Custom Works Zon Plays Koi With A Knucklehead

Killer custom mates single-sided swingarm with center-hub steering

koi fish knucklehead

Powered by an S&S Cycle Knucklehead, this golden treasure is an exercise in creativity. Look at that crazy front end!

Michael Lichter Photography

Koi fish art in the United States usually involves beer and a tattoo artist, both of which are commonly found at motorcycle rallies. Not always; some people don’t bother with the first part and tough it out. Because of all this, it’s not rare to see someone at a V-twin event sporting koi fish ink. A motorcycle done up in it isn’t something you see too much of, though.

This koi’ed-out beauty is the handiwork of Yuichi Yoshikawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. “We were invited to be in the ‘Skin & Bones’ exhibition while its curator Michael Lichter was visiting our shop in the countryside of Japan, about an hour outside of Kyoto,” they told us. “We knew it would be a long way to send a bike, but we loved the theme and the opportunity to exhibit one of our customs in Sturgis again.”

The inspiration for this bike came from a Japanese tattoo of koi fish. “Koi,” engraved into the gas tank, has a lot of meaning to the Japanese, including “knowledge,” “longevity,” “loyalty,” “courage,” “perseverance,” and “luck.” It is a very auspicious design with which the builders have attempted to create balance while conveying a sense of movement as the koi climbs the waterfall.

Regarding the technology, the shop wanted to build something different, as is evident with the single-sided swingarm in the back and center-hub steering up front. “Of course, this has been done before by the likes of Arlen Ness and a few others in the United States,” they continued, “but we have never seen this done in Japan before.”

Zon Custom Works logo

Getting up close and personal with the bodywork, you really see how many different techniques were brought to bear on it.

Michael Lichter Photography

brass details on carburator

Brass details make the carburetor pop (in a good way).

Michael Lichter Photography

koi fish knucklehead

Much like its inspiration, the bike is sleek, as you see from the front.

Michael Lichter Photography

scales on rear fender

Scales and other details worked into the sweet rear fender.

Michael Lichter Photography

koi fish knucklehead

Not only is the bike’s front suspension pretty far out, but Custom Works Zon’s take on an open primary isn’t what most people are used to, even on a custom scoot.

Michael Lichter Photography

engraved primary cover

What little cover the primary has didn’t escape the engraver’s touch.

Michael Lichter Photography

center-hub steering

Would you ride a bike with center-hub steering?

Michael Lichter Photography

clean handlebars

Those bars are about as clean as it gets without bleach, and they don’t distract from that awesome fish on the gas tank.

Michael Lichter Photography

gas tank profile

Profile of the tank. The reflections and details almost make it look like the fish is in water.

Michael Lichter Photography

rear shock and minimalist saddle

The rear shock, hidden under the minimalist saddle.

Michael Lichter Photography