A Brief Introduction to Mugen
Mugen was formed in 1973 and founded by Hirotoshi Honda. Hirotoshi is the son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda. Mugen roughly translated means “without limit” and was one of the first and original manufactures of bolt on modifications. Even though the father and son relationship existed, the two companies remained separate entities.
One of the most interesting endeavors by Mugen is competing in the Isle of Man TT in the TT Zero class. The TT Zero class requires the motorcycle to use an alternative to carbon based race fuels and have zero emissions. Basically a fancy way of saying the motorcycle has to be electric. Mugen has been competing in the is class since 2012 and this is important because Mugen will be ahead of the competition when this technology hits the motocross track.
Mugen made many kits for Honda’s that were basically bolt on horsepower. Kits typically included a modified head, cylinder, exhaust pipe, upgraded reeds and piston. Mugen also expanded into suspension in order to provide more to the consumer. Below are a few of the kits they produced.
Pictured above is a Mugen kit for a 1980 ME 125 W1 that was advertised as the Banzai Kit.
Mugen continued to produce hop up kits into the 90s as well.
Anything with Mugen on it comes with a hefty price tag as Mugen parts are highly collectible and sought after. Unfortunately in the United States the AMA has implemented a production rule that hinders the factories from creating true works bikes. Why, is not the topic of discussion but in Japan they still have full works bikes with very exotic parts. Below are some photos Swapmoto's Donn Maeda took in Japan in 2010 I believe.
Yes Virginia, those are Mugen branded mufflers on a CRF 450 R.
I have yet to see anything made by Mugen available to the average consumer here in the United States. I want to say it could be in the works but considering these photos were taken almost 10 years ago, I wouldn't hold my breath.
Like mentioned above, Mugen's next endeavor is pictured below. The race has already begun and you can bet that manufactures who have yet to announce or leak anything are scrambling.
Note the little Mugen logo on that electric dirt bike.