Master Craftsman Kaichiroh Kurosu of Cherry’s Company is noted for his alchemy in converting Harley-Davidsons into customized works of art that visualize the future through the lens of the past.
But he didn’t just start with a stock bike—he chose this air-cooled, two-cylinder SHO shovelhead as his canvas.
A bit of Shovelhead history
During the 1970s, Harley-Davidson wanted to expand their motorcycle line and introduced several new bikes such as the FX Super Glide, Electra Glide and the Sportster lines.
These additions meant they appealed to large audiences. Harley’s first significant change was creating a lower centre of gravity by installing an all-new engine called the Shovelhead. They would use this in all of their big twin motorcycles in later years.
The Shovelhead engine was a new design from Harley-Davidson that replaced their older flathead engines. And Harley used them in every big twin motorcycle. As the bike business shifted in the late 20th century, so did Harley-Davidson’s market.
Harley initially used Shovelhead on motorcycles ridden by those who wanted a bike that worked well and could perform well on long trips.
The engine’s centre of gravity gave it excellent stability and cornering capacity compared to other bikes. The motor’s design also made it easy to pass noise regulations using a “shortened firing order.”
The custom ‘ Neko ‘
After cutting it down to a single-cylinder and customizing its frame and other elements, Kurosu wrapped this motorized predator in carbon fibre with gold accents.
Not only was this a labour of love, but also one of determination and dedication. Outlined in gold paint, yet refined by deception, it’s art with the attitude that simply demands attention.
“It’s the most refined, elegant motorcycle I would say I’ve ever done,” said Kaichiroh Kurosu, founder and president of Cherry’s Company. It takes a master artisan to weave this refined’s magic on a bike.
It is what you will find at the heart of every custom created by Kurosu and his team at its headquarters in Nerimaku, Tokyo.
Photos by Brent Graves