The Leader in Performance
Starting back in 1954, the success of Yoshimura as one of the world’s largest performance aftermarket sportbike exhaust companies didn’t happen overnight. Founded by Hideo Yoshimura, or “Pops”, as he was known by, he started out with a few dedicated employees working in a small race shop. The shop was quick at pumping out fast race car and bike motors, the reputation of “Yoshimura-built” motors grew and he soon created a cult-like following among racing enthusiasts. With this momentum Pops turned his attention to the U.S.
In the mid 70’s, Yoshimura R&D of America Inc. was up and running and the new American division was building a reputation just as strong as its parent company had in Japan. In the early days of Yoshimura R&D, legendary tracks such as Daytona and Loudon were the proving ground for the “new kids on the block.” The granddaddy of them all, Daytona, was where the Yoshi crew staked its claim. The bikes held up to the punishing high banks of Daytona and the power was there!
Senior Vice President, Don Sakakura, has been running the racing efforts for many years now. Starting as a mechanic, Don rose through the ranks to the level where today he is running one of the largest racing efforts in America. Don oversees the day to day operation of the Team Yoshimura Suzuki Road Race Team with riders Mladin, Spies, and Hayden. Don also oversees Yoshimura’s motocross and supercross collaboration with Team Suzuki, Team Honda support, Team Rockstar Suzuki and Team 199 with rider Travis Pastrana. Don has been instrumental in the many championships that Yoshimura has won over the years and there are many more to be won on the horizon.
Pops decided to return home and oversee things there, his son Fujio took up the reins helping to further solidify the Yoshimura name in the history books of American roadracing. 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.
When Pops decided to retire, Fujio headed back home to run Yoshimura Japan. In his place, Suehiro Watanabe, or “Nabe”, became the head of Yoshimura R&D of America. Nabe was not only an accomplished mechanic but he had an intuitive understanding of the manufacturing process. He has developed many new manufacturing techniques, which have helped put Yoshimura at the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry.