Surprise MDFK: Kick Cup Champion inspired by the P-40 Warhawk…
The American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, was a legendary WWII fighter group composed of pilots from the US Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps, who volunteered to fight for the Chinese Air Force, defending the country against the invading forces of Imperial Japan. Commanded by the legendary Claire Chennault, they flew the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk or Tomahawk — a single-seat, all-metal 1000+ horsepower fighter painted with the group’s signature shark’s mouth on the nose.
Enter Zoth Huang, the 24 y.o. owner of Taiwan’s Zoth Moto, a three-person crew whose Yamaha SR150 scrambler we recently featured. Now the crew is back with a 2008 Kymco KTR 150 that was Zoth’s very first motorcycle — the one that started him down the path to a career in handcrafted motorcycles. While many other motos have come and gone over the years, he held a soft spot in this heart for his old Kymco:
“For the last five years, even if I bought a few other motos, this KTR-150 was still my favorite. It’s like, so many stories live inside this moto, even if it’s not that ‘exquisite.'”
Recently, Zoth decided it was time to turn this Kymco into his dream bike…and in his dreams, that bike would look much like the P-40 Warhawk of the Flying Tigers. The crew incorporated several elements from the P-40, including the shark’s mouth nose art, bomber girl (based on Zoth’s girlfriend, Chrissy), and the exhaust ports and aluminum rivets on the fuel tank — painted by @joker112777. Then there’s the double exhaust pipes echoing those of the Warhawk’s, the handmade “missile air cleaner,” and more. We especially love how the tank still retains the traces of Zoth’s first crash, painted to look like damage taken from a Japanese Zero or anti-aircraft fire.
The team recently finished the bike and entered it in the Kick Garage exhibition at Ride Free 10, the country’s largest motorcycle exhibition hosted by Free Biker Magazine. We’d like to congratulate the whole Zoth Moto crew for taking home the first place trophy from Kick Garage — a dark horse win! You can see shots of the surprise and tears of joy that followed here.
Below, we get more details on the build, along with a gorgeous deck of shots from photographer @_sunhistudio_.
Kymco KTR Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Zoth Huang, 24 years old, come from Taiwan. When I was in college, I majored in department of restaurant institutional management. But I have strong passion in motorcycles, so I started to learn how to build hand-crafted motorcycles at a motor shop from the time I was 19 years old (a freshman). At first, I rebuilt and fixed vintage motorcycles and sold them for earning my allowance, then about two years later I officially crossed the divide to hand-crafted motorcycles. Therefore, the brand Zoth Moto was born in 2018.
The environment for hand-crafted motorcycles in Taiwan is tough, and the laws for handmade motorcycles in Taiwan aren’t friendly. Therefore, we have the harder way in this career.
About our workshop, we have three guys, one as an apprentice, Malik, one as me, Zoth, and my girlfriend, Chrissy. In our leisure time, we offer hospitality for everybody coming our shop, they can chat, can DIY their motor, and we’re always drinking together on every Friday night. We want to build a space that every customer enjoys being here.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Kymco KTR-150, 2008.
• Why was this bike built?
This KTR-150 is my first motorcycle of my entire life. I bought it when I was 18 years old, then I started to learn how to fix and remodel motos. However, this bike started my career in handcrafted motorcycles.
So for five years, even if I bought a few other motos, this KTR-150 was still my favorite. It’s like, so many stories live inside this moto, even if it’s not that “exquisite.”
So I started to rebuild it. I wanted it to become the dream moto in my life, and in my imagination, my dream moto is much like a P-40 fighter aircraft. Thus, I combined the fighter with this moto.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept is inspired by the P-40 Warhawk fighter, incorporating several details along this line.
Fuel tank: shark and bomber girl (my girlfriend), painted like a fighter, the front end of the tank retains the trace of the first crash, and the notch part is painted to look like a rupture.
Exhaust pipe: like the double exhaust pipe at the end of the fighter, surrounded by the frame.
Air Cleaner: Handmade “missile air cleaner” pays tribute to the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers. And it locks on the frame so that it will not be accidentally launched.
Headlight: Laser cutting headlight made by Twist Moto, wearing a mask for the fighter, and incorporating NeoClassic material.
At last, I rebored the cylinder from 150cc to 190cc, lightly pushing this ground plane to take off.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Engine: 150cc cylinder bored to 190cc.
Rear light: Japan 2% Custom made
Air cleaner: Handmade
Grips: Oury Off Road Grip cover
Oil tank: Honda CG125
Seat: Handmade fiberglass seat.
Fenders: Handmade stainless steel fenders.
Tires: Mitas off-road tire 110-21 / Shinko off-road tire 140-18
Exhaust pipe: Handmade stainless steel pipe
Carburetor: Keihin PE26
Swingarm: KICK garage 62cm for KTR150
• How would you classify this bike?
Street Scrambler type.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Painting job and Exhaust pipe, and all the design from the P-40 fighter.
Follow the Builder
- Instagram: @zoth_moto
- Facebook: Zoth Moto Custom
- Photographer credit: @_sunhistudio_
- Headlight made by: @twist.moto