Minority Customs Scorpio
By James McCombe - 10 Dec 14
Nobody likes to be pigeonholed, put in a box and told that's where they fit. It's reflected in our daily actions, our interests and the way we carry ourselves. It's particularly obvious in the hundreds of bikes seen on this very site over the past few years. Some are familiar and comfortable, while others are virtually impossible to categorize. But the sheer creativity and imagination on display cannot be denied. This Yamaha Scorpio by Minority Customs in Surabaya is certainly happy with one wheel on either side of these categories we draw up in our minds. As their name suggests Minority don't play by any rule book. Which is brilliant. Started by Jonathan Evan in Surabaya, East Java, upon graduating from University. Rather than taking the standard 24 year old Psychology Graduate career path, he instead followed the passion formed from his 15 year old self modifying bikes in a garage. A workshop was found, tools sourced and Minority Customs was formed. And they've become rather well known for their alternative takes on Honda's Cub and other small capacity bikes found in abundance in that part of the world. This bike is based on a Yamaha Scorpio, a 225cc commuter thumper popular in Asia. It's already a fondly used base for customising and lends itself well to pretty much any direction you want to take it. Often seen stripped back and sporting a classic tank it makes for a great little tracker; perfect for blatting down a gravel track I'd wager. But this is a different take on things. Jonathan wanted a more comfortable bike, one with that classic cruiser stance, dragging it's rear in the dirt and generally not giving a care for conformity. The Scorpio wears it's industrial look with confidence. It knows it's going to take a hit or two and the rough brushed finish to the steel bodywork is fine with that. The Harley Sportster tank is a nice size on the diminutive single. Capped with the tuning forks as reminder of the bikes origins, a simple red and blue stripe going end to end is all that's needed for paint. A flattrack-esque tail piece is grafted into the rear frame, and combined with a freshly fabbed box containing vital electrics, keeps the worst of the road crap away from the air filter. The peppy little SOHC engines are nigh on indestructible, and extracting more power isn't a hugely rewarding or cost effective idea. So it was left as Yamaha built, just given a thorough service and coat of engine paint to tidy it up. The carb was tickled to keep her running sweetly on the open filter and freer flowing exhaust, slung down low on the right hand side. A short megaphone tucks in close to the rear wheel for some aural delight. Weighing zip all, the standard suspension and brakes cope perfectly well, a disc up front with a retro/modern mono-shock and drum brake combination at the rear. While the back end of the bike is talking flattrack, the front takes on more of a chopper stance. Chromed grips cradle the comfortable swept back bars. Switchgear is reduced to a few vital buttons on the left hand side, and the view ahead is unencumbered by frivolities such as a speedo. There are more important things to life than that. A small 4.5 inch bates lights shines it's way through the Javanese streets, but you best pin the throttle as there is a distinct lack of rear lighting. Any excuse... Although rear suspension travel limits the ability to go hitting tabletops any time soon, the large number of graded paths on the island make a dual purpose tyre a pretty good idea. To this end, a pair of heavily treaded Swallow tyres give the option for a bit of back road cruising. An 18-400 up front and a 17-400 out back provide some pliancy in the rough stuff. These are wrapped around freshly rebuilt wheels; stainless spokes with black rims and hubs never fail to look smart. It's a different take on the Scorpio and great to see Jonathon and Minority taking these small bikes to new places. Indonesia has a huge custom motorcycle scene, particularity with these quirky small capacity bikes. Minority are pushing hard to promote the character and style of the South East Asia custom scene. Have a look at their Facebook page to see the sheer variety and creativeness of their bikes and pick up some inspiration for your next build.