Moto Japan gripping rider: Tomoki Azuma
One of the great things that riding brings is the opportunity to meet exceptional people on the road. While everyone shares a common hobby, each rider is exceptional and fascinating. Every single one of us shares the love for the road and the feeling of freedom, but each motorcycle lover is unique in their drive, motivation, style and life beyond the motor. Fascinated by riders of Japan, we decided to add regular interviews with some of most enchanting riders that can be met on streets across Japan.
We are starting the Moto Japan Gripping Riders interview series with the biker responsible for our blog: The designer of g.o.a.t. blogging platform, that made the reading of this blog post possible in the first place.
Name: Tomoki Azuma
Birthplace: Aichi Prefecture
Bikes: YAMAHA SR400 -> HONDA VRX400 -> YAMAHA YZF-R1 -> Moto Guzzi V7 Special
Years riding: 7
Favorite riding spot : Chichibu, Enoshima
Favorite riding route : 413, 299
Azuma-san's moto: 負けるもんか (Message from HONDA’s commercial meaning "You can't beat me!")
What intrigued you to become a rider? Have you dreamed of becoming a rider already as a child?
At a young age in Aichi Prefecture, I actually wasn't that interested in motorcycles at all. I didn't have a wish to try riding at that time. I was first intrigued by motorcycles at the age of 19, when I saw the Kawasaki W650 at an intersection. That moment I decided I want to start riding.
Now that you have been riding for 7 years - and changed many bikes, what do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy riding at high elevations the most. Recently I went to the Zao Echo Line in Miyagi Prefecture by my V7. That was magnificent.
Do you get to escape Tokyo to high elevations often? What is most important when you choose a motorcycling trip destination?
I ride to Saitama and Yamanashi Prefectures every 2 or 3 weeks. I prefer long touring, and recently started camping. Just last month I discovered the wonders setting up a tent in feeling one with nature. It is very fulfilling.
After changing so many bikes, why did you choose Moto Guzzi V7 Special?
It has a cool engine configuration. I got interested, and after I tried it at a test ride event, the decision was done.
Do you think you will change your bike again in the future?
No, I only got the V7 2 months ago. I'm definitely not considering a change now.
Let's say you were forced to change a bike, what would you choose then?
I'd probably pick a small and lightweight bike then.
Are you a lone rider or usually ride in groups?
I usually ride alone, but sometimes I ride tandem with my wife. Honestly, I would like to go touring with other riders sometimes, but I haven't found any rider friends in Tokyo moving from Aichi Prefecture yet.
Work must have been busy for you, being the designer of the g.o.a.t. blogging platform. We love using it and are grateful for your wonderful work. Being the person in charge of complete UI/UX of g.o.a.t’s, which is your favorite feature you implemented?
The most exciting g.o.a.t feature for me is the Purple Haze. I like the background-image's cross-fading motion. It brings the attractiveness to the posts, and the soft tones of the image really appeal to the readers. When you experience something new in everyday life, it is easy to express it through g.o.a.t. Everyone should try it!
We certainly love it and will use the Purple Haze design for this blog post, adding a background image to this interview.
You mentioned new experiences in everyday life. Do you have a new experience in everyday riding to share with us?
When I was riding in Niigata prefecture, I felt something hit my neck. The sudden pain was was caused by a very tiny but hard bug. It hurt a lot and my neck was swollen for days. After it healed, I was left with a mark that looked like a hickey. Actually it is still visible now.
Aside of getting more hickeys on your bike, do you currently have any other riding goal?
My goals change depending on what brings the joy to my bike life at that time. At the moment, my main goal is getting home safely to my wife. That's most important.
You can find Tomoki Azuma on Instagram and g.o.a.t.