Fascinated by riders of Japan, we are adding regular interviews with some of the most enchanting motorcycle riding personalities in the land of the rising sun.
This time we are introducing the Lead Designer of Kadoya Leathers, the biggest leather motorcycle apparel manufacturer in Japan. He's passionate about fashion and bikes, and excels combining both in his daily lifestyle.
Name: Wataru Kotani
Bike: YAMAHA XSR900
Years riding: 9
Favorite riding spot/route: Nothing in particular
Motto: Nothing in particular
Kotani-san, how did you get into riding?
I was born and grew up in Osaka. In high school, I became interested in bikes. I taught it would be fun to start riding motorcycles and mopeds.
You were right. It is very fun. What's the most fun thing about it?
It's a path to self-discovery. During motorcycle riding, I explore myself, my (life)style.
How often are you exploring?
I basically ride every day, as I use bike for commuting. Naturally, I ride through central Tokyo.
That's right, to Kadoya Leathers workshop in Asakusa. With your current lifestyle, how did you choose your current bike?
Simply because it's cool. Ordinary, but cool, which is ideal for me.
Are you considering changing your bike?
I'm really happy riding my current bike.
What if you'd have to choose a new one?
I guess I'd choose VITPIREN (Husqvarna).
We guess you're commuting alone, but how about touring? Do you prefer riding alone with other people?
I'm rather a group touring person.
Why is that?
Well, riding alone might get annoying after a while. Riding in a group comes with a common goal but individual experiences, and because of that, you often discover places and things you wouldn't normally see on your own.
We also want to discover a new place! Send us to your favorite spot in Tokyo! What's your recommendation?
Do you have a riding goal?
My riding goal is directly connected to my work. As a designer, I aim to create fun and cool styles and contents. I like to see people fascinated by style, coolness, as well as riding pleasure. This cannot be brought solely by riding or fashion. Combining motorcycle riding with fashionable style brings the full package that everyone should enjoy.
What are your thoughts about riding industry in Japan?
As a designer of a rider's apparel, as well as a biker, I strongly believe that the Japanese motorbike industry will evolve even further. On my own, I hope to continue doing various challenges and at the same time bring motorcycles closer to others.
Lately we have been receiving many orders from overseas. Even though it is not easy to find time, I want to be able to address all custom orders we get. I am trying my best to appeal riding to younger generations, and assure they are stylish while enjoying the rides.