“The Wal” R 18 is an ‘animal’ of a bike. Powerful, mighty, but always good-natured,” Kimura said.
“What I like best about my version of the R 18 is that I was able to change the style and seating position to my liking without destroying the excellent original functionality of the R 18.
“But drastically changing the seating position and adding my own style and taste was a big challenge in my interpretation of the BMW Heritage. Besides, all these computerised systems and wiring were quite new to me and I learned a lot.”
Kimura, regarded as the father of the so-called “Zero Style” motorbike, began his career as a customiser in Japan at Zero Engineering, a company he founded in 1992.
He rose to international fame as early as the 1990s, when his custom Harley-Davidson “Samurai Chopper” was created.
It followed his characteristic wabi-sabi influenced style.
In search of new inspiration, Kimura later moved to Azusa, California, where he founded his own independent company, Chabott Engineering, in 2006.