Tag Archives: Tokyo

Kawasaki KZ1000 by AC Sanctuary

Late 70s Japanese superbikes have character by the bucketload—unlike the plasticized contemporary offerings. There’s ample performance too: a stock Kawasaki KZ1000 puts out around 90 hp, and can run the quarter mile in just over 12 seconds. Unfortunately, the dynamics of such bikes have fallen a long way behind modern standards. And that’s where the

Yamaha Maxam CP250

When I first stumbled across this odd scooter, I thought it was one of those concepts that would never see the light of day. And yes, the Maxam CP250 did start life as a concept—way back in 2005. But then Yamaha put it into production. It’s billed as a ‘tandem cruiser’, and it’s on sale

Mugen Honda CB1100

Mugen is effectively the ‘official’ Honda car and motorcycle tuner, with headquarters close to Honda’s own R&D facility north of Tokyo. So it’s no surprise that the first tweaked Honda CB1100 has a discreet Mugen logo at the back. The mods include a 70s-style bikini fairing in silver and a stubby black megaphone-style exhaust system,

Ritmo Sereno Rocket-R

Ritmo Sereno has just completed two new café motorcycles for a lucky client. And if there’s any remaining doubt that the Tokyo workshop is the king of the resto-mod, these BMW café racers should dispel it. They’re ‘Rocket-R’ models, which is Ritmo-speak for completely overhauled R-series bikes that have also been upgraded with modern components.

Harley XL 1200 custom

If Harley-Davidson needs any more guidance on how to create Sportster range extensions for the future, this beautifully detailed XL 1200 custom from Nice! Motorcycles should help. Nice! MC (their exclamation mark, not mine) is headquartered 500km west of Tokyo, and a well-known name on the Japanese custom scene. For this new bike—revealed in latest

BMW R100 race replica

Three years ago, Ritmo Sereno of Tokyo produced a stunning orange BMW R80 track bike—the highly successful ‘Nakajima’ racer. Now a Ritmo customer has commissioned a road-going version—and this is it. It’s based on a 1991 R100 RS, but many of the other details are close to the track machine. The suspension is Öhlins front

Ural Motorcycle: The Solo T concept

EXCLUSIVE The Ural is one of the great bargains of modern motorcycling: a tough, capable machine that can handle both city streets and dirt tracks. In the USA, you can ride a ‘Solo’ out of the showroom for just $6,999, and know that it’ll still be running 20 years down the track. Despite the price,

Ritmo Sereno's racy custom BMW R69S

When this R69S rolled into the workshop of Tokyo resto-mod specialists Ritmo Sereno, it was a slightly gawky custom with mismatched curves and a shapeless silver tank. With their usual attention to detail, Ritmo reworked it into a beautiful cafe racer with more conventional BMW lines and a useful performance boost. The front wheel was

Honda RCB1000 replica

One of the most iconic racing motorcycles of all time is Honda’s pretty RCB1000. In 1976 it won the Bol d’Or 24-Hour Endurance Race, and seven out of the eight rounds in the European Endurance Championship. The bike above is not an original RCB1000 though—it’s a replica created by Whitehouse, based just outside Tokyo and

AC Sanctuary motorcycles

Here’s a real find: a major Japanese custom motorcycle shop that’s somehow slipped under the radar of most westerners. It’s called AC Sanctuary and it’s a big outfit: the company has five stores in Honsh?, the largest island, with a new one just opened in Yokohama and a head office in Tokyo. Sanctuary specialises in

Honda CB250RS tracker

Is this the perfect, low-cost urban street tracker? Honda’s CB250RS is one of the unsung heroes from the early 80s: it was brisk, maneuverable and light, weighing less than 130 kg. And in the hands of the right builder, it can be transformed into a very stylish tracker. The engine is the bulletproof, four-valve single

Hide custom Sportster

One of the few Japanese custom shops with an English-language translation website is Hide Motorcycle, also known as Hidemo. Since 2001, Hide has specialised in Harley custom motorcycles, and its latest venture is a range of Sportster conversions. (So new, in fact, that the product page is one of the few that have not yet