Since buying a Yamaha TW200 last year I've become more and more interested in small capacity dual-sport motorcycles. Nothing puts a grin on your face like belting over kerbs, taking short cuts through park land or grabbing air over speed humps (note: I do not condone or recommend this sort of behaviour...I just enjoy it). In France a hot favourite in the dual-sport, small capacity category is the 125cc Suzuki Van Van. It's sub 12 horsepower rating may not be enough to see you crack the ton, but it's got all the right ingredients to generate one of those aforementioned grins. In it's stock form it's no head turner, but with a good eye and some clever customisation the potential is definitely there. This Scrambler styled Van Van by French workshop Oficina MRS is a perfect example...
Oficina head honcho Mario customised the 2003 Van Van for his wife as a gift. The Van Van's small stance, light weight and manageable power make it the perfect beginners bike. Mario couldn't leave the bike untouched though, his Oficina MRS ethos doesn't allow him to limit his builds to simple "bolt on" modifications, instead he opts to create something unique with each new build.
The project started by stripping the stock fuel tank back to bare metal before a respray in deep ocean blue and the application a set of MRS decals prior to a coat or two of clear. A custom made brass gas cap with breather hose replaced the factory plastic unit and established the highlight colour for the Van Van build.
The frame received new gussets for extra strength prior to Mario custom mounting twin shocks in favour of the standard mono-shock system. With the twin shocks in place the Van Van took on a retro off road race look accentuated by the handmade, side mounted alloy race plates. Mario also used aluminium to fabricate the front and rear fenders.
The wrapped one off exhaust was bent out by Mario and a custom muffler fabricated with a brass end cap. To keep the bike appropriate for street use indicators have been mounted in the handlebar ends. Lastly a custom, diamond stitched seat was upholstered and mounted to the modified frame which has been finished in white powder coat.
I think it's fair to say this is one "girl's bike" any guy would be stoked to own.
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