“I was brought up surrounded by the smell of oil and steel”

Meet Shinya Kimura. He builds custom motorcycles out of his shop in Los Angeles. Unlike most of the blinged-out choppers you see on cable TV, Kimura’s machines are gritty. They’re hand-built and gnarly and fast enough to take out to the desert for the famous El Mirage land speed races in Southern Calfiornia.

His style is really unique. There’s a lot of unpainted aluminum and stainless steel. And he works on a wide variety of types of engines and frames. He’s almost more like a hot rod car-builder than the typical motorcycle guy in his approach.

But above all, the man clearly just loves motorcycles and feels the passion that so many of us have for two wheeled machinery. Some of his creations appear to be influenced by the British cafe racer, which is a stripped-down style of motorcycle with low handlebars and built for riding fast. Other bikes of his are more inpspired by the American bobber, which is similar to a chopper, but with chopped-off (bobbed) fenders and lots of flat-black paint instead of fancy chrome. You can check out more of his work at his blog.

Here’s Kimura sitting on a vintage Italian MV Agusta.

And here he is on the custom Ducati twin he rode at El Mirage. (Yes, those are drum brakes on the front!)

Photos courtesy of http://shinyakimura.blogspot.com/

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