Pocket Full of Garden – The Builds
We wanted to do something we hadn’t done in a while. We wanted to take a devil may care trip to nowhere. Some corner of here we hadn’t been or seen. A spot off the normal trodden map where phone reception wasn’t a given and where the weather might give us respite from its tropical intensity.
But this isn’t the story of that ride. This is about what they needed under them to get there. They needed some new bikes. There were four wanting for adventure; Forrest Minchington, Lewie Dunn and Cal Lathrope had all blown in from overseas and therefore in need of a Deus built bike, while their mate, Thomas Edwards, who lives in Bali, had already started something at home and was rushing to get his done in time to join in. The three we built under our roof at the Deus Temple of Enthusiasm all took entirely different design queues when it came to aesthetics. We chose factory standard Kawasaki KLX250’s, this being the closest dual sport available to us here in Indonesia, as the base for our builds but to look at them now they have a lot less in common with each one standing proud on its own two tires as a custom motorcycle ready for what the guys had in store for them. Before delving into each of the four builds we have to offer up a massive thanks to a couple of legends over at FMF. All the bikes were sporting Powercore 4 headers and exhaust that helped our lads to squeeze an often much needed extra chunk of power out of the engines whilst sounding totally awesome, all at the same time.
First up, with its red and white tank and custom brown leather seat, there are echos of Vintage Motocross bikes in this one. We kept all the functionality of the dual sport donor, but added a slew of custom pieces to it. We built a new sub frame to alter its attitude. Both fenders and the tank along with the side covers and radiator protection are hand made from polish alloy, not everyone’s choice for hard off-road riding, but damn it looks good and it’s been performing great. It’s rolling an 18 inch tire in the rear with the 21 inch up front being steered by some repo vintage 7/8th scrambler handlebars we found for it. We kept the tried and tested 250cc power plant stock, as we did the suspension. You know the old adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… and damn if both of these didn’t work perfectly out the box. The boys in the workshop did change out the factory sprockets on all the bikes to a larger 49 tooth by Pro Taper to give them a little more power in the low end.
If we were going to name the bikes this one would have had to been called, Black Beauty. First thing that grabs ya, after the murdered paint job, is the symmetrical tire setup. Now before you jump up and down and tell us this bike is probably better suited, style wise, to an urban street tracker than a long distance adventure rider… we know. What we also know is that at the end of each day it did exactly what they set out to do in a day and looked bloody slick doing it. The dual 19 inch Dunlop’s give it quite the stance and having a rear tire in the front didn’t affect the handling as much as we all thought it might. We also had the Bengkel boys bash out a handmade alloy tank along with fenders and radiator covers. The sub frame was ditched and started from scratch. They bolted on some Pro Taper Fat bars and of course, one of our custom seats connect the human to the bike. To punch through the darkness, They added a LED headlight.
On the third bike, our boys in the work shop, seriously outdid themselves in the aluminium fabrication department producing a magnificent oversized brushed alloy tank that not only looks the goods but from all reports, performs perfectly as well. As with its brothers in rubber, we constructed the subframe from the ground up to fit the lines we sought and the germ of the idea we had. It’s got some vintage style Acerbis fenders covering its 21 inch front and its 19 inch rear tires along with a custom made dual light on the front. Turning is taken care of with Renthal 997 bars perfect for the job of helping steer this steed through whatever terrain they would come across. The seat was inspired by those of the 90’s era motocross bikes and would prove to make it easy to move one’s weight around to handle those forest single tracks.
The last bike here was the home-build by a good friend of ours, Thomas. It was pure happenstance that he had also chosen a KLX250 as his base. He then added a long range, 18 litre tank from Acerbis, which since it was made for a Honda not a Kawasaki, meant that a custom EFI housing had to be thought up, no mean feat, and then fabricated. Thomas added a couple of Hella Black-Magic 500’s sitting in a custom mount which really made his bike stand out, not to mention shine out in the early mornings and late nights. He then set about modifying his seat, fitting it in with a XR600 front & rear fender he just happened to have lying about. His vision was simple, it allowed him to fit a substantial luggage rack to be rear. We were more than a little impressed at what he accomplished at home in his garage with only the help of a mechanic mate. With his bike just sitting up like that, as if it was just begging for some adventure, we knew when we saw it that we had to ask him to come along and just like that we’d found the perfect riding companion.