King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura

Mugen Time Machine Wristwatch: Soul of the Mugen Type RR

 

When I read that Mugen would be creating a special edition of the Civic Type R sedan, I immediately thought two things: It would be awesome... but, I would probably never see one in person. The Milano red, 240 horsepower beast would be a limited to only 300 units, sold only in Japan. The Mugen Type RR (ABA-FD2) sold out in minutes, some going for double the sticker price.


Mugen must have heard the collective sound of JDM hearts breaking around the world. Their answer: celebrate the Type RR by creating an RR-themed wristwatch, the Mugen Time Machine. Not just any watch – but a true timepiece that could rival Seiko’s Sportura line of racing-inspired watches. The design would have to walk the fine line between being lazily rebadged (“just slap a Mugen logo on it!”) versus grotesquely over-designed (“let’s mold the case in the shape of a car and add aero vents!”). Mugen’s designers walked that fine line, and did it brilliantly. The designers chose to use the Type RR’s unique tachymeter as the starting point for design inspiration, while borrowing cues from materials and details you’ll find beyond the RR’s cockpit.


The result is a well-made, exceptionally-executed exercise in product design that takes the soul of the Type RR and puts it on your wrist. Mugen boiled it down: Carbon fiber. Red stitching on black. Tachymeter typefaces and markings. High-RPM redline. Gunmetal with red accents. Top-end mechanical engineering.




 

Redlining



The design of the watch face (the “dial”) is styled after the actual tachymeter in the Type RR. The attention to detail is remarkable and on par with the quality found in Mugen’s other products.


The watch face is styled after the tachymeter found in Mugen’s Civic Type RR. The homage to the vehicle is the most literal in this design aspect, and it works well. A thin red stripe surrounds the outer edge of the dial from 6 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Numeral typefaces match those found on the Type RR, complete with a “x 1000r/min” marking. The second hand is a thin solid red arm that looks just like the tachymeter needle.  The Mugen logo appears in white just below the 12 o’clock position.


The watch face surface is carbon fiber, a clean upscale finish. The hour and minute hands are chrome with luminescent inserts that glow in the dark after being exposed to light.


A squared date window is set into the 3 o’clock position, nicely done as white numbers against a black field (In lesser watches, manufacturers sometimes cut corners and use black numbers against white). I appreciate that the date window is framed in a subdued matte black; Mugen’s designers resisted the trend to make the date frame chrome or white.


Surrounding the dial is a world time dial. This rotating dial frames the watch face like a slide rule and displays the relative times in various countries around the world, including Cairo, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and more (23 cities in all). The display also includes a thick red line that mimics the redline area of the Type RR’s tach. The dial moves by rotating a ruggedly-molded knob that is finished in black with a red detail. My only gripe about this knob is that it lacks any kind of resistance, gliding a bit too easily.


Sturdy Chassis


 

Made from black ion-plated stainless steel, the watch case is a dark matte gunmetal finish with chiseled edges around the crown and strap lugs. The bezel, crown and world time knob are the same color but in a gloss. The dial pulls out nicely and has discrete clicks at position one (to set the date) and two (to set the time). I like watches like this that have very little play when you set the time.


The case is water resistant, rated at 10 BAR (aka 10 ATM, 100m, 330ft). So it will hold up for swimming and snorkeling, but not for aggressive submersion uses like high-board diving or sub-aqua diving.


The watch case measures 46mm, including the crown. From lug to lug (measured vertically), it’s just shy of 50mm. The Time Machine’s 46mm case size is larger than a typical Seiko 5 (40mm), but not so large that you’re pushing U-Boat territory (55mm+). Personally, I prefer watch cases between 42mm and 47mm. The case thickness is about 15mm, so it sits off your wrist a bit higher than most watches. This is great if you need a watch that won’t slip out of sight under a jacket cuff (which is what you’d want while driving).


Power Plant


If you’ve ever shopped for a watch that cost more than $200, then you know that high end watches are typically automatic winding (or “self-winding”). The “engine” of the watch is a mechanical machine (called a “movement”) powered by the motion of the wearer’s arm (instead of via a battery, electricity, or physical winding of the stem). A weighted rotor turns in response to motion, which in turn winds the mainspring. If you wear your watch daily, it will stay perpetually ready to go, and you’ll never have to do anything (such as replace batteries or wind the stem). The downside is that if the watch is unworn for a day or two, it will wind down and you’ll have to set the time.


