Custom: Shinya Kimura Edge

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Beginning with a Ducati 999R, Shinya Kimura stripped off the stock plastic and replaced it with hand-beaten and riveted metal bodywork to create the Edge. The effect is a bike that looks like a beaten up old space ship, something emphasized by how well the organic metal complements the fussy plumbing of the water-cooled 150bhp v-twin. Having said that, this is a beaten up old space ship that’s not any faster than a 2005 Earth bike, yet is expected to fetch a galactically exuberant $200,000.
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Since we slated the Falcon Kestrel for pandering to a culture that
increasingly likes looking at bikes rather than riding them, it probably
wouldn’t be fair not to apply the same criticism to the Edge, even if
we’re much bigger fans of Shinya’s originality over Falcon’s shameless
retro recreation.

Other than integrating the exhaust into the tailpiece, it doesn’t appear
that Shinya has performed any mechanically significant work on the
999R. There, we said it; $200,000 for some metal bodywork that’ll cut
your legs off if you drop it. Criticism applied.

We’re much more comfortable with Shinya’s work when we don’t know that
he’s sold it to an upstart car company with no tangible products for six
figures and that it’s destined for their Beverly Hills showroom to help
sell their fancy watches. We prefer to think of his bikes as a labor of
love from a mad Japanese genius toiling in a greasy garage. There’s
something raw, mean and animal-like in his bikes, as if he’s unleashed
an inner personality that was hidden when this thing was painted red.
The bodywork appears to reduce the 999′s height while extending its
length, proportions that aren’t considered traditionally handsome on
sportsbikes, yet work here precisely because they corrupt the
traditional idea of what a super bike should be.

Like the Kestrel, the Edge will be debuting at the Quail Lodge
Motorcycle Gathering this weekend where we imagine many a monocle will plop out of the eye sockets and into the cocktail glasses of wealthy attendees due to the mere
sight of it.

via Autoblog and Chabott Engineering

  • Deltablues

    hmmmm…chain guards that look like pieces from my Erector Set from the late 70′s. seems a bargain to me at only 1/5th of a million dollars. by this same logic, every stunta’ running around Little Rock is a freaking millionaire.

  • pepi

    Really art? or trash?.
    Comercial genius?

    Sophisticated people need this kind of …

  • The Grudz

    This machine has been in and out of the shop I work at over the last two months, and in person it is a truly beautiful and special piece. That being said, holy shit is someone paying an exorbitant amount of money for some hand formed metal work fitted onto a bone stock $15,000 Team USA 999R! That’s $185,000 worth of art! Well, more power to Shinya. He really is a nice fella.

  • monkeyfumi

    I lack the words to adequetly describe all that is horrible about this bike.

  • robotribe

    Shinya Kimura pulled a “Mark Kostabi” on some fool with too much money. Yes, I’m jealous…of Kimura, not the buyer.

  • Sean Smith

    I met this dude in the middle of the freakin desert (El Mirage dry lake). He was out there with the guys from his shop and what is one of the coolest land speed bikes I’ve ever seen. Super nice dude.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=14346&l=6c848c56a6&id=100001003455246

    Have a look at that bike. I build crazy stuff at work all day long, and this thing held my attention for at least 15 minutes.

  • 6mt

    give me a fucken break, the “custom” culture is so out of wack.

  • Greg

    Crap. A stock Ducati 999R is so much better looking.

    • christian

      Dude, are you aware that the 999 almost sank Ducati? Anything will be received better than the 999.

      I saw bits and pieces of the bike being built in his blog. The thing is more a sculpture than a motorcycle, hence the nasty price, and as with all works of art, you either like it or you don’t.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        The 999 will be remembered as a moment of brilliance for the Ducati brand. I just saw a 749 Dark yesterday over at Works Engineering and its absolutely still stunning. Laugh all you want, but you’ll come round, eventually.

        • tw

          Grant

          It’s time, you’ve now proven that you should go back to writing about cars, or maybe cell phones.
          Or possible refrigerators. But motorcycles, nope
          You’ve proven you have really out of touch ideas.
          and not in a good outsider kind of way but more of a weird kid in the back of class kind of way…

          That “moment of brilliance” just about sank Ducati.
          It took one of their most loved products (that’s the 916-996)
          and turned it into a styling disaster.
          Functionally, yes a much better bike then even the last of the 996s, but it hit every single branch of the ugly tree on it’s way to earth, then laid there on the ground like a rotting pear, all misshapen with it’s weirdly vertical bugglie eyes with extra flaps and do-hickeys.

