Last weekend, a new custom motorcycle – dubbed the “Departed” – saw its premiere at this year’s Hot Rod Custom Show in Yokohama, Japan.
On Sunday 2 December, Japanese bike building outfit CUSTOM WORKS ZON presented a special model commissioned by none other than BMW Motorrad. And the centrepiece of the machine is the prototype of a completely new boxer engine.
The latter’s external geometry and visible elements such as the push rods running above the cylinders in chrome-plated protection ducts recall BMW Motorrad boxer units that were built until the late 1960s – but with an evidently larger capacity and a modern air/oil cooling. However, BMW has yet to reveal any details regarding the new engine’s power output or possible future use.
In terms of the Departed’s overall design, ZON claims the bike’s low silhouette is styled to be reminiscent of German motorcycle racer Ernst Henne’s record-breaking machines of the late 1920s and 1930s.
Key details include large 21 front and 26 rear inch wheels that are milled of aluminium and fitted with relatively narrow tires, while the girder fork is also made of solid aluminium. The rear swinging arm, on the other hand, is made of steel pipe and attached to the tubular space frame by means of concealed suspension. The large-volume engine is then suspended in the frame structure that is further reinforced with grid tubes. Meanwhile the fitted fuel tank, seat unit and front trim are fabricated by hand from sheet metal.
“It was a great honour and a challenge to be able to build a motorcycle around the prototype of such a spectacular new boxer engine for one of the most tradition-steeped manufacturers,” says Yuichi Yoshizawa, who, alongside Yoshikazu Ueda, founded ZON in the prefecture of Shiga back in 2003.
And the duo came out on top at this year’s Hot Rod Custom Show, with the Departed wining “Best of Show Motorcycle” award.
Known as the “Mooneyes Show” in the customiser scene, the event was being held for the 27th time in Yokohama.