Adventure Series: The Royal Enfield Himalayan

It’s quite unusual that there’s a sudden surge of interest in the offroad motorcycle scene particularly ADV. Yup, adventure. It’s innate to us men to have that particular urge to go out and explore the unknown and it is  much better when you ride offroad with your best mate on your touring/ adventure bikes.

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We were given the opportunity to test ride one of the most underestimated yet admirable mid-range adventure bikes from Royal Enfield, the Himalayan. Thanks to its owner, OZRacing lifestyle founder, Mr. Zandro Fajardo.

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The Himalayan is an adventure touring motorcycle with a single cylinder engine manufactured by Royal Enfield, premiering in February 2015 and launched early in 2016. For me, it was love at first sight when Royal Enfield unveiled this bike three years ago.

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I was captivated by its low-key integrity and slick badass raw design. Not much of plastic or fiberglass on it, the Himalayan is pure metal. With that classic round headlight and a high clearance, this bike is perfect for day to day commute and weekend back road speed trip. It boasts outstanding versatility and comfort for all kind of rides.

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Equipped with the latest OZRacing adventure gears, together with Mr. Zandro Fajardo riding his Yamaha Tenere, we ventured out to the old and forgotten mountain twisties of Bongabon en-route to the surf town of Baler, Aurora.

The long stroke LS410 Single cylinder engine was surprisingly perfect for the Himalayan. first gear was slow, but the second gear would take a punch. A strong low end torque to clear obstacles. Wide useable power to suit all riding conditions. At first, I was hesitant with the Himalayan’s full potential but then eventually, I was able to find that sweet spot.

Built for no roads?

The Royal Enfield was a fun bike not being biased about it, It can take on the harshest road conditions and weather. Just be confident enough to twist the throttle and just glide over those water filled pot holes, muddy and gravel pavement and just ride it like a stallion.

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I suggest that when you get your own Royal Enfield Himalayan, you change to a more reliable tires. The stock tires were kind of slippery mostly while traversing the wet concrete roads. There are a lot of aftermarket tires out there, be sure to have the best AT tires for your steed. I also don’t suggest that you go on a hardcore trail using the stock Himalayan. Tire upgrades is a must if you want to ride on a muddy hard trails. If you really want to push your limit, be prepared to tackle the harsh offroads by practicing or enrolling to offroad schools like the Mel Aquino Offroad Riding Training Camp in Antipolo. But for fire roads or unpaved roads, this bike will just glide like butter on your pancake.

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Enjoy the Twisties

And here’s the biggest question of all, can you do banking turns with the Himalayan on twisties? Absolutely, with confidence and right skills, you can enjoy the hairpin turns with this sled. Just remember that this bike was built to ride every kind of terrain and it’s not a sport bike. With my experience, upon leaning towards the hairpin, the center stand hits the pavement. You really can’t help it, so I just reminded myself to be careful and just enjoy the sceneries. Remember, if you’re way to focused on those hairpins, you will miss the awesome views around you.

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Expressway Legal

Yup, the Royal Enfield Himalayan can take on that side sweeping wind while riding on the expressway with a speed reaching to 120 kph. With 410cc under its belt, it can still reach up to 130-140 kph depending on your capabilities and if you’re in a hurry. I admit that I’m not a speed freak so I suggest that with this bike, you just enjoy the freedom to ride in the expressway.

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A grounded stance, terrain tested suspension, dual purpose tires combined with agile handling means the Himalayan can handle any road conditions. For me, this is my perfect adventure bike based on my budget with a SRP of PHP 272,000 for the Himalayan Street Version and PHP 299,000 for the Himalayan Touring Version. If you want a test drive, just contact your local Royal Enfield Motorcycle dealers near you. I suggest that you contact these two gentlemen, Raemin Reyes or Spike Maguigad.  

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But if you’re in to fast, heavy ADV Bikes, well, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is not for you. 🙂

We created an adventure series in collaboration with OZRacing Lifestyle so if you have time, you might want to check it out.

So where do you want us to go on our next adventure trip? Just send us a comment below on your suggestions and we will make sure to make it happen.

