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Shinji Kazama - The man who left the streets

Shinji Kazama - The man who left the streets - Rottweiler Motors

Philippe Hänni |

If you’ve never heard of Shinji Kazama, be sure to read on. Shinji Kazama is a Japanese adventurer and off-road rider who has undertaken several extreme expeditions and made Japanese motorcycle history. In the motorcycle scene of Japan, he is on the same level as Steve McQueen!

Who is Shinji Kazama?

Shinji Kazama was born in Japan in 1950 and turned to the off-road scene as a young man. He quickly became one of Japan’s best off-road riders and participated in numerous national and international competitions.

But his true passion was adventure. When Shinji Kazama realized that driving on the road was no longer enough for him, he began exploring the world off the road. He undertook numerous expeditions to remote areas impassable for ordinary vehicles.

An expedition that wrote Japanese history

One of Shinji Kazama’s most famous expeditions took him through the Gobi Desert in China in 1993. Together with a team of scientists and adventurers, he crossed this hostile region from east to west. It remained until 2010 the only trip in which a man with a motorcycle had reached both poles. Until 2005, he also held a speed record for the fastest overland journey (24 days!!) for the trip to the South Pole.


But this expedition was not only an adventurous journey through the desert. It also had a historical background: the route ran along the ancient Silk Road, which connected China and the Western world hundreds of years ago.

Shinji Kazama and his team discovered numerous remains from the Silk Road era during this expedition, contributing to the research of the history of this important trade route.

In addition, he was the first Japanese to participate in the Dakar Rally in 1982 and even won it in 1984 in the 500cc class! Three years later he won the 250cc class of the “Rally of the Pharaoh”.

Kazama nahm 2004 the last time to the Rallye Dakar teil, als he from einem Truck togefahren wurde, wodthrough sein linkit Bein (almost complete!) zhefetzt wurde. 2007 wurde he zat Botschafter of the gute Willens the Weltgesandheitsorganisation the Vereinten Nationen erntont and unternahm the Trans Eurasian Continent Tour. 2008 and 2009 dthroughcrosste he Africa and drove from Ägypten nah Südafrika. From May to September 2010 reiste he with drei weiteren behinderten Fahrern from Chile to zat Northpol.

An inspiration for adventurers worldwide

Shinji Kazama is a role model for all those who seek adventure. His expeditions have not only contributed to the discovery of new places and the exploration of history, but have also shown that it is possible to live one’s dreams while crossing borders.

So the next time you hear about an expedition, think of Shinji Kazama and be inspired by his story!


For more on Shinji Kazama, check out the documentary below. North to Nowhere was filmed in 1989 and deals with the journey of Shinji Kazama to the South Pole. Have fun!

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