Sept 12, 2016 was the rarest of all Mondays in Cafe Racer Philippines history. Other than the absence of the usual morning traffic madness, due to the scheduled non-working holiday that day, well-known journalist Jay Taruc and his vintage BMW custom brat joined the CRPH team for a cup of coffee (which is an understatement because we had tons of coffee that morning) as we talk and revisit our career stories, exquisite journeys abroad and of course, the custom bike scene!



Photo by Jay Taruc via Instagram (@jaytaruc)

Jay Taruc is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and a motorcycle enthusiasts. He hosts his travelogue-style documentary titled Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc (Motorcycle Diaries of Jay Taruc) which airs on GMA News TV.  Each episode of the program takes its audience to a bike-riding adventure as Jay explores the different parts of the world. Witnessing great wonders and immersing into different cultures, Jay and his team share to its viewers compelling and heart-felt stories of unique individuals.

Jay has been working for the industry of news and current affairs for more than two decades now. Back in 1993, he was a fresh college graduate and was planning to study at a film school in Australia when he got an offer to work for a local tv network. Jay grabbed the chance and worked for a news program as a production assistant for 9 months in Radio Philippines Network a.k.a. RPN 9, a broadcasting station owned by the government. This became his training grounds to learn the basics of broadcast journalism.

Then he applied to work for GMA Network, Inc. and became his home network to this day. After years of working as a journalist, a new golden ticket was offered to him hosting for a new documentary series. The concept is about traveling to exquisite destination using a motorbike while featuring personal stories of different people. Jay can’t believe that the offer for him was real, and for the first time in his career, he has the privilege of combining ‘work and play’. Without a doubt, Jay accepted the offer and the program Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc was born.

Photo by Jay Taruc via Instagram (@jaytaruc)

He became involved in riding motorcycles when he acquired his first scooter, a Vespa Px 150 which he bought brand new in the late 90’s. This made him curious about Vespas, Lambrettas and the mod culture. Jay also became interested with the idea of riding a big bike. And during those days, cruiser bikes were starting to get its way to the scene, especially Harley-Davidson motorbikes.

Photo by John Gil Perez

In the early 2000, Jay immersed himself in the cruiser bike scene with his custom Yamaha V-Star 650 and joined one of the oldest motorcycle club in the Metro: the Harurot Riders M.C. — a Caloocan city based motorcycle club founded in 1973. By 2004, Jay finally got his Harley-Davidson Sportster 883R, which he owns up till now.


Jay Taruc shared to CRPH how he found his classic BMW and the process it went through to become a beautiful piece of machinery.


“It was in the middle of summer when the bike was spotted in a garage, gathering dust among other bikes and was begging for restoration. A 1979 model BMW Beemer R 65 light touring motorcycle.”

“From its basic stock condition, the last owner customized it and the original touring handle bars were replaced by a lower, cafe racer style handle bars with cream colored moto grips to match. The tank was painted flat beige with minimal pin stripes. The fenders were repainted to match the tank. The seat was replaced with a solo bobber style that completes the cafe racer vibe.”

“Unfortunately, after all its cosmetic upgrades, repairs and engine conditioning, the R 65 sat in a corner for a year and never tasted action. The owner became busy and had no spare time to take it for a spin.”


Jay acquired the Beemer R 65 and decided to keep it customized with the concept of giving it a different look. A much subtle and sophisticated approach to its design without veering away from its rugged, urban tracker feel. He baptized it with the name Silvia Grey 65.


The first major work on Silvia was the sub frame. The original sub had to go and give way to a shorter, cleaner brat-style look. This time using bigger, fatter size tubes for a cleaner rear end.”



Alfred Aranda of Wild Customs in Las Piñas was tapped to fabricate a new sub frame, as well as a new custom brushed aluminum fenders. Alfred also tidied up the electrical wires on the front end of the bike and hid it in plain view, which initiated the relocation of the ignition key slot. The same goes for the neutral/on indicators. A battery case and a small housing for the indicator lights were designed and handcrafted by Wild Custom.”


For the pipes, I asked Todee Teodoro of Kratos Custom Cycles in Makati city if he can make a shorty, with perforated heat shields to replace a twin long bong originals. Kratos did a great job, with minimal patterns that mimics those of the front bake pads. Todee also made sure that the pipe’s roaring sound would be period specific.”


“Additional touches were the new grips, minimal bar end, turn signal lights and the tail light. A set of new horns were also thrown into the mix.”


“And lastly to top it all off— a new paint scheme! Motogarage’s RJ Trinidad of Quezon City collaborated with the project, getting a sense of what would cap the final stage of the re-custom and would complete it’s appeal. After several meetings and discussions, we agreed on a color that would be very mechanical, cold and sleek. Underlining the rugged/sophisticated vibe that was the very core of the design. We came up with metallic silver gray, where the name of this Beemer was based on.”


Using its years of experience in show-level in car paint works, Motogarage started from scratch and painted from ground up. The goal was to come up with a fresh coat of paint but leaving the bike’s historical past circa 1979.”


“The engine was left untouched, only cleaned.

Jay ended his story with a statement:

“This is NOT a new bike. This is NOT a restored bike. THIS IS A CUSTOM.”

More photos of ‘Silvia Gray 65′:








Follow Jay Taruc’s Instagram: @jaytaruc

Like Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc Facebook page: www.facebook.com/motorcyclediaries

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