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BABY FACE Inc.'s international brand identity is SATO RACING. BABY FACE began as a race bike manufacturer in Osaka, Japan in the 1980s, founded by Katsuhiko 'Babyface' Sato. By the late 1990s, the business had established a reputation for producing ultra-lightweight titanium exhaust systems and other specialist racing components. Mr. Sato thought it was time to expand worldwide after noticing a considerable demand for the company's premium grade racing components outside of Japan. By 2001, he had created a US distribution warehouse in California, and his company's exhaust systems were being regularly imported and sold under a new brand name, SATO RACING.
SATO RACING Titanium Exhaust Systems were an instant favorite with trackday racers and custom bike builders alike in the early years, and the performance and design aesthetics of these exhausts helped the SATO RACING brand establish a distinguished name in the US and worldwide. Other interesting and inventive components, such as billet aluminum Rear Sets, as well as less glamorous but equally important racing parts like Frame Sliders, Axle Sliders, and Swingarm Spools, soon entered the product portfolio.
Rising titanium costs, combined with stricter motorcycle noise regulations in Japan and elsewhere, signaled the end of the party for makers of unrestricted racing exhaust systems, and the decision was made to phase out exhaust production in favor of expanding development and production of the company's other racing parts. Although our exhaust system fans were disappointed, this proved to be a wise decision in the long run, as the company has done extremely well selling its other (non-exhaust related) parts, not to mention that the exhaust field has become increasingly crowded with high-quality alternatives in the years since we stopped production.
Today, CNC-machined billet aluminum and Delrin-based parts like Rear Sets, Sliders, and Racing Hooks account for the majority of our production output, and they've helped us maintain a loyal fanbase thanks to their high quality, refined styling, and superior performance, much like our exhaust systems did in the company's early years.
PROTOTYPING IN 3D
To prototype items, our engineers now take full use of developing 3-D scanning and printing technology. Our state-of-the-art 3-D printers can produce completely functioning components that are sturdy enough to be fitted on a motorbike for testing in a matter of hours, making it much simpler to get the design of the part just right before CNC cutting the final version of the parts out of billet aluminum. This dramatically simplifies a procedure that formerly took weeks of trial and error, reducing development time for many pieces to a few days or less.
SATO RACING is a Japanese racing team.
Our slogan 'Made in Japan' was adopted early on, when we were primarily making parts for the 'Big 4' Japanese brand sportbikes, as a way to help our limited-production, handcrafted racing parts stand out from the cheaper competing brands of motorcycle parts being mass-produced in China and elsewhere, while also embracing the uniquely Japanese 'JDM' design aesthetics of our parts. Even today, when many of our most popular components are increasingly for non-Japanese bike manufacturers like BMW or Harley-Davidson, we keep the 'Made in Japan' motto to emphasize that our parts were primarily built by and for Japanese racers, who have their own unique demands. As a result, some of the parts we sell might seem a bit unusual to riders outside of Japan. But since our parent company's primary market is Japan, it has never been a priority to try to 'design by committee' to cater to the tastes of riders in the US or other countries. And we believe our parts are all the better for it.