“Low, Burly, Roaring” — Jowo Kustom’s scratch-built custom…
Usually, when we ask a builder what bike served as the donor of a particular project, it’s clear that some major part of the original frame remains — even if it was cut, chopped, detabbed, braced, or otherwise modified. Not so with this new custom creation from Yohanes “Anes” Marse of Indonesia’s Jowo Kustom, who received nothing but an old engine from his customer along with a brief statement of what he desired:
“He just wanted a ‘low but burly bike.’ So we had to communicate with each other how this engine would become a great bike. Nothing influenced us while imagining how it would be done. All we had in mind was low, burly, and roaring.”
That engine was from a 1985 Yamaha XJ750 Seca. For the heart of such a project, the Seca 750 four-cylinder is hard to beat. The DOHC air-cooled mill put out 80 bhp, good for a quarter-mile time of 12.34 seconds at 106.6 mph, but it was the engine’s character that drew praise from riders and reviewers alike:
“The engine was fitted with Yamaha’s induction control system, which helped to keep the carbs in balance, and, as a result, the engine was very smooth. According to the blurb the engine put out a respectable 80bhp, but figures, like size, aren’t always important. It’s the way the power comes in that matters and on the XJ it came in one long curve, with no power band and no flat spots.” –Classic Bike Hub
Anes fully rebuilt the engine, converted the bike to twin carbs, and everything else was built from scratch: frame, tank, seat, fenders, exhaust, and more — matched with a set of CB1000 USD forks.
Anes nicknamed the bike “Bathara” (also “Batara”) after the Indonesian god of wind and protection:
“Batara Bayu is worshiped not only as the wind god but also as the bringer of health and prosperity and hence symbolizes protection against evil.” –Met Museum
Like many of Jowo Kustom’s builds, there’s a mysterious, almost divine quality to this machine, as if it could be the chosen steed of an Indonesian warrior or deity.
Below, we talk to Anes about the creation of this scratch-built custom.
Yamaha XJ750 Custom: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
It started with a 1985 Yamaha XJ750 Seca engine.
• Why was this bike built?
We built this bike for our special customer. He sent us two projects to be done. A good and humble person. But actually a great man. It’s an honor to built from scratch with all our passion poured in.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Actually he just wanted a “low but burly bike.” So we had to communicate with each other how this engine would become a great bike. Nothing influenced us while imagining how it will be done. All we had in mind was low, burly, and roaring.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Built from scratch. Just got an old engine from the customer. Totally custom frame, custom tank, seat, fenders, exhaust, front CB1000 upside down forks, imported drive train, total engine rebuild, converted into dual carbs.
• What does the nickname “Bathara” mean?
In Sanskrit, “Bathara” means protector, as identified with ancient gods. Just great to name it Bathara.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Proud of every inch of this bike.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride the completed bike?
Feels like a road riot, ha!