While it’s often the machines that take center stage on Bike EXIF and Iron & Air, often overlooked are the creative and ingenious builders from around the globe who demonstrate the dedication, tenacity, and broad vision to bring these creations to the world. In this installment of Behind Garage Doors, we spotlight Go Takamine of the often imitated but never matched Brat Style from Japan and California.
Go Takamine of Brat Style
In Tokyo in the mid-’90s, young Go Takamine began painting motorcycles and soon dedicated himself to motorcycle building. He had very little money and space at the outset but made the best of what he had, soon turning out custom builds that quickly elevated his reputation worldwide. Dubbing his company Brat Style — a term that implies youthful freedom — Go and his wife, Masumi, decided to expand the operation to the U.S. and rented an 8,000-square-foot machine shop in Long Beach, California. Takamine had always wanted to work on vintage American bikes and so, in 2015, he built the Chout, a ’41 Indian Scout with an oversized Chief engine. He began buying boxes of rusty old parts, and has now built over 20 Indians for buyers around the world.
When asked about Brat Style Tokyo, which now has four full-time employees who keep turning out beautiful customs, Takamine laughs, “Maybe it’s better that I’m not there, but seeing what they’re doing makes me proud.” Meanwhile, Brat Style Long Beach always has a full stable of current works, and reflecting on the humble beginnings of where he’s come from, Takamine says, “I have more knowledge, I have more money, more resources, and more machines, and my mechanical and fabrication skills are much improved. Motorcycles will always be a part of my life…I’m living my dream.”Follow Bratstyle
Motorcycles will always be a part of my life...I’m living my dream.