Custom Triumph motorcycle by Heiwa MC

There are literally hundreds of custom motorcycle builders in Japan. They flourish in a climate created by the stringent taxation of new motorcycles, plus the relentless desire of riders for customization and one-upmanship. Over the years, a small handful of shops have risen to the top of the premier league, and one of those outfits is Heiwa.

The name means ‘peace’, and the company focuses on ‘old-school’ customs, reenacting the look of a bygone age—whether using vintage British iron as the base, or more modern machines such as the Honda FTR. The Hiroshima-based workshop traditionally pulls out all the stops for its Yokohama show bikes, and this exquisite Triumph-based machine was Heiwa’s entry for the 2009 show held in December. I’m guessing the engine is from a pre-unit 1950s model and fairly stock, but everything ahead of it is heavily modified.

Attention to detail is Heiwa’s strong point, and if you look at the Heiwa website, you’ll find close-up images of the intricate metallurgy and leather-work built into this machine. And while you’re there, check out Heiwa’s beautiful custom AJS, BSA and Matchless motorcycles—proof that no-one does the vintage British look as well as the Japanese.