A team of six third year students in the art department of Ehime Prefectural Yawatahama Technical High School in Hachimanhama City in Shikoku, Japan have built what must be the most faithful cardboard recreation in the history of cardboard recreations of things. This project is incredibly overwhelming for a non-engineer like me, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin. There is art in the machine, and from the machine these students have created art.
The Super Cub fanpage on Honda’s Japanese site is a little difficult to decipher, as I don’t read kanji, and Google’s translate function is a little wonky here. In any case, it seems that the cardboard motor scooter was built for the 60th anniversary of the Super Cub, which would have been back in 2018. In any case, better late than never, I’m so excited to learn of the card-bike’s existence.
That looks like a proud group of young artisan creators showing off the fruits of their hard and time consuming labour. Heck yeah, what a cool piece.
One only need look to the deeply intricate handlebar-mounted speedometer to know just how much work has gone into this project.
And failing that, check out the frame bar and intricate aircooled engine that is normally hidden away underneath the front fairing. The fact that the fairing is not only removable, but the parts underneath that nobody would ever ask about or expect to be highly detailed, are included in the card-build.
My father works in the paper board industry, and he would be disappointed if I didn’t make note of the fact that this is actually double-backed corrugated board, not cardboard. Cardboard is traditionally the stuff cereal boxes are made out of. Anyway, I make a point to note this now, because you can see that the corrugated has been de-backed to give texture to surfaces like the turn signals and tail light, as well as the foot pegs and brake pedal pads. It’s a neat touch.
Another great detail is that the seat not only has the Honda logo pressed into the back of it, but it is hinged and pivots forward to show off the correct removable fuel tank cap.
The students had to learn some cardboard engineering first-hand in the process of building this bike, which includes how to make wheels entirely out of boxes.
“We made a tire first because it doesn’t burn without a vehicle shape. However, since the spokes are made of corrugated cardboard, it does not have enough strength. Sticking the kraft paper firmly with the woodworking bond increases the strength after drying. So, I got a hint of production while remaking and reinforcing. I think that I made it about 5 times until I finally supported the total weight. ”
Even better, the students sourced all of the board to make this bike from waste paper and recycling programs! It’s the first ethically sourced zero-emissions Honda Super Cub ever.
“I brought it from the school’s waste paper storage area and cooperated with a nearby shopping district. I think I used more than 50 cardboard boxes in a folded state. The difference in paper quality and thickness of the cardboard In addition, there are one layer of wavy cushion part inside and two layers of etc. Find the picture of Super Cub C100 on the Internet and find out which cardboard fits which part, hardness and ease of processing , I chose it while considering the appearance etc.”
While most of the bike is built from cardboard, there is a bit of structural wood built into the frame, and there is some piano wire used as a throttle cable. Oh yeah, that’s right, it has a functional throttle cable.
I wish I had the patience and skill to build something like this. All I can say is well done to the Super Cub Students.