We have an ongoing fascination with the Japanese custom scene. But it’s not only the skills and design chops that keep us captivated: It’s the perpetual air of mystery. We still know so little about our friends in the East.
Today’s new discovery is a long, low Harley-Davidson Shovelhead by Sato Marine Cycle. The shop is based in Onomichi in the Hiroshima Prefecture, a city best known for featuring in the classic Japanese movie Tokyo Story.
SMC has been operating for 30 years—originally as a Yamaha dealer—but since 2007, the main business has been customising bikes. The shop is run by Yusaku Sato and his wife, with two crew members assisting.
When we asked Sato-san what style he wanted to achieve with the project, he simply replied: “winding and dirt.…