Custom motorcycle builders are responsible for some of the coolest things on two wheels. However, they can garner a certain air of pretension. The pretension can come from the bikes they choose to customize, the lengths at which they customize them, and the small circles they often run in. Although Kengo Kimura runs in those circles, his personal Suzuki TU250 proves his lack of pretension and undeniable taste and coolness.
Heiwa Motorcycle is a legendary motorcycle shop out of Hiroshima started by Kengo Kimura. Kengo is responsible for building some of the most beautiful bikes the custom bike world has ever known. His bikes fall into the super high-end category that may make him appear pretentious or elitist. I’m not saying that’s true; in fact, I’m saying the opposite. But, seeing his successes in the custom motorcycle shows and competitions might make that sort of thing understandable.
The Suzuki TU250 scrambler
BikeExif highlighted this bike as Kimura’s personal project. It’s interesting to see what a master builder like Kimura chooses to build for his own personal taste. It shows a departure from the opulent show bikes to an old-school, stripped-down scrambler. Kimura based the scrambler off a 2004 Suzuki TU250 Grass Tracker Big boy. Kimura built another scrambler out of a similar Suzuki in the past. He clearly has a soft spot for the single-cylinder thumper.
The TU model was only available in Japan where the ST was more widely available. There are some small differences between the two, but the bones are the same; a playful 250cc single-cylinder off-roader made to be fun and friendly.
Heiwa means “peace” in Japanese
Kimura has a passion for small scramblers that can run just a well off-road as they can through crowded city streets. With just one look at the Heiwa scrambler and you know it has both qualities in spades. BikeExif says that this is not the first or last of these little scramblers. This is a style that Kimura is super into right now, and for one, am glad for it. “I’ve been into motocross since I was a teenager, and love to ride,” Kimura told the folks at BikeExif. “The scramblers in the series I made this time are not based on MX bikes, but on commercial vehicles.”
This Suzuki TU250 scrambler is a true dual-sport
Later in the interview with BikeExif, Kimura talks about how he normally give this kind of scrambler a thicker seat to help cushion the harshness of off-road riding. On this one, he wanted to give a slightly thinner seat to be better around town. His goal was to make this bike off-road-ready while still allowing for enough class for in town.
Suzuki TU250 scrambler specs
This bike still rides on its original wheels but with more aggressive tires for the dirt. Although the tires are slightly more aggressive they are still decent for the road. The brakes and most of the suspension has also been left alone. Kimura did, however, change the stock shocks out for a new set of Kayaba rear shocks.
The engine also has been mostly left alone. Kimura is clearly down with the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He did change the stock airbox out for pod filters and a beautiful stainless steel exhaust system. To keep with the clean aesthetic, he also required the bike to hide ugly electronic clusters.
The look is far from stock
The scrambler class has a very specific look and Kimura nailed it. Low clean lines with a commanding and upright riding position define the look of this classy ripper. Kimura shortened and looped the subframe, remade the seat, made custom fenders and taillight. He also replaced the fuel tank with a much more attractive aluminum one from a 1976 Suzuki RM125. Lastly, he topped it off with a set of Renthal handlebars and menial gauges and switches to keep the look clean.
Beauty and grace in a small package
Heiwa Motorcycle is responsible for so many beautiful bikes. This personal project of Kimura’s goes to show that he isn’t just making something beautiful, the bikes are meant to be ripped – and ripped good.