For this reason, some watch collectors buy a watch winder. You can buy one for as little as $30, or fairly good ones can be purchased from Brookstone for $100-200. A watch winder is basically an electrical watch display case that also rotates your watch at periodic intervals. When I’m not wearing my Mugen Time Machine, it is on display (and getting wound) in a watch winder.


This Mugen timepiece has a sweeping seconds hand that glides across the dial nicely. Watching the seconds tick by echoes the thrill of revving the Type RR’s 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC.


The movement appears to be a Seiko-made Y675B, a solid choice by Mugen that will be maintenance-free for quite a while.


Under the Hood


 

Turn the watch around and you’ll find a transparent crystal on the exhibition caseback that reveals the mechanical heart of the watch. “Lift the hood” by looking through the clear 22mm diameter window to admire the weighted rotor and the tiny, precise pulsing of the innards. The Mugen logo and the words “The Time Machine” are printed on the inside of the crystal in gray. Surrounding the crystal are etchings indicating assembly and movement origins, and that the watch is water resistant.


Strapped In


 

I ordered my Time Machine with the cloth strap (a version with a matching black ion-plated stainless steel band is also available at additional cost). The heavy-weave cloth strap has a nice thickness and weight that curves to your wrist very well. The textured surface features red stitching along the straps and the strap loops, matching the red-on-black stitching you find in many Mugen interior accessories (and the seats in my EP3). The inside of the strap has a thin black lining that feels soft against your skin. The metal buckle is dark gunmetal with a slight gloss finish that matches the crown and bezel. There are no markings on the outside of the buckle; I would have loved to see the Mugen kanji stamped on it. The underside of the buckle has a tiny “INOX” stamp on it, which means that it is inoxidable stainless steel (and not just regular steel).


The fitment of the strap is comfortable and tailored to favor smaller (Asian) wrists. I use the forth strap hole (from the top) on this watch, compared to my other watches where I usually use one of the first three. That said, it will still fit larger wrists just fine (unless you have wrists as thick as exhaust pipe).


Taking Delivery


 

The Time Machine comes in a sturdy custom presentation box. The outside of the box is silver, black and metallic red with a faux carbon fiber finish and white Mugen logo. Open the hinged lid and you’ll find another Mugen logo and  the watch propped up in by a foam cylinder. A tightly-folded instruction booklet sits beneath the foam, and is extremely detailed. I was relieved to see that instructions are in English as well as Japanese, since most Mugen products only include Japanese instructions.

 

Finish Line

 

Mugen has set the bar for Honda-themed timepieces. A masterful balance of design and engineering, the Mugen Time Machine RR is a must-have for Mugen and watch enthusiasts alike.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author. Perry Wang is a designer, auto-enthusiast and manager based in Portland, Oregon. He's one of the founders of Trigger Global, a digital marketing firm in Los Angeles. His Honda and Mugen illustrations can be found at AngryYoda.com.


** Please do not copy this post without permission from King Motorsports. **

Customer Ride: Mugen Blanket (JDM Warm & Fuzzies)

** Long-time King supporter Dewi sent this product review in... Thanks Dewi! **


My family are Honda/Mugen nuts and we import all of our Mugen goodies from King Motorsports to Scotland, so when we found out we were having a baby girl we started our DB8 (4 door Integra Type R) project as our family car.  It came as no surprise we wanted the right JDM parts to finish it off. This consisted of a baby Recaro in grey to match the car and whilst trawling King’s website we came across a black Mugen fleece blanket, so we ordered it up for car and stroller duties. 


 

The blanket is lightweight but warm, also very easy to keep clean if any spillages occur and our daughter loves the softness of the fleece. When it’s all tucked in, it keeps her very warm and she sleeps well without irritation.  We like to call her the ‘Mugen Slug’ so from a happy mum and dad we rate this product 5 stars for Mugen pervyness and 5 stars for performance and functionality.  Thank you very much King Motorsport for supplying us with this awesome quality product.

 


 

 

Customer Ride: Perry W's Mugen MF-10 & 5-lug Swap

** This was sent in by Perry W... Thanks Perry! **

 

Gotta send a big thanks to Scott and the guys at King for their help picking out new rims for my 2002 Civic Si hatchback (EP3).

