The Secret Life Of Chica

Teenager Yasuyoshi Chikazawa, a.k.a. Chica, got hooked to motorcycles when a friend let him ride his motorcycle in the streets of Osaka. Passion for American motorcycles got fed via looking at the customs featured in American magazines like Easyriders. Although Haley-Davidson motorcycles sold in Japan are 2 to 3 times more expensive than in the US, Chica succeeded in acquiring a used FXE. But because labor rates are prohibitive Chica had to learn how to fix, fabricate parts and maintain his own motorcycle. He went to work for a Honda then a Harley dealer in Kyoto and rapidly realized that his custom motorcycle dreams could only be fully expressed in America where, as he imagined, everything is possible and permitted (it was before CARB and EPA start their enforcement patrols,)

Chica transitioned to the US via a job at a friend’s shop in Californis, ending up in 1995 opening Chica Cycles in Huntington Beach. During 15 years Chica has specialized in the old style of today, mixing old engines with a soul with new technology parts, finishing his bikes with multiple very fine details whose lines are evidently inspired by his Japanese culture. Through builds like “Blue”, “Von Dutch”, “The Unicorn” and “The Snake Charmer” Chica has created a style of motorcycles that never existed in the 50’s  but still fitting perfectly with this motorcycling era. A man of a few words, especially in English, a shy Chica disclosed to me his likes and dislikes.

Cyril. In High School, what your teachers said about you? wake up. Chica. I was always sleeping or sometimes drawing.

Cyril. Who were your childhood heroes? Chica. Motorcycle Cop.

Cyril. What was your 1st vehicle? Chica. Honda CBX400F

Cyril. If you were not working in the motorcycle industry, what would you do? Chica. Automobile Mechanic.

Cyril. What is your favorite way to relax? Chica. Playing soccer. Smoking cigarettes.

Cyril. What is the last music you downloaded in your iPod? Chica. Dark Moor (a Spanish Heavy Metal Band) 

Cyril. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Chica. No tattoo. But I had piecings before.

Cyril. Name five things you hate. Chica. C.A.R.B (california Air Resource Board), Rules, American style Sushi. Oil leaks, Stock Market.
Cyril. What is the person you would love to meet? Chica. Brazilian Soccer players Kaka (playing with Spanish team Real Of Madrid) and Inzaghi (playing for Italian team AC Milan)

Cyril. What is your best life achievement? Chica. My family.

Cyril. What do you miss most at home when you are on the road? Chica. Nothing. I enjoy single life if for short times.

Cyril. What was the last book you read? Chica. A Service Manual.
Cyril. Where is your favorite vacation place? Chica. Hawaii.

Cyril. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Chica. No…

Cyril. Do you collect anything? Chica. No…

Cyril. What was your worst buy? Chica. Cheap tools that you could use only one time…

Cyril. How do you take your coffee? Chica. Black.

Cyril. What was the most embarrassing thing you have ever made? Chica. I don’t remember…

Cyril. What is the best thing you can cook? Chica. Cup noodles.

Cyril. When was the time you were really angry? Chica. Each time I am lied to.

Cyril. What is your perfect weekend when you are at home? Chica. Playing soccer, then BBQ in my backyard.

Cyril. What is your preferred rally? Chica. Sturgis at the Broken Spoke Saloon.

Cyril. What is the worst question a journalist asked you? Chica. I am not sure because I don’t really understand English…

16 Responses to “The Secret Life Of Chica”

  1. 1 McScooter Nov 10th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Chica is truely “one of a kind”! Very taleted , maticulous, and ambitious. Keep up the excellent work Chica.

  2. 2 Dave Blevins Nov 10th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I’ve met and talked with Chica several times and I must say, he is one of the most likable people in the industry. Humble, talented, and genuine.
    Anyone willing to leave their home country to chase the American dream are always an inspiration, especially when they succeed.

  3. 3 Geez... Nov 10th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I like his bike art. Very easy to identify his customs in a crowd.

  4. 4 jatinder pal Nov 10th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    He is truly a bike builder,some time back i saw chica welding up invader wheels….the wheels came out super cool.
    Very genuine and innovative….loved the Von dutch bike.

  5. 5 LENNY SINNET ASTC PERFORMANCE Nov 10th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Very old school, classic and very kool always like seeing Chica’s motorcycles.

  6. 6 krugger Nov 10th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    And he’s very funny too !! He reminds me the Manga heros…..

  7. 7 burnout Nov 10th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Another of my favorite builders. He doesnt try to be like everyone else. peace

  8. 8 ger Nov 11th, 2010 at 3:23 am

    like his style..

  9. 9 Dennis Nov 11th, 2010 at 7:02 am

    A few years back I was at the Sturgis Rally sitting near the gate of the Broken Spoke Co. Line. My old Panhead had a wireing issue, a dead short. I was working on it when Chica pulled up in his van with a crew member and they help me get Pan back on the road.They were the only ones who stoped and ask if I needed anything or a little help. I seen Chica a few times since, he always says hello. Thanks again Chica.

  10. 10 martin Twofeather Nov 11th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Great job Cyril…..

  11. 11 zhallart Nov 11th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    A good guy that does good work. Smokes too much. World famous – even in Kuala Lumpur.

  12. 12 CAROLYN TOMAS-KIWI INDIAN MOTORCYCLES Nov 12th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Chika-San, You & Kiwi Mike have the same American Dream. Motorcycling in America.
    You have both acheived greatness here in the USA, with your styles of motorcycle building. In which I am very proud of both of you. Mike, Ross & I are very proud to call our friend.
    You speak English very well. Maybe you might want to take English as a second language classes. I took Japanese language classes.

  13. 13 Ed Nov 13th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Cyril:

    Thanks for the best moto-blog in cyberspace. I also enjoy the “Secret Life” features as well. How about a “Secret Life of Cyril Huze” (i.e. self interview, same questions).

  14. 14 Calif Phil Nov 15th, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Chica is a class act we need more industry folks like him.
    I luv my Invaders he made for me.

  15. 15 Sean D. Nov 16th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Chica and his style has always been a personal favorite. Enjoyed this write up very much.


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