Before I get into this feature let me first say hello to my Indonesian readers. I know you guys make up a chunk of my regular audience and I’m always excited to see an Indo bike in my inbox, just like this beauty from Odum Customs in Jakarta. The bike is a 1981 Kawasaki KZ200 or “Binter Merzy” as the locals know it and was resurrected from the dead after a previous life as a “Chopper wanna be”.
“When we found the bike it had been modified as a sort of wrong looking Chopper. I’m not trying to judge the artist but it looked like they spent a lot of cash but didn’t have a great taste (so sorry!) and really didn’t know what they were doing. The engine was modified for more power using parts that didn’t fit and resulted in damaged pistons and intolerable amounts of vibration. When we were trying to ride it back to our workshop we had to stop every 5 minutes because the vibration literally made it hard to focus on the road! Also, leaks in the head and exhaust system sprayed to the biker’s legs with hot oil. When we arrived I felt as though we were lucky to be alive. As we explored every inch of this old monster we found that it swing arm had been cut down and extended with an awkwardly welded, undersized pipe. The frame was a major concern as rust had eaten most of the important parts of it and once again we were thanking God we made it home. I can’t imagine what would have happened if it suddenly broke into pieces!”
“We switched to a brand new Kawasaki KZ200 frame and customised a Honda CB175 gas tank by widening it and respraying it white. The customised headlamp features am integrated tacho and speedo which was made from fiberglass and is held in place by a custom bracket made from 4mm round steel we found on the way home that day. The front forks are 41mm and the rear shocks are 340mm with new 18 inch rims and rubber front and back. Thenew seat was designed and constructed to fit my proportions perfectly and finished in brown leather to match the additional saddle bag.”
“The engine required serious work. We switched the pistons and the cylinder head with a set from a Yamaha Scorpio 225 and with some further adjustments here and there the engine is now up to 295cc. This is plenty for Jakarta traffic conditions where larger capacity engines are redundant. We rebuilt the head, clutch and ignition system, fix up all those oil leaks and replaced some parts to make it feel like a new bike again.”