Special thanks to Mr. Zandro Fajardo of OZRacing Lifestyle. Like OZRacing Lifestyle on Facebook, facebook.com/OZRacingLifestyle/

WET AND WILD RIDE: RAINY SEASON SAFETY RIDING TIPS

As the Monsoon or Habagat season kicks in here in our country, we need to be extra cautious while riding our motorcycle in the rain. For those two-wheel warriors out there, here’s our extra safety tip if you choose to brave the drizzles or the heavy down pour during this wet and wild season.rain

Riding in the Rain

As the weather this time of year shift towards the spectrum of sudden drizzles to mighty thunderstorms, hitting the road with extra caution and care is more than necessary. From unpassable road conditions to keeping your belongings dry, there are a number of concerns to resolve even before you hop on your bike and they just can’t be ignored. Consider this your rainy-day guidelines because you’re certainly going to need more than just your all-weather boots, thick gloves, and durable, waterproof jacket.

Stand Out with Color

Vision and spatial recognition are two important components that determine crucial, split-second decisions for any and every motorist. Given the ability of the motorcycle to maneuver through tight spots, you run the great danger of sustaining injury (or even worse) if you move in circumstances that have impaired your fellow motorists’ vision and spatial recognition. The solution: wear brightly-colored gear so it won’t seem that you’d be coming out of nowhere. Being seen is just as imperative as knowing where to go when the rain hits, especially when it doesn’t let up.

Fight the Fog

This piggybacks on our very first point: to know where you have to go is clearly seeing the path before you. The weight of this more than doubles when you’ve got rains, winds, and even flood to think about. Obviously, when there is fog between you and your face shield, things become complicated. Dealing with fog in harsh climate conditions (that—most probably than not—leads to heavy traffic) is certainly something that you could avoid, so better smarten up and be safe than to be sorry. While you’re at it, get a reliable weather forecast app on your phone that can help you decide if riding through the rain is worth the risk.

Stay Synced

There’s reason why you should follow suit when you see four-wheeled vehicles falling in line—especially when floodwater starts to distort what you can and can’t see from the streets—and they keep form. The line of vehicles will help you know which portions and sections of the road to avoid, if there are potholes that can lead to even bigger headaches; or if even if there a dips and whirlpools you must steer clear from. Deviating from the line of four-wheelers may not be the wisest of strategies if you want to stay on the safe side of things.

Take a Brake

Whenever you pass through floods, you can expect disc brakes to be less responsive. Once you are in the clear, it’s best to ride in normal speed at first. By applying the right force, press on your front brake while stepping on your rear brake and adding throttle, all with ease. Be very delicate and thorough with this process until your rotor and brakes dry up. Having “compromised” brakes may dampen your approach to getting through traffic, so always remember, there’s no need to be in a hurry, especially when—at any given moment—things may go instantly south for you and people around you just because of misjudgment and carelessness.

Big Bike Italian Special: Rhapsody In Blue – GANNET Moto Guzzi V9 Racer

We’ve been longing to feature this Italian bike masterpiece, Moto Guzzi for quite a while. Upon reaching in to my mobile phone, I saw an email notification from Mr. Ulfert Janssen from Switzerland. The email was a one of a kind motorcycle design for a Moto Guzzi V9. I went out of my bed immediately and grabbed my laptop to see this interesting email.

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This V9 Gannet Moto Guzzi is a pure racer with tight stance and proportions. It is a radical transformation from a relaxed cruiser configuration of the Moto Guzzi V9 “Roamer” donor bike, which got designed into a pure racer, reduced to the essentials with some retro elements and spiced up with the finest herbs of racing parts.

The Brains and the Team Behind this Project

The bike is designed and built by Ulfert Janssen – Gannet Design and Stefan Fuhrer – Fuhrer Moto.

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Gannet Design’s partner is Stefan Fuhrer (Fuhrer Moto), former racing mechanic of Dominique Aegerter (now Moto2) and Tom Lüthi (now MotoGP), with the latter he became the world champion in 2005 in 125cc class. Now Stefan is the “brother in crime” for the Gannet Custom Builds. His racing know-how, precise engineering skills and his team of artisans are the perfect partner for the Gannet shenanigans.

Ulfert´s design studio and Stefan´s workshop are just 100m apart, so it is a perfect set up for smooth and quick interaction.

By putting heads together and great teamwork between Ulfert and Stefan made this build a precise translation of the initial design concept.

