Motorworld’s newspaper №52

In 1907, two professors of the Osaka University – Yoshinki and Turumi – have decided to found Hatsudoki Seizo Co. As many motorcycle industry leaders, Hatsudoki had been manufacturing & selling internal-combustion engines that used natural gas as a propellant. A present-day name, Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd., appeared only in 1951 and was the following abbreviation: company location “Osaka” (大阪) = Dai (大) and “engine manufacturing” (発動機 製造) = Hatsu (発). It has been manufacturing engines till 1967 when the Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. management and Toyota signed articles of merger.

First Daihatsu trike

The very first Japanese tricycle was manufactured by Daihatsu in December, 1930. It was a successful machine due to the following: easy handling (like a usual motorcycle) and a relatively high load-carrying ability (very good for a machine of this size). The premiere model was equipped with a flathead engine having a 500 cc displacement.
By 1936, Daihatsu had started the manufacturing of trikes for the military. Owing to civilians liked these machines, the company became a leader. In the mids of 1930s, trikes were popular only in Japan and Italy. Japanese made three wheelers had some advantages besides their price. Japanese trikes were equipped with English engines Ariel, which had an increased displacement compared to Italian engines, plus they had more durable chassis and stronger saddle portion of the frame.

In July 1937, a war has started between Japan and China. After Japan entered the WWII, all available vehicles were engaged in actions. So, many motorcycles left in China where they have been heavily used until complete failure. All vehicles left in Japan remained in use for urban renewal, delivery of building supplies as well as for commercial purposes in the postwar time. By the present day, it’s near-impossible (even in Japan) to find a Daihatsu trike made in 1930s, but Daihatsu is still alive and manufacturing motorcycles under its own brand.

Daihatsu SB-7

Daihatsu SB-7 machines were manufactured from 1936 till 1937. It had one-cylinder four-stroke engine having 750 cc displacement, the capacity was 20 h.p. It was a one-person machine that could transport up to 500 kgs. Max speed on asphalt was 70 km/h.



The Daihatsu SB-7 trike from the Vyacheslav Sheyanov’s collection was assembled into one machine using two tricycles.

The first one was found in the Krasnodar region and, at first glance, appeared to be in a good condition. But a lot of improvised repairs & interventions, as well as a lot of inauthentic parts incorporated into the machine, made it far from the original trike. So we had to find another one as a donor to restore the first trike.

The donor was found somewhere near Vladivostok. That machine was a reminder of a war booty. Its condition was even worse compared to the first one but it had more original parts and, by a stroke of luck, they were the parts we need to start the restoration.


Let’s give the floor to Costantino Frontalini who restored the machine:

“Daihatsu we received was in a bad condition: a lot of chassis parts were severely damaged and required a lot of restoration efforts. It took just as long to restore the engine with damaged valve train. We had to seek help from third-party professionals in order to repair it.
Although the machine was several times repainted, we could restore the original colour and accurately reproduce it. The Japanese cargo trikes has a peculiarity – the machines had no tactical marks. This is confirmed by historical photos. We have found only the logo on the petrol tank”.


Manufacturer Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Osaka, Japan
Years of manufacture 1936-1937
Quantity produced, units N/A
Price N/A
Today’s value N/A
Type Single cylinder, 4 stroke
Engine capacity, cc 750
Bore and stroke, mm 94 х 105
Engine rating 20 hp
Sparking N/A
Carburetor N/A
Battery N/A
Clutch N/A
Transmission 3-speed
Frame type N/A
Front suspension Springer
Rear suspension Rigid
Brakes N/A
Wheel size N/A
Length, mm 2 795
Width, mm 900
Height, mm N/A
Wheelbase, mm  1860
Ground clearance, mm  180
Seat height, mm N/A
Mass, kg 570
Carrying capacity, kg  500
Gas tank size, l N/A
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km N/A

* – Data on the results of the measurement at the exhibit of “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.