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History Of RACING GEAR, A Long-established Suspension Manufacturer

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TEXT: 山崎真一(YAMAZAKI Shinichi)  PHOTO: 山崎真一(YAMAZAKI Shinichi)

  • Suspension brand RG (Racing Gear) products
  • Suspension brand RG (Racing Gear) products
  • Suspension brand RG (Racing Gear) products
  • Suspension brand RG (Racing Gear) products

The brand is also highly trusted in motorsports

Suspension brand RG (RACING GEAR) also attracted a lot of attention with its booth at the Osaka Auto Messe 2024 held from 10-12 February 2024. It was also the first brand to introduce full-length adjustable dampers, which have now become mainstream, to the aftermarket. The company’s commitment to RG, its future development plans, and other attractions. What are the must-have items for Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ owners currently under development?

The history of the RG

Full-length adjustable (also known as full-tap) suspensions are now commonplace in the customization market. By combining the shell case (damper body) with the lower bracket, the ride height can be adjusted without changing the spring pre-load and the adjustment range is wide enough to lower the vehicle without changing the ride quality, which is an advantage over standard ride height adjustment kits. RG (RACING GEAR) was the first company to introduce this full-length adjustable suspension to the aftermarket.

RG is not a manufacturer, but an original parts brand developed by Tatsumiya Kogyo, a general trading company in the automotive industry. Suspension is the main product that can be said to be the face of the brand, and this is because Tatsumiya Kogyo started by dealing in plate springs for trucks.

The introduction of the aforementioned full-length adjustable suspension was the catalyst for RG’s suspension to penetrate the aftermarket, and it went on sale in 1996, the year after the deregulation of auto parts took place in 1995, and tuning parts became legal. It gained recognition when it was adopted for use in the Honda Civic and Integra cars competing in the Class 3 (1.6-litre class) of the Super N1 endurance race, where it won the championship. Currently, the company is mainly involved with the D1 Grand Prix and has been running a ‘180SX’ faced S13 ‘Silvia’ (a.k.a. ‘Wambia’) this year with Drift Star Racing, and has been accumulating technology ever since.

For 2024, a comfortable coilover kit

Although the RG brand has strong motorsport colors, in 2024 the company plans to release a full-length adjustable coilover kit for comfort. The person in charge of the project states.

“In addition to the need to lower the ride height to a sticky level and to drive faster, we are also receiving more and more requests to lower the ride height a little while keeping the ride quality comfortable. In particular, the owners of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, which can be regarded as entry-level sports car models, are a wide range of people, so we plan to commercialize the product starting with the new and old 86/BRZ.”

The damping force is tuned in the comfort direction and the spring rate is reduced (4 kg/mm front and rear), as promised, but also upper mounts with built-in bearings are used. This is a bearing inserted between the spring seats of the upper mounts to reduce resistance when the steering is turned, which serves to reduce noise when turning and allows the springs to move smoothly. This brings the suspension movement closer to the ideal and thus improves ride comfort.

In addition, the damper has more strokes than the standard product. The appearance is the same, but the content has been modified considerably for street riding. The target is customization beginners and users who have graduated from hard driving. This suspension is a must for 86/BRZ owners who want to enjoy their car as a hobby.

The company also produces headlight bulbs as well as dampers

Now, RG has a strong image of suspension being the pillar of its parts line-up, but in fact, lighting parts centered on LED and HID headlights/fog lamps are also available in a wide range of variations and sell quite well. You should be able to find many RG logos in the lighting parts section of car accessory shops.

Currently, a series of new products are being lined up that have been redesigned to produce a new optimum light axis (cut line) to comply with changes in vehicle inspections from 1 August 2024. We are also pleased to see that the price has remained unchanged, making it a user-first product.

Cars manufactured after 1 September 1998 need to comply with the new headlight inspection standards, and vehicles with yellowing headlight covers due to UV rays need to have the turbidity eliminated and the bulbs upgraded. The new RG bulbs with ideal light distribution should be an option as one of the countermeasures.

translated by DeepL