Other Kei cars....

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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Sun May 25, 2014 20:42

A friend has a Beat, bright yellow.

As you of course know it's not a turbo engine and gets it's power from lots of revs. The intake is 3 throttles on short stubs into an airbox, and throttle response is brilliant, mush more like a motorbike than the Capp for example. It's a great fun car to drive, somewhat more frantic feel than the Capp because of the need to use the revs.

They have only a few weaknesses as far as I know, one is that the bulkhead gets quite hot (rear engine) and electrical bits and bobs are attached to the bulkhead, and consequently tend to fail (can't remember exactly what the items are though). They don't rust as badly as the Capp, but the soft-top obviously has a limited life. My friend actually has a new one sitting waiting for the old one to get beyond serviceable condition.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Ian Linden » Sun May 25, 2014 22:20

Murray - you shouldn't. My garage is full :(
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Mon May 26, 2014 03:17

Murray Betts wrote:They have only a few weaknesses as far as I know, one is that the bulkhead gets quite hot (rear engine) and electrical bits and bobs are attached to the bulkhead, and consequently tend to fail (can't remember exactly what the items are though). They don't rust as badly as the Capp, but the soft-top obviously has a limited life. My friend actually has a new one sitting waiting for the old one to get beyond serviceable condition.


Murray, is there a Honda Beat Owners' Club in the UK with a world-wide membership base (like SCORE) I could contact to find out about how to get around this "hot bulkhead" problem? Or perhaps your friend with the bright yellow Beat? (There are no members' clubs for any of the Kei-cars in Oz...)

I mentioned this [overheating problem] earlier on in this thread, citing the use of suitable insulation in the bulkhead. But I was reminded by a few of our members that this is the whole issue: insulating material is quite bulky and there is practically no room in the engine compartment!
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Tue May 27, 2014 13:28

Ian Linden wrote:Murray - you shouldn't. My garage is full :(

:twisted:

As for owners' clubs, do a google serch for "Honda Beat forums" and you should find a good selection of links. This one seems to have all the workshop manual for example. I remember reading forum threads many years ago when my friend first got his car (maybe 10yrs ago?) but I haven't looked recently. My friend doesn't keep up to date with the forums for various reasons, but after doing a few minor mods to his car when he got it I don't think he has had any real issues at all.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Tue May 27, 2014 14:23

Many thanks, Murray! I'll contact them shortly.

Meanwhile, I've been in touch with my parts guy in Japan and he confirmed that the Suzuki F6A engine fitted to the AZ-1/Cara are turbo'd just like those fitted to the EA11R Cappos! This is the answer to an earlier query I raised some time ago and I'd like to share with fellow members.

As for the Honda Beat, I'm still looking into buying one to keep the Cappo company! :) As I don't have one [Honda] yet, this throttle arrangement you were describing seems a little strange to me. Is it a "standard" EFI setup and can the engine be turbo'd without too many modifications? :confused:
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Tue May 27, 2014 19:44

Don't know if anyone has fitted a turbo to a Beat, I imagine someone will have done! No idea what sort of space is available to fit the hot bits!

The individual throttle arrangement is typical of "high performance" engines, motorcycles and at least some BMW "M" series engines use individual throttles to get much faster throttle response. The airbox runs at atmospheric pressure so when you open the throttle the engine gets full air flow immediately (more or less) whereas with a single throttle on a manifold the plenum is at low pressure while the throttle is closed, and this has to fill first before the combustion chambers get full air flow. The time to fill isn't long in real terms, but it makes a difference to the response feel.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Wed May 28, 2014 04:16

Murray Betts wrote:The individual throttle arrangement is typical of "high performance" engines, motorcycles and at least some BMW "M" series engines use individual throttles to get much faster throttle response.


Hi Murray

I found out from some sources in Japan that the Beat is actually slower in pulling away (and performance in general) than the other Suzuki-engined cars because of its [non-turbo] setup. And that could be down to the torque curve of the Honda engine already levelling out at those higher revs which is causing the disappointment! This is what got me thinking about fitting a turbo modification [to the Honda] if I'm lucky enough to find a Beat for myself some way down the line. There are more Beats around than AZ-1's or Cara's; so it's a matter of biding my time, waiting for the "right" one to come along! :D

If [this modification] is not available even as an after-market item, I don't know whether fitting a Stage 1 chipset might make a difference. Some guys I know of have fitted Stage 1 (and some, Stage 2) chipsets to their Cappos; and it made an already lively car even livelier and more skittish, particularly on wet roads! 8O
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Ian Linden » Wed May 28, 2014 08:23

Sorry to rain on your parade, but the fitting of those chipsets to Cappos does not, of itself, provide a performance increase. It simply alters the fuelling tables to cope with higher boost, which is achieved as described in the Performance Enhancement section of this post in the FAQ.

It follows that "chipping" an unturbo'd Beat would not be practical.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Wed May 28, 2014 08:46

Ian Linden wrote:Sorry to rain on your parade, but the fitting of those chipsets to Cappos does not, of itself, provide a performance increase. It simply alters the fuelling tables to cope with higher boost, which is achieved as described in the Performance Enhancement section of this post in the FAQ.

