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‘79 Yamaha DT250 by Utopian Customs


Posted on July 23rd, by Scott in Racer. 24 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

Crocker motorcycles are something else. The styling is amazing, while still having an air of functionality about them. The main problem you will find with these bikes is the rarity, which in turn boosts the price beyond the reach of mere mortals. Those lines though, that is the look you want, so how do you get it? Utopian Customs have come up with an answer, producing their own homage to the Crocker marque, using a 1979 Yamaha and their ingenuity to bring this speedway bike to life. Which in turn is something else in itself.

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Inspired by the picture of a 1935 Crocker Speedway bike, Pablo Luzzi and the Utopian workshop decided on a build which would ‘capture the simplicity and no nonsense look’ of the legendary machine. The bike to be used on the build was to be a two stroke enduro bike, as it had the right ingredients of being fast, nimble and loud. A DT250 was sourced, and the build began.

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One notable aesthetic aspect of the Crocker speedway machines were the fuel tanks. Set low to keep the centre of gravity down, the same look has been achieved by handmade stainless steel covers slung under the frame, which cover the bike’s actual sheet metal fuel tank. The word ‘smoker’ was laser cut into the covers, painted red and distressed to give it that old timey look. The type itself is copied from the Crocker V Twin model of 1939.

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As for the rest if the bodywork, you notice a lack thereof. Speedway styling means less is more. The bike keeps it’s original mono shock on the seat, with springs just to give a little comfort to the gel seat. Mounted on the rear swing arm is the tail light, literally fished from a dumpster and recycled as an automotive component. The custom fork covers and handlebars are stainless stalk units, produced in house at Utopian.

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All that show is no good without go, so the Yamaha 250 was stripped down and completely rebuilt. A velocity stack sits in place of the airbox, and a new exhaust system was fashioned up which runs under the bike to keep with that speedway styling that inspired the initial build. To round out that look, IRC Trials tires were used in the build.

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From a chance encounter with a picture of a legendary motorcycle, the Utopian Customs workshop has produced the equivalent of a standing ovation to the Crocker brand of motorcycle. The detail put into the build, right down to that ‘oh so sweet’ rear fender, shows the dedication put into the build. From the front to the back, you know where it’s at with this bike. It’s not for everybody though, as Pablo puts it: ‘Definitely not for the cruising types or anyone who doesn’t enjoy second hand smoke’.

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[Photography by Alejo Pichot]





  • Carson

    Very cool bike, but lets hear it run. That’s the one drag about this website, we never get to see a video of the bike screaming around the track it was built for, or tearing down a dirt road, or even a city street. Pictures are all well and good, and they’re great photos, but I wanna hear this old 2T scream like a scalded dog. All these pictures are great for some kid, who doesn’t know a velocity stack from a super trapp, to copy and paste onto his blog. But how about giving us riders and builders a little inspiration with a quick clip of this thing tearing it up?

    • gary

      Judging by the unbent cotter pins in the seat, this one hasn’t been ridden yet. Just sat together for the pictures…. or maybe it has….

      • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew@Pipeburn

        It’s not unusual to shoot before you do the shakedown, as it allows you to shoot a clean bike and lets you avoid washing and detailing it.

        • gary

          Yeah, that’s what I figured. I didn’t want to assume it hasn’t been ridden, but it’s hard to share video of a bike running when it hasn’t ran yet. That’s all I was saying.

        • Davidabl2

          With the hundreds (or many hundreds) of hours involved in building some of these bikes, what loss would a few hours more work be to wash & detail them before taking pics?

          • http://23moto.com/ Ofeargall

            As a photographer and a bike tinkerer, it’s so much more than that. If you’re obsessive enough to create a bike like this from a creative vision, you’ll obsess about the little bits and bobs of potential dirt and ‘uncleanliness’ that comes with that first ride. That kind of obsession says, “tear it all down, clean it back up and reassemble, then we’ll roll it into the studio”, rather than, “a bit of polish oughtta do”.
            You and I will never see the tarnish, but the builder will and that’s who’s paying for the photos usually.

          • Davidabl2

            I’m also a photographer and bike tinkerer myself..but probably suffer from ADHD rather than OCD :-) Most of the bikes i photograph are vintage iron, customized chopped or unrestored. And my own machines aren’t entirely corrosion free either. I’d be unable to postpone the initial ride-of anything- in order to get pictures.

      • Davidabl2

        Sounds a lot like the the custom i saw pictures of recently which had the license plate ziptied onto the bracket :-)

  • Tony Spadaro

    agreed

  • MotoTrooper

    I’m wondering if those tubes that the handlebars are welded to extend up into the upper triple clamp as it seems that right now the only thing locating them are the headlight mounting ‘ears’. Love the build and the color scheme though. That shade of red is one of my favorites as I’m also using something close to it on my Yamaha build. Creating a clean, ‘simple’ build is anything but simple!

  • Davidabl2

    Not just a ‘naked bike” this one’s a”nude bike” ;-)

    • itsmefool

      Yep, you’re correct…I remember an old sitcom character say “naked is dirty, nude is clean!” This bike definitely fits the latter description!

      • Davidabl2

        I’d say that the end result is about the same:-)

  • revdub

    So amazingly cool.

  • lee wilcox

    I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that I love this. I have a dt175 and intend to bookmark this article

  • Eric

    I love the leaf spring cantilever seat. such a cool little detail.

  • http://www.mulemotorcycles.net/ Mule

    Sort of looks like a dirtbike chopper. Should be a strange ride. Weird seems to be the new cool.

    • Davidabl2

      “Weird seems to be the new cool” Right. As in fine art it may be a sign that almost everything has already been done in chopperdom. I hope that it’s not the case.

  • Chuck Munkeybutt

    Extraordinary bike, it’s all in the details. This has em’ that seat would look more retro with some old leather, some chubby tires & a bit lower stance but every man has his opinion. Im a non smoker but im sure she blows pretty good!

  • britbike

    So that’s where the rear spring for my S-10 went. Great bike, lovely lines and there’s something wonderfully perverse using the groundbreaking, ancient DT250.

  • Luke

    Love that headlight – it’s almost Scandinavian! (and a great fit for the bike)

  • Bultaco Metralla

    What a ripper! What a great bike. Absolutely stunning. Love the tank, love the seat, love the minimalism.

  • http://ridedualsport.com/ Manxman

    This bike makes me smile…a lot. Cool details and great quality. Lots of little details that I plan to steal. I really appreciate the work done on the exhaust and the headlight is something else.

  • Donovan Kirkwood

    I’m in awe. Really unique usually means crazy ugly or completely impractical. This is stunning and looks like all the details work, even that mad seat.