Japanese bike builders are like no-limit poker games. They can get pretty wild and you never know what to expect. If you’ve been to the Mooneyes Yokohama show, you know exactly what I mean. For decades, Japan’s choppersmiths have run the gamut from bosozoku to gooseneck rigid to just plain great executions of choppers in the American traditions, all while making the bikes their own. To me, that’s a great strength in a custom motorcycle maker.

Hiromichi Nishiyama and Cycle West are behind this rigid Shovelhead seen here. Powered by a 1977 Harley-Davidson heart set in a rigid skeleton, this chopper is full-on custom but it also just looks like lots of fun to ride.

The bike’s Paughco springer front end brackets a 23-inch wheel and is set at a modest 30-degree rake, making for a snub nose look up front. Out back, a 19-inch W&W spoker completes the rolling chassis part of the job.

The artistry in this machine lies in, of course, the metal and finishes. What little bodywork there is on this chop (the back fender, gas tank, and oil tank) was made in-house by Cycle West, as were the headlight and pegs. The PPG burgundy and cream paint were laid down by 420 Kustoms. If you like the killer engraving on the top end and air cleaner cover, you can blame Cycle Works for that bit of awesomeness too.

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