Looking for an address in Old Dhaka can be much harder than finding an exit point of a multicursal maze at times.
After scouting through streets for about 30 minutes, I finally arrived at the gates of Custom Workshop. For a minute, I thought I was at the wrong address, however, when I entered the compound, all the two-wheelers, stripped off their parts, lying around waiting to be dressed up in a new outfit cleared away my confusion.
Among all the bikes waiting in the queue, this one frame on the ramp seemed to be almost ready to be dressed up. I would not have figured out its origin if its engine were not installed. Looking at the edgy cylinder block of the 98cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine, I realised it was none other than the renowned cult bike - Yamaha RX 100.
There was no way anyone could have possibly figured out what bike it was without looking at the engine. The chassis usually gives away bits of a motorcycle's identity but in the case of this RX, looking at the frame and figuring out its type would not have been an easy task.
Half of its chassis had been completely remodeled; the entire frame had been extended by one foot and the rear end had been given a curved shape. To restore the golden ratio proportions, the struts had also been extended.
This is not just it.
Yamaha RX usually comes with a dual rear suspension but according to the client's demand, the workshop built a completely extended part of the frame in between the struts to place a mono-shock suspension. The front suspension had also been changed and replaced with universal front suspension.
Moving on, the RX's handlebar was replaced with three-part handlebars. It was not possible to place the latter in the original mounting position and hence, the workshop installed a part of another bike's bush on the top of the fork. This extension allows the three-part handlebars to perfectly fit its spot and be aligned with the fuel tank.
The previous fuel tank was given a new shape and with the use of some extra steel sheets, the workshop managed to give the new tank a much bigger and bolder look. The round shape of the RX's original fuel tank was transformed into a rectangle-like form with curved edges.
Apart from the engine, the only thing that was used from the stock RX was its rims. And the rims were covered by Timsun 110/80-17 in the front and 100/80-17 in the rear.
"One of the main components of a custom bike is its tyres. Timsun tyres are the best option that is widely available for cafe racers, scramblers, brats, etc. in Bangladesh," said Sharfaraj Khan Raiyan, the owner of Custom Workshop, while talking about the looks of a custom motorcycle.
All in all, the Yamaha RX 100 was not the RX we know anymore. It had transformed into a completely different form; an aggressive bot with shiny black armour. Just the brat you want.
Why did you choose to modify this bike? "I have been using a Yamaha FZ for a while now but I also wanted a bike that could better represent my personality. I had a Yamaha RX at my village which was not being used so I thought of building a project out of it. And I have been following Custom Workshop's work for a very long time. I really like Raiyan's concept and execution of a project. I am looking forward to bringing more bikes to him in the future." Sheikh Mohammed Rakib, owner of the Brat (Yamaha RX 100).
Raiyan had a passion for bikes ever since he was a child. After coming of age, his love for bike grew but so did his height. "Finding the perfect bike for a six feet rider can be very difficult especially in a country where the average height is 5.4 feet. As I could not find the right one, I decided to make one instead. And that is how it all started," mentioned Raiyan while talking about the inception of Custom Workshop.
Since then, Custom Workshop has worked on over 40 projects including cars and bikes. The price of the projects depends on the clients' demands and varies from project to project.