Bringing you the world's best café racers, bobbers and custom motorcycles

Japan


Interview: Kengo Kimura – Heiwa Motorcycles

Posted on June 24th, by Andrew in Other. No Comments

Meet Kengo “Heiwa” Kimura. You’d be smiling too if you had his skill set

I’ve been at this whole custom bike blog game for a while now, and if there’s one thing that has always gnawed away in the back of my mind, it is the following conundrum; Japan produces some of the world’s coolest custom bikes and yet, due to the language barriers, the scene is neigh on impenetrable to westerners. To me, it’s always felt like a massive gold deposit that’s been inconveniently placed under an ocean or right next to an active volcano. Everyone knows it’s there, but getting access to it just seems like mission impossible. Then, a few weeks back, it hit me. I have a Tokyo-based mate who I’ve known for over a decade. He’s Japanese born and bred, yet he speaks perfect English – what if we were to get him to help us out? So here’s the first of what I am hoping is many interviews with these Nihon-jin masters. Please bow deeply as we welcome Kengo Kimura San from Heiwa Motorcycles to our humble blog. Otsukare-sama desu!


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M&M’s SR

Posted on September 20th, by Scott in Tracker. No Comments

This isn’t a bike built by the chocolate maker, it’s from a custom shop in Japan that goes by the name M&M Motorcycles. Based not far from Yokohama in a city called Kanagawa. Like most Japanese shops they specialize in SR’s, W650’s and TR’s. We really dig this yellow SR tracker. Judging by their website they seem to build mostly street trackers. They also have a blog and a shop that are worth checking out. The shop has some interesting things, ranging from ashtrays through to motorcycle parts and clothing.


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Gravel Crew Virago

Posted on September 12th, by Scott in Bobber, Brat. 6 comments

Originally found this Yamaha XV250 on the marvelous Mulligans Machine. Of course it’s from Gravel Crew in Japan who have such a distinctive style. I still can’t believe it’s a Virago. I see so many of these bikes around the streets but I have never seen one customized (unless you think adding saddle bags and tassels counts). The xv250 is actually a really cheap alternative to the more popular project bikes like the SR400’s. Although I’m not sure they have the same range of custom parts readily available.


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Heiwa FTR223

Posted on August 26th, by Scott in Brat. No Comments

It’s no surprise that we love Japanese customs and Heiwa is one of the best. This Honda FTR223 is quite popular in Japan but not that common in Australia (although there is one for sale on bikepoint). The FTR is Honda’s version of Yamaha’s TW200 which has become a very popular project bike (we will try and post some of the TW200 pics you guys have sent in). Heiwa have pimped this bike in true Jap style. Love the slim tank which looks very simliar to the ones found on Peytons Place.


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Bratstyle SR500

Posted on August 10th, by Scott in Brat. 5 comments

Having recently received my SR400 from Japan I can’t stop searching for pics of them for inspiration. So when it comes to SR400 and SR500’s one of the best places to go is Bratstyle. They are a Japanese custom shop that have a very distinctive and rideable style. They especially love their Sr400’s, XS650’s and W650’s. Check out their gallery for more eye candy. One of the first purchases will be a set of old-school Firestones like the ones on this SR500 aptly named Godspeed.


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Erwin SR500

Posted on August 5th, by Scott in Bobber, Brat. 1 Comment

The much anticipated Chop Cult has launched. The site has a fresh feel and some even fresher bikes. We found this immaculate purple 1979 Erwin SR500. Built by the talented Kim Boyle, we are having trouble taking our eyes off it. We thought the beautiful Blue Moon Kustom tank looked familiar having seen it on their blog recently. For more details on the build and more beautiful pics by Wes Drelleshak check out Chop Cult.


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Hodaka Cafe Racer

Posted on August 1st, by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 2 comments

What a great little Cafe Racer. Hodaka was an American-Japanese company that unfortunately didn’t produce motorcycles for very long. Pretty much between 1960 and mid 1970’s. This is a two stroke, single cylinder 1972 Hodaka Ace 100. We love the rawness of this featherweight cafe racer. Stripped back to the basics like they should be. If you are a Hodaka fan or just want to know more, check out Strickly Hodaka for everything Hodaka.



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Moto Guzzi Le Mans

Posted on July 22nd, by Scott in Café Racer, Classic, Racer. 3 comments

Japanese Ritmo-sereno are famous for their BMW cafe racers. However their website is full of other european bikes like this beautiful Moto Guzzi Le Mans. The Le Mans was Moto Guzzi’s top sports bike in the 80’s. The big bore lOOOcc version was a welcome addition in 1985 but is essentially similar to the 850 Le Mans they had been producing. We wanted to give you the before and after shots of this bike to show the work thats gone into the build. Ritmo have taken this dated Guzzi and turned it into a cafe masterpiece. With its beautiful cafe race seat, purple racer fairing and 2-in-1 stainless steel exhaust. We simply love it.


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1969 Hishiki Sumiya CR750

Posted on July 18th, by Scott in Classic, Racer. No Comments

This Honda CR750 Replica has been in the making for 6 years. Painstakingly built by a guy called Simon from Cheshire in the U.K. It started life as a beat up old CB750. Some of you might be wondering about the 80’s ski suit looking colour scheme. It’s actually the 1969 Suzuka 8-hour winning colour scheme ridden by Honda development riders Hishiki and Sumiya (who died in 1975 racing). Those crazy japanese loved their bright colours. We really like how he had the balls to choose this colour scheme instead of the more common red and silver. Simon we take our helmets off to you mate. Brilliant job and we look forward to seeing the vid of this machine on the move. If you want more detail on this build you can find Simon on the SOHC Forum. [Thanks to Gav for this tip]


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Liquid Chrome

Posted on July 9th, by Scott in Bobber, Classic. No Comments

Japanese custom motorcycle builder Chicara Nagata is in a league of his own. He doesn’t call his bikes motorcycles, he calls them pieces of art. Which is why the Ippodo Gallery in NYC has had an exhibition recently showing his amazing chrome bikes. Chicara has won numerous awards for his custom motorcycles, which take him over 7000 hrs to build. This level of craftsmanship has its price, with most of his bikes selling for around $1 million – ouch. Hit this video to see Chicara talk about his amazing masterpieces.


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