Yamaha YZF1000-powered Honda Kei truck at Summernats 36

Canberra local Paul Quinn’s Honda truck is a sweet little machine with Yamaha motorbike grunt

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

We love finding all the quirky and cool machinery nestled among the V8 burlers at Street Machine Summernats – like Paul Quinn’s 1973 Honda Kei truck, for example.

Paul has owned the little Honda TN360 for the past 10 years or so, and for the last five of those it’s been powered by a Yamaha YZF1000 motorcycle engine. 

“They originally come with a 360cc two-cylinder, but that was pretty piss-poor, as you can imagine,” Paul laughed. “I figured out the Yamaha engine would fit pretty easily, so I chucked one in for some more power.”

The YZF engine was renovated by Paul with Wiseco pistons, head porting, billet cams and some clever massaging. The 140rwhp it makes may not sound like a heap, but paired with the short-ratio six-speed gearbox, it’s still a pretty fun thing. 

“It’ll light up the tyres in fourth no worries, and it goes to 10,500rpm,” Paul said. “I’ve got buttons inside to shift, so you just keep clicking gears and it hooks along.”

An ACT local, Paul regularly uses the truck to do shop runs for his business in Mitchell. “It’s all street legal; the local coppers love seeing it around, and it has got a lot of attention here [at Summernats] this year,” he said.