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1988 Suzuki S40 Boulevard – Studio Motor

Posted on April 23, 2013 by Andrew in Bobber, Brat. 40 comments

It’s amazing what you can do with limited resources and a whole bunch of commitment; that’s got to be the mantra of Studio Motor’s Donny Ariyanto. He’s a builder that’s based in South Jakarta, and if there’s anyone in the world that will be able to make a mountain out of any anonymous, out-of-favour, ill-advised motorcycling mole hill, it’s this man. In the past he’s worked miracles on Yamaha Scorpios and Suzuki Thunders, but we’re thinking that he’s really outdone himself this time. Feast your eyes on Studio Motor’s latest single cylinder miracle, the “Naughty Red.”

The bike was built for a customer who works as a film director in Jakarta. His brief was decided upon after much surfing and some close study of the city’s custom bikes. It was as clear as it was tricky. “I want to have a custom bobber that is simple and practical, but it should also have a bad ass, naughty streak.”

The Studio Motor lads began by stripping, overhauling, and re-assembling the bike, with a follow-up of powder coating and polishing for the core elements. They then fabricated the bike’s tank, seat, rear fender, and battery box themselves. As we’ve learnt in the past, the Studio boys like nothing more than pummelling metal, and will do so at a moment’s notice. They finished it off with a Sikkens matt candy apple red.

Next came a new set of forks, custom triple trees, and custom rims paired with a set of inimitable Firestone Duluxes. A bespoke swing arm was added to give the bike a more muscular stance, and a Keihin PWK 41 carby was used to replace the stock fuel atomisation set-up which, when combined with the Flash custom muffler exhaust, apparently makes quite a pleasant roar when so provoked. And, yes, it has pipewrap.

Donny says that there was a lot of lessons learnt from the engine rebuild on the bike, but obviously the end result was well worth all the bother. Apparently the client couldn’t wait to ride it to his next shoot. And could you blame him? Lucky bugger.

  • Jimmie

    Not an S40, in 88 they were called LS650's. S40 came years later, in 2005. 😉

  • Matthew Arck

    Wow… could you stuff bigger (and worse?) tires on a bike?

    • Tanshanomi

      It looks like it should be in a 1930s Fleischer cartoon.

  • $52244477

    but i’d like to see it with the front wheel a lil taller and thinner!

  • arnold

    Like the look. a lot.

  • Jacob Speis

    The absurdly fat tire style on Asian customs, while something I’d never even remotely consider on my own bike, is something I love looking at every time I see it. I can’t put my finger on it, but something about it makes it look like a kid’s toy, but in the most awesome of ways.

    • I’m with you. Whether it’s the children’s toy proportions or the implication that you can somehow drive on water, fat tires are cool to look at. The side profile shape of that tank is pretty badass too. Overall, I find this bike pretty cool. I’d never own or build one like it, but I like the execution and it’s fun to look at.

  • Patrick Larson

    I think the tires are incredibly cool-looking.

  • revdub

    That’s what I call a transformation. So much cleaner and 100 times better looking than stock. Even with the large tires, it looks lighter to me. Awesome fabrication work.

  • MotoTrooper

    Hah! My initial gut reaction on opening this page was a laugh of surprise. Not of derision but, “Haven’t seen this yet!” I didn’t even notice the pipe wrap as the rest of the bike had my attention. It is a ‘complete’ build as it doesn’t seem to have a lack of or surfeit of stuff on it. The pipe wrap does seem to need attention. But very holistic otherwise. I like the chunkyness of it (I may be biased as I built my Sportster into Fat Boy style years ago).

    Okay one thing, “Where’s the flippin’ air filter!?”

  • I’ve never ridden on tires like these, but I have heard a lot of negative things about them. First, I don’t think they could be sold as motorcycle tires if they weren’t reasonably safe. Second, just looking at them, I think one could safely assume they are not designed for high performance. This brings me to my last point. The distance of the rim from the asphalt would seem to effect handling the faster one is taking a turn. Why? The rim will travel further out of vertical alignment with the portion of the tire making contact with the road. Push it too hard and the front wheel could brake lose causing a low side. This is just my opinion coming from an engineering point of view. This is where those who shoot for more performance than these tires are designed for may run into problems. So, are they inherently dangerous? No. But, they are also not high performance (you all know that tires have an application rating) and should not be mounted on bikes designed to be high performance.

