Two more builds from the Garage94 x Vans Korea collaboration…
Last week, we had the pleasure of presenting three of the five customs that Seoul’s Garage94 built for Vans Korea as part of their new “Classic Since Forever” campaign:
“Under the theme of ‘Classic Since Forever,’ Vans Korea envisioned a campaign to shed light on five classical icons: AUTHENTIC, ERA, OLD SKOOL, SLIP-ON, and SK8-HI, which have been produced since the 70s and 80s.”
The first three bikes consisted of a 1985 Yamaha SR400, 1972 Honda Dax 50, and Honda Ape 100, which incorporated symbols, designs, and patterns from the Vans lineup. The next two customs are built on South Korea’s Daelim Daystar 125 platform.
In 1963, Daelim began producing Honda designs under license for the South Korean market, and in 1976, they established their own R&D department in Hamamatsu, Japan. In 2021, Daelim Motorcycles changed their name to DNA Motors, but Daelim is still in common use. The Daystar 125 is a small cruiser with a SOHC oil/air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder engine, popular in Korea and several European, Asian, and African countries.
In addition to building bikes, Garage94 organizes South Korea’s largest vintage dirt event, Camel Race (#카멜레이스), and they also have a beach drag racing event in the works. They wanted to show what could be done with this domestic Korean donor bike, and they also needed machines to ride and race in their upcoming beach drag racing event.
These two Daystars — one built by Garage94’s Usuk, the other by Smith — take inspiration not only from Vans, but from the sand / beach racers of the 1930s and 40s — much like you might see at The Race of Gentlemen (T.R.O.G.) each year in Wildwood, NJ. Below, we talk to Usuk and Smith for more details on each of their Daystar builds.
Daelim Daystar #1 (made by Usuk)
- Garage94 hosts a vintage motorcycle race called 카멜레이스 (Camel Race) and is constantly planning new types of races.
- The next race is likely to be a drag-type race on the beach, so this is one of the bikes produced and planned accordingly.
- It’s based on the Daelim Daystar 125 — domestic bike customization is another big category that Garage94 District Company is focusing on.
- I was attracted to the original frame of the Daystar, and the biggest feature is that the bike was made without touching the original structure, so that the shape of the chassis could stand out well.
- I wanted to make it so that I could have the fun of a customized bike as well running it directly in the race, without departing from the form suitable for running on the beach.
- Designed to blend the keywords “beach” and “race” with Vans’ classic points and iconography.
Daelim Daystar #2 (made by Smith)
- This bike was made in homage to the Harley-Davidson Flathead WL race machines of the 1930-40s.
- From the beginning of the customization plan, the two bikes I’m in charge of (Daystar & Ape) have a family resemblance in terms of look and concept.
- I wanted to blend the iconic vibes of Vans and Garage94.
- I expressed the dual colors of Vans checkerboard pattern and Garage94 with custom painting on the left and right, led by split tanks.
- Custom painting
- Split tank
- Rigid Frame
- Muffler & Manifolders
- Solo Seat & Pillion Pad
- Fender, etc.
• Was there anything done during these builds that you are particularly proud of?
This work with Vans was a really interesting challenge for us. Most of all, I am proud to have gained great response and sentiment from Vans Korea officials and visitors through this work.
In the future, I think we’ll work on more projects with Vans. And a second exhibition is already scheduled at a department store in Busan.
• What’s next for Garage 94?
This year, not only Camel Race, but also the beach race mentioned above are being planned, and I personally expect it to be quite fun. Please look forward to custom work that is becoming more and more advanced in the future.
Follow the Builders
Instagram: @vans_korea / @usuk_garage94 / @mazenta.c__garage94 / @smith_garage94
The one thing is the split exhaust looks lame. These bikes don’t need that gimmick . I don’t see it has any benefit.