Triumph Thunderbird by Heiwa MC Kengo Kimura, founder of Heiwa Motorcycle, is known the world over. Operating from Hiroshima in Japan, Heiwa bikes are so gloriously fantastic that Kimura-san has become a familiar face at the prestigious Yokohama Hot Rod Custom show.
People wait with bated breath for the next Heiwa bike, and it’s easy to see why. To top it all off, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
This is Heiwa’s latest build, named ‘Seven Star 7.’ It’s a 1954 Triumph 6T Thunderbird, but very little of the original bike remains. The frame is completely custom, as is the gorgeous hand-formed aluminium bodywork. The slim tank and tail are quintessential ‘Heiwa,’ but also entirely unique.
The seat and side covers are also customs, and if that swingarm looks too long to be factory Triumph, then you have a good eye. It’s another handmade item, suspended by MDI Lowdown shocks that were specifically designed for this bike.
Chunky Continental tires were mounted on fresh 18” rims, with modest-sized brakes fitted to the custom hubs. A vintage set of Paioli forks were adapted to custom fork clamps, to keep the front end as narrow as possible. Kimura-san also made the headlight and front fork brace and fitted a Motogadget speedo to the bars, tucked into a custom-made housing.
The engine, which is a work of art in itself, was torn down and completely rebuilt. Fueling is prepared by way of a new Mikuni VM32 carburettor, sucking in air through a hand-tuned velocity stack. To top it all off, Kimura-san built a new exhaust from scratch, with an unusual, but gorgeous, split-design muffler.
As we’ve come to expect from Kengo, there are so many good details on this machine, that we could spend hours poring over it. The whole thing just screams quality craftsmanship, but in a subtle way (if a scream can be subtle). Finished in mustard-yellow with polished details, this is up there with some of the best Heiwa builds of all time.
If you’re a fan of Heiwa’s Motorcycle custom works, don’t forget to follow their official page here for more updates.