We ventured to the Far East to check out how the other two-wheeled half lives by attending the Mooneyes show in Yokohama Japan. Now in its 21st year, this little show that first catered to custom cars has now blossomed into one of the world’s greatest motorcycle shows. It is a one-day event with several bikes and invited builders being shipped in from overseas as well as the myriads of local talent representing Japan. Upon arrival we were floored at the hundreds of nice custom bikes that were on hand in the hall, as well as the thousands of top-notch bikes that were in parking lots surrounding the event. By the looks of the real-deal Harleys being built and ridden in Japan it seems as if while we were buying aftermarket Evo motors in the 90’s and early 2000’s Japanese bike junkies were busy buying up real-deal Milwaukee iron in the form of K-models, Flatheads, Knuckleheads, Pans and Gennie Shovels. Bummer for us, but good for them to have the foresight and lust for old iron that we are finally now rekindling here in the USA.
The style of custom bikes in Japan are more of an egoless “anything goes” style of customization where the builder doesn’t seem to be constrained to what is cool at the time. This thinking lends its way to coming up with creative ways to customize bikes using a combination of parts that many builders outside of Japan would never think of. There is also a large contingent of traditional style choppers from the ’60s and’70s as well as full-on historical restorations of both pre and post-war Indians and Harleys.
There is also a large contingent of traditional style choppers from the ’60s and ’70s as well as full-on historical restorations...
If you are a true fan of motorcycles as well as their form and function, then this show is one not to be missed. There are so many killer bikes, tens of thousands of people filling the hall, and so much going one at one time that it is total sensory overload. These photos don’t even come close to convening the sheer magnitude of the event, so the best thing for you to do is hop on a plane next year and see this show with your own two eyes. It will blow your mind. For more information on how and when you should get there, checkout mooneyes.usa.com.