          There was a reason why the 916 design lasted so long, spawned a tiny offspring (Mito 50) and a million “streetfighter” tail sections.
          It looked good. Really good. Stop you in your tracks good.

          The 999…
          Well it got a redesign pretty damned quick didn’t it? And it sure didn’t spawn much more then really bad chinese bike knock off did it?

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Actually, that was the Cagiva Mito, not 50 :)

            • tw

              Um yea, ah, car guy… They made a 50 as well.
              So sorry I didn’t spell out the whole name.
              Cagiva Mito 50

              And Grant, I’m sorry I don’t include my full name.
              But then that’s the beauty of the internet. You guys should know, you have a “magazine” on it right…

              • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

                Sure they did, but it didn’t look like a 916.

                http://www.50cc-motorcycles.com/pictures/cagiva/mito50-06.jpg

                • tw

                  Um, yea it’s got round headlights, so the front’s a little different then the 916. And it’s a beam frame not a trellis frame.

                  But otherwise it’s got the same styling cues as the 916′s fuel tank, center cowl, mirrors, seat and tail section.
                  http://www.50cc-motorcycles.com/pictures/cagiva/mito50-09.jpg

                  Or

                  http://www.50cc-motorcycles.com/pictures/cagiva/mito50-01.jpg

                  But hey you’re a car guy, so we can’t really expect you to be detailed enough to pick out tiny little styling parts like these right… Smile

                • gregorbean

                  a little bitter there, dudeguy? just because someone has success in the motorcycle blogosphere doesn’t mean you need to cry about it. all your posts reek of jealousy. these “car guys” have a great motorcycle website. get over it.

                • pauljones

                  He’s a troll. And you’re feeding him. That’s why he’s still here and being a douchebag. Ignore the punk, and, eventually, when he realizes that he isn’t going to get any more reinforcement for his trolling behavior, he’ll go elsewhere.

                • TrollW

                  If by troll you mean pointing out that carguy is wrong. Then sure I’m a troll.
                  Oh wait was it the dispareging nick-name of carguy. I’m sorry, should say “Motorjournalist” instead.
                  But yet in a way “Motorjournalist” isn’t much better right? It’s kind of like drugstore cowboy, or caferacer….

                  Fer fudge’s sake I’m only yanking his chain. I keep coming back because as wrong as this website is sometimes, it’s still one of the more amusing ones around.
                  It’s always good for a chuckle or six.

                  And the site it’s a heck of a lot cooler (If at times festeringly hipster so) then japlopnicticrick that Wes also writes for.

                • http://www.facebook.com/chrisrusso84 Chris

                  Where to start. Where to start. Oh, I know!

                  Shinya Kimura built something that came from his vision and whomever commissioned his work. I’m sure someone in the world likes it. I’m only surprised about the stock swing arm (which was the usual complaint about styling). Would I ride this tin can? Hell to the no.

                  Hey, Grant. Take the “weird kid in the back of the class” comment as an unintentional compliment. Those kids usually got the report card comments of “smart but needs motivation” and were suggested to advanced classes. But I’m not here to kiss your ass. I just don’t like TW and his over-opinionated statements of “fact.”

                  TW, if you read this, I suggest you pick up a copy of “Writing For Dummies.” There are these things called commas, apostrophes, and hyphens. I’ll start taking your words seriously if you try to use them more often. Just don’t respond to this with a crass over-usage of punctuation. That would make you a itchy asshole. And no one likes those.

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

            “weird kid in the back of class kind of way…”

            That’s just hilarious. Of course I’m that much of a standard deviation from the middle. You’re just now figuring that out? Do you think people like Kimura are any different?

            As for the rest, when you can bother to write under your real name, then I’ll give a damn.

          • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

            disagree w/you about the 999.

            The original 999 exhaust was not permitted by bean counters. Easily solved anyway.
            The upper, pointy front fairing slots were thankfully removed in the 2nd or 3rd yr. A black 999 with black rims and black frame is a collector.

            Beats the copy 1098

      • Greg

        Christian, there are many that may not care for the look of the original Ducati 999. Seriously, how do you replace the iconic 916/996/998 series? But I assure you if you were to ride one, that would all be forgotten. The 999 is arguably the best bike Ducati has built. Perhaps the bike in this story is better represented in person, but I stand by my original statement based on these photos.

        • Christian

          “if you were to ride one…”

          I did and unlike the 9*6 which leaves you a pretty bike to stare at after a punishing ride, the 999 was just ugly and ungainly. While it is true that the 999 performed better, in my opinion, it simply added more unusable power and handling while losing a lot in aesthetics.

