When you’re planning a trip, the most important thing on the list is a few like-minded friends to accompany you on your journey. People who are there for the ride and don’t really care about the destination. So that’s what we did. A four man crew of mates were our riders: Forrest Minchington, Lewie Dunn, Cal Lathrope and Thomas Edwards. We packaged them up with a couple of photographers and sent them off with nowhere in particular as a destination.
Tick, tick, tick… Boom! Your alarm goes off, it’s 5:30am, your eyes snap open scanning the room, immediately through the sleepy fog that engulfs your brain thoughts of two things race through your mind; more sleep or head to the beach for a surf. Blankets off, the cool morning air hits your body first as you hunt for your board, clothes and keys and then again with more force as you race to the water’s edge. 6am and for the next two hours your mind is free, the waves are yours to carve with speed and exhilaration and the only thing greater than the power of the ocean is the infinite possibilities of your imagination as each wave cleanses you of earthly limitations. How can you find this experience on land? 8am finds you sitting at the steps of a place that makes these dreams a reality, Bali’s Smoked Garage might be closed but in a few hours’ time a Modern Cafe Racer will have been conceived and from there you wait until an incredible 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650 is delivered into your gaze for the first time; it’s truly sublime.
When your website has a tab for “Investor Relations” it’s safe to say you are playing in the big time, a one man operation it is not. But it wasn’t always that way for Smoked Garage Custom Motorcycles and this successful Indonesian motorcycle powerhouse is a genuine rags to riches tale. Founded in 2004 by Nicko Eigert there really isn’t a start date to his story but the completion of his first custom build twelve years ago has snowballed into a business that fills an entire warehouse and churns out an eclectic mix of incredible machines. Only a short drive from the Smoked Garage HQ is the largest Kawasaki dealership in Indonesia, PT DUTA INTIKA of Denpasar, who wanted a custom bike to show the public what you can do with a Kwaka; thus begun the design and build of Project X, a Kawasaki Ninja Urban Scrambler to wow the masses.
Indonesians are truly amazing at using whatever resources they have to create ‘silk purses out of a sow’s ear’. You see, due to the heavy import tax in Indonesia bikes like TW200’s, W650’s and SR400’s are not available, so they have to think outside the square when building classic looking motorcycles. This time the donor bike is the uninspiring 2009 Yamaha 225 Scorpio. When I first laid eyes on this little hill climber I immediately thought it was a TW200 but was pleasantly surprised when they told me it was a Yamaha Scorpio. “The ‘Bali Dog’ is a distant cousin of Deus Australia’s ‘Drover’s Dog‘ – all dick and ribs just like the barking mutt trotting around the temples at night” Deus tells us. Felix the head of the Deus Bali workshop designed and built this bike with the help of his team. Everything is either custom made here or imported from Japan. For a small bike the spec list is large; including a Harley Davidson Headlight, Daytona 36cm rear shock, customized W650 Chrome back Fender, Nitro Head Studded seat and Chrome Scrambler bars just to mention a few. The end result is the perfect custom to transport you down to the local surf reefs while turning a few ‘wax heads’ on the way.