I’ve been an appreciator of Shinya Kimura’s vehicular creations for a little while now, introduced to his “ZERO” style a couple years back by some friends. Shinya’s style is either love it or hate it — I know, because I’ve felt both ways. At first I couldn’t acclimate myself to the raw, hammered look of his sheet metal. The fairings and tanks just looked unfinished, flawed. But after seeing a couple bikes the organic nature of the metal began to grow on me — and then when I saw one in the flesh this past May at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, it all became clear to me. His latest bike, using a Ducati-frame customized for Devon Motorworks, was stunning to see live. Yes it looked raw, but in all the best definitions; it was linear, powerful even when standing still. Since then my appreciation has grown tenfold (of course it doesn’t hurt that Shinya himself was a very gracious man). He left the “ZERO” moniker behind awhile ago, and in 2006 launched a new workshop called “chabott engineering” in Azusa, California. The video below shows Shinya in this workshop, ruminating on what inspires his love for motorcycles and motorcycle design. Filmed by Director Henrik Hansen, the short doc is a quick peek into the studio of one of the world’s top custom motorcycle builders.
The founder of the ZERO style opens his workshop doors