The Unique Design

The project started with some loose sketches by Ulfert to find the good way for morphing the Roamer proportions into a forward leaning racer look.

Design 1

Ulfert: “First I worked on the stance and changed the frame angle from slanted backward into a forward leaning angle. I cleaned up the architecture and made a major diet of all the unnecessary parts.

Design 2

Ulfert Janssen designed a new strong retro racing tail section and new exhaust system as a signature which sweeps along the bike like a swoosh.

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Once the overall direction was settled, Janssen made detailed design renderings which they used as the base for the building process.

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“I first modeled the racer’s new tail section out of hard foam to find the good proportions and it was then used as a template for the metal work.”

Building Process and Parts

The entire tail section is out of aluminum and it is shaped and hammered purely by hand very precisely by artisan Bruno Bertschy.

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A new rear sub-frame supports the seat and cowl in the elevated position for a more racing height seat configuration and fitted with a thin brown kilted seat which matches the Biltwell grips on the handle bar.

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Stefan: “Our goal was to integrate the technical requirements and engineering goals without affecting the design concept.

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The fabrications of all hardware parts are sometimes complex, but always tangible, such as the frame construction, adjustment of the footrest system and preparation of various special parts.

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The conversion of fuel injection back to the carburetor was a challenge for the team, where in addition to the adjustment of the transmitter wheel, also the electronics, ignition and especially the sensor had to be worked on and fitted.

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The fine paint work, by Walter Oberli, is a rare mixture of “scrubbed” and high gloss shine with a thick layer of clear coat, which blurs the perception and gives the rugged and scruffy design a very smooth appearance.

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The tail section and details are painted in a soft gradation of blue and the cylinder heads were also given the same touch of blue in combination with an aluminum protection bracket – Rhapsody in Blue.

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The lower part of the main frame was newly made, cleaned up and adapted with the new racer ergonomics position of the footrest by CNC Racing (Pramac MotoGP racing supplier). The gear shifter got modified and adapted to fit the Moto Guzzi gearing setup. The front fender got shortened and equipped with a new anchoring to fit the Öhlins forks and a new racing triple clamp by IMA with a custom made steering stem to fit the V9.

For the clip-on’s we got sponsored by ABM Fahrzeugtechnik who equipped us with their multi clip and some fine Synto Evo brake/clutch levers in silver/blue/black to fit the color scheme of the bike.

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The all black racing control buttons from Jetprime give a menacing detail and a reference to the fast forward theme.

For the lighting system we got sponsored by Highsider and the speed gauges are by Daytona (Paaschburg&Wunderlich) which were fitted into a custom made bracket.

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Electrical components are by motogadget, such as m-lock for keyless starting, bar end blinkers, m-blaze and m-unit for the control box.

The 18″ front spoke wheel is specially made by Kineo to fit the new fork distance of 210mm. The rear is also a 18″ Kineo spoke wheel which got special aluminum cover plates.

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The wheel is supported by two Öhlins Blackline rear shocks.

Although the bike is from 2016, we went “back to the roots” and provided it with artificial respiration help by two Keihin carburetors. These will give the bike the necessary boost for the sprint races and give the conversion a flair of nostalgia.

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The transmitter wheel was adapted with the according different gearing. The flanges were specially made as well as the racing inspired air intake tubes.

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The pronounced round sweep of the exhaust pipe design gives a strong visual impact and enhances the fast forward dynamic of the bike even at a stand still. The twin pipes were bent and welded and smoothly blend into two Leo Vince GP Pro trumpets, which make already clear from a distance that there is a two cylinder approaching.

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Stefan: “What I like best about this custom build is the coherence of the whole bike, where from the front wheel to the rear wheel the smooth transition from one component to the next passes through. It was important for me and Ulfert that we solve and adapt the individual components in such a way that they give a coherent overall picture.”

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Ulfert: “What’s special about this conversion is that it’s a reduced and minimalist design at first glance, but at a second glance you can see many custom parts and special details. These remain discreetly in the background to give a pure and strong first impression. However, if you dive into the bike, you can discover the sophistication in detail. Special thanks as well to Bruno Bertschy (metal work) and Walter Oberli (paint) for their contribution and fine work.”

This bike will be at The Reunion in Monza, Wheels&Waves and Glemseck 101 among others.

