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Answerman - What's With The Tiny Trucks In Japan?


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CrazyCanuck



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:30 pm Reply with quote
While I’m in Canada, not the USA, I see these on the road fairly often.

Also, 100 kph =/= 87 mph. Not even close.
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KuroiEr



Joined: 11 Jan 2015
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:32 pm Reply with quote
660cc?!! Wow my motorcycle is has an engine over twice that size (1500cc if you're wondering). No wonder they aren't sold here. They'd be completely impractical. Sure are cute tho. Closest thing we have in the states are those smart cars.
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AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 377
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I love my Honda N-Box, but it never had any of the steering issues Justin stated in the article. The only thing I hate is that I went from having a Cube and now with the N-Box, I have to remember there are certain roads, mostly highways I am not allowed on anymore.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2489
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
What you're seeing is called a "Kei truck," a tiny class of truck that's everywhere in Japan and the rest of Asia.


They are also popular in Mexico. I guess they like there trucks big in the USA; I wonder if they are compensating for something. Cool
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DerekL1963
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 832
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:28 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
They are also popular in Mexico. I guess they like there trucks big in the USA; I wonder if they are compensating for something. Cool


While there's nothing as small as Kei trucks, trucks in a America come in a wide variety of sizes. The "compensating for something" idea is nothing but stupidity.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 12862
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:01 pm Reply with quote
CrazyCanuck wrote:
While I’m in Canada, not the USA, I see these on the road fairly often.

Also, 100 kph =/= 87 mph. Not even close.

Yeah, 100 kph is actually about 62 mph.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8726
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Back in the late 1960s in Naples Italy and Saigon VN I saw really small trucks. They had three wheels and were based on a standard Lambretta Motor scooter. They had three wheels with the scooter's back wheel replaced by an axel and a small truck body. Inside the cab you could see the normal scooter front end with handle bars. It was amazing the loads they would put on them, especially in an area a hilly as Naples. In Saigon they were used as busses as well. I wonder if they are still sold.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:51 pm Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
While there's nothing as small as Kei trucks, trucks in a America come in a wide variety of sizes. The "compensating for something" idea is nothing but stupidity.


I'm surprised some people still use that tired out old phrase.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1775
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Small cars with moped-class motors aren't exactly common here, but you do see them now and then. There's also the "smart"/"mini" car fad of about ten years which fall between moped and regular car engines. Moreover, the article image looks like a regular small truck to me, which are pretty common around the world. Parts of Europe are as crowded as Japan, so it makes sense that smaller/cleaner cars are more popular than big/inefficient ones. I guess only N-Americans and Australians drive those oversized SUV cars?
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 4125
Location: Northern Virginia
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:01 pm Reply with quote
I've always thought it would be fun to own one of these. I love small cars, and excluding an absurdly large truck that I used for work years ago, that's all I've ever owned. It's hard to get something that small in most areas though. Even the Fiat 500, which used to be a 500cc engine is nearly 3 times that size now just to account for the extra weight from safety regulations. That's still probably the second most fun thing I've owned after my STI though.
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 2521
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:18 pm Reply with quote
From what was explained to me by a friend in Japan, kei vehicles aren't even permitted on Japanese highways due to their low top speeds.
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Frenzie



Joined: 08 Sep 2017
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:50 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
Back in the late 1960s in Naples Italy and Saigon VN I saw really small trucks. They had three wheels and were based on a standard Lambretta Motor scooter.

I don't know such specifics, but unless they got rid of them in the past five years there are still plenty of the general principle cruising around in Italy.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3852
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:03 pm Reply with quote
CrazyCanuck wrote:
While I’m in Canada, not the USA, I see these on the road fairly often.

Also, 100 kph =/= 87 mph. Not even close.
You think they would get it right, i mean it is just a simple google search: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=100+kph&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=TX0cWr2OIoWGgAati7kQ
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michizure



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:59 pm Reply with quote
I inherited two of these when I took over managing housing facilities at a college campus in the Colorado Rockies. They weren't road-legal, so they could be used only on-campus for moving supplies and such. They weren't bad in that role, but if anything broke -- taillights, windshield, transmission -- we had to import replacement parts from Japan. We wound up cannibalizing one to keep the other running. We eventually scrapped both and bought a pair of Gators instead.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6680
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Vehicles of such dimensions are widespread wherever fuel prices are high. Over here, the combination of a small wheelbase and an unnervingly high centre of gravity has been a common sight for many decades.

Alan45 wrote:
Back in the late 1960s in Naples Italy and Saigon VN I saw really small trucks. They had three wheels and were based on a standard Lambretta Motor scooter.

Those are still around! Espresso vendors in town prefer them for their compactness and ease of parking. There are probably additional tax benefits in comparison to four-wheeled vans.
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