The Samurai of custom bikes

Over the past two decades, Shinya Kimura has risen to the top of the heap of custom bike builders with his stunning ‘zero style’ design of custom bikes

Up until now, custom bikes have mostly been the fiefdom of the West. Arlenn Ness, Jesse James, the OCC family – name any renowned custom builder off the top of your head and chances are, he will be American. But, slowly but steadily, the rest of the world is also waking up to the art of custom craft and creating a name for themselves in a field that requires enormous artistic talent, painstaking attention to detail as well as a thorough knowledge of metallurgy. Somewhere near the pinnacle of this list lies Shinya Kimura.

Shinya Kimura is a Japanese born custom bike builder and founder of Zero Engineering and Chabott Engineering who originated the “zero style” of custom bikes. A Zero-style bike is typically based around a rigid goose neck, a pre-1984 Harley Davidson engine, springer front end, spoke wheels and often includes parts of the bike remaining in bare metal.

In 2006 Kimura set up his own shop named Chabott Engineering to build both custom bikes as well as moving himself toward the world of art. He has also co-authored various books like “Art of the Chopper by Tom Zimberoff” and Zero Chopper Spirit – Samurai Bikes from the East and has also taken part in Biker Build-Off where he was put up against another great builder in the form of Joe Martin.

Shinya Kimura will be premiering two of his famed retro custom builds at this year’s Calendar Show. While the first of these two is a recently completed 1973 MV Augusta 750S named “Blue One”, details about the other remains undisclosed up till now. The former has already won the Quail’s Custom/Modified 1st Place Trophy and the Cycle World “Elegance in Action” Award in another event held previously. Over the past two decades, Shinya Kimura has built up an enviable clientele of motorcycle connoisseurs willing to pay top dollar for works of art that truly stand out from the usual breed. Like actor Brad Pitt, seen here in the picture with one of Kimura’s creations, the ‘Flash’ Café Racer.

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