Shinya Kimura of Zero Engineering - Chabot


Kimura founded Zero Engineering in Okazaki Japan in 1992. Initially his shop was named Repair Shop Chabo but the name was changed the following year to Zero Engineering. He soon gained a reputation for his minimalistic and vintage looking bikes that combine form and function. His name was soon synonymous with what people often refer to as Zero-style. A Zero-style bike is typically based around a rigid gooseneck, a pre-1984 Harley Davidson engine, springer front end, spoked wheels and often includes parts of the bike remaining in bare metal. The inspiration came from wabi sabi (austere refinement) and the beauty of the raw materials and incorporating the essence of wa (harmony) into his designs. Kimura and his crew were also known for putting their work to the test by participating in different vintage race series with their motorcycles.


1957 Triumph Needle

62 - Flying Piston Score

The Needle is Shinya's two-wheeled case study wrapped around a '57 650cc Triumph engine. It's stripped to the hilt style shows what can be done when the chopper rulebook is burned at the stake. Shinya built the needle as an experiment in design and as a way to test his own theories and further push his own beliefs of how bikes could be built and ridden. Since this bike was more of a design exercise Shinya could free his mind and put more emphasis on designing than riding, which he has never really done before. Read more:


Type 6

61 - Flying Piston Score

This is a customizable limited production gooseneck "samurai" style low choppper. The Type 6 is available with a modern S&S engine styled to resemble either a Shovel, Knuckle or Panhead and with 3 sizes of gas tank options.


Type 5

60 - Flying Piston Score

Samurai Chopper type5 comes standard with Harley-Davidson Evolution engine mated to a HD 5-speed transmission. The engine and transmission are carried by the original gooseneck style rigid frame. The dragger style of type5 is very aggressive and beautiful style. If you get this Type5, you will be surprised with its moving riding feel.


Junkyard Phantom

59 - Flying Piston Score

Junkyard Phantom is the knuckelhead based Samurai style bobber that Shinya Kimura built for his episode with Joe Martin in The Great Biker Build Off. Providing the link below so I won't tell you who won.


Chabot Sportster Cafe Racer

52 - Flying Piston Score

The Chabot Sporster Cafe Racer is based around a late model Harley Davidson Sporster and in typical Shinya style it's wrapped in his unmistakable, hand formed handy work. Shinya built everything from the front fairing to the tank, muffler, velocity stack and oil bag. He even did the paintwork and pin striping. He's a true two wheeled artisan and a great source of inspiration.



51 - Flying Piston Score

Kimura rescues old Harleys from their postmortem fates as saloon decorations, museum attractions, and—worse—from having their dissected parts dispersed throughout a backwater of garages to become paperweights, ashtrays, and doorstops. His company, Zero Engineering, based in Okazaki City, Japan, is comprised of a small group of adherents who are loyal to both Kimura-san and his vision. True to the chopper way, Zero’s motorcycles also embrace contradictory philosophies of design, in this case a blend of Western and Eastern paradigms. Kimura chose not to follow the parade of shiny, chrome-plated, technologically freighted, and extravagantly painted bikes. He prefers antediluvian engines stuffed into chopped, rigid, gooseneck frames with an itsy-bitsy peanut gas tanks, leather bicycle seats, big fat balloon tires, wire wheels, and kick-starters. He exposes the mechanical guts of his bikes and virtually shines a spotlight on their prehistoric parts, including drum brake and Linkert carburetors.


Faster Sons

38 - Flying Piston Score

The first Faster Son bike bears the signature of Japanese designer and builder Shinya Kimura. The inspiration for his bike comes from the WWII aircraft, and the bike is more than eager to show off this aspect. While the MT-07 donor is a modern bike, seeing what it became after spending some time with Kimura-san gives us high hopes. Just like the Yard Built machines, the Faster Sons will be available as modding kits, and this means we will soon get to see them rolling down the street. Dubbed a "natural evolution if the Sport Heritage bike building philosophy", project Faster Sons is aimed at bridging two generations of motorcycles and riders. Modern-day technology meets the retro styling school, and it's rather hard to find a better choice for the kick-off machine of the Faster Sons series than a Japanese builder.