It follows that "chipping" an unturbo'd Beat would not be practical.


It's probably the way those fellas drive: I only read their printed commentary but have not seen their cars driven in any video clip! But one thing is for sure: the turbo makes up for the lack of horses under the bonnet! :)
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Sat May 31, 2014 20:50

Make no mistake the Beat is a lot of fun to drive. Whether it is slower than a Capp is pretty much irrelevant, neither is a "fast" car by modern standards but both deliver the grin factor. I really wouldn't dwell too much on those critical reviews, try to get a ride/drive in one, you'll buy it.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Ian Linden » Sat May 31, 2014 21:05

Actually, both the Beat and the Cappo have 63 bhp - the Kei class rules maximum value. The Cappo gets there with the turbo; the Beat uses screamingly high rpm. There is not much to choose between them as regards performance.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Sun Jun 01, 2014 05:45

Ian Linden wrote:Actually, both the Beat and the Cappo have 63 bhp - the Kei class rules maximum value. The Cappo gets there with the turbo; the Beat uses screamingly high rpm. There is not much to choose between them as regards performance.


My argument all along is whether I can get the same performance figures from the Beat [as I do with the Cappo] but with lower revs! This is perhaps why I brought up the possibility of a turbo conversion earlier on in this thread! Bear in mind of course that I'm using the Cappo as a yardstick here... :)

As for the Cara or AZ-1, it's pretty safe to conclude that their performance figures are the same as the Cappo...
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Sun Jun 01, 2014 06:05

Murray Betts wrote:Make no mistake the Beat is a lot of fun to drive. .... I really wouldn't dwell too much on those critical reviews, try to get a ride/drive in one, you'll buy it.


I have no doubt that it is! :)

These "Mighty Midgets" - for want of a better turn of phrase - certainly bring about that grin factor to one's countenance. There's no substitute for that either... :D It's a different type of satisfaction/grin factor when compared to driving a Ferrari or Porsche.

Coming back to the Beat, I think that the non-turbo setup is also present in the other Kei-class vehicles. These encompass light commercials (e.g. Honda Acty van and truck), saloons (e.g. Daihatsu Copen) and MPV's (e.g. Suzuki Wagon R). For these vehicles, performance figures are not the issue and may be regarded as "irrelevant" (sic)! There are (as you already know) only 3 sports cars out of this lot: the Cappo, Beat and Cara/AZ-1. My interest only lies with them and is the crux of this thread... :D
Last edited by Chris da Silva on Sun Jun 01, 2014 08:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Ian Linden » Sun Jun 01, 2014 08:32

Chris da Silva wrote:My argument all along is whether I can get the same performance figures from the Beat [as I do with the Cappo] but with lower revs! ...


But the Honda engine is built for the high revs, and surely part of the fun is using them :wink:
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Sun Jun 01, 2014 08:49

Ian Linden wrote: But the Honda engine is built for the high revs, and surely part of the fun is using them :wink:


It's the higher than usual revs factor that bothers me! :( My Cappo's 3-speed auto box changes up at around 3,500 rpm across all gears when driving under normal load/road conditions (and a little higher when out with the Club!)....
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Ian Linden » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:45

My Cappo comes "on song" at 3000 rpm, and I normally change up at about 4400.

The Honda Beat max torque is at 7000 and max power at 8100, so you can see what range the engine is supposed to be operated at. Honda make high revving motorbike engines.....
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:44

That rev range sounds about right for both the auto- and manual transmission [Suzuki turbo-powered] cars! But any higher would mean the [non-turbo Honda] engine screaming it's head off as it approaches "red line" for the gear change (if you see what I mean!) .... :roll:

Hmmm ....not a good idea for any engine, particularly those fitted to sports cars ... 8O
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Mon Jun 02, 2014 13:21

I understand where you're coming from, Chris, but you really have to try a Beat to see what they are like. 5-6k rpm really isn't an issue for them. It's a different experience indeed, but Honda engines are usually pretty much bomb-proof and can be used "enthusiastically". Don't let it put you off (see what I'm doing here, go on, get one! :twisted: :twisted: )
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Chris da Silva » Tue Jun 03, 2014 15:37

I definitely know what you're doing to me... :D :D

I'm going to check out a Beat when one comes around! Apart from the high-revving engine, is there anything (e.g. tell-tale signs etc.) to look out for [apart from the obvious mileage and condition]? I'm picking your brains here, you see .... :)

And not knowing anything about the car except from what I've read puts me at an distinct disadvantage!
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Re: Other Kei cars....

Postby Murray Betts » Thu Jun 05, 2014 20:56

As far as I know there are very few issues with Beats, general condition and check everything works is going to be the order of the day I think. Of course like the Capp they are all going to be more or less 20yrs old now, so each one will have to be assessed in its own right. The soft top will need to be checked, I'm sure you can get a replacement one way or another but it'll be a significant cost. If I remember correctly they have cam belts (not chains) so that's another check.
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