Moto Guzzi is officially distributed in the Philippines by Bikerbox Inc..

Like Bikerbox on Facebook, facebook.com/bikerbox.manila/ and on Instagram, instagram.com/bikerboxmanila/

Follow Gannet Design on Instagram instagram.com/gannetdesign/

 #GannetDesign #FuherMoto

Photo credit: Arnaud Mouriamé and Gannet/Fuhrer

A Different Style and Brew of Cafe 400’s by Imprint Customs, MC Customs and Porkchop Customs

When it comes to riding style and comfort on a budget, Cafe 400 might be your best sled of choice. As far as we know, this bike is one of the most easiest to customized, well depending on your budget.

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Here are some of the best Cafe 400’s in the Metro that were styled and customed by our good friends in the Philippine Cafe Culture Industry, Imprint Customs, MC Customs and Porkchop Customs.

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https://www.facebook.com/imprintcustoms/

https://www.facebook.com/mccustomsph/

 

Loose Keys Moto Culture: Propagating the Custom Bike Scene in Siargao

 

It’s easy to think that Siargao—arguably the country’s prime surfing spot—mainly makes waves around the globe thanks to its famously sought-after swells. But more than just a hub for beach combers of all backgrounds, it is also home to a budding community wherein celebrating surf lifestyle is just the beginning.

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“Loose Keys is a motorcycle and surf-infused lifestyle brand,” founder Mia del Mundo explains. “We want to create a culture in the island that isn’t just surf-oriented but gives everyone no matter what their jam is, a place to hang out, meet new people, and share their stories of their journeys.” But, why Siargao?

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Without a doubt, the island, hundreds of kilometres southeast of Manila, has become a bona fide melting pot for free spirits, travel junkies, explorer-types, and beach bums. It’s been consistently celebrated in various local and foreign media outfits as a bucket-list destination. But for Mia, Siargao possess an unrivalled quality that even surpasses its natural breath-taking beauties such as its vast coconut forests and amazing coastlines. “It is the lovely local people who welcomed us with open arms [that captured me]. The culture and kindness that the people here have is like no other place we have been before.” So, the better question to ask is then: why not Siargao?

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The foundation of Loose Keys was always build on a strong sense of civic initiative and service. About three years ago, Mia met Dan Fitzpatrick, who would not only later on become a Loose Keys co-founder but, ironically, provide the backbone to the business.

Due to Dan’s work and back injury, he was having a hard time riding small bikes such as the XRM’s around the island. He then met [surfer] Luke Landrigan who referred him to 3B Customs for an idea to build and rent out modified motorbikes. An idea came to mind and we both decided to start something together.”

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The rental service proved to more than just help people—locals and visitors alike—to get from point A to B. Loose Keys took on multifaceted roles and has become known for more than just their remodeled rides—and going with the flow seems to have worked to their favor ever since.

“From a motorbike rental shop to our clothing, then a café’ to a bar, many of these were just put in together without any plans. We were just seeing how things flow and decided to go for it.” The future couldn’t be any brighter for Loose Keys and we couldn’t be more excited with many more upcoming developments.

Moments: Moto Builds Pilipinas 2018

Moto Builds Pilipinas has become a testament of the growing custom bike scene and community in the Philippines.

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The first Moto Builds Pilipinas at Tiendesitas
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The first ever Moto Builds Pilipinas Bike Build off featuring Elmer Reyes of Laguna Choppers, Jimmy Barinaga of Hardcore Brothers Customs, Robby Malapitan of Anghel ng Lansangan, Jonathan Van Haute of Fart Monkeez Garage and Todee Teodoro of Kratos Custom.

From a simple bike gathering in Tiendesitas which Mr. Zach Lucero organized for the benefit of custom bike builders and enthusiasts, it became a massive annual gathering featuring the best bike builders that the Philippines can offer.

Here’s a look back of the recent Moto Builds Pilipinas 2018.

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Moto Builds Pilipinas has a very special place in our hearts because during the first Moto Builds Pilipinas, Caferacer.ph was launched.

A big congratulations to Mr. Zach Lucero and to the team who organized Moto Builds Pilipinas 2018. Huge respect to you guys!

