In Taiwan, the Yamaha SR150 is known as a “white plate motorcycle” — a locally-built machine that’s free of the high import fees and twice-yearly inspections demanded of larger motorcycles. An imported Yamaha SR400, for example, could cost 20 times as much as a used SR150 — sometimes we don’t realize how lucky we are to have the two-wheeled options we have. Due to this price gap, the 150cc SR has become a favorite of many younger Taiwanese riders, but the small size can be challenging for some customizers.
Enter Huang Wen Chi — better known as “Achi” — the founder of Hide Work Custom (HWC). After 15 years of experience as a full-time machinist and lathe operator, Achi decided to follow his passion of building custom motorcycles full-time, opening his own workshop in 2016. While many of Taiwan’s most well-known custom shops are in the capital city of Taipei — shops such as Rough Crafts and 2Loud Custom — HWC is located in the smaller city of Taoyuan, Taiwan.
The project you see here started with the tank — though you might not at first recognize it at first, it’s an OEM unit from a Moto Guzzi V7. A big fan of the Guzzi’s lines, the owner wanted to add the tank to his 2000 Yamaha SR150, updating the design to a cool daily commuter.
Displacing some 5.5 gallons, that’s a very big tank to add to a 150cc machine, so Achi had his work cut out for him, in order to make the large tank fit the rest of the bike from a design perspective. He opted for an extended swingarm from Taiwan’s Kick Garage and Shinko tires, which enlarged the visual presence of the donor machine, then hand-made the fairing, seat cowl, and side panels, which work together to bring the tank into harmony with the rest of the build.
The paint is another striking feature, incorporating modern geometric patterns, five shades of silver, and KTM orange to match the owner’s girlfriend’s KTM 390 — love it! It’s rare that we see so much attention to detail and design on a bike of this size — bravo!
Yamaha SR150 Street Scrambler / Tracker: Builder Interview
Special thanks to Leon Liu, friend and partner of the builder, for helping translate and answer the questions.
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Hide Work Custom, also known as HWC, is also a shortening of the founder’s name, Huang Wen Chi. Usually, people call him Achi. Achi did a part-time internship in a milling workshop back in his schooldays. After graduation, he became a full-time, well-trained lathe and milling machine master. He’s been obsessed with motorcycles since he was a kid, so in 2016 he quit the job to use his 15 years of expertise in machine tools to build custom motorcycles and founded Hide Work Custom.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
2000 YAMAHA SR150 愛將（Ai Chiang).
• Why not choose the SR400?
Because we have locally-built SR150s from Yamaha, it cost around $500-1000 USD for a used SR150, while the SR400 we can only import from Japan. In Taiwan, nearly every imported bike is overcharged due to the tax and government inspection (for license). The SR400 will cost you around $10,000 USD — too much for younger riders here.
• Why was this bike built?
The owner (24 years old) loved the Moto Guzzi V7 outline, so he bought a V7 OEM tank and wanted me to use it on his old bike. He had three demands:
- Even he loves the tank, but the tank shouldn’t be the focus. Better if no one can recognize it — in other words, this big tank
should fit this 150 cc smaller bike perfectly.
- It’s a commuter bike, so it has to be easy to ride.
- It must be cool!
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
We looked at many vintage VMX trackers and scramblers for inspiration and reference. The new FTR1200 impressed us most, a pure racing machine, with new technology beneath, but vintage skin. After discussion, we decided to go for a Scrambler style, even though the 150cc engine is limited — Vintage x Modern x Motocross were what we started from.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Single-seat cowl
- Side panels
- Mesh skid plate
- Battery box
- License plate bracket
- Rearview mirrors – GarageSail ( Taiwan)
- Real tail light LED strip – GarageSail
- Led headlight – GarageSail
- Micro Switches – GarageSail
- Rear Shocks (335mm)- GarageSail
- Swing Arms -Kick Garage (Taiwan)
- Grips-Domino (Italy)
- Tires-Shinko (Taiwan)
We extended the shape of the tank, which is the crucial element of the whole bike, to the fairing, side panels, and the single-seat cowl — so that these three main features don’t outshine one another. Painting is the leading modern element; you can see geometric patterns, orange lines, spread through the metallic green. The tank is also covered with aluminum mesh at the front end.
What’s the meaning behind the paint colors and the side panel numbers?
There are five different grades of silver in the paint — under strong or low light, the silver still pops out from the dark green tone. The orange is from the KTM390 since the owner’s girlfriend has one. The number on the side panels is the owner’s birth date.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
This is 20 year-old bike, and 150cc isn’t that powerful at all — with dirt bike tires it can feel a bit draggy while accelerating. But surprisingly, it’s quite comfortable to ride. While riding, your back is against the bump seat, knees are secure on the tank, and the handlebar is at its right height. It fits the demands of the owner — a bike that he can ride every day, not just off-road but also as on-road urban scrambler.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Even though most of the time was spent on the seat cowl, fairing, etc — the handmade custom parts — I am proud of the overall harmony of the combination. When we started, I was worried that the big tank and small engine may be mismatched. I went for the 620mm swingarm (from Taiwan’s Kick Garage) and rear Shinko tires. In the end, this combo makes the base of the bike look larger visually. The seat cowl and fairing also cover the tank, so that it looks beefy instead of bulky.
Follow the Builder