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Shinya Kimura

“Here [in Japan] you have all these regulations about insurance and registration, and there are far fewer places to ride. The bikes I make really need a long stretch of straight road to experience them fully, and there aren’t so many decent strips like that here. Out in California, though, there are hundreds of miles of desert,” Kimura said.

“It’s also about the mind-set,” he said. “Playing around with vehicles — the spirit of customization — is far more respected in the U.S. And I guess in terms of the market, there’s more of a culture of spending money on yourself — rewarding yourself with big purchases, especially autos. Here in Japan, people feel guilty about that kind of outlay, they think they should be saving money for their kids.”

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