Hanmā-shin Hamamatsu- The Hammer God of Hamamatsu- A brief history.

Ancient depiction of Hamna-shin

Ancient depiction of Hamna-shin

Up until the early 90’s Hanma-shin could be found in the Suzuki factory at Hamamatsu where he diligently watched over the work of Suzuki’s designers and technicians, blessing their work with his divine and mighty hammer and scroll. Legend has it that his hammer is made from the very same meteorite that crashed to earth and killed the Dinosaurs. It is also said that the in-line four Suzukis of the 80’s and early 90’s owed their explosive power and durability to the thunder of his mighty hammer, which he divinely bestowed on each and every machine that rolled off the production line. It is also written that he was never without his sacred scroll of engine tuning spells which were attached to his hammer handle by the power band from a GT750.

The story goes that only one man ever got to view the contents of his sacred scrolls. He was a young mechanic named Pops who, after glimpsing their contents,  was promptly forced to flee in fear of divine retribution. Some say the Hanma-shin never fully recovered from the trauma. Things really started to go down hill for him shortly after that when he refused to bless a water cooled in-line four engine that was in development at the factory. He was rarely seen again after that.

By the late 90’s there were whispered rumours that night watchmen at the factory reported older production lines for EFEs and oil cooled GSXR engines just starting up of their own accord. Technicians working on Suzuki’s latest models reported missing front ends and swing arms as well as other cutting edge cycle parts. The legend goes that somewhere in the factory there is a hidden room where Hanma-shin has built a stable of the most perfect old skool Suzukis. The bikes that Suzuki should have built but never did. They are rumoured to be the perfect blend of old skool grunt and cutting edge bling.

For years after his disappearance there were reports of  H*nda Firebl@des in the staff car park being found smashed. The management of the factory put this down to badly driven delivery trucks but staff reported that the bikes very clearly looked like they had been smashed by a huge mash hammer.

A long serving Suzuki executive told us that all rumours and sightings had abruptly ended around about the same time Suzuki had introduced the water-cooled Bandit. He said he thought this had been the last straw for Hanma-shin.

I am pleased to end this sad story on a high, for after many years in the wilderness, Hanma-shin has finally mastered the wonders of the internet. After months of surfing inane, confused and frankly pointless motorcycle “web dwellings” ( as he calls them) he was on the verge of raising his mighty Hammer to smash his 10th computer of the day when the “sage oracle” ( this is what he calls Google) suddenly spoke to him of a distant clan of mortals by the name of the OSS, who had not yielded but had instead stayed true to the ancient ways, forsaking all other things. Since then he has carefully observed that the OSS too live by the hammer and scroll and in turn has come to realise that the OSS is an Island sanctuary in all the interweb and indeed in all the world. Perhaps here, he thought he might find lasting peace.

Here at oldskoolsuzuki.info he truly believes he has found his spiritual home. A place were fellow Luddites burn the midnight oil in secret rooms toiling to create the perfect Oldskool Suzukis by pilfering incidentals from modern machinery. He also loves the rules so much, that he has a laminated copy and slipped it in beside his sacred scrolls. Henceforth he has pledged his mighty hammer and his blessing to our cause.

Hanma-shin has agreed to allow us to use his hammer as our symbol and his image as our emblem on our “interweb dwelling” ( website) on our machines and on our “tunics” ( hoodies n’ that).

Thank you Hanma-shin, may your blessing give us success and your hammer protect us.

Discuss the the new emblem and logo here.


OSS- Hamna-shin emblem for the back of a tunic.

OSS- Hanma-shin emblem for the back of  our tunics?

The New OSS logo. Hamna-shin's mighty hammer.

The new OSS logo. Hanma-shin’s mighty hammer.

You are now leaving Jurassic Park

OSS logos evolution

When we finally wrestled the URL www.olskoolsuzuki.info down from a dusty top shelf, blew away the cobwebs and relaunched the new site, we wanted the look and feel of the site to be familiar.  We wanted loyal members who had been waiting patiently in the wilderness to get a sense they were coming home. We were careful with the colour scheme and we were very careful with the logo. Both got a refresh and a polish but not much more.

Five months later we couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone. The site is well on its way to 1000 members and we have over 3500 posts alone in the project section. We have kicked off our trader section, relaunched our Facebook page, bike of the month as well as updating the news pages and vault regularly.

So everything is perfect right? …..well not quite.

There is one thing that the Admin team have debated more than any other subject and that is the Jurassic Park inspired logo.

On one hand it is an iconic symbol of what OSS is and stands for. Instantly recognisable on any bike. It’s a symbol we have all taken to our heart. It is part of our identity as a group.

On the other hand it is also instantly recognisable because it was designed that way by a very well paid design company working for a multi-million pound film studio. In other words; it isn’t actually ours. While we can stop people using our URL which we own, we can’t copyright the logo because it isn’t ours. Anyone who ever uses the logo to produce merchandise will always run the risk ( no matter how small) of an intellectual property law suit by a very large film company. The risk increases the more widespread the logo is. Social media is able to do this more effectively than the website alone could 10 years ago. So in our view the risks are very real. We are also aware that for a long period of time when the site was down that merchandise and the logo became more about the t-shirts and the stickers than it did about the ethos behind the logo.

We have worked hard to reset the culture of the new site so the focus is back on the bikes and the builds. Now we want to reset the visual identity too. We want the logo to mean something again. We want the merchandise to be earned not just bought.

So with a great deal of careful consideration and a lot of soul searching we have decided that a mass extinction event for the dinosaur is the only real course of action. We have been working on a new and completely original design for the logo that will allow us to:

  • Register a trade mark
  • Make our own very limited runs of merchandise without fear of being taken to court
  • Provide stickers for completed build thread bikes
  • Sell merchandise at events
  • Create specialist stickers for BOTM and OSS race bikes
  • Use it whenever and wherever we want without having to watch our backs

Please stay tuned for the big reveal of the all new OSS logo and some background to the design very shortly.

Discuss this article here.

Bike of the Month November 2015


It would be no more than stating the obvious to talk about oldskoolsuzukis being as much about the journey as the destination.  Starting with a dream, a flash of inspiration – we follow a well trodden path of empty wallets and skinned knuckles but hopefully at some point, there is a fine motorcycle to ride. And then the next chapter begins.

This month’s bike of the month goes to Gammaboy’s Katana. The attention to detail and quality of finish is to a standard many aspire to. Long may you continue to adapt and overcome, Gammaboy  – and congratulations! Thank you for sharing your story ….. so far.

To discuss click here

To read more about the bike click here

Photo credit to facebook.com/danielpeut