Shimotor builds a 150cc custom tracker…
Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more custom builds coming out of Taiwan. Rough Crafts and 2Loud Customs have been widely known in the customs world for years, but a range of smaller workshops keep popping up on our radar. The latest is Shimotor, founded just one year ago by 25-year-old Kaey in one of the country’s fast-growing cities, Zhubei.
In Taiwan, “white plate” motorcycles are especially popular — these are 50-250cc bikes with white license plates. We’re told that larger yellow plate (250-550cc) and red plate (+550cc) motorcycles are subject to prohibitively high taxes and twice yearly safety inspections, so many folks opt for machines like the Yamaha SR150 and homegrown Kymco KTR 150. Kymco is best known in the West for their scooters, but their motorcycles are highly popular in Taiwan.
Kaey, who began modifying motorcycles for his friends in college, worked in a welding factory before opening his workshop. He says he saw promise in the KTR 150’s chassis and let the bike take shape gradually, finding his inspiration along the way.
Highlights include the handcrafted stainless steel tail, double center shock absorbers, custom-built high-pipe exhaust, custom taillights with the Shimotor mascot, and more. The customer had given Kaey full creative freedom on the build, and he was blown away:
“The owner of the bike trusted me to transform it completely. When he came to the workshop, he didn’t expect it to look like this and made a sound of exclamation. I was very proud at that time.”
The bike is nicknamed “Tai Chi,” and the #69 is a reference to the by the well-known taijitu symbol (☯), which represents the fusion of yin and yang. Below, we talk to Kaey for more details on the build. Photos courtesy of Chen Bozheng (@zheng_64.exe).
KTR 150 Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Kaey, 25 years old, live in Taiwan and I have just opened a workshop (Shimotor) about a year ago. When I was in college, I loved motorcycles very much and modified them for many friends. So I started this business. I used to work in a welding factory, so I have a foundation for these things.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
KYMCO KTR 150 2008.
• Why was this bike built?
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
When I saw the frame I thought it would be suitable for this modification, and I like to find inspiration while doing it, so not designing first is my method.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Handcrafted taillights, stainless steel tail shell, double center shock absorbers, exhaust pipe, etc.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“Tai Chi.” Says the owner:
“I have always liked Tai Chi pictures, but the original meaning of Tai Chi just corresponds to our daily life, just like riding a bike, and it is also a symbol of vitality. As for the number on the side plate, it is 69 because it is a combination of the two numbers 6 and 9. Like tai chi, I think it’s very interesting.”
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
The rear suspension is just right — it’s suitable for people who are not tall like me to ride and can still go off-road.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The owner of the bike trusted me to make it completely. When he came to the workshop, he didn’t expect it to look like this and made a sound of exclamation. I was very proud at that time.