No day goes by without the ‘bee in a tin’ sound of a 250cc Kawasaki Ninja with a “sports” exhaust insulting our ear drums and lowering the perception of motorcycles for casual enthusiasts across the globe. But have you ever stopped and thought, “I wonder what they would look like minus all the fairings and plus a little good taste?” – Honestly, we hadn’t either, but the guys at Indo Custom Motorcycles have, it turns out they can look pretty damn sexy.
Located in a small workshop in the back block of Denpasar, Indo Custom Motorcycles are somewhat under dogs of the custom motorcycle world. Established in late 2013 they have been building and exporting custom motorcycles ever since. Originally starting out with a custom ‘choppy’ which is basically a small scooter (based on a Honda Star, similar to postie bikes) that they built for well known artist Rik Lee, who in return decked out our shop with some killer art work, they then moved on to some 200cc bikes.
Their first three bikes consisted of a Yamaha Scorpio cafe racer, a Kawasaki KZ200 Tracker and a Honda GL100 Tracker to which they fitted a new 200cc Tiger engine. Two of the bikes were imported and sold in Australia and the Honda became the basis for two more builds, both decked out with brand new Tiger 200cc engines. One was exported to a client in the Netherlands and one to a client in the UK.
Having recently teamed up with a contact in Japan to source parts and bikes, this has opened the door to a whole range of new parts and components which are often difficult to source in Indonesia. With this new connection, Indo set out to build something different, that had only attempted by a few other bike builders.
“We knew this would be a challenging build, however if we did it, and did it well, it would pay off.” – ICM
The build was for a client living in Dubai, meaning they guys had to finish the bike in accordance with strict regulations, to assure it was registrable in the United Arab Emirates. Here is what the guys had to say about it:
Indo Custom Motorcycles Ninja 250 Tracker
Originally we were looking at Suzuki GSX400s as the client, Mido, wanted a bit more go. We had been riding Kawasaki Ninjas for years around Bali and loved the power and agility they possess. After doing a fair chunk of research, we set out to turn one into a Brat-style custom machine! The build took just over 6 weeks, from stripping the bike, to completion. We had set ourselves a target of 8 weeks so were pretty stoked when we got it done a little ahead of schedule, which is often rare with custom motorcycles.
The modifications included cutting and re-welding the frame to fit the flat bed seat, as well as removing the mono shock and re-looming the entire bike so that the bulk of the electronics fitted within a small steel box placed where the mono shock once was. The radiator overflow was also large and cumbersome and we ended up tucking away a smaller overflow tank that came off a Yamaha MX. We had seen one other Kawasaki Ninja250 converted and noticed they still had an air box cover which we felt ruined the overall look of the bike.
With the electronics all tucked away we went for a double barrel air filter by K&N which we felt really suited the style of the bike, which was completely stripped out. Still a little unhappy with the electrics box, but unable to make it any smaller, we decided to draw some attention away from it by building a custom leather tool bag which straps onto the housing and accents the bike nicely, using the same leather as the hand crafted seat.
The Dayton speedo and RPM was something we fell in love with straight away. Completely digital, it helped simplify the whole ‘dash’ of the bike. We had to get a specialist to wire it in but once it was done it was well worth the extra attention. We then fabricated some custom ‘idiot’ lights which fit snug around the speedo. It is a really nice balance between futuristic and old school classic styling.
Because we wanted to keep the bike brat style we integrated the rear brake light into the seat. This also means that once the bike is registered, the client is able to remove the rear fender and get that super stripped out look, without affecting the rear brake light.
The tank paint job was a request by the client, complete with steel pressed ICM badges finished in silver and black.
He likes to get in the water a bit so we also threw on some removable surf racks. The stance of the bike is top heavy (large tank, small tail) and aggressive, and with a sports chip, exhaust system and refurbished engine it has the performance to match.
Originally the client was vouching for Firestone tires but we didn’t want to affect the handling, so we ended up agreeing on Pirelli Sport Demon tyres. This allows the bike to be driven for its intended purpose; speed. Once it gets past 6000 RPM, it absolutely takes off and passers by find it hard to comprehend that it is actually a Ninja.
Overall we are absolutely stoked with the build and outcome and are already designing another similar bike for another client in Dubai.
It’s easy to understand why they are so stoked on the build. Taking a bike that we would usually turn our noses up to, and turning into something that not only looks great and fun to ride, but is highly functional and completely fulfils their brief. That’s going to be one happy owner.
From a small shop, we’re looking forward to seeing the undoubtedly big things to come.
You can see photos from the build process over on their Instagram and Facebook pages.