 

Because the 02-03 model Si has a 4x100 bolt pattern, wheel options are limited. Scott pointed me to Volk and Enkei -- but ultimately I had my heart set on the rarity and heritage of the forged Mugen rims.

 

My ideal Mugen rim (for my bolt pattern) was long out of stock: the Mugen MF-8. Those would have been awesome. But just as ideal would be the MF-8's big brother: the Mugen MF-10 (10 spokes instead of 8, with a deeper "webbing" where the spokes converge around the center). King has limited number of these -- in stock and on sale -- so I snatched a set up.

 

But there was a catch. In order to mount these beautiful new rims, I would have to convert my Si from a 4-lug bolt pattern to a 5-lug bolt pattern (the MF-10s are a 5x114 bolt pattern). More on this later.

 

First let's talk about these magestic MF-10s.




The set of MF-10s arrived a few days later from King: 16"x7" +43, in bronze, complete with valve stems and black center caps. They look terrific and have a semi-machined lip that reminds me of the fine workmanship that goes into the Mugen shift knobs. The spokes of the MF-10 have a matte texture that offset the lip. These rims are a work of art and perfection. You can fall into a JDM-induced trance staring into the rich bronze color.  I love these rims so much I even recorded The World's First Mugen MF-10 Unboxing Video for YouTube.

 

I couldn't wait to get these on my car. But I would have to. I had to do that 5-lug conversion, all by myself. In my garage. I live roughly 2000 miles from King's shop. So driving out there wasn't an option. I don't really trust any of the shops out here yet. So it was up to me.

 

At this point I should stop to say that I have absolutely ZERO experience with suspensions. I think I might have rotated tires once. The most technical thing I ever did to the exterior was install side skirts, a wing, a short-ram air intake. Easy stuff.

 

I kept replaying the two comments Scott had given me:

 

The encouraging: "Just do a 5-lug conversion. It's not that bad."


Then the more ominous: "There's definitely a lot involved for the conversion. It's not for the faint of heart."

 

So I started by planning. I bought myself a shop manual, read every forum thread I could find about the 5-lug swap. I bought a bunch of tools, a breaker bar, fluids, ball joint puller etc. I was stocking up and studying nearly every night!

 

The 5-lug came from a donor car in Tennessee -- a 2003 RSX Type-S (DC5). The DC5 shares many of the same parts as my EP3, so the swap is possible and has been done by many EP3 owners. Because the donor car was a Type-S (not the base model), I had the benefit of getting much larger front calipers & rotors as a bonus. But that bonus was offset by the need for new axles (to fit the larger Type-S splines).

 

Here's a picture of the donor RSX parts before they were shipped to me:



Assembling all my tools and parts took about 3 weeks. Lots of mail order, and help from Big Mike and Jude. Jude's advice was something about using beer and copious amounts of swearing. That turned out to be good advice.

 

The actual install happened over 2 weeks, nights and weekends... I lost half a week when I realized the ball joint puller I had purchased was inadequate for the job. And had to hire a mobile mechanic to help me with a stuck axle (lesson learned: get a "BFH," bigger floor jack, bigger jack stands).

 

Picture of the work in progress. You can see the original 4-lug assemblies still on the car. On the floor is the new 5-lug, a fresh socket set, and an old rim (bronze C8).


 

A picture of the stock EP3 front rotor next to the larger RSX Type-S replacement:



 

New replacement axles from an RSX Type-S:


 

My tires are dismounted from my C8's and re-mounted to the MF-10 set! The de-throned old rims shrink back in shame.



Conversion is complete now, and my shiny MF-10s finally mounted on the car. Look closely to see my smiling face in the reflections!!



 

Customer Feedback: Mugen 5-Way Adjustable Suspension and Cat-Back Exhaust for CR-Z

** We just got this note and review from John Hinrichs - Thanks John! **



This afternoon I was able to take my CR-Z out for its first fun drive since I picked it up from KMS.  I've driven 30 minutes home, eaten dinner, made myself comfortable on my couch and there is still a big goofy grin on my face.  As much as i love the car itself, I have to give credit for this persistent smile to the Mugen suspension and exhaust you installed.

The factory suspension on the CR-Z was skewed to the comfort side.  Nice for running up and down the interstate, but when it came to corners the car would roll to the outside before it set into the turn.  With the Mugen system the car just turns in. 