          I’m a long time Ducati owner — I have a couple of Ducs and I still have my 96 Monster which I’ve had since the days of waiting for 9-10 weeks to get parts because the damn thing was so rare in the US, and like many faithful Ducatista, we were underwhelmed. Sure people are coming around, but that’s because you can find then for 6K on eBay — hell, even I thought of buying one when it was time for another Duc if only so I can de-uglify it and turn it into a real streetfighter. Went for a killer deal on a new Hypermotard instead.

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    I think some of you are missing the point of this specific bike. It’s not a sportbike anymore. It’s not supposed to be faster or have increased “performance” over the stock Ducati. It stopped being either a sportbike or a Ducati when Shinya Kimura took possession of it.

    It’s sculpture, not bodywork. And it should be regarded as such. The price, then, is less shocking. Waaay less expensive than a Chicara Nagata, and probably more comfortable.
    http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2009/01/current-profiles-chicara-nagat.html
    http://www.chicara.com/

    There are lots of 999Rs, there’s only one of these. Just because it can be ridden doesn’t mean it’s still a vehicle.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Bike EXIF

    Fail.

    • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk Urban Rider

      Epic Fail.

  • EL_Diablo

    Looks like utter poo to me.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    As this is a bleeding-edge design, and not meant to pander to what somebody who doesn’t ride thinks a motorcycle should look like, I’d say its immune from HFL’s previous criticism. Now, $200k is alot for a bike that looks like it would rather eat you than let you ride it, but in 70 yrs, when a gallery does a retrospective on custom bikes from 1995 to 2015, I’m sure this bike, and not the Kestrel, will be in the gallery. It represents its time.

  • Scott

    999R was/is stunning… the crowd is just coming around to them. Viva PT!

  • Lee

    I’ll write under my real name Grant and frankly I tend to agree with your detractors here. That’s just my opinion though and worth every bit as much as yours in the scope of things.
    You’ve missed the boat.
    Have you ever made anything by hand beyond perhaps a birdhouse in third grade woodshop? I’d bet not.
    No, this piece of art is certainly not for everyone, but neither $400 bottles of wine and $1000 loafers. Items at this level simple play to a different audience and criticize as much as you like, it won’t change the fact that this particular piece of unobtainium is far out of your reach both financially and sadly, perceptually. You just don’t get it….and that’s ok. In truth, it’s out of most of our reach but speaking personally I prefer to take a more positive outlook on these kinds of creations. I love it for the fact that he DID IT. He took what is arguably one of the ugliest pieces of polymer draped drek (regardless of it’s lineage) and created something unique. Ride your lump-ugly 999 around long enough and you WILL pass another one. Perhaps not often thankfully, but it will happen.

    I hear Fossil has a new line of watches coming out. Perhaps a review is in order?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You realize you can disagree and argue with someone without making it into a personal attack, right? Figure out how to do so or you won’t be commenting here anymore.

  • W

    The 999 was a committed design, love it or hate it, it made you feel something. At least it wasn’t the homogenized result of some focus group.

    The 1098 is a 675 up front and an MV out back, beautiful in its own way and certainly amazing but nor visceral.

    My 999R was the best bike I have ever ridden, on the track or on the street, full stop.

    Now that new BMW, tit looks like a bad movie prop from a Roger Moore Bond film…maybe Moonraker……still I’d give her a tumble.

  • Simon

    More to the point it’s missing a flux-capacitor, but I like it.

  • the other larry

    So if this crazy lookin Ducati is worth 200K, what’s my art, the DUFUCKINCATI (http://hellforleathermagazine.com/index.html?page=2) worth? We need to set up a race! Whadda bout it, Shinya??!! We’ll go for pinks! You chose the track!

    • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk Urban Rider

      Unfortunately yours isn’t worth much because you don’t have an exotic sounding name Larry.

      Change your name to something like ‘Franz Frank’ or ‘Atushi Tishu’ and that will double it. Then make a pretty workshop and stick an Italian flag on the wall, leave some bits of metal and dirt around and i’ll be worth $200k I rekon.

      Sorry all… long day!

  • BL

    i try to take these bikes for what they are not for what somebody will pay for them.

    I try to picture them sitting sitting out with some other bikes in a normal setting.

    I don’t play the performance game or the practicality game.

    would i walk up to that bike and look over every inch of it and say ‘wow, that’s pretty cool’ ??
    for this one
    hells yeah i would.

    would i make some different choices if i were building it…sure.

  • eric

    What I said about the Falcon Kestrel applies here, only more so. Kimura is a real artist.

