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Despite its rural roots, the Yamaha TW200 exudes a certain charm. Its rugged and practical design, coupled with whimsical oversized tires, makes it the real-world equivalent of a Tonka truck on two wheels.
This unique platform became the canvas for a delightful project undertaken by Brisbane's Lanesplitter Garage, led by the resourceful Ben. By day, he's a programmer, but by night, he's a self-proclaimed "backyard builder" with a passion for crafting custom motorcycles.
The journey began when a client approached Ben with a request to customize a Honda CT110, having seen one of his recent creations. However, due to the inflated prices of CT110 models in the market, they shifted their focus to the TW200, another model commanding a high price tag.
After some thorough searching, Ben managed to locate a TW200, which had been quietly residing in a suburban shed. Though not in pristine condition, it ran and was roadworthy, making it the perfect candidate for transformation.
Given the client's location in Sydney, much of the project unfolded through email exchanges. The process commenced with the exchange of sketches and Photoshop mockups, with a keen eye on the budget, necessitating some trade-offs to accommodate the desired features.
Several components were sourced internationally, including a vintage Yamaha XS400 fuel tank, which the team opted to preserve in its original form. Ben then embarked on the task of creating custom parts to complete the puzzle.
Ben's hands-on approach with basic hand tools allowed him to master various skills with each build. A new seat was designed, blending dirt bike aesthetics with the tank's contours. He started with a fiberglass base, added foam, and wrapped it in leather sourced from a remote tannery in the Queensland countryside.
The subframe was entirely redesigned, rendered shorter than the stock version. While extending the swing arm was initially considered, budget constraints led to a shortened rear frame, enhanced by a rear loop and an integrated LED taillight.
Beneath the surface, the airbox was replaced with a robust K&N filter, and the electrical components were discreetly tucked away alongside a compact Lithium-ion battery from Antigravity.
The original 18" front and 14" rear wheels were retained, meticulously sandblasted and repainted to restore their glory. The engine received a fresh coat of paint and new gaskets, with Ben undertaking the timing and case splitting, although minimal internal work was required.
Additional custom elements included a new front fender and a one-off rear hugger with an elegant single-sided mount, serving both as a mudguard and a license plate holder to ensure road legality. At the handlebars, classic MX bars, POSH Japan grips, and a compact speedometer were added.
Ben's creative touch extended to a custom skid plate, artfully fashioned from scrap sheet metal to complement the engine and exhaust's contours. The exhaust system was also replaced, featuring a custom-made header paired with a compact muffler, delivering a sound that exceeded the TW's modest appearance.
Thanks to Ben's ingenuity, the TW200 underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving from a modest farm bike into a stylish street scrambler—perfect for navigating the lively streets of Sydney.
#Moto #Bike #TW200 #Custom #Yamaha