Shinya Kimura, Motorcycle Sculptor


Shinya Kimura, nominated for a 2010 Vimeo Award, clocks in at just under 3 minutes, but in that short amount of time it speaks volumes about Shinya Kimura, motorcycle artist and proprietor of Zero Engineering, which builds motorcycles to the stars. (Tom Cruise might have lifted one from the grasp of Xenu himself.) Kimura is more a sculptor than a builder; a self-taught man who has grown up around two-wheeled machinery but still remains fascinated by them, who forms metal as one does with clay or marble into organic, seemingly unplanned shapes. (He doesn’t sketch his designs beforehand.) And in that short ride down a California runway the motorcycle brings out the “wildness and vulnerability” inside himself, no matter how peaceful he finds it.
I’ll also forgive him for ragging on my beloved Honda in this Hell for Leather interview (subscription required), which reveals similar things about him in this video but also what he plans to do next.

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  1. Black Steelies Avatar

    Guys like this make me want to quit school in pursuit of my passion. What that is exactly I need to find out.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Not feeling the love with you, Blake. If you like his stuff, that's cool, but to me Kimura's bikes all seems like conspicuously trendy piles of stuck-together parts. They never quite unite into a cohesive whole.

    1. B72 Avatar

      These things remind me of the vintage racers I used to see at brit bike shows. A big slab of hammered aluminum here, a highly intricate linkage there, a cool funky detail somewhere else. They didn't always come together for me either, but that's the nature of art. The few that did come together were pretty sweet though.

  3. cmdrfire Avatar

    I saw this video a few days ago, and was quite moved by it. Man loves what he's doing. I can't fault him that.

  4. discontinuuity Avatar

    Apparently he made a chopper-style Honda 100cc called "Hoon."

  5. Uncover a good Australian Accent Avatar

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