Indian Motorcycle, America's first motorcycle manufacturer, has unveiled the second, unique custom conversion. A collaboration with the renowned Japanese bike builder Go Takamine, which once again demonstrates the extensive customization possibilities of the new Indian Chief series.
Living in Japan in the late nineties and traveling through the ever-dense Tokyo traffic, Go developed his own unique style of motorcycle building – Brat Style was born. Then as now, the motto is simple and effective.
"For me, the bike culture started at school. Half of my class was crazy about motorcycles and that shaped my life and my path," comments Go. "In the early days, I learned a lot from friends and my local motorcycle shop. This has developed into Brat Style and my workshop. It's about making things simple and effective and still making you feel like a kid."
After moving to California eight years ago, Go was able to live out his passion for building and riding vintage bikes even more easily. And, of course, his attachment to Indian Motorcycle also grew.
The Brat Style Chief was built through discussions with Ola Stenegärd of Indian Motorcycle, who is friends with Go and had shown him first sketches of the new Chief.
"The frame design was the first thing that caught my eye," Go continues. "I could immediately see all the possibilities – which of course Ola had intended when he and his team designed the new Chief. It fits so well with what I like to do, and that's how the seeds for this project were sown."
As with so many of Go's creations, his vision was to create something "simple, not flashy," and so the work began to give the Chief the Brat Style. The shape of the tank was a major part of the design. The shape so beloved by Go has been adopted, but reduced in width and height. The next step was the rear fender. Again, Go was inspired by great, functional design of yesteryear: he reworked the rear fender of a 1937 Ford to fit perfectly with the rear wheel and swingarm of the Chief.
As the Brat Style look began to emerge, Go turned its attention to key components from the fork covers and chain guards, which he handcrafted from sheet metal, to the original Brat Style megaphone rear mufflers, handlebars and unique brass risers and footpegs.
With so much attention to detail, the final aesthetic had to be right. Go chose a simple but classic livery for the Brat Style Chief with Scallop and the old Indian Motorcycle logo.
"It's my baby, but the customer's reaction when handing over the bike is the most important thing," says Go. In this case, it was none other than the famous actor Nicholas Hoult, known for his roles in Mad Max and Young Ones, where he also discovered his passion for motorcycles.
Hoult was overwhelmed by the Brat Style Chief, knowing that from now on he would be the guardian of a very special Indian Motorcycle Custom Bike.
More about the conversion and Hoult's reaction can be found on Indian Motorcycle YouTube channel.
The Brat Style Chief is the second of the three-series of well-known V-twin customizers chosen by Indian Motorcycle to build unique models of the Indian Chief 2022. The third and final project comes from freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart. Stay tuned!