death machines of london dresses kenzo motorcycle in samurai armor

death machines of london dresses kenzo motorcycle in samurai armor

death machines of london reimagined a 1977 honda gold wing to create its ‘most radical machine to date’. inspired by the overlapping segments found in early samurai armor, the body of the motorcycle utilises mixed media panels that have been meticulously finished with slow, smooth curves. they meet razor-sharp folds, while the insert grill was made possible with 3D printing.

images courtesy of death machines of london



the machine was built in CAD, with all the bucks and templates made from the same data. one of the more challenging parts of the build was trying to successfully combine so many manufacturing processes. finished in satin black, the frame underwent significant modification. at the head, an angular gooseneck was designed to extend the wheelbase of the machine by 10cm and decrease the rake by 7 degrees, not only improving stability at speed, but also providing a more aggressive stance.



‘the inherent asymmetry of handmade aluminium panelling, the slightly more symmetrical composites, with the high-precision 3d prints and CNC parts,’ says death machines of london. ‘created the most instances of wanting to kick everything across the workshop floor and yell ‘f**k it’.’


‘[kenzo is] our most radical machine to date. it combines traditional metalwork with composites, 3D printing, CNC, precision-etching, holographic lighting and exquisite leatherwork.’



to the rear, a radical twin-shock cantilever system was created in order to achieve a more visually balanced back-end, allowing the redesigned swingarm to be clearly viewed. the system utilises a pair of updated ACOU 60 ohlins, with springs made specifically for the build by hagon. reworked ohlins units have been used on the front end and anodised to our specification.



a mirror-polished black ‘blade’ surrounds the front light cluster and drops down to the base of each fork, in reference a katana sword. the bodywork was then finished in the company’s own custom titanium samurai paintwork, with matt black detailing.



additional features include the detailed ‘kenzo’ grillwork, an in-house petrol cap, precision-machined aluminium badges and handlebars wrapped in the traditional tsukamaki sword wrapping technique. the seat unit, CNC’d from high-density foam and concealing a remote proximity sensor, was then wrapped in embossed leather reminiscent of the layered clothing worn under armor.



the front running light, indicators and tail light are all custom-designed parts. working with luminit of california, death machines of london incorporated the world’s most advanced holographic diffusion film into the units. the light from the LED’s is precisely disbursed at 80 degrees across the surface of the film, removing hot spots and creating a seamless bar of light. sets of machined internal lenses then hold the film and led’s at precise distances from each other to ensure a smooth distribution of light.



the front brake is cable operated by the latest type r01 in-house lever. this actuates a BMW master cylinder situated under the fuel cell, finally terminating in a pair of brembo m4 forged radial callipers to complete the system. rear brakes are largely stock, except for a brembo master cylinder and uprated pads. re-laced to the original hubs, the wheels consist of 18inch rims mated to 120/80/18 front and 150/60/18 rear avon tires.



one of its most intricate details is the hand-crafted speedometer, which features a dragon, cast from an 18th century japanese jewel box. paired with a hand-made pointer of the same finish, the dragon surrounds a precision-etched nickel lattice, encased in a series of custom lenses which not only support the floating number board, but also utilize the same diffusion film technology as the lights. the result is a smooth, radially illuminated dragon ghost – the spirit of the machine.



‘it is a testament to honda’s engineering prowess that very little work needed to be carried out on the 40-year-old engine: a horizontally opposed 1000cc flat four, which was dismantled, inspected and refreshed.’


‘the carburettors were tuned to complement the DMOL slash-cut mufflers. painted in satin black, cosmetic detailing features head case plates with ‘kenzo’ written as 建造.’ kenzo is available for £56,000.00


project info


company: death machines of london
model: kenzo
price: £56,000.00 (approximately $72,500USD)

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