Throwback Thumper: Yamaha WR155 gets a retro makeover…
The Yamaha WR is the company’s series of liquid-cooled four-stroke enduro / dual-sport motorcycles. WR indicates a wide-ratio gearbox, which is better-suited for street and trail use than the close-ratio gearboxes of the motocross-spec YZ machines. What’s more, bikes in the WR lineup typically have headlights, lighting coils, softer suspension, larger radiators, kickstands, lower emissions, and are sometimes street-legal depending on the specific model and market.
Recently, Yamaha launched the WR155R in the Indonesian market as a small dual-purpose machine, sporting the same 19-hp liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine as the Yamaha YZF-R15. Here at BikeBound, one thing we often lament is that today’s manufacturers never give a retro treatment to their enduro / dual-sport machines, focusing instead on their more expensive multi-cylinder street bikes.
Fortunately, there are builders like Imanuel “Nuel” Prakoso of Bali’s Treasure Garage ready to give these bikes the style they deserve. Back in 2019, we featured a burly Africa Twin Scrambler that Nuel and crew built for ripping around the forest trails and beaches of Bali. Now he’s back with this 2021 Yamaha WR155R built for customer Jon Yongfook (@yongfook):
“He wanted an agile bike which suits the Bali roads (dual purpose), so we made him a slim agile tracker. And also tall, because he’s a tall guy!”
The customer was inspired by an air-cooled Honda Tornado build by Argentina’s LBC Motorcycles, and asked the Bali crew to recreate it for him with a liquid-cooled, 6-speed WR155R. The customization includes alloy bodywork, new subframe and seat, LED lighting, custom exhaust, different rims, beefier tires, and more.
The bike’s owner, Jon Yongfook, wanted the bike to be a throwback to the air-cooled Yamaha days, when the mighty XT500 reigned supreme:
“This is a WR155R turned into a retro enduro, kind of a throwback to the old Yamaha XT500. I designed the XT155 logo on the tank ????”
Below, we get the full details on the build from Nuel himself, as well as more gorgeous shots from photographer Lona Murwiki (@lonamurwiki_).
Yamaha WR155R Scrambler / Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
We are based in Bali, and located in Canggu. Started in 2015. It was a pure hobby that turned into a business. Automobiles have long been my passion, and when I first moved to Bali (used to live in Singapore and Jakarta), I just wanted to build cafe racers — until my wife told me to make my own brand. And that’s when it all started.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
This bike is a 2021 Yamaha WR155.
• Why was this bike built?
This bike is a customer project for a British-Singaporean man.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
He liked Gundam and those colors. And also he wanted an agile bike which suits the Bali roads (dual purpose), so we made him a slim agile tracker. And also tall, because he’s a tall guy!
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The custom job was mainly bodywork, all built out of alloy, and frame work. Tires from Shinko, Big Block e805. And also updating all the lights with LED. And the exhaust also is custom.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
This bike is very fun to ride, and because it’s a fuel-injected, it’s very good on fuel, too. Instant acceleration, and agile. Just what you need is here for a daily bike, an everyday adventure.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
We are proud of how all the proportions of this bike turned out. And all the alloy bodywork is just perfect. Add to that the candy paint job. We made it elegant and fun looking.