YouTube is loaded with videos on how to customize your old bike in order to upgrade it into an astonishing Cafe Racer. To learn just about anything you just have to type in the YouTube search bar, for example: How to clean a carburetor? How to lower front fork? How to remove rust? How to build a cafe racer seat? How to paint your tank? How to polish chrome? And so on, and so on…
I’ve seen tons of these videos and to be honest, at some point you can’t take another 50-minute tutorial on how to clean a petcock. But there is salvation for all of you motorcycle customization enthusiasts! And it’s called ICHIBAN MOTO, this YouTube channel is equal parts irony, motorcycle customization, humor, and then an extra dose of irony on top. So, if you feel like researching about this topic but also need a break to have some good laughs while in the name of fun this is your stop.
We wanted to know more about the person behind these videos so we contacted him and asked him some things to get to know him better. Here is what he had to say:
Who are you and where do you come from?!
My Name is Ryo Nagasaki. My father was a translator for the occupation force after the war in Japan. My mother was an American medical staff officer on the base where they met.
Where does the name Ichiban come from and what does it mean?
My nickname Ichiban came about when I was a baby – whenever I had poop in my diaper, my dad would yell “Ichiban!” That was the alert for the nanny to come and change my diaper. Ichiban was the name of the cloth diaper laundry delivery service they used. The Ichiban logo is the Japanese symbol for “number one” or Ichiban. So Ichiban Moto is “Number One Moto” or can be translated to “best moto” etc.
How did you come out with Ichiban Moto and what is your vision?
We moved to America when I was quite young. I started Ichiban Moto after retiring from a long career at the CIA. I have always had motorcycles, it has been my life long hobby and passion. My first bike was just a minibike with a lawnmower engine I put together when I was maybe 8 years old or so. I probably have had three or four hundred bikes over the many years. Fixing them up, riding them for a while, and then having someone adopt them. Now I build custom motorcycles and make videos to help others do the same.
In an interview that Ichiban did before for Motorcycle Daily he stated this:
“I want to build Ichiban Moto up and sell the company and then start another company that does the same thing. And if it did the same thing well, then I would be building a company that would be starting a company and selling companies. And that sounds like a business success to me — building kick-ass companies.”
In the same interview, Motorcycle Daily also asked him what his goals for the future were. His answer:
“I want to grow a proper beard and get some skinny jeans and a nice jacket, maybe some combat boots or Converse sneakers and a vintage helmet. Maybe tailor my current jeans into skinny jeans, since I have to learn how to upholster. I can use the extra material to upholster my upcoming brat build.”
You can check their interview here, it’s priceless!
Tell us more about yourself so we get to know you a little bit better
- My favourite insect is the orb weaver, they spin huge beautiful webs here in the summer.
- For breakfast I had tea with a rice roll. Sometimes we go out for pancakes, though.
- I am wearing shearling slippers because the floor is so cold. Chicagoland is a very miserable place in the winter.
- Sometimes I do these videos because it’s 30 degrees outside and there’s three feet of snow. Because of the mass use of road salt, motorcycles stay in storage. Salt spray gets in everywhere and destroys things.
- If I found $100, I would ask everyone around if they dropped it, if nobody claimed it I would donate it to cancer research.
- I have been married to my lovely wife for almost 40 years.
- Green zip-ties last longer than red zip-ties. It’s true, I read it on Wikipedia.
And to end this interview with Ichiban’s founder we asked him what his thoughts about people not getting his humour and he gave us the best answer we could expect:
Oh! For the people not understanding the videos, they should be watching something else. But for the people that do understand the videos – enjoy the comments of those that don’t.
Couldn’t agree more with you Ryo Nagasaki, comments from those who don’t get the videos are the icing on the cake!
Here is one of his videos:
Subscribe to his channel clicking this button, you won’t regret it! Ichiban Moto
And you can also get a Badass Ichiban T-shirt by clicking here. Ichiban T-Shirts
We give this Youtube channel 5 out of 5 GP patches!!