It may have rained more than last year, but that didn’t stop Yamaha from coming back even bigger and better for this year’s Wheels & Waves event in Biarritz last weekend! With three times the crowd of last year, there were thousands and thousands of custom bike lovers and surf fans braving the rain and holding out for the sunshine to share this amazing gathering.
Without a doubt the star of the show however was legendary Japanese builder Shinya Kimura, making a very rare pilgrimage to Europe to collaborate with Yamaha in bringing the ‘Faster Sons’ philosophy to life for the Biarritz event. Sharing Yamaha’s build philosophy for future products, inspired by the iconic machines of the past and built with the latest technology, Kimura built the breathtaking ‘Faster Son’ concept. Using the latest Yamaha parallel twin engine for maximum fun, combined with some personal custom touches of his own to pay homage to the vintage world, the result is a perfect blend of old and new, a real ‘Faster Son.’ Kimura proved that the bike was built to ride, taking the Faster Son to Punk’s Peak and racing the quarter-mile across the mountain.
It was Yamaha’s first collaboration with the legendary bike builder. Kimura’s stunning ‘Faster Son’ is a true testament to the Japanese manufacturer’s bike building philosophy. Shinya and Yamaha worked together to create a motorcycle that proudly represents the truest riding capabilities of Yamaha’s latest technology, perfectly blended in a timeless vintage style that pays tribute to the great Yamaha motorcycles of the past.
“’Faster Sons’ is our strong belief in our bike development today,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager Shun Miyazawa. “All our Sport Heritage motorcycles are built with respect to “Fathers,” the legendary Yamaha bikes from the past, but built without compromise on riding capability, we want to make it faster and more fun to ride! That’s how we like our bikes to be, because above all we love riding motorcycles.”
“We chose to work with Shinya out of deep respect for his bike building philosophy,” continues Shun Miyazawa, “He has certainly influenced what we do today. Without any doubt he is one of the Japanese builders who always creates his own style and never follows anybody else. Many people see him as master craftsman, respecting strong values from the old days, resulting in the creation of timeless machines. In reality he is also real rider, a rider who loves to cover the miles and ride fast! This is why we found him a perfect partner to collaborate with to make our Faster Sons philosophy into an actual concept bike.”
“Always at the front of my mind is making motorbikes that I want to see, that I want to ride, and that I can have fun with,” commented Shinya Kimura. “It makes me happy to create timeless beauty without following trends and fashions.”
“I have an emotional attachment to Yamaha,” Shinya continues. “The first large motorbike I bought was the DT1-250cc. I also loved the SR series and I’ve always owned one or two of the SR400, SR500 or the XT500 since I was a teenager. Because of this my passion, or philosophy if you like, towards designing Yamaha motorbikes, is especially stronger and more personal than compared to other manufacturers. The Yamaha designs are very delicate; I’ve always had respect towards Yamaha because of their design policy. It is a great honor and delight for me to finally be able to collaborate with them and do something together.”
Shinya also reflected on the combination of heritage combined with modern technology, saying “The old products have something very good in them, they are very purely designed. Their mechanism, sometimes not perfect though, reflects the makers’ passion for making the best work for each generation. The beauty of the old motorbikes is that passion is visible and tangible. However,” he continues, “it wouldn’t be right if you replicated the old designs and started selling just because they looked cool. Respecting old design and assimilating them, and then creating something new should be the way to go for those who create and build today, including me. Therefore I can greatly agree with Yamaha’s concept to release products with the latest technology, that also respect the heritage of classic bikes and of course make it fun to ride!”
For the ‘Faster Son’ build, Shinya worked with the latest parallel twin motor form Yamaha’s modern line up, finding heart and soul in the torquey, engaging power source. “I thought that someone who really loved motorbikes made this engine,” he commented. “Not only do the numbers show its efficiency, but also the feeling with the engine, the way it spins up and the sound it makes appeals to all the biker’s senses. If you really love riding a motorbike, this engine simply excites you as soon as you get on, whether you like vintage bikes or new ones.”