Tuesday, April 2, 2013


JAC: What got you into working and building motorcycles?

Aki: I eventually got my first Harley when I was 18 years old.  It wasn’t even in good condition.  I was going to this bike shop, but they were kind of jerking me around because I was young and it really made me upset.  So I said, “Fuck it! I’m going to learn it myself.”  So I quit going to the bike shop and I started tearing the motor apart and working on it.  That’s how it got me started because I was dealing with that shitty motorcycle shop.

I went on to Motorcycle Mechanic Institute in Phoenix, Arizona in 1998 and graduated in 1999.  I went back to Japan and worked for a dealership for like a year.

I have been working on bikes since I was about 16 years old.  Back then we were borrowing scooters so you needed to hot wire them.  That’s how we all learned to work on bikes too. 

I worked at car shops early on. I was working in the car industry till I was 18.  Paint shops and stuff like that.  Then I worked out of my garage before I got hired at West Coast Choppers.  That’s when I moved back to the U.S. in 2002.  I wanted to work for Jesse James of West Coast Choppers so back in Japan I finished two bikes and sold them to make money to get here.  I showed up at West Coast and applied.  Fuck it. I got lucky. 

Tune in tomorrow for part 3.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Part 2 of this interviews is incredible. I totally love every detail highlighted in the session. I also must compliment on the photos, they are awesome. Michelin Motorcycle Tires