6 Mar 2013

Osaka Custom Style

In the fall of 2010 Bart took his first trip to the island country of Japan. It was there, that he fell unexpectedly in love with a motorcycle. "I've always liked motorcycles, but never enough that I felt I wanted to get my rider's license and actually own a bike. But while in Japan, I saw several bikes that just had a look like no other, and I was immediately hooked."
The fat rear tire, the stripped-down naked body, and the stark simplicity of these bikes intrigued him. After returning home, Bart was was determined to find out more. All he knew about them was that they were Yamaha's, and they were all over Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. He thought for sure they must be some cool JDM market only motorcycle. But after a little searching, he discovered that these bikes were just modified Yamaha TW200 and where available in the USA so the concept of having one was real!

That's when he started to collect all the part he needed and built his first custom. He just finished it and took some very nice shots in the freezing cold. As you can see he likes black. lots of black and it looks good on the TW200. Very cool custom Bart! Read about the complete build on his blog Osaka Custom Style

2000 km on the Super 100

When I got the Super 100 on the 10th of November last year it was brand new with zero kilometers. It was the very first brand new bike I had in my life and it made me so happy. Have been riding it the whole winter. Great little bike for the streets of Amsterdam. Crashed it last week on a roundabout. No real damage, just a a little scratch on my precious ego. Two days ago the km meter reached 2000km. Time for a small love letter to my Super 100.

It's great to ride very close to the edge all the time if you know what I mean. Because it's so light you can go very fast in a corner. Much faster than you would normally do when riding a more heavy bike. This thing is just 80 kilo's. When I ride this bike I feel I can do almost anything. And the cool thing is I can. Because it looks more like a moped than a motorcycle and a moped is almost a bicycle and a bicycle rider in Amsterdam can do anything, I repeat anything.

Most people that ride mopeds around here don't stop for a red light if there's no other traffic. If that same guy would step of his moped scooter and step on a Motorcycle he would NOT do that on a Motorcycle...! You just don't do that.

I can do moped things when I want to and that's great in a city with lots of one way roads (except for bicycles and mopeds). I ride on bicycle lanes when I want to. Take the ferry that is moped and bicycle only. And I can ride it like a moped.  It weights nothing so jumping over speed bumbs is big fun and most people think I'm a crazy person when this loud moped decides to ride on the Highway, WTF is he doing, OMG!

The difference between a Super moped or Super motorcycle version is only noticeable from the back where you can see my license plate. So when cops sees me coming or hear me coming (it's sporting a aftermarket exhaust that is loud in a good way) most of the time they think I'm riding a moped with a bigger engine but in the end they see I'm on a motorbike. It's still a moped with a bigger engine but a legal one, ha! Great to see the irritated faces when they can't fine me a ticket after all.

Lot's of people start talking to me on the road when I'm for example waiting for traffic lights, They tell me they used to ride a bike just like that when they where young or giving me thumps up when I'm riding top speed on the highway with 90km per hour.
It's the fastest thing on two wheels in the city. It's smaller than any other motorbike so lane splitting is sooo easy. Riding through a park? Oh, look at that old moped from the sixties, it's so cute! One way street? No problem. Tunnel just for motorbikes and cars? It's a motorbike you silly, so no problem! This chameleon can be what ever you want it to be and no one will care. So cool.

The only thing that is bothering me really is that it has a drum brake with no stopping power as a front brake. It looks very nice but it just isn't good enough for this 100cc.
When you're going faster than 50km per hour, stopping this little bike with just your front brake will be the last thing you do when you have to stop for that girl in her SUV texting her mom about her new lipstick. But the good thing about that is that is I started to use my rear brake. I have to use it now or I will die.

Never did I use the rear brake on my GR650, Street Triple, CB400R or my GPZ1100. It sounds crazy, I know, but I just didn't.  When all your weight is going to your front wheel when you brake your rear brake becomes rather useless. So I figured why use it at all..? But now that I do use it it changed my riding style. Especially when your not going very fast rear brake braking is a good thing to do because you can use all your right hand fingers for controlling the bike. At times you need all the extra control you can get. So I still want a disc front brake on this Super 100 but I'm happy this bike forced me to start using my rear brake. The rear brake works fine by the way.

In the Netherlands we call everything with a 50cc engine or less a moped. Brommer is the Dutch word for it. Check the Super site here