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17.5.07

Go, Chica Go !


With bike builders seemingly dropping from the trees these days, it gets harder and harder to stand out. Chica of Chica Customs Cycles in Huntington Beach, Calif., doesn't have that problem. His wide array of unique creations is distinctive enough to get noticed, even among the endless displays at the Indy Dealer Expo and Pomona Easyriders Show, where he took a third place for best of show against other West Coast heavyweights.
A few years ago, I saw one of his bikes in a magazine and I was blown away. It was a clean, mean scoot that looked like it meant business.
Chica hails from southern Japan. He started out as a Honda mechanic whose hobby was Harleys. After a few years of turning wrenches for Honda, he started working toward his dream. He and few friends opened up Chica Motorcycle Service. They did mostly service work, not much custom work. But the ideas were brewing and when the opportunity came to move to the States, Chica packed up his wife and kid and moved to Diamond bar, Calif., where he worked in a friend's shop. After a year and a half, he decided he could build bikes on his own, bringing his designs to life. It was at that time that Chica met Don Millhouse, who worked for a company that exported aftermarket parts to Japan. Chica built bikes in his garage while Don exported parts from his. They outgrew their garages after six months and opened Chica Custom Cycles in Huntington Beach. That was five years ago. Today Chica designs and builds the best old school bikes look using today's technology...

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