Janta

8:52 AM Limpe Iven 2 Comments

Whenever i expierence those moments of spare time behind my computer i surf to Flickr
Searching and viewing cool stuff from all around the world, by now you know that motorcycles and cars have my special interest.
One guy that i follow for a long time is Janta, former editor of Vibes magazine, now a journalist and translator, most of all a man that loves motorcycles as they come.
Janta lives in Tokyo, Japan rides a #80 FXWG
Every time that i browse trough his photostream i am amazed by the diversity of styles of american made motorcycles, i hear people say that a lot of parts and complete motorcycles are shipped towards Japan.

From what i can see the motorcycle vibes are a big thing over there, made me wonder, so i contacted Janta.
Some bits and pieces from our conversation;

The Japanese custom bike scene has got every style; old-skool choppers, mods, dirt-trackers, rockers, streetfighters, So-Cal style, diggers, frisco, high-tech euro motorcycles.
Choppers and Bobbers from the 60`s-70`s are hot for some years, long forked choppers where popular before that.
The OCC styled and other big fat-tired cnc-d aluminum accesorized bikes never made it into the scene.
A chopper equals a Harley, its been that for many years but the trend is changing, many Japanese singles or twins are becoming more popular, these "small bike"customs have a long history. Poor young kids who couldn`t afford the bigger prized Harleys started building with domestic bikes.
The levels of quality builds in that category are growing, its becoming a category of their own.
Many shops created beautiful domestic based customs and are getting trophys at shows.
At the same time British chops came and became popular at the same time, before that only Rockers rode Brit bikes or Yamaha SR-based customs.
By now Japan hosts 6 custom shows every year, West Japan Motorcycle show (Hiroshima, April) Joints Custom Bike show (Nagoya, April), Cool Breaker (Yokohama, May), FTW show (Kumamoto, May), New Order Chopper show (Kobe , August) and the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom show (Yokohama, December).



Most of these shows are being featured in magazines worldwide, they draw visitors from around the globe.
So, you see, the Japanese love their old motorcycles very much, Flathead to Shovel are very loved, most of the owners really ride their bikes hard, no matter what year, model or style.



A repeated run and repair cycle every time, backed up by skillfull mechanics and shops.
It is misunderstood that customers of bikeshops, builders of customs and choppers only display their bikes at shows, the run and repair cycle is what lives more, crazy stuff is happening on the streets, most people have no idea how cool the scene from day to day and night to night really is.
Choppers, Customs, and old style bike owners struggle to get their bikes trough the 2-yearly tech-inspection, and really get their kicks on the open road as a street legal bike.
Being a journalist Janta has found famous custom bikes in bikshops, on parking lots at every show, or on a street corner, a great feeling when he encounters an early Zero enginered bike.
A friend of him, A French magazine editor described the Japanes custom scene as "a lost world" when visiting the latest Mooneyes HotRod Custom show."that`s right" says Janta, her you can find something that you have never seen before.
For those who are interested; visit Janta`s photostream on Flickr
A fine collection of motorcycle related pictures;
Check out the awesome amount of pictures, gives some insight in what`s going on in Japan


All photo`s taken with permission from Janta`s photostream

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