Return of the Cafe Racers - Interview with motorcycle builder Shinya Kimura

Interview with motorcycle builder Shinya Kimura

Despite being one of the world’s most recognised custom motorcycle builders, Shinya Kimura is a modest man. This short film by director Henrik Hansen introduces us to Shinya’s world and his way of thinking. By combining stunning imagery, immersive audio and Shinya’s own words Hansen created a film that became the benchmark for video content in the custom motorcycle scene. Many have tried to replicate its style, but none have come close to achieving such an incredible result. This can only be attributed to the merging of these two talented creatives whos skill are translated perfectly in this medium.

“In 1962 I was born in old town Tokyo. I was brought up surrounded by the smell of oil and steel and the sound of machinery. I think this is why this life suits me well. I have images but I am not inspired by any particular thing. I don’t draw either. I cut steel or bend aluminium, listening to how I feel at that moment. I use my own hands and break my back making bikes. I believe that speaks to people’s emotions and makes them want one.

A bike should look good on its own but it’s incomplete until a person rides it. For me, a motorcycle is more than art. It’s something that brings out my instincts the wildness and vulnerability in me. It feels nothing like how violent it looks from the outside. It’s very serene. The ground and the sky are so white there is no boundary between them. I have never flown but it feels like flying in an airplane using a reciprocating engine. I can’t tell you how peaceful it is.” – Shinya Kimura, Chabbot Engineering.


Video by Henrick Hansen  /  Photography by Danielle Levitt

Shinya Kimura

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