Before I set off, I set all four shocks to 5 (full hard).  On the way to my choice bit of road, an area of backroads just south of Friess Lake, I rode over miles of lumpy concrete highways, chewed up blacktop side roads, and more than a few potholes.  The Mugen suspension let me know exactly what kind of surface I was on, but it was never harsh or abrupt. 

The roads I set out to drive are not the newest.  A patched, narrow, blacktop ring of roads that wind around and over the wooded hills of the area -- including a beautifully tight little switchback (which is a rare thing in southeastern Wisconsin).  The car just devoured it, staying flat and collected throughout.  Even in places where the corners were pieced together and uneven, the tires were held down tight, following the rough pavement without any hint of the skittishness that comes with a tire bouncing over the bumps I knew were there.

After driving the 7 mile loop once in each direction, I pulled over to set the shocks to full soft.  Five minutes later I was driving the loop for a third time just to listen to my car.  The stock exhaust note isn't non-existent, and the Mugen system isn't overly loud (I don't get complaints from the neighbors when I get called out to work at 2am like i do with my CRX), it just dials up the bass a couple notches.  In the last few weeks of commuting it has never been intrusive or droning.  I didn't even have to adjust the volume on the stereo.  But on these roads, full throttle from 4k to 6k RPM, the sound echoing off the trees was incredible.  It makes me want to find a tunnel just to listen.

Oh, and in regular highway driving I'm up 2 MPG since the new exhaust was installed.  Win/win.

Thanks for everything,
John Hinrichs

Mugen CR-Z 5-Way Adjustable Suspension Announcement and Review

Review and announcement by Scott Zellner, President & CEO of King Motorsports and SCCA Road Racing Champion:


In stock form, Honda's new CR-Z is both under-dampened and softly sprung. This combination really masks the sporting characteristics of the CR-Z. 


The Mugen 5-Way Adjustable Suspension Kit was designed with both street and occasional track use in mind. The result is a more controlled ride with much less lean, dive and squat. Each damper adjustment changes both the compression and rebound calibrations so you can tailor the suspension for any driving environment.



The average ride height reduction is 1” front and rear for an aggressive stance, lower center of gravity, and better aerodynamics. This kit comes pre-assembled which makes installation quick and easy.


This kit is without a doubt the best handling upgrade you can make to your new CR-Z.


King Motorsports is proud to be the sole provider of these Mugen CR-Z suspension kits in North America. They will be in-house and ready to ship the first week of November.


Follow us on Twitter (@KingMotorsports) or Facebook to be the first to know!

 

In the meantime, be sure to download our exclusive Mugen/King CR-Z wallpapers.







 


Preview Video: Mugen CR-Z Exhaust System

Ride along as we take the yet-to-be-released Mugen CR-Z Exhaust System out on the open roads outside our shop!


This video compares the sound and performance of the OEM exhaust against the stainless Mugen system. You'll get a great look at the distinctive triangular-shaped exhaust tip that Mugen designed for this system.


> IN CAR OEM Exhaust: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gear / WOT
> IN CAR OEM Exhaust: 4th Gear Roll On / WOT / 40mph-70mph
> IN CAR Mugen Exhaust: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gear / WOT
> IN CAR Mugen Exhaust: 3rd Gear Roll On / Partial Throttle / 30mph-60mph
> BEHIND CAR Mugen Exhaust: Exterior Startup, Rev, Pullaway
> DRIVE BY Mugen Exhaust


Unleash the GRRR in your CR-Z -- shipping soon from King Motorsports!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcV6gsSdVwQ



 

See all of our videos on the King Motorsports YouTube Channel.

Welcome to the King Motorsports Blog!

Welcome to the King Motorsports blog!


King Motorsports has a rich racing history that goes back to 1981. We were racing Civics and Hondas back when nobody even gave them a second look.


Today, King tunes amazing project cars destined for serious track battles. We love to hear about customer wins at race events across the country, and look forward to sharing them with you on this blog.


We love working with discerning enthusiasts -- it doesn't matter if you're pro, amateur or just starting out! We work with you to make your goals a reality.

 

As the only authorized distributor of Mugen performance parts in North America, King Motorsports works closely with our Mugen collegues in Japan. We do test fits on new vehicles, provide design & manufacturing feedback, and make sure our customers get the most from their genuine Mugen parts. We've had a direct line of communication with Mugen's engineers in Japan for over 25 years -- so look to us first for Mugen products, information and more.


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