    • Lewn

      It’s not about high performance. Say you’re coming into a curve on an underpowered non performance bike on a mountain road too hot and need to lean and open the engine to make it around the corner. Some modern ‘boring’ tires would see us safely around the corner dragging the peg, but these slide out put you into the scenery. Fashion above safety? Not for me….

      • Well, that scenario sounds like you still need to know the limitations of what you’re riding. Bottom line, when on this bike, make sure you don’t hit that corner on that mountain road too hot.

    • Drez

      Look at the donor bike – these are not performance bikes. It won’t go, stop or corner, but I love it. It’s really well integrated, well proportioned and all the styling cues work – nicely balanced. Especially love the headlight.

      • That’s my point. One isn’t going to be dragging their knee around any corners on this bike (at least, not intentionally.)

        • On my wife’s Savage I was amazed how easy it was to drag the outside edge of the sole of my boot in turns – not because of my riding prowess – the foreward footpegs were so darn low.

  • braincandi

    I think i have just found my dream bike, so clean.

  • durp

    I really like it. Very simple clean design. I see nothing wrong with it.

  • Cool, clean & rediable… This bike makes me learn how to build a bike from any bike builder, thats every kustom bike it’s always born a great bike, because the satisfy & pride is priceless…

  • nathas909

    Love that front headlight!!!!

    • revdub

      I was thinking the same thing. I’d like some info on it. Very cool.

      • Davidabl2

        Got me thinking : here in the USA how about a big Suzi single(boulevard/savage)
        with the wheels from a yam tw200….

      • taka-tz

        Google motorcycle headlight grille, click on images.

        • revdub

          Well, that was easy. Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

          • taka-tz

            Well excuse me, Mr. Ricardo Cabeza.

          • revdub

            That made me laugh. I do appreciate the heads-up on the grille though.

          • arnold

            I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t pay to mess with a guy with an Icon that’s a double for Uncle Che.(sorry Rev)

  • taka-tz

    The fat front tire makes the bike look like it’s on steroids, and it would be prone to hydroplane on wet roads. Other than that a good job of de-uglifying that S40.

  • Mike B

    The paint on the tank looks amazing. I thought it was photoshopped until I got to the part that described it as a matte candy apple red.

  • Tron

    anyone who has been to Jakarta will know right away, this bike is so perfect for that city. I would love to take it for a spin. Awesome work guys

  • I like the bull dog stance. Old Hareys and Indians had big 16 inch rubber front and rear and they looked great. No one is going to argue that you can win the Isle of Man with those fat ‘Stones but they’re fine for chuffing around town. I had a Savage a while back and always thought it could look a whole lot better. Studio Motors did a great job with this interpretation. Now with Ryca making cafe conversions and this bobber example there’s hope for the S40.

  • Lewn

    Uber-short travel bikes with ballooning large tires probably are great on a beach, but a road?

  • barney

    Love the tires…

  • bryan kerswill

    At first I dismissed this as style over function…..but having a second look I,m starting to “get it”. It looks like a Paul Sample (Ogri) cartoon bike in a cool, bar hopper way. I,ve never ridden balloon tyres but as has been said you gotta ride within the bikes limitations and if you don,t….

  • Davidabl2

    Word on these tires: Pirelli MT66. Conti Twins. Avon Roadrunners. Even f’n Kenda Kruz.
    All of these tires could be run same tire front &back, probably. Twins& Avon RR designed for it I believe.

  • Lars

    Where can I find those nice little indicators?

  • old school shovelhead

    remindes me of my grandpa’s old board tracker, very nice.

  • ApacheCheef

    You forgot to mention the chain conversion…

  • Jay Etheredge

    Its hilarious how the critics of this bike are talking shit about what today is an amazing bike. How narrow minded these nutcases were.