete's and make one working 
dual-processor SS20. I also passed on one of the SS5s to its new owner. 
The person who originally spoke up for the SS20 has not responded to 
subsequent e-mail, so it may be available. I will also have a SS1 and 
SS2 available, but I need to order more IDPROMs before I can finish 
refurb'ing them.

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