Words and photos by Chhun Tang
What better place to have a motorcycle shop than at the entrance to some prime canyon roads in Southern California? When I first found out Shinya's shop was in Azusa, I thought it was strange that it wasn't in a more highly travelled area like Los Angeles. Then after realizing exactly where it's located, it made perfect sense, the Glendora roads and San Gabriel Canyon Highway are among some of the great canyon roads nearby. And what better place to test bikes than on canyon roads?
I'll admit, meeting Shinya for the first time back at El Mirage in June and stopping into his shop, I was nervous and a little star struck. I've admired his work for years so to meet and talk to him was a great honor. Hidden in a little center on the main road, Chabott is tucked away and a little tough to find if you didn't know where to look. Both he and Ayu greeted us, showed us around and hung out a little. They are busy with a lot of things going on and were gracious to spend some time with me and Alex (of Black Top Society). Shinya's a builder and creator through and through. Spread throughout the shop there are bikes and tools of course but there's also posters, photos and other things hanging on the walls. He keeps the gifts that he's been given and finds a place to hang things like artwork and photos. Camouflaged amongst the parts and tools I was able to spot a few pieces of art he's created with the same unique soul his bikes have.
You can just feel his passion in the space. I left very humbled and inspired. It was a busier day for them so as we left, they said next time we visit, we'll go for a ride through the canyon and even take the East Fork of Glendora Mountain Road. That would be pretty damn awesome.
Thank you Shinya and Ayu!