In the event you’re into customized bikes (which I’ll assume you’re because you’re right here) the title Kaichiroh Kurosu and his workshop Cherry’s Firm ought to want no introduction. For the uninitiated, Kaichiroh-san is form of a giant deal.
Since opening his workshop in 2000 Kaichiroh-san has grow to be one among Japan’s prime customized motorbike builders. he and his Cherry’s Firm model have received quite a few trophies at Japanese customized motorbike occasions together with 3 ‘Finest in Present’ awards on the world-renowned Mooneyes Yokohama present. He’s been commissioned by producers like BMW Motorrad to customize their bikes and even constructed absolutely useful prop-bikes for films together with the most recent Batman movie and the Amazon sequence, Kamen Rider Black Solar.
2022 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Mooneyes present. As you’d anticipate Kaichiroh pulled out all of the stops to mark the event with a wildly distinctive customized creation, and his efforts paid off. Cherry’s Firm’s extremely stylised, carbon-bodied ‘Midnight Dancer’ took out the Mooneyes award for Finest Cafe Racer and Finest European Motorbike.
Midnight Dancer was constructed for a buyer with a crash-damaged motorbike that he wished resurrecting by Cherry’s Firm. This wasn’t simply any previous motorbike although, it was BMW Motorrad’s extremely acclaimed HP2 Sport, a bike that’s shortly turning into a collector’s merchandise.
Launched in 2008, the BMW HP2 Sport was powered by probably the most highly effective oil/air-cooled boxer engine the Bavarians had ever produced. It was based mostly on the R1200S platform and had a capability of 1170cc. Because of a particular tune and loads of inner upgrades the HP2 engine made 128bhp on the crank and 110Nm of torque; the HP2 Sport wasn’t nearly energy although.
Carbon fibre performed a giant position within the HP2 Sport formulation. The bike’s chassis was a mixture of tubular metal and a semi-monocoque carbon fibre rear finish, which eliminated the necessity for a subframe. The entrance fairing, stomach pan, fenders, components of the gasoline tank, cylinder head covers and extra have been all carbon too which helped to maintain weight to a minimal. Together with all that carbon BMW additionally match the bike with a protracted checklist of weight-focused elements comparable to solid aluminium wheels, light-weight pistons and even light-weight headlamps. This all resulted in a formidable 178kg (dry) weight. To prime all of it off, the HP2 Sport wore a top-of-the-range suspension and brake package deal. Upon its launch, BMW boldly claimed that the HP2 Sport was prepared for each the highway and observe straight off the manufacturing facility ground. By all accounts, it lived as much as their promise.
Below the extremely customised exterior of the Cherry’s Firm Midnight Dancer, you’ll discover a 2008 BMW HP2 Sport. When tackling the mission Kaichiroh wished to do that venerable motorbike justice. This meant pulling out all of the stops and even upskilling to realize his desired objective. The next is Kaichiroh’s account of how the Midnight Dancer construct performed out…
“I obtained the order in 2018 from a buyer whose BMW HP2 Sport had been in an accident. He requested me to customize it, however resulting from me being very busy after which Covid19 the construct of the bike was on maintain for a very long time. The HP2 Sport had a carbon exterior, the strongest efficiency of a flat twin engine and a very good chassis to help it. I didn’t have a concrete customization plan for the bike, however I knew I didn’t wish to degrade its efficiency or styling. For these causes, I wished to rebuild the HP2 Sport with a carbon exterior.
From across the finish of 2021 to January 2022 I began planning the bike. On the time, I used to be utilizing carbon exteriors on prospects’ ‘Freeway Fighter‘ builds, which got here out of the R nineT customization mission I did with BMW in 2014. Nevertheless, I had solely used a hand-laid technique of carbon modelling. I believed this method would compromise the efficiency of the HP2 Sport. Then again, dry carbon was unimaginable so I started looking for a brand new technique. That’s when I discovered Vacuum Infusion Expertise. Utilizing Vacuum Carbon Infusion Expertise, which hardens carbon fibre with epoxy, I discovered that it’s attainable to supply carbon components with a high quality near that of dry carbon.”
“So I modified the manufacturing technique of the outside components for the Freeway Fighter to Vacuum Carbon Infusion as a take a look at mattress. Motorbike components are notoriously small, advanced in form and have intricate curves so I devised my very own vacuum technique and constructed my very own Vacuum Infusion Expertise. After all, my manufacturing technique continues to be evolving. I’m persevering with to enhance the power and high quality of my course of which is important for bike components, in addition to discovering strategies to offer larger design freedom.
As soon as my very own Vacuum Infusion Expertise had been established, my work moved on to design. The Midnight Dancer’s design is predicated on World Grand Prix racers from the Eighties. The period was characterised by massive cowls and considerably exaggerated designs in comparison with at present’s race bikes. Nevertheless, I cherished the WGP in that period and have used that picture many instances in my customized bikes. This time, I attempted to make it work with a BMW flat twin engine.”
“Because the HP2 SPORT had excessive using efficiency, I made a decision to rebuild solely the outside. So I’ve prevented altering the association of the suspension system, together with BMW’s distinctive telelever entrance suspension system and paralever rear suspension, the body supporting all of it and the computer systems and electrical units crucial for operate. The HP2 SPORT makes use of an inside gasoline tank system, with a canopy over the gasoline cell. The aspect of the entrance cowl is built-in into the tank cowl and the entrance cowl was a separate construction from that aspect half. Behind that entrance cowl was the air consumption for ram air and the sprint gauge holder. My course of was carried out with out altering the association of those components, which led to this design, with the outside components overlapping one another.
I used to be initially going to complete even the rear cowl in carbon. However in the course of the manufacturing course of, I began to suppose that I wished to mix metallic with carbon. Even these days, racing bikes like MotoGP or WSBK generally use aluminium gasoline tanks. Within the low season, when no sponsor or physique color has been determined, the groups take a look at their bikes with naked aluminium tanks and carbon fibre cowls. That look is what I wished to precise with the Midnight Dancer.”
“After I exhibited the Midnight Dancer on the Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present 2022, many media requested me why I used a carbon exterior. Plainly within the sizzling rod scene carbon components, or resin components for that matter, are frowned upon. They thought the 2 issues weren’t a superb match for one another. Nevertheless, the new rod scene has been utilizing resin components for the reason that Nineteen Sixties. That is exemplified by Tracy Nelson’s Fiberglas Works customized motorbike physique kits that used a one-piece monocoque fibreglass design.
I additionally insisted on resin moulding carbon as a result of it allowed for larger flexibility in design. Mould making is important for resin moulding. It is vitally tough however it makes it attainable to create advanced shapes with constructive and unfavourable curved surfaces. The identical result’s unimaginable with sheet metallic. By combining the carbon exterior with sheet metallic components, I used to be in a position to create one thing new that’s neither a chopper nor an excellent sport. With the ‘Midnight Dancer’, I’m proud to say I believe I’ve proved this.”
Pictures by Hiromitsu Yasui
Midnight Dancer HP2 Sport Spec sheet:
Base motorbike: 2008 BMW HP2 SPORT
Exhaust: One-off mufflers
Body: Nickel plated
Tires: MICHELIN Energy Cup 2
Entrance Fender: One-off／CFRP
Gas Tank: Customary／Interior Tank
Tank Cowl & Entrance Cowl: One-off／CFRP
Rear Cowl: One-off /Aluminum
Rear Mild: KIJIMA NANO
Blinkers: KIJIMA NANO
Rear gentle ＆ Flip indicators: KIJIMA NANO
Paint: Hopping Bathe by Tetsu