A master manipulator of motor and metal Keinosuke “Keino” Sasaki belongs to a handful of Japanese born Custom Builders living and working in the US. For his 16th birthday Dad brought back home an abandoned scooter in the street. Keino helped his dad take it apart, put it together, and remember vividly the sense of accomplishment he felt during the process and his excitement when he rode the scoot for the 1st time. Not having enough passion to pursue a career as a teacher, Keino took part time jobs in a bike shop and restaurant, then got full time employment during 2 years at the Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant where he was an assembly line worker, just a way to save enough money to come to the US.
Went to MMI in Arizona in 1998, then found his first job in New-York in dealerships. It’s where he met his mentor Indian Larry, at the time Chief Mechanic at American Dream Machine located in Soho before the shop was moved to Brooklyn under the name Gasoline Alley, and in January 2004 under the name Indian Larry Enterprise. Right hand of Larry, after his passing and out of respect for his mentor, Keino partnered during 3 years with Paul Cox at Indian Larry Legacy. Now he manages his own shop, Keino Cycles, still out of Brooklyn, NY. (photography copyright Godspeed45/06)
Cyril. In High School, what your teachers said about you? Keino. Stop dreaming.
Cyril. Who were your childhood heroes? Keino. Captain Harlock from a japanese Sci-Fi comic.
Cyril. What was your 1st vehicle? Keino. Suzuki 50cc scooter.
Cyril. If you were not working in the motorcycle industry, what would you do? Keino. Long distance truck driver.
Cyril. What is your favorite way to relax? Keino. Listen to jazz.
Cyril. What are you afraid of? Keino. Anger that would make me do stupid things
Cyril. What is the person you would love to meet? Keino. Leonardo Da Vinci.
Cyril. Which film made you cry? Keino. Way too many to list. I’m a sucker for those type of movies.
Cyril. Name five things you hate. Keino. Roaches, liver pate, paranoia, narrow-minded people, fast talkers.
Cyril. What was the last book you read? Keino. “I hope they serve beer in hell.”
Cyril. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Keino. Cigarettes. It’s bad.
Cyril. Do you collect anything? Keino. Tools that make my job easier.
Cyril. What is the last music you downloaded in your iPod? Keino. Nina Simone.
Cyril. What was your worst buy? Keino. Automatic cat food feeder. My two cats keep breaking it to protest my negligence
Cyril. How do you take your coffee? Keino. Milk, no sugar.
Cyril. What was the most embarrassing thing you have ever made? Keino. First gas tank I made from scratch which i still have. It looks horrible.
Cyril. What is the best thing you can cook? Keino. Boiled egg.
Cyril. When was the time you were really angry? Keino. When I saw a mother crossing a street at red light for her, with her baby in a stroller.
Cyril. What is your perfect weekend when you are at home? Keino. Not having a plan, and do whatever comes to my mind.
Cyril. What is your preferred rally? Keino. Sturgis.
Cyril. What is the worst question a journalist asked you? Keino. What is your zodiac sign?