 

This is Not a Race, This is a Party! Keep It Dirty! Now on Its Third Year!

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Keep It Dirty!—the nation’s premier annual, open-invitational event for all café racers, motorcycle riders, builders, and enthusiasts of all ages—headed back to its original stomping grounds at the MX Messiah Fairgrounds located inside the Club Manila East Complex, San Juan, Taytay, Rizal for its third edition.

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April 8, 2018 was a date that was definitely one for the books as it was just packed with various exciting activities. As the event remained true to its roots being the country’s first-ever custom and classic flat track racing, Keep It Dirty 3 also featured numerous categories for a ton of adrenaline-thirsty bikers to compete on the dirt track, all in the name of friendly competition, fellowship, and of course, fun.

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Along with many event participants, motorcycle-aficionados-slash-celebrities like actor-and-dirt-bike-rider Jericho Rosales and surfer-and-custom-bike-fanatic Luke Landrigran once again took time out of their busy schedules for a full-day of hitting the dirt and maneuvering through mud, all with the biggest smile of their faces. After all, this was the heart and soul of Keep It Dirty! since its inception.

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After noticing that majority of the events in the motorcycle firmament were mounted in a motor show-type of setting, Café Philippines’ Managing Director Michael Eijansantos decided that organizing an opportunity for motorbike buffs to hop on their favorite machines in its natural element is the way to go, but minus the intimidating risks inherent to professional motorbike races. This vision was strongly supported by the MX Messiah Fairgrounds director Sam Tamayo, even advocating the importance of instilling safe-riding principles and practices to young riders via the event.

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Certainly, we all couldn’t wait for the 2019 Keep It Dirty installment and if you happen to ask what it takes to be part of the event—whether you be a green motor biker entering the scene or a rather veteran custom-bike maker who keeps pushing the envelope and wants to be part of this segment of the thriving community—know that the requirements are pretty simple and straightforward. In the words of the organizers themselves: “As long as it runs on two-wheels, you’re welcomed to come.”

 

From Rat to Brat: “JL” Yamaha XS250 Brat Cafe by Jerome Cabales and Louise Branzuela from Maasin City, Southern Leyte

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Love conquers all, even our love for our two-wheeled day to day companion. This Yamaha XS250 turned in to an elegant Brat Cafe was inspired by Louise Branzuela’s love and passion for motorcycles.

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” When I found the bike its was not running for almost 6 years. It was just stored in a street corner and was left there to rot,” said Louise.

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“Ever since I love motorbikes, every bit of it! Nothing beats the rush when you wander on and off the road with a bike. Thus, building one inspired me. This was inspired by me and my fiance, we are getting married this June. And named it after our initials, JL.”

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Yamaha XS 250

Small, reliable and fun, that’s what an XS 250 is all about. The XS 250 was only produced from 1977 to 1980. It was offered at the same time with enlarged bore as the Yamaha XS 360 and XS400 . thus, this bike is rare. With its air-cooled four-stroke engine , two-cylinder with balance shafts, this bike is a perfect day to day ride and weighs only 166 kg.

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“Conceptualizing a unique design for an on and off road rides has resulted in to bigger eye bags due to sleepless nights for months. And it turned out just what I wanted it to be. I named the bike after me and my fiance’ initials for she supported and helped through out the building process.”

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We love featuring backyard custom build stories like this. Thank you Louise for sharing your bike story to us. Follow their Instagram account: @heromi23) @ambivalouise

#Caferacerph

#passionandculture

 

 

 

Classic Reborn: The All New Yamaha SR400

An iconic motorcycle is reborn and was launched last March 14, 2018 in the Philippines at Yamaha Y-Zone, Pasig City. The Yamaha SR400 is a legendary classic that depicts a heritage Japanese motorcycle icon since 1978. It is powered by a 399cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve engine.”This bike is the perfect motorcycle for both custom bike builder, enthusiasts and for those who wants a retro looking bike with a touch of heritage feels,” says Mr. Ryan Camus, Marketing Manager of Yamaha Philippines.

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The modern SR400, same but different
Everything is identical, from the tank, to spoked wheels and rear drumbrake. The only difference is that the newSR400 is equipped with Fuel Injection while the older version is run by carburator. The 399cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve power plant with electronic fuel injection combined with the SR400’s light weight makes the bike a perfect modern classic day to day road companion. The single-cylinder design is easy to maintain, too. The torquey, single-cylinder engine provides “thumper” appeal and engine character with a feeling of direct power connection to the rear wheel adding to the fun factor of the SR400.

