By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
When BMW Motorrad wanted to offer enthusiasts a sneak preview of an all-new boxer motorcycle engine, it commissioned the creation of a custom bike by master builders “Custom Works Zon” in Japan.
The gorgeous hand-built bike, dubbed “Departed,” earned “Best of Show Motorcycle” at the 27th Annual Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show (aka “The Mooneyes Show”) at the Pacifico Convention Plaza on Dec. 2.
Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda founded Custom Works Zon in Shiga prefecture 15 years ago. While their workshop may be small, the team has been widely recognized with multiple awards and prizes for their creations.
“Departed” displays Zon’s distinctive style, craftsmanship and high-quality build standards. BMW says the low silhouette of the bike is “reminiscent of Ernst Henne’s record-braking machines of the late 1920s and ‘30s.”
While BMW remains coy about engine specifics, some visible details are said to evoke previous Motorrad engines from decades ago, such as pushrods above the cylinders in chrome-plated protection ducts. Yet the prototype engine appears to have a larger capacity along with more contemporary air/oil cooling.
“It was a great honor and a challenge to be able to build a motorcycle around the prototype of such a spectacular new boxer engine for one of the most tradition-steeped manufacturers,” said Yoshizawa.
The prototype engine is mounted on a tubular space frame built by Zon. Front trim, a fitted fuel tank and the seat were hand-formed from sheet metal. Wheels, measuring 21-inches in front and 26-inches in the rear, are milled of aluminum and wrapped with rather narrow tires. There’s a solid aluminum girder fork, while a steel-piped rear swing arm is connected to the frame with a hidden suspension.
The award-winning “Departed” is shown above with its creators at the show. The annual Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show is a single-day event that typically attracts more than 15,000 visitors, about 300 customized cars and trucks, and 650 motorcycles, along with their builders from across the globe.
Note: “Departed” is a custom-built motorcycle and is not for sale.
For more information on the builder visit Custom Works Zon
For more show information visit Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show
For more information on current BMW production motorcycles visit BMW Motorrad
News source and photos courtesy BMW Motorrad and BMW AG
Story © 2018 CarNichiWa.com