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Suzuki

Suzuki

Michio Suzuki founded Suzuki Loom Works in 1909. It was located in the small seacoast village of Hamamatsu, Japan. The business thrived for the first 30 years building weaving looms for Japan's giant silk industry. Suzuki wanted to diversify. So in 1937 a small car project began and within two years several compact automobile prototypes were completed. However these projects were put on hold with the onset of WWII.

After the war Suzuki once again focused solely on weaving looms. Between the silk from Japan, and cotton imported from the USA, the business boomed. 1951 brought a collapse in the cotton market. Suzuki once again saw need for change. He recognized Japan's need for affordable personal transportation. So, like several other companies, Suzuki started building small motors that could be attached to bicycles. The first being a 36cc, 1 hp, two stroke called the "Power Free". By 1954, Suzuki was producing 6000 motorcycles per month and officially changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co.

In 1961 Ernst Degner defected from East Germany. He brought the secrets of a German motorcycle company called MZ to Suzuki. In 1962 Degner won the 50cc World Championship for Suzuki. This started a long line of success in racing for the Japanese company. With legends such as Joel Robert, Barry Sheene, Roger DeCoster, Kenny Roberts Jr., and Matt Mladin, all winning champions in various series around the globe.