Throughout the nice Pacific Ocean on the islands of Japan, a pair of fellows have been making waves, which have simply began to interrupt on the US shoreline—not brat model nor bosozoku, however somewhat a method all their very own. They only don’t have a catchy title but. Enter Cycle West.
Hiromichi Nishiyama, who goes by Hiro, and Takaaki Katori arrange store about six years in the past and have accomplished greater than 20 full customized builds. Final yr, Cycle West received a particular trophy from the Born-Free Bike Present on the Mooneyes 2016 Yokohama Scorching Rod Customized Present, awarding them an invitation to the Born-Free present this yr. That’s the place we caught up with them for a day photograph shoot.
We met the pair of builders in Costa Mesa, California, together with their American and Japanese pals, collectively creating this various, motley crew, of wide-eyed, blissful bikers driving by means of Southern California. The Panhead was sitting outdoors a suburban home after we arrived.
They’ve solely constructed Harleys, switching between types and bikes as they really feel impressed. They’ve created a method that’s usually arduous to identify, however that’s partly due to their distinctive pairing. Hiro has labored at a Harley store since his youth; Katori was part of a bunch of native elementary faculty children who used to go to the store after faculty. Hiro left that store and have become a truck driver however later returned to motorcycling and opened his personal store. Naturally, Katori, who was working in a print store on the time, began hanging round once more. So, about 5 years in the past, Hiro thought he would possibly as nicely begin paying him to assist out. Katori is 17 years his junior, however the pair appear to make sense.
When Hiro described the store’s model, he stated by means of a translator, “I’ve not modified, and I’m not restricted to simply this Panhead. I wish to make issues easy, balanced, and have a pleasant silhouette—that’s necessary. I construct issues utilizing my thoughts. Every bit provides to the steadiness and produces your entire silhouette.”
The shopper of the Panhead had visited the store to position a construct order for his dream bike: a 1961 Harley-Davidson. He was born in ’61 so he wished a motorcycle as outdated as him, however that was about the one instruction he offered—besides that the gasoline tank needed to be black. The remainder of the model and design was as much as Cycle West.
After being given these easy directions, the Cycle West staff started trying to find components, however additionally they needed to discover the bike itself. Utilizing their LA connections, they discovered a 1961 bike with a reduce and raked body and lengthy entrance finish. Instantly, they returned it to the inventory dimensions with detailed craftsmanship, intently resembling inventory H-D development.
Together with the prospect to attend the present, the Born-Free award additionally included a specifically created coin from Good Artwork HLYWD, which featured Saint Christopher, the patron saint of vacationers and riders. The coin featured the phrases: “Godspeed you good rider, Saint Christopher maintain us secure.” The staff curved the metallic coin across the middle of the handlebars and riveted it in place—a lot better placement than hidden away on a hearth mantle. It match the meant look of the bike exactly.
“We wished a motorcycle that match the proprietor,” Hiro writes. “We would like him to really feel cool when he will get on it, like a dirt-track racer or a Spartan warrior. The proprietor is pace freak, so I feel he enjoys it. The Hello-Efficiency cam and S&S twin-throat carburetor make it very thrilling to experience.”
It took the staff the following yr to complete the undertaking earlier than they offered it to its new proprietor, Hashiba Kazuya, who’s a craftsman himself. “He’s a buyer who runs the accelerator totally open,” Hiro writes. “We imagine the completed bike suits this picture, has a racing ambiance with a easy, clear design however with some muscle.”
The internals of the Panhead are principally inventory, however it options an Andrews Hello-Efficiency cam and a trick S&S Two Throat carb with customized consumption by Pure Metal Works. Hiro stated the tuning was relativity easy and it runs sturdy with the present setup. The speed stack and exhaust are customized constructed by Hiro and staff.
After the sheet metallic was trimmed and fitted, Hiro despatched every part off to So Jake Leather-based, which sheeted the underside of the seat and tank sprint cowl. He was working with 420 Kustoms concurrently to make sure the graphics matched the leatherwork. “I wished the tank graphics to work along with the remainder of the bike,” Hiro writes. The faint, flowing, and glowing white graphics match that of the leatherwork, retaining a delicate theme all through.
Together with the general model and form, the bike’s finer particulars had been within the look and mixture of finishes. The aluminum components, similar to a lot of the engine, had been sandblasted and left unfinished. Metal components and screws had been scuffed and have a Parkerizing coating. A coating usually reserved for firearms. Parkerizing is a technique of defending a metal floor from corrosion and rising its resistance to put on by means of the appliance of a chemical phosphate conversion coating.
Cycle West’s Panhead model is uncooked whereas having a good match and end—a easy, clear, and cut-down bike with a excessive stage of expertise that shines by means of a naked exterior. The staff doesn’t have a catchy title but, however possibly that simply retains them from limiting their model.
|Construct Time||1 yr|
|Rocker Bins||Sandblasted H-D|
|Throttle Physique||S&S Twin Throat w/ consumption constructed by Pure Metal Works|
|Air Cleaner||Customized velocity stack|
|Exhaust||Cycle West Megaphone|
|Rake/Stretch||H-D 30°/No stretch|
|Entrance Finish||Huge Twin/’74 Springer reproduction|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Builder/Measurement||Cycle West/19 in.|
|Builder/Measurement||Cycle West/16 in.|
|Colours||Black w/ Pearl White|
|Plating/Sprucing||No plating/sprucing by 420 Kustoms|
|Rear Fender||H-D customized modified|
|Gasoline Tank||H-D customized modified|
|Gauges||Smith D Form|
|License Mount||Cycle West|
|Seat||Customized constructed by So Jake Leather-based|