Kimura Debuts ‘Faster Son’ Yamaha at Wheels & Waves ’15

June 18, 2015
Courtesy of Yamaha EU

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.

Shinya Kimura's Faster Son doing quarter-mile

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.”

Kimura Faster Son Yamaha

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.”

Faster Son Yamaha by Shinya Kimura
When it came to designing the ‘Faster Son’, Shinya Kimura put himself in the mind of a Yamaha designer and asked himself what he would build if he wanted to create a bike that would satisfy Shinya Kimura. “To me the XS1 and XS650 are very symbolic, they represent Yamaha’s design philosophy,” he continues. “They are bikes that never look dated, and continue to look beautiful in everyone’s eyes; that’s what I hope to inspire in current motorbikes. What I kept in my mind the most was; I was aiming to create a line for the bike that flows, in another words, a harmony, just like the XS1.

“I wanted to express my own taste without spoiling the important functions such as riding, stopping, speeding and cornering when creating the ‘Faster Son’,” said Shinya. “The engine is the latest technology from Yamaha; it’s not like the vintage engines with beautiful cooling fins, but the overall design of the bike does not obstruct the newest design element or the nostalgic element but rather flows and blends the two together. I looked within myself to make sure the function, form, and my personal design philosophy did not conflict with each other, respecting the Yamaha philosophy to create a design that would be harmonious with every detail from the engine and frame, to the forks and suspension.

“Any reservations that I initially thought I might have became unfounded because it was a timeless design but incorporating the best functions. Whether you build with a vintage engine or a modern one, the two have something in common; simply functionality taking shape, and I believe I was able to create the bike that has a flow that merges heritage and vintage style with modern technology that promises a beautiful riding experience.”

“We have been discussing with many custom builders, including Shinya, what role Yamaha should be taking in this growing custom world to offer more diversity to customers,” concludes Shun Miyazawa. “We had some ideas in mind already, and Shinya proposed exactly the same starting point, our modern 700cc liquid cooled twin engine. It was reassuring for our vision for the future, as it seems we have shared beliefs, so I’m very happy to see this stunning final result. We are committed to bringing motorcycles based on our own interpretation of the Faster Sons philosophy, and it will be very soon!”

Shinya Kimura Faster Son burnout