Here in the States and many other countries around the world, we sometimes take for granted the freedom we have to customize our motorcycles. In Switzerland, for instance, there are very strict regulations that prohibit frame modifications, while in many countries, custom bikes must pass fairly comprehensive inspections to be considered road-legal, such as those administered by the UK’s MOT or German TÜV.
In Taiwan, motorcycles over 150cc are subject to very high taxes and twice-yearly safety inspections. For that reason, many of the young people turn to customizing small-displacement bikes like the Yamaha SR150 and Kymco KTR 150, so-called “white plate” motorcycles exempt from these requirements. What’s more, these smaller machines are perfect for slicing and dicing crowded city streets, where scooters and motorcycles are a main form of transportation.
Enter our new friend Eric, a Taiwanese university student and member of Night Shift Motorcycle Club who, like so many of us, wanted a machine uniquely his own, different from the tens of thousands of other commuter bikes:
“I see the bike as the extension of my personality, traits, or overall, myself; that’s why I wanted to build this ‘humble beast’. Also I dig into the shape of scramblers and flat trackers, especially the rough cuts and lines.”
Enlisting the help of @wheelers_mummy and @jlh_moto, Eric set out to build a slim and sharp street tracker, outfitting the machine with a TY250 fuel tank, handmade steel tail section, extended swing-arm, anodized aluminum number plates, and much more. Last but not least, his “Humble Beast” was pinstriped by one of Taiwan’s masters, @jb_signpainting_pinstriping.
Below, we get the full story on this KTR 150 street tracker, along with more stunning photos from @yobe_tw.
Kymco Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Eric, a university student from Taiwan, where motorcycles and scooters are the main transportation. I as a hooligan dude don’t want a common commuter bike like all the others, and I also see the bike as the extension of my personality, traits, or overall, myself; that’s why I wanted to build this “humble beast”. Also I dig into the shape of scramblers and flat trackers, especially the rough cuts and lines.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It’s a 150cc commuter bike called KTR150 manufactured in 2006 by Kymco, which is known for its scooters.
• Why was this bike built?
I was obsessed with the look of flat tracker, and I wanted it easy to ride for the daily use, so I kind of combined the two and built this street tracker. I came up with the design, and the technicians from @wheelers_mummy and @jlh_moto helped me with the work.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Instead of giving it a big and chunky look, I decided to have a slim look. Yet, I wanted the rough lines and cuts to remain on the bike, giving it a sharp look. And the silhouette of the Yamaha 60th anniversary inspired me with the yellow/black colorway.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We put a Yamaha TY250 fuel tank on, giving the bike a slimmer yet more muscular look. Also, we handmade the tail section with steel and welded it with the rear fender from a Suzuki TU250 BigBoy. The battery box is also handmade with stainless steel for a tidy look.
The number plates are laser cut from aluminum plates, and we etched them to present the number 8, colored it with paint, and protected the plates by anodizing.
We then stretched the bike a little bit — 58cm — with an old school swingarm, 18 inch front and rear aluminum wheels and 370mm rear cnc shocks.
Last but not least, @jb_signpainting_pinstriping, one of the most famous pinstriping masters in Taiwan, finished the bike with the fantastic pinstriping work.
• What’s it like to ride?
It’s easy to ride, and the size of it makes it even easier to commute around the crowded cities in Taiwan compared to other big bikes. Though it’s only a 150c.c. bike, it still gives me, as a college student with a relatively tight budget, the freedom and joy of riding a motorcycle.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Yes, its name is “Humble Beast”.
• How would you classify this bike?
I would say it’s a street tracker.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The design of the details. I came up with some pretty cool ideas that no one did before in Taiwan, like I put the moon-eyes license plate bolts on the rear fender/section to cover up the original bolt holes from the Tu250 BigBoy fender. And it kind of adds a bit of cuteness.