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Kick it like old school
Just like its predecessors, the SR 400 maintained its kick-start feature and its actuated through a handlebar mounted compression release that makes starting the SR400 quick and easy, with very little kicking effort.

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The 2018 Yamaha SR 400 is now available in all Yamaha Y-Zone and Yamaha Rev-Zone nationwide. SRp is at PHP 329,000.

Pantera- KTM Duke 390 by Revolt Cycles

One of the premiere custom bike builders in the Queen City of the South, Revolt Cycles from Cebu has dropped their first build for 2018, a 2014 KTM Duke 390 build which is very popular around the country and worldwide for its stunning modern looks and performance. The KTM Duke 390 is a good entry level motorcycle for those who wants to hop on the saddle with power.

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KTM, a brand that is associated with offroad and adventure bikes has released an entry-level Duke which debut at the 2012 EICMA show in Milan, Italy, and went on sale in India and the Philippines in 2013 and in the US in 2015. The KTM Duke was embraced by Filipinos because of its  light weight built and slick design.

PANTERA IN THE MAKING 

The KTM Duke arrived in the garage with its usual orange and white color matching accessories like side mirrors, brake levers, handlebar, bar clamps and down to the smallest bits like bolts, washers, caps, etc. Not to mention some random stickers sticked around the bike for that increase racing look.

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Like to all our builds, we treated the Duke as if it was our own personal bike. We took the time to study how we can change the look to a more classic style and by sttripping the bike gave us a more understanding about its frame, geometry and style but as more we got around, the latter was’nt really meant for the KTM.

The owner’s wish was simply to make it to a tracker style and quoted all “BLACK”! We then stripped down all the bright colored anodized accessories by diluting/dissolving them in this simple household product, the “liquid sosa”, it was our best friend for this build undertaking a lot of time to strip the anodized paint but all worth revealing its true aluminum color and by giving it a light polish.

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To most of our builds, the first and major task that the guys at RVLT are the wheels. Either by refurbishing, restoring, customizing or in this case changing the color meaning stripping the old orange out and spraying a fresh coat of matte black. Topping it off by wrapping the wheels with Shinko 805s for that dual purposed ride.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

Revolt Cycles’ Jon Louie Yu talks about the process of the build.

“As we progressed to this stage, we decided to retain the original tank design and giving it a gloss on matte black accent with our RVLT cycles logo wrapped at each side of the fairings. To pair the front end to the body, we decided not to use the conventional round headlights but a aftermarket Powerpart Headlamp that is designed for the KTM Duke, painted in black wrapped with a gloss RVLT decal and yellow tinted lens on it.”

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“Now this is where the fun part begins as we move to the rear end of the bike, taking out all the plastic fairings, removing all the tabs and chopping 1/4 of the subframe then fabricating a new pointed style tube at the end. We tucked all the essential “electricals” under a fabricated seat pan along with a detachable seat wrapped with black quality grade leather with custom seat cowl cover. Integrated the stock tail light to a custom made mudguard for that sleek clean tail tidy look.”

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“We did not want to make a drastic change with the over-all look of the 390. We still wanted it to look like one with respect to its lines and geometry but with a little touch of black magic as we can say.”

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“Challenging part was separating the frame from the motor basically removing all the parts, wirings and etc attached to it for a clean proper clean, respray of gloss black and preparation. At this stage all parts were prepped and painted for the rebuild phase.”

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“Some other custom bits like a aftermarket bar-end side mirrors, pod filter and a aftermarket M4 exhaust system for that mean beautiful note.”

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“To top off the build with all the parts in placed and done, striking with the smooth gloss and matte black textures, and a beautiful stance on the prowl for its prey the name PANTERA was coined translating from Panther in Spanish language.”

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The PANTERA, #RVLT30 a 2014 KTM Duke 390 for Mr. Aljun Decampong from Davao City, Philippines.

Words by Jon Louie Yu

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Photos courtesy of Revolt Cycles
Photographer- The Jeb – Photomercenary
Instagram: @the.jeb