The Japanese custom scene is known for playing by its own rules. Builds from the land of the rising sun have an unconventional style that’s hard to define—and even harder to replicate.
Break through the mystique, and you’ll find shops like Heiwa at the forefront. Based in Hiroshima and headed up by Kengo Kimura, Heiwa’s bikes epitomize the Japanese aesthetic and uncompromising levels of craftsmanship.
So when this sublime Honda CB500T popped up in our news feed, we scrambled to get in touch with Kimura-san to get the low-down on the build.
Heiwa tweaked the 1974 CB’s stance by lowering the front forks and fitting a set of shorter rear shocks. The back of the frame was cut down and edited to hold the new, custom-made tail section.
The seat’s also a one-off, as are the side covers and the lithe gas tank. To carry through the Honda’s new lines, Heiwa fabricated a new, stainless steel exhaust system—rerouting both pipes to the same side.
Heiwa manufacture a few select parts for sale to the public; the handlebars and taillight were cherry-picked from their catalog for this project. The new headlight’s particularly interesting: it’s an old Lucas fog light, mounted sideways on an asymmetrical bracket.
Other add-ons include Amal grips, and a small speedo mounted in front of the triple clamp.
The CB500T twin motor was in good nick and didn’t need much work. Heiwa ditched the airbox, fitted a pair of aftermarket filters and got stuck into the wiring. The wheels were refinished in black, and fitted with vintage looking Avon SM Mark IIs.
The Hatsukaichi paint shop Six Shooter applied the Honda’s new colors. At first, it seems like a pretty straightforward white scheme—but a closer look will reveal delicate silver leaf pinstriping.
It’s those little details that give this CB500T an effortless, understated charm. And it’s good to see that Kengo Kimura is still at the top of the game.