Meguro 650 Scrambler from Rocket Fantasy Garage…
Founded in 1937, Meguro was one of the first Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, a “prestige brand” that supplied police and military motorbikes to the government and raced alongside Honda. In the 1950s, they produced the Meguro K-series “Stamina,” a BSA A7 copy said to be superior in engineering and build quality to its British-built equivalent. None other than Edward Turner himself reportedly called the bike “too good to be true.”
In 1960, Kawasaki Aircraft Company acquired an interest in Meguro, which was struggling financially. Three years later, Kawasaki bought full ownership of the company, and for several years, the bikes were badged as Kawasaki Meguro.
In 1965, the famed Kawasaki W1 emerged, based largely on the Meguro X-650 prototype, an enlarged version of the Meguro K / BSA A7 design. The W series would face stiff competition from new unit construction twins like the BSA Spitfire and Triumph T120 Bonneville, as well as the Yamaha XS650 that appeared in 1969. However, it remains one of the most charming machines of the era, a British-style Japanese twin oozing with class and history.
Recently, we got in touch with Deddy Indra — aka “Daddy RFG” — the headman of Rocket Fantasy Garage in Sidoarjo, Jawa Timur, Indonesia. He had a client with a 1967 Kawasaki Meguro 650, who wanted to transform the bike into more of a vintage scrambler / desert sled akin to a Triumph or BSA of the same era.
To make things a bit more difficult, the owner did not want any modification done to the original frame, meaning all changes would be reversible. Highlights include a custom tank, rear fender, seat, exhaust, fork covers, 4LS front brake, and more.
Given the limitations, the RFG crew is especially proud of what they did with the bike:
“Without modifying the frame, we were able to turn this bike into a machine which is certainly beautiful to look at.”
Here in the States, with our long history and culture of horsemanship, our most popular metaphor for the metaphor for the motorcycle has to be the (iron) horse. In Southeast Asia, however, we tend to hear more folks comparing their motorcycles to baby elephants or water buffalo, so it’s apt that RFG nicknamed this bike “Gudel,” or buffalo child.
“Gudel” took home Runner-up in the Scrambler class at Kustom Fest, the most prestigious annual custom show in the country — congrats! Below, we talk to “Daddy RFG” himself for more details.
Kawasaki-Meguro Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Doni Dwi Saputro (aka Daddy RFG), and my workshop is Rocket Fantasy Garage located in Sidoarjo, Jawa Timur, Indonesia.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Kawasaki Meguro, manufactured in 1967.
• Why was this bike built?
Built for a customer who was bored with the original appearance of the Kawasaki Meguro and wanted to transform it into a scrambler.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept was vintage scrambler, retaining the original frame.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Custom gas tank and rear fender made from 1.2mm thick metal plate.
- Custom exhaust made of 48mm diameter pipe (2mm thick).
- Front fork covers made of 1.5mm thick pipe.
- Custom seat.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“Gudel.” (Buffalo Child.)
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Yes, without modifying the frame, we were able to turn this bike into a machine which is certainly beautiful to look at.