  • DC

    I have the utmost respect for Kimura-san, and his body work is impeccable, but I believe this is not his strongest effort. His style lends itself much more gracefully to vintage machinery. And in terms of rideability, all of Shinya’s bikes are 100% rideable. As one poster mentioned, he ha

  • DC

    …has tested his Knucklehead and his Trimuph at el Mirage.

  • Matt

    Kimura may be an ‘artist’ but that bike looks like utter shit…in 70 years as someone stated- it’ll still look like shit and represent the continued bastardization of “custom motorcycles”

  • Dean

    Fail? I’m confused by the past few postings, just don’t get it. Let’s all get back to buying plastic bikes with mould-injected body parts.

  • Nick DePaolo

    I can 100% guarantee that every penny Shinya makes off this project goes back into motorcycles.

    This is his love.

    This is his style.

    Art begs question.

    That being said there are some stupid statements in this thread.

    Mine isn’t one of them.

    More power to Shinya and anybody with class, dedication and the wherewithal to do something.

    Hell For Leather… thanks for providing such an editorial spin to get this going.

    I’d do the work to remove some of the stupid shit on here.

    Some comments simply don’t add value.

  • http://www.thevintagent.blogspot.com The Vintagent

    I had the pleasure of riding with Shinya last Friday, when he took this bike on a 110-mile tour of the back roads near Salinas. I was on a pre-production Ducati ST1100 MultiStrada, kindly loaned by Ducati for the day. Shinya rides well, and mentioned that he used to race motorcycles in Japan as a lad.

    His artwork is distinctive and beautifully made, and an important addition to the conversation about ‘what is a motorcycle’. The bike looked especially good coming down the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. Kudos to him for taking it on the Quail Ride – he didn’t have to, but he clearly has fun with his bikes. Same with the three Legends rides.

    I rode his JD twin-cam based custom at the 2006 Legends; he didn’t know who I was, but agreed to let me take his creation for a spin, maybe because I was riding an 80 year old Norton with verve, maybe because he’s just that kind of guy. I tend to think the latter.

  • pdub

    This thing is:
    -a motorcycle? Yes.
    -art? debatable.
    -worth $200k? Well there’s one born every minute I’ve head said.
    I like art (or not) regardless of price since I’m probably appreciating it (or not) rather than buying it.

    To me it’s a waste of a 999R and not very compelling as “art”. It’s like a homeless person’s shopping cart. A junky eyesore that somewhat fulfills it’s original role but does more to make one shake their head and hold their nose.

  • pdub

    To comment on the 999 legacy. I’m in the camp that it’s a classic the world wasn’t ready for ,one that is only now beginning to be appreciated. Ducati has answered “how do you replace an icon?” in two ways. First with the 999 is that you reach even further and try to create the next icon. Terblanche fulfilled that request perfectly. The 999 was as strikingly different than everything else when it came out as the 916 was in it’s day and every inch and contour was purposeful. Unfortunately almost everyone hated it’s looks and that’s what sells bikes more than performance off the track. Eww the lights are ugly. Waaah where’s my single side swingarm? On the track it’s record speaks for itself. Bayliss even stated that the 999 was the best bike he raced.
    Why the 999 lost money for Ducati is well documented. It’s styling was not accepted and it cost too much to build. They answered the “how do you replace an icon” differently with the current generation. Make a cheaper bike that looks like a 916 with a new hairdo.

  • KRT

    Wes, you’re a horrible waaambulance chaser of a writer. Shinya Kimura, man responsible for Zero Engineering and Chabbot Engineering (one of the world’s most respected and beloved figures among bluecollar builders and like-minds) does some commission work for a private entity and you rant on about what the industry is coming to? You’re like the Glenn Beck of motorcycles.

    And this ethereal boogiemonster you’ve coined called “The culture that likes to look at bikes more than ride them.” Shoot yourself in the foot much? What the fuck do you call this website? The site’s message sure aint about turning off the computer and riding. All I see are motorcycle pictures and rants from a man telling us not to look at them.

  • amsterdam

    Wow,wow,wow,
    What’s this, trollfest?
    Cool down ladies!
    Sjees, is there a heatwave or something,
    Short skirts on the streets, legs and all,
    and so hot in our leather pants?
    Now that is hell…

  • amsterdam

    And now on-topic;
    These bikes definitely point in a direction that consumer taste will go; no plastic, old school metal bodywork but (reasonably) up-to-date performance.
    It all goes wrong where money steps in, when you call it ‘art’, that fucks it all up.
    They showed a Wrenchmonkee in a museum in Denmark and now they’re making non-riding bikes as decoration for a club.
    Fuck that shit.
    Let’s keep bikes out of museums, galeries and clubs…