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Japan


SIX-CYLINDER SYMPHONY: Honda CBX1000 by Mandrill Garage

Posted on August 7, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

For those who are ahead of their time there must be a desperate frustration, often a deep depression, as the world around them fails to see the brilliance of their creation. In the late ’70s Honda moved one such man, engineer Shoichiro Irimajiri, from the head of F1 engine development to the motorcycle division and two of his creations were the CX500 and the CBX1000. The ugly commuter bike sold like hotcakes, while the revolutionary six ended up being given away to trade schools. But oh how times have changed; so when a man with an enviable collection of cars and bikes approached China’s Mandrill Garage wanting only the most desirable of builds, they quickly selected the singing six-cylinder Honda CBX.

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ESCAPE ARTIST. Buell X1 Lightning by Custom Works Zon

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Enduro. No Comments

Words by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Hiromitsu Yasui

On the outside it looks like a simple little building, with faded weatherboards and an old tin roof in a small historic town in Japan. Surrounded by neatly ploughed fields you step inside and expect to see an old man repairing dated farming machinery, instead you’ve entered the home of one of the world’s best custom bike shops. But despite becoming renowned for their concept BMW R18 ‘Departed’, the bread and butter of Custom Works Zon is American V-Twin muscle. And with a desire to play in the nearby mountain mud they’ve turned an unloved Buell X1 Lighting into a true weekend warrior.

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WELL RED. A Brilliant BMW R100 Bobber from Heiwa Motorcycles

Posted on September 27, 2018 by Andrew in Bobber, Classic. No Comments

From their base in Hiroshima, Heiwa Motorcycles produce all manner of drop-dead gorgeous bobbers. And we never see them coming. They have an uncanny ability to pitch motorcycles in our inbox out of thin air, with little pomp or ceremony. And every single one leaves us flabbergasted…

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MOUNTAIN BIKING. Blue Thunder’s Mean Kawasaki Z900RS ‘Pikes Peak Special’

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Andrew in Racer. No Comments

The launch of Kawasaki’s new Z900RS has seen the return of some good ol‘ manly retro moto madness. Custom-made for 2018, Japan’s Blue Thunders shop in conjunction with Icon Motosports has taken a brand new Z, made it into a racer and decided to run it up Pikes Peak at 110% just for shits and giggles…

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HIROSHIMA HERO. Heiwa’s ‘No.10’ Kawasaki W650 Bobber

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Andrew in Bobber. No Comments

In an industrial area near the wharves, on a white weather beaten wall, is an old Castrol sign that looks like it marks the spot of an old English workshop. Welcome to Hiroshima and the now world famous workshop of custom builder extraordinaire Kengo Kimura…

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TWELVE YEAR SPRINT. Switch Stance’s ‘81 Ducati 900 MHR Racer

Posted on June 7, 2018 by Andrew in Classic, Racer. No Comments

Like most forms of racing, Europe’s Sultans of Sprint series is full to the brim with enough cool bikes, stories, characters and sights to last you multiple lifetimes. But for the 2018 season, there’s one story in particular that has really stood out for us. meet Toshi Kozaka…

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4 PLAY. Meet Heiwa’s Nimble Montesa 4RIDE Scrambler

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Andrew in Scrambler. No Comments

Richard Branson once said, “I have enjoyed life a lot more by saying ’yes’ than by saying ‘no’.” It is a pretty simplistic approach to surviving this mortal coil, but it sure is an interesting way of looking at things. Sadly, ‘no’ was exactly what Heiwa’s Kengo Kimura said when a customer first suggested a scrambler based on a Montesa – but not for long…

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THE REAL DEAL. Heiwa’s ’68 BSA B25 Bobber

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Andrew in Bobber, Classic. 15 comments

If you ask me to tell you the difference between a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag and a 50 buck knock off from eBay, I could examine it with a magnifying glass and still have no idea. But save yourself the 3k and buy your girlfriend the Chinese fake for her birthday…

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FROM HIROSHIMA WITH LOVE. Heiwa’s Yamaha SR400 ‘007’ Bobber

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Andrew in Bobber. 10 comments

If you’ve been paying attention to custom motorcycles for more than fifteen minutes you’ll be aware of Yamaha’s evergreen SR400. In the west its dominance of the scene is a relatively recent phenomenon, but custom builders in Japan people have been doing it for decades. One of these shops is Heiwa motorcycles, who’ve re-birthed this tidy little SR400 bobber.

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HASTE WITH TASTE. Heiwa Motorcycles’ ‘Flavor’ ’58 Triumph T110 Scrambler

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Andrew in Classic, Scrambler. 23 comments

Walking through the rows of bikes recently at a small regional motorcycle show, I got chatting to a guy who’d just finished a three-year rebuild of a Triumph 6T Thunderbird. She was a beauty, glistening in the sun like the day it had left the factory floor. With great enthusiasm I asked the owner how it was on the open road, the answer sadly is one that’s becoming all too common, “It doesn’t leave the garage!” Thankfully the motorcycle gods have given us Kengo Kimura of Hiroshima’s Heiwa Motorcycles who builds the most incredible old school customs and boy are they built to ride. His latest offering is a ’58 Triumph Tiger T110 that’s original patina earns it the nickname ‘Flavor’.

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