THE ART OF IKIGAI WITH SHINYA KIMURA
Words and photos by Phoenix Naman. In a time where instant gratification is a commodity, we’re quickly forgetting the value of true craftsmanship. The craftsmanship that comes from repetition, and repetition, in today’s culture, is not that cool. We're all suckers for the quick dopamine hit. Be it the newest iPhone, or swiping left or right. It seems that 'Next, Next, Next' is the mantra of the times. Being still is a rebellion. A rebellion that Shinya seems to have mastered. Far removed from the influencers of Venice beach, there stands Chabott Engineering. A workshop that upon entering, looks like entering Nebuchadnezzar of the Matrix trilogy, while Shinya San likened to a current day Morpheus.
CAFFEINATED SINGLE. Honda Dominator NX650 by MécaServices92
Written by Martin Hodgson Long before YouTube there was Claude Lelouch's epic 8 minute masterpiece, C'était un rendez-vous, showing the French are as mad as the rest of us! Fellow Parisian Isidore Delgrosso shares that need for speed but prefers to get his kicks on two wheels. From his workshop MécaServices92 near the heart of the city, he utilises his engineering talent to produce some of the countries finest customs. Now he's back with a '90s Honda NX650 Dominator café racer that's been touched in all the right places.
PAST & PRESENT. BMW R nine T by Untitled Motorcycles
Most people love the classic looks of a vintage motorcycle, but not everyone loves the maintenance and performance issues that normally go hand in hand with older bikes. So when a customer approached Untitled Motorcycles (UMC) in London wanting to build a BMW R nine T with a vintage airhead vibe, it was like they had been waiting for a project like this for a while. “We’ve built dozens of older BMW’s but never had the chance to customise the R nine T, so we jumped at the chance,” says head designer Adam Kay. To kick the project off, Adam sat down with the customer Nick Wooller to throw some ideas around and work out how this Urban GS should look.
WINNING BATL. 1970 Triumph Bonneville by Origin8or
Written by Martin Hodgson So it's pressure you're after; how does building a custom bike for the founder of the Backyard Axe Throwing League sound? Oh, and he also owns the incredible Dyna Guerilla by Rough Crafts that the new machine must be able to match and complement. For Rob Chappell of Origin8or Custom Cycle Co it was barely pause for concern. Because from the earliest of ages he's been drawing up designs and then spinning spanners. So it comes as no surprise that the 1970 Triumph Bonneville they call 'BATL' had everyone smiling when it finally rolled out of his Ontario, Canada based workshop.
BLACK & GOLD. Moto Guzzi California 1100 by Recast Moto
A few years ago we featured a murdered-out Moto Guzzi Nevada 750 by Recast Moto. If it were a movie, it would have received a standing ovation. But there was one small problem – and we mean small literally. It seems they like their bikes big in Belarus, and unfortunately most of the people who were interested in buying the bike thought the 750cc Guzzi was a little too small. So Recast decided to make a sequel, using a larger California 1100 and touches of gold to accentuate the details.
RETRO MOTO – 2003 Suzuki DR650 by Parr Motorcycles
Written by Martin Hodgson The 80s is known for many fashion trends, plenty worth forgetting but according to new research it was the decade of bright primary colours; think Pac-Man, the MTV Logo and BMX Bandits. Suzuki's design division was all over it with the blue and yellow expanding across the range and the brightness turned up to 10. It's a look that Spencer of Parr Motorcycles has always loved and he's gone full nostalgia with a build he calls 'Retro-Moto'. From a 2003 Suzuki DR650 he's crafted a stripped down, modern Supermoto, that wears the classic RM uniform.
CLUTCH & BRAKE – Ducati 750 Sport
Written by Martin Hodgson From Switzerland, you head up over The Alps to Milan, swing east for Venice before rounding the Adriatic and opening the taps for a full days ride across the Balkans. Here you find yourself on the outskirts of Belgrade in front of a nondescript industrial building. This is the journey one man took to find Nemanja Ugresic of Serbia's Clutch & Brake Motorcycles. Six months later he returned to collect his hand beaten bodied and brilliantly emblazoned 1990 Ducati 750, for the final return leg of his European custom bike expedition.
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER. Suzuki A100 by FNG Works
When it comes to classic motorcycle livery, we’ve all seen the usual suspects: Gulf Oil, John Player Special, Marlboro, Rothmans, Lucky Strike and even the French cigarette company Gauloises come to mind. But Irwann Cheng from FNG Works in Malaysia decided to choose something a little different – the colours from the Sunoco Team Penske Chevrolet. It all came about when Irwann was commissioned to bring an old Suzuki back to life. He decided to do a bit of research on the classic Suzuki colorways of the 70s and 80s and discovered they weren’t very inspiring. He then delved into the world of car liveries and found a match. “I stumbled upon the Team Penske Chevrolet Camaro and its colours are similar to the Suzuki blue and yellow.”
‘The Flying Scotsman’ Moto Guzzi Scrambler
Written by Martin Hodgson With the Northern Hemisphere riding season now upon us, builders in the top half of the globe are unveiling their latest creations. Those looking to make the most of the summer sun and the conditions that surround them will surely have spent the winter producing just the right bike. Enter Scotland's JM Customs who's hit the brief out of the park with a stunning Moto Guzzi Scrambler. From the bones of a 1986 V65 Florida 'The Flying Scotsman' is ready to shred the streets.
LONDON CALLING. Bike Shed Show 10th Edition
We were lucky enough to have local photographer and moto journo Tom Bing cover the Bike Shed show for us. He is friends with the Bike Shed crew and most of the builders, so it was great to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the bikes on display. Words and photos by Tom Bing. It’s got to be the most exciting weekend of the year in the UK for custom bike lovers. It’s funny, when you’re anywhere near the ‘inner folds’ of something like the Bike Shed, you feel strangely proud of the achievements of all the people who have worked so hard to make the event come together yet again. It feels like a community event – not something you just attend as a punter, but something we are all a part of.