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Friday, February 21, 2014

Custom Royal Enfield from Japan challenges the normal

Royal Enfield chopper from Japan surprises your eye.
Japanese motorcycles may be the standard of the world, but Japanese art is often off-center, pulling the  imagination in fresh directions.

That's certainly the case with this made-in-Japan custom Royal Enfield chopper — if you can assign it such a crude designation. I found it posted on the StreetRide blog. That's in Japanese, and it's a bit hard to draw much information from the Google translation.

It is clear, however, that the builder, Stoop Motorcycles in Toda City, appreciates the unique history of Royal Enfield. Enough of the original motorcycle is retained, from nacelle to neutral finder, to serve as an inspiration for what changes.

What happened to the tank? It's under the cross bar.
Starting with the very unusual underslung tank, my eye takes in the wide chopper seat that somehow flows into a cafe racer style tail. The builder describes the scalloped tank as "lacy," in translation, which is certainly appropriate. I love how it retains the typical Royal Enfield pin striping.

Automotive tire adds authority.
In contrast, the rear wheel is from an automobile. Nothing delicate about that.

Ample chopper seat flows into a cafe racer style tailpiece.
It's the little things that often impress. In this case, I can't get over the little hand gearshift. The clutch seems to be operated by the left, rear-set pedal. (Presumably the clutch and rear brake cables shown in these pictures were shortened up later so as not to catch on the ground.)

Impractical it might be but, as with Japanese art, not something I was likely to have thought of.

A foot shift would have been too low, so...
Rims are painted white.
Tank halves apparently fill from both sides.

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