When you think of a great motorcycle to customize, the Yamaha Scorpio probably isn’t on the top of your list. But to thousands of Indonesians, it's one of the most popular bikes on the road today. Unfortunately, the Indonesians don’t have a huge choice of bikes, due to their strict low displacement regulations. Luckily for us, we get to see what they can do with this reliable little Yamaha. Now we have seen a lot of Scorpio’s over the years – especially from Indonesia – but none have ever looked like this. The bike is the handy work of Indra Pratama from Thrive Motorcycles in Jakarta and although it is his first custom build, this design has been floating around in his head for a long, long time.
Like a lot of kids, Indra was obsessed by Japanese cartoons as a youngster, particularly the Kamen Rider. Instead of drawing the cartoon character, he would spend hours drawing all the mechanical things the characters would use – like bikes and cars. “Since then every reference when I drew vehicles always lead to the madness of Japanese designers, which at least for me, has always had a distinct impression, either the form, machines, and sound, it’s all like fantasy that has infinite space and time.” he says.
In 2007 Indra had a chance meeting with an old friend that would change everything. You see, his friend had an old BSA and seeing it and hearing it made him want one badly. “At that moment I wanted to sell my little Yamaha and swap it with an English-made motorcycle, whatever type it is” he says. His dream was quickly shattered when he searched the internet and realised that their wasn’t many British bikes available in Jakarta, and if they did exist, they came at a price.
With desperation in his veins, he picked up his trusty old pencil and paper and started to draw a concept for his humble Yamaha Scorpio. He wanted to turn it into something special, something not seen before on the streets of Jakarta. Subconsciously he started to draw a Kamen Rider style bike, straight out of his childhood. “I decided to immediately implement the design from paper into a real build”.
Indra was happy with his sketch, and got to work building this 'cafe street racer'. "I cut the rear frame and created a more café style" he says. "Leaving only part of the framework attached to the engine. I also shifted the triple tree about 5cm forward, to create a longer swingarm – making it longer and lower".
Then by hand, he made the stunning seat, gas tank and fairing out of galvanized steel. The seat was then covered by Indra using a sheep skin from a breed of sheep called the garut. The inspiration for the beautiful paint job comes from a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, using a matte grey for the body, matte black frame and wheels, finishing it off with touches of red to highlight some of the details. A color combination that works so well.
Because most of the bike was built by hand, Indra had one last thing he wanted to do. He wanted to take it from a long ride and test his workmanship. "The test I did through 6 cities, a distance of approximately 600 km. With field conditions that can be said to be very challenging, through the road that should not be passed by a standard vehicle, especially a cafe racer with low handlebar". The bike and Indra made it back in one piece, and if you have ever ridden on an Indonesian road, that in itself is a big feat.
We love the low stance and seamless lines on this Scorpio, and we take our hat off to Indra and Thrive Motorcycles for the workmanship that has gone into the build. It might not have been on our list of great donor bikes, but we definitely won't look at Scorpio's the same way.
[Photography by Putra Agung]