A spectacular motorcycle construction from Custom Works ZON.
The Custom Works ZON team from Japan has received numerous awards for their custom bikes. With “Departed”, Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda once again cause a stir – and promptly there is the next price. The heart of the machine is the prototype of a completely new type of opposed-twin engine.
Striking Land Speed Racer
It went very differently this time. Usually, a customizer rebuilds an existing motorcycle and gives it a unique look. Then the client admires the before-and-after effect. And is often astounded. But in this project, customizer Yuichi Yoshizawa has no basis. However, all he has got is the heart – the prototype of a new type of opposed-twin engine. The task was to build a unique motorcycle for the engine.
Strong presence, big challenge
When the engine arrives at Custom Works ZON, Yuichi is surprised. The Japanese customizer was not expecting the strong presence of the opposed-twin engine. Both the outer geometry and the visible elements are reminiscent of the opposed-twin engines that BMW Motorrad built up until the end of the 1960s. Chrome-plated tubes protect the pushrods that run above the cylinders. Since the opposed and protruding cylinders are characteristic of the opposed-twin engine, he considers the design of the frame and body to be a task of special importance. He faces up to the challenge and does some soul-searching. Yuichi imagines to go full throttle with this engine. Then he has an idea: he wants to create a Land Speed Racer.
Departure with a surprise
A time-consuming phase commences for the customizer and his colleague Yoshikazu Ueda – from the beginning of August to the end of November, they lock themselves in their workshop, welding and screwing together a motorcycle that has yet to exist. Even the thought of this project fills them with pride. “We got the new engine before anyone else in the world. We had the honour of developing a new custom bike to be powered by this engine. It will surprise everyone; it’s a fantastic feeling”, says Yuichi. Just a few days later, in early December, the bike saw the light of day for the first time at the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show in Japan. And promptly receives the “Best of Show” award. Such a challenging project, such a unique motorcycle needs a distinctive name: “Departed” – a departure with a positive twist. “It feels to me like embarking on a new journey”, says Yuichi.
Craftsmanship made in Japan
The ZON signature is clear for all to see: classic design, modern production techniques and a great deal of craftsmanship and attention to detail – all in the highest Japanese quality. The very low silhouette of the bike is reminiscent of Ernst Henne’s record-breaking machines of the late 1920s and 1930s. The customizer particularly rates the line that shapes the motorcycle from the start of the tank to the end of the seat. The large wheels – 21 inches at the front, 26 inches at the rear – are milled from aluminium and equipped with relatively narrow tyres, and the rear wheel swinging arm and trapezoidal front fork were milled from a whole piece and fixed with hidden suspension on the tubular spaceframe. The engine hangs in an elaborately manufactured frame construction. The tank, seat unit and front trim panel are made by hand from sheet metal.
THE PLAYGROUND YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Yuichi Yoshizawa has been infatuated with motorcycles since childhood: “When I was a little boy, I always went to the local motorcycle shop. It was my playground”, he reminisces. After graduating from high school, Yuichi tried various jobs. He remained dissatisfied. “Gradually, the idea grew that I wanted to do something I liked. Then I opened my own shop with Ueda – my classmate from high school”.
Looked at from all angles.
The pair of them took a long hard look at the bike from every angle before getting to work to give it a unique look. The modification starts in the mind. First, the customizers decide on the size of the wheels. “This is very important to determine the basic nature of the motorcycle”, says Yuichi. The frame is next, and finally it’s the turn of the exterior, with all the essential parts of the body. A huge advantage of Custom Works ZON: the team creates the design and manufactures almost all the parts itself. “The most important thing is that all parts have to work properly. Our bikes are characterized by a high design and excellent functionality”. Of course, this maxim also applies to “Departed” – even if it went differently. Before, after. The amazement is great.