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’88 Yamaha DT50MX – “Cocaine White”

Posted on August 31, 2012 by Andrew in Scrambler. 71 comments

Is it me, or are there a heap load of cool ‘peds dropping lately? Although Scott and I are closet moped fans, we’ve always told ourselves that the bikes we chose to feature on Pipeburn would consist mainly of the motorbike variety, and that we’d only feature the odd moped that took our fancy. Now, looking back at the bikes we’ve posted, I see three mopeds in the last month. All killer examples oh just how cool the bikes coming out of the scene really are. Well stand back, because here’s another blow-your-socks-off example. She belongs to Swede Hakan Persson and to our eyes she could just be the most amazing moped/trial/MX bike we’ve ever seen. Either that, or the cocaine we just did is affecting our judgement.

Greetings to Håkan. “I’ve always been into creating, tinkering and changing things into what I want them to be, getting them to look the way I want. Based on that fact I guess that my choice of profession came quite naturally. At daytime I’m running a design agency called ‘Kollor Design Agency’ here in Sweden and on my spare time I build and restore Italian sports cars, mainly Alfa Romeo’s . This is my second attempt to build a bike. I’ve actually not been in contact with bikes at all before but a friend of mine kind of pushed me into trying one of his. After my first project which was a modified ‘Ciao Bravo’ I got hooked.”

The graffiti problem in Sweden – even bikes in photographic studios aren’t safe

“I bought the bike more or less stock. It was in terrible condition and almost everything had to be repaired or exchanged for new parts. After a couple of weeks tinkering with it and trying to get it to run properly I was about to give up on it. I ended up with the thought – ‘either I will scrap it or go all in.’”

“Said and done, called up my friend Marcus and he had a look at it. Giving me some positive feedback, exactly what I needed at that time – I guess! He also provided me with the back tire and the handlebars. I cleaned up the frame, made some minor reinforcements, talked to a fiend in Berlin who came up with the name after I told him about the project – ‘Cocaine White’ (It’s fast and it’s white).”


“…got a broken skateboard to use as base
for the saddle. Mum did the upholstery”


“Getting the name on the bike was another thing I wanted to ‘outsource’, called up two graffiti artists that I’ve known from childhood – got them involved. Talked to another friend who runs a local skate shop and got a broken skateboard to use as base for the saddle. Mum did the upholstery, thanks!”

“It’s a Yamaha DT50MX, from 1988-89. The petrol tank is from a ‘Crescent 1209.’ The saddle’s made out of an old skateboard. The go is from a 50cc engine with 5,5hk. I modified the piston, cylinder head, and altered the gearing. The headlight is from dad’s old Fiat 125, and the brake light’s from a standard bike.

I called up our agency’s photographer and told him about the project, he’s into bikes also and was happy to help me out with the photos. Actually, come think of it (while writing this), getting some of my friends and family involved in the build was one of the highpoints in this project.”

Who says moped guys aren’t tough?(Killer photos via Carl Magnus)

Update 1: Although Håkan did call his creation a moped, looking at the original DT50MX I’m thinking that, as mentioned, this is more of a dirt/trials bike than a ‘ped. Put it down to “lost in translation”.

Update 2: Not so dumb after all! From Håkan: “Hi Andrew! Thanx for the very nice post. Very happy that you liked it so much! 🙂

Seen that some people question if it really is a moped. A bit tricky question actually, here in Sweden moped do not need pedals to be dubbed “moped” and the Yamaha DT50MX, was altered quite a bit to fit into our laws: compression lowered, gearing, restrictions in exhaust, one gear removed. (As far as i know)

We have two classes of mopeds here:

Class 1: EU-Scooters & bigger mopeds restricted to 45 km/h
Class 2: Old mopeds with or without pedals, restricted to 30 km/h

With a Class 2 moped you are allowed to drive more or less like when you are driving a bicycle.

Hope that clears it up a bit 🙂

Best regards Håkan.”

  • sproggy

    Why are mopeds so cool now? We spend our formative years dreaming of bigger bikes but you know these things are really classy when done right. I’m thinking there’s a little space in the corner of my garage just waiting for the right eBay bid……

  • Some Such

    Doesn’t it need pedals to be a moped?

    • motomo

      You would think so, right?. The Yamaha DT50 was really never a moped though. It’s a small cc trail bike. Not my first choice for a build but, that one is pretty cool. I like the black hub and spokes with the chrome rims. Chrome on white always looks good too. Nice job…

  • Thanel

    Moped= motorized pedal bike. This is a (very small) motorcycle. Foot brake, hand clutch, foot shifter, and no pedals. It’s also a really nice build. Beautiful and looks well made.

  • gone

    Keep em coming there Andrew . These Moped Marauders that is . Seems to me they just keep getting better with each and every one . This one obviously influenced by Trials bikes .

    So why are these becoming so cool of late someone asked . Here’s my opinion . In case anyone has missed out lately ….. the entire civilized World is in an economic tailspin . And for those not in touch with the younger generations … its the youth ( 35 and under ) that are getting hit the hardest ( no jobs ) Yet even though down and out financially a lot of them still wanna fulfill their GearHead addiction . Mopeds are cheap to buy ( new and used ) Cheap to modify . And best of all unlike far too many M/C’s they’re simple mechanically as well making modifying them a bit less daunting . Oh …. and add to that a growing trend amongst the youngins to revitalize the whole DIY ethos …. getting a bit tired of all that iPad iPod Gameboy virtual reality junk and trading it in for some actually reality

    So again I’ll say it . Two Thumbs Up to the whole Moped Marauders movement . And another Two Thumbs up to Andrew and the Crew for having the stones/cojones to feature them on this site despite knowing more than a few will be poo pooing the decision to do so

    As for me ? Well i don’t want one of these . Don’t need one . But I sure love seeing them and will be cheerleading the movement for as long as it lasts !

    • “So why are these becoming so cool of late someone asked . Here’s my opinion.”

      That’s about the time you lost me.

      • davmo

        Hey Tony, keep working on that attention span thing….

      • If you have an hour I’ll explain it to you. % } (I think that was a Picasso smiley face?)

      • I laughed ©

        • lol. So you’re the one with the copyright on that.

          • I had to beat Andrew to the punch! lol ©

          • lo…never mind. Looks like you got that one too.

          • I just checked and I believe I have the copyright on the copyright symbol. Sorry.

  • Mgmue mgmu

    That’s not a moped, it’s a trials bike. Cant imagine a worse bike to ride on the street for any length of time. Unless your legs stop at the knees you’re going to get very uncomfortable, very fast. Without real changes to the frame, that wont change. But at least you’ll be able to scale sheer cliffs with ease.

    • arnold

      If it gets ridden like some of these bicycle stunters, hopping here and there, it is a perfect platform. Also motorcycle stunting is not all 125 mph wheel stands. I am stll amazed with what was done in trials riding in the 70’s never mind the incredible stuff that is done in the modern era. I don’t think he can swing the frame 360 under the bars though.

      • Mgmue mgmu

        Fair enough.

        • arnold

          yeah, I wish I had knees that were still bendy in my old age.

          • arnold

            oh, and ‘alf a brain too.

          • arnold

            I hope that this is far enough back to pay respects to the men from Down Under who gave their lives doing what they felt compelled to do in Afie. It is off topic and do with it what you must do. My respect to them is all I can offer.ald

          • Amen to that.

  • nathans909

    Sorry I have not got past the first photo and had to write a comment. White bike on white background. WHY WHY WHY. I cant even see the bike….

    • Macavoi

      Seriously? We are looking at the same picture and I see no problem. Do we need these stupid, pointless posts?

      Stupid needs to be pointed out so we can manage it.

      • arnold

        I vote for a red bike on a red background if the detail shots are crisp in their entire frame, and really the guy who shot these and the guy that chose them for this seven photograph beauty contest, show above average skill. Left profile, right profile and workmanship and detail showmanship. Not the best I have ever seen, but worthy of a bit of praise for a good present in a cramped forum.ald

        • arnold

          If you had to point out every bit of stupid your arm would get very tired. Better to type something pithy and move on to something you like and can fawn over.

          • I’m sure he sprained something pointing at all my posts. Poor guy.

          • nathans909

            Dont get me wrong the bike is awesome, but seriously the only photo that really gives a full perspective of the what you are trying to see is the shot of the rear wheel and brake light.

          • I’m reacting to Macavoi calling people stupid. And I agree; it’s a white bike on a white bg. Why???

  • revdub

    Well, my morning just got made. Its got everything; a mini control panel, amazingly clean design, graffiti, a skate deck seat pan, and an old Fiat headlight. This is what happens when you mix a lot of creativity + a little youthful rebellion + a small bike. And, I for one love the results! Seriously Hakan, congrats on a sweet build. I’d like to be there to watch you look left, then right, then take it up on a sidewalk or two!!

  • Guest

    what a great little bike. Great pics too.

  • icke


  • My wife says this looks like something a Stormtrooper would ride in a Star Wars movie! I think she’s nailed it! I love it. Is it s moped, trials or just a motorcycle? Well, the merits of each could debated (although, pedals are conspicuously missing in regards to the ‘ped’ in moped). Cool rig nonetheless. Nice workmanship. Challenging photography was executed well.

  • OK, so first we have black bikes shot on black backgrounds, now we have white bikes shot on white backgrounds. This bike is the bastard child of a Mod and a Rocker. Throw in a little time with your drunk uncle Harley and there it is. Nice bike. DO THE HALF TON!

    • As Ringo would say, it’s a Mocker!

  • davmo

    Man, I dig this bike. As a small displacement devotee, nothing could please me more, moped or not. Would only like to tidy up some cables and wires. (OK, as an electronics guy, I would re-work that control panel too, but that is more about taste.) Love the inventive use of parts. Great job.

  • arnold

    Good presentation photography, outstanding workmanship, compact manageable project with few loose ends. Don’t care for the antique drug reference, but it is in sink(?) with the small displacement-big name train of thought. Well done in many aspects..

    • Sync

      • Andrew; bike aficionado and spell checker.

        • Well, spell checker, maybe. But If I can’t tell the diff. between a moped and a MX bike…


          • I wasn’t gonna say anything…

          • davmo

            Tony Stark not going to say anything? That would be a first!

          • I won’t say anything about that either.

          • davmo

            well, if we are going to be picky: “Affecting vs Effecting,” end of first paragraph.

          • I always get those two mixed up.

          • Slaps forehead…

  • I’m with revdub on this one. This is one cool litttle bike. I want that headlight!

    • I don’t think you’d both fit, but knock yourself out.

      • I chuckled ©

        • OK, pretty soon you’ll have every word and a few odd body noises copyrighted.

  • itsmefool

    I heard the little red pushbutton is for a shot of nitrous oxide hidden discretely under the skateboard, err, saddle. Should be scary fast, for a second or two anyway!

    • Just enough kick to beat that red light (but only if you’re already in the intersection.)

  • edddddd

    its still a moped

    • If it’s a moped and has no pedals, wouldn’t it just be a “mo”?

    • Sorry, you can’t use the word “Moped” anymore – I just registered it as a trademark along with “Pipewrap”, “Loaf-of-Bread Seat”, “Brioche”, “Ehem”, and “Guitar Slinger”. Oh, and “edddddd”. “Pipeburn” and “Tony Stark” were already taken – darn! lol ©

      • Who showed Manx the copyright button??? I’m gonna kick you square in the ass.

        • ©©©ps!

          • …and don’t tell me you didn’t set there and count the d’s in edddd to make sure you got the exact amount. I think many of us (myself included) need a life…

          • I know, I’ll never get my GP moped race replica finished (make that started) at this rate. And, yes, I did count the d’s…and ,yes, I do need a life.

          • arnold

            To whom and by what method do I pay the royalties?
            The check is in the mail, he chuckles.

          • davmo

            Ha! didn’t get yer copyright on davmo!

          • All the cool names were already taken.!

          • Paypal!

          • arnold

            My two cents worth. (copyright Arnold, Inc. LLC All rights reserved)

  • Ok, ok, ok. So it’s not a ‘ped. My bad. Go back to your homes…

    • Move along people, nothing to see here…

  • Sorry but the “cocaine” word makes feel really uncomfortable.

  • King

    I really do enjoy seeing the bikes with their creators- it gives a sense of unity to see the ride and rider together, the complete package. well done.

    • I agree. If nothing else, one gets a sense of scale. I also appreciate how the dude didn’t mug the camera. People are here to see the bikes, not how “cool” the builder looks next to it.

  • gribble

    This is like a downhill mountain bike with an engine, tis brilliant, unpractical and white. And i can see it, which meens it’s well shot. Want one!

  • Jörgen Erik Leon Fogelberg

    Håkan, är det möjligt att få spec på vad bygget och vad du gjort?

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  • Dimitar Tsvetkov

    Hi your bike is so crazy but i have some question about your bike .What is the rims size and tyres size ? Thank you and bravo great job .