More than just a motorcycle…
For some of us, there are motorcycles that become much more than transportation, adventure, or even personal expression — they become companions, even friends. Such is this case for of DOTi Motorcycle‘s Nguyen Dinh Trung and his 1997 Yamaha Bronco 225.
Wait, you’ve never heard of the Yamaha ST225 Bronco? Neither had we! It was a short-run machine only produced for the 1997-1998 model year, targeted mainly to the Japanese Domestic Market. Beneath the retro scrambler exterior were the bones of the Yamaha Serow 225 — an air-cooled dual-sport with a reputation for toughness.
Nguyen originally bought the bike from a friend and used it as a parts runner in the early days of his business, which he started in college with just $100 to his name. Anyone who’s started their own small business knows how very taxing and stressful it can be. The Bronco was by Nguyen’s side since the very beginning, serving as a loyal steed and constant companion:
“From the beginning of my business, I’ve considered it as a companion — with me to overcome difficulties, with me in the forest and down to the sea when I am sad, just me and it together. When I am sad I often drive it to peaceful places. I decided to customize this Bronco to keep as a souvenir, and I will keep it with me until I get old.”
In factory trim, the Bronco has a bit of a “vinduro” (vintage enduro) vibe, so Nguyen decided to continue with that style, outfitting the bike with a number of choice upgrades: aluminum wheels, 21-inch front wheel, performance carb and exhaust, high-mount DT175 front fender, and more.
The end result is a bike that looks like a lot like a modern interpretation of the legendary XT500 — a well-executed machine that seems like it could be factory-made — a very high compliment for Nguyen’s work. No doubt, he’s quickly becoming our favorite builder / tuner of Yamaha single-cylinder thumpers!
Yamaha ST225 Bronco Scrambler: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha Bronco 225. This is the bike that has been with me since the beginning. It was manufactured in 1997, I bought it from a friend, and I used it for shipping (motorcycle parts). From the beginning of my business, I’ve considered it as a companion — with me to overcome difficulties, with me in the forest and down to the sea when I am sad, just me and it together.
When I am sad I often drive it to peaceful places. I decided to customize this Bronco to keep as a souvenir, and I will keep it with me until I get old.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
This is an off-road motorcycle that is preferred for street use in Japan, only produced in 1997. I customized it a few small things to make it look like a vintage style dirt bike (vintage enduro).
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- I upgraded to aluminum rims (originally ti had steel rims).
- Upgraded it to front and rear disc brakes (originally just front disc brakes).
- The front wheel has been increased in size from 19inch to 21inch to be more suitable for off-roading.
- R.S.V Japan exhaust, with cool shape, more powerful.
- Handlebars — Ethos of Trials bike series.
- ASV clutch and brake lever.
- The front fender is raised high, using the fender of Yamaha DT175.
- Upgrade performance carburetor — PWK30 Nibbi Racing.
- Solid aluminum Daytona turn signals to make them more compact.
- Seat was hand-sewn locally.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Like I said, it’s not just a motorcycle, it’s been a friend of mine since DOTi – Motorcycle started.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Many people have told me, I have customized this bike perfectly, like a motorcycle manufacturer, not simply modified.