António is a graphic designer & communication design teacher from Faro, on the south coast of Portugal, which should mean he knows a thing or two about how to make inanimate objects look good and proper. As a result he has combined his love of motorcycles and bicycles with a new venture, The Bike Type, which he hopes will encourage two wheeled mobility in Faro.
This Suzuki DR650 tracker is António’s first motorcycle build, and his toe is now firmly in motorised waters.
The oh so familiar story, a perfectly usable motorcycle left to oxidise in a dusty corner of someones garage. A cousin in Porto turned out to have such a bounty lurking and didn’t need too much fiscal persuasion to part with it. António always dreamed of building a café racer but the DR is fairly lofty steed and dictated the route towards a tracker. With a design mapped out a search for parts could begin.
Plastic might be a revolutionary material but it rarely justifies a place on a shed-built motorcycle. Despite gaping gaps left behind, mass produced plakky panels and body work are perhaps the easiest part of a bike to remove in a quest to add a personalised touch to a build. So, António removed all the extraneous parts and stripped the