Shinya Kimura: Industry Icon

Fifty years from now when custom motorcycle enthusiasts look back on the 1990s and the early 21st century, who will be recognized as the builders that revolutionized the industry?

Shinya Kimura is one of the most important figures in custom motorcycles today. His influence on motorcycle styling, through his work at Zero Engineering and now as a “solo artist” will be with us forever.

It is fairly rare for a shop or designer to become synonymous with an entire genre of motorcycle styling, but that is exactly what “zero engineering” has done for the industry. How many times have you heard that someone appreciates that “zero” style? Zero Engineering was named after the Zen Buddhist principal of being in a neutral state kharmically. I am not gonna try to explain that one any further, ’cause I really don’t get it myself. Zero E. represents a minimalist approach to building motorcycles.

Shinya has brought this minimalist approach to his own business as Chabott Engineering. His approach to building and decorating his bikes has a very organic duality to it as well. His signature bikes are functional and very earthy feeling when you look at them.

Lucky for us Triumph fans, Shinya doesn’t just customize Harley Davidson motorcycles. Check out his latest creation – a Chabott style cafe racer Triumph. Unit construction motor, looks like an old Redline or Trackmaster frame…

Check out the ARD belt drive Magneto, a highly coveted item these days.

The brakes look like vintage Hallcraft items and the rear hub was made by Barnes, a company in the early 1970s that made wheels and other items for the flat track market. Looks like the rare Cerianni road race front end.

Vintage Italian controls are just part of the trick picture Kimura paints. Magura throttle and Tomasselli levers?

One skill Kimura possesses is metal work, especially aluminum. He makes unique body work for all of his bikes – be it a seat or a fairing. This Triumph has both a cool fairing and a brilliantly conceived seat.

So enjoy the pics and remember, less is more.

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