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Garage Finds | Yoshihide Fukudome Jersey


Presented by Backyard Design

I’ve made many friends throughout my years of traveling to Japan to check out the works bikes of the All Japan National MX Championship, with the most notable being 12-time IA1 Champion Akira Narita. One of the Japanese racers who was always super cool to me when I was visiting was Yoshihide Fukudome, the 2005 IA2 (250 class) National Champion. “Dome” was the first rider I recall seeing pilot a dual-pipe Honda CRF250R works bike in Japan, and he also spent plenty of time training and racing in the United States. As a matter of fact, in 2007 he raced in the States on the Moto-XXX team and even qualified for a 250 Supercross main event.

I’m not sure what year this No Fear jersey is from, but I asked for it on behalf of my co-worker at the time, Pete Martini. After the previous year’s trip to Japan, Pete saw a photo in the magazine of Yoshihide from the rear, and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. I remember Pete shouting, “No way, no way! The dude’s name is F-U Do Me?” Until then, I hadn’t seen that combo of letters in Fukudome’s last name, and the two of us cracked up for several minutes. The next trip I took overseas, I asked Dome for one of his jerseys and explained the vulgar connotation that could be derived from the spelling of his last name. He too, laughed hysterically, then gladly gave me a jersey to give to Pete. Sadly, I was never able to actually hand it over, as Pete found employment with another media title selling advertising before I could do so. 

The unbelievable thing about my long-lost friend Yoshihide Fukudome is that he retired from professional motocross racing at the peak of his career to become a monk. From what I understand, his father too is a monk, and it was expected of him all along and he knew that his racing days were numbered. I’ve asked Narita if he’s seen Fukudome since he became a monk and he said that he’s got the shaved head, robes and all. Talk about a contrast in lifestyles!

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Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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