Japanese mini trucks...freaking awesome.

iluv83vettes

Adventurer
About 10 years ago, we bought 7 imported from Japan to use on our hunting lease and sell the rest. We couldn't find them anywhere for sale here at the time. As soon as the shipping container got here it seemed like they were everywhere. They are absolutely awesome.
 

Skinny

Active member
I would rock one of those all day long. Basically a side by side with a real engine that can be street legal in any state that allows low speed vehicles on road and gets 40-50mpg.

The feds will never allow it because it doesn't "pass emissions" even though they are equipped with EFI, EGR, and Cats. Someone hasn't stepped up to the plate to pay the money for it to be certified. Plus it "doesn't comply with DOT regs". Some dunce would get in an accident trying to avoid a deer at 65mph and kill himself...the lawyers would ruin it all. Such a shame because I think that is the answer to some inexpensive and economical local transportation that is very offroad or utility capable.
 

Hodaka

Adventurer
Fully road legal in Canada. The downside is the price once they have been certified as such - usually closer to $9k for a unit in good shape.
 

Skinny

Active member
I hate to say it but at that price point I'd rather take a Suzuki or Kia for $1500 and chop it up.
 

tin

Observer
Buy in Japan and import yourself! It's just a little more complicated than buying stuff from ebay from another country. At least in Canada. Litteraly go to a website like tradecarview.com, pick a car, the dealer arranges shipping (roll on roll off not container) and export docs and you arrange the import docs through a broker. Then bring it to the province that you want to register it in. You'll need to get alignment done, aim the lights and good to go. Get a out of province inspection done by a mech who uses his brain and not the book. A lot of the Japanese glass and lights are DOT certified already. I've imported five vehicle like this and typically you add about $3000 to $3500 to the price of the car in Japan to account for shipping, import costs, transport, repair and inspection. So you could have one of these for under $5000 if the work is done by you. Importers mark up $2000-$3000 for their work.
 

tgreening

Expedition Leader
Japanese vehicles are taxed based on the size of the engine, which is a big reason you dont see a whole lot of V8s running about unless the person has money to burn. Most of those trucks you're looking at probably have engines around the size of an ATV. My 750 Kaw has a bigger motor than most of them. They're essentially stretched out side by side UTVs. My wife used to drive one when she was a "truck driver" around the Osaka area.

Doesnt mean they arent kinda cool though, and if you want see complete masters of storing 100lbs of stuff in a 10lb space, the Japanese are the absolute Boss of that crap.
 

wingysataday

Adventurer
They are all 660cc. That is the largest I have seen. I currently have a lifted gold cart so just about anything is an upgrade. I have seen these trucks licensed in Idaho for regular use highway, street whatever. I'm also looking into samurais and trackers.
 

Dake21

Adventurer
Wow I wish they were between 1500 and 6000 where I live! its not below 7000. They are awesome, they can fit ATV tires on it and they also make dump truck. That could be very useful at the cottage.
 

RoyJ

Adventurer
They're very unique trucks (Kei trucks?) for local city driving and back country travel, but I'd be afraid to drive one in the 80 mph mountain pass highways here in BC. Any collision with a modern vehicle and you have zero chance of survival...
 

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