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Osaka, Japan
On the fringes of Osaka's chaotic downtown core is a rad little garage, making rad little bikes. I catch Hoy just before lunchtime. He slides open the door to his workshop and unapologetically extends a greasy hand for a shake. I like him already.

A quick glance around the garage and Hoy's personalty is glaringly obvious. Well-loved scratched up skateboard decks everywhere. Even one being used a satellite workbench, with hairpin legs bolted onto it. Old Japanese Sake carrying bags (one of which he very thoughtfully gifted to me upon our farewell). Vintage helmets laying around. A leather racing suit (which he used the day before racing his bone-stock C92 in the Kaminari Time Trial at Iwai Circuit in Ibaraki prefecture.
For five years now, Hoy has been splitting his time between riding and wrenching mostly working on what he casually refers to as "old junk mini bikes". Of course, to an eager North American, the bikes that are scattered around Hoy's working garage are far from junk:

His daily, a 1964 125cc Honda C92 Benley Touring (also known as 'The Baby Dream'). A 1976 Yamaha GT80 Mini Trail. Two Honda Supercubs; one a 1964 C100 and the other a 2002 AA01. And a Yamaha SR250 that's pretty much down to the frame and work-in-progress foam seat pan.
Hoy's pièce de résistance however is his beloved, stripped-down 1972 Honda Dax.

More commonly known as an ST-70 (or a Trail 70 / CT70 here in Canada and the US), Honda's Dax's had pressed-steel "T-bone" frames that distinguished them from Honda's other rad minibikes from the era including the Z50 Monkeys and Gorillas, and the CF's and CY's.

Hoy's Dax, which has enjoyed some serious attention and popularity on social media since he completed it two years ago, is actually powered by a slightly newer 50cc engine taken from a 1986 Honda Jazz which has been bored-up to 88cc with a Kitaco cylinder and piston. Speed tops out at about 85 kmh.

We were lucky enough to take Hoy's Dax for a little rip around the streets of Osaka and can confirm that it packs a surprising punch when you open the throttle. While not a Moto GP bike, the bare bones build, combined with the bored-out engine block results in a fun ride through Japan's compact urban landscapes.

Probably the most striking part of the build is the raw T-Bone frame. A bare metal finish with hand-scratched hairlines and hand-drawn scallop details on the side give Hoy's little city blaster the perfect amount of attitude.
Follow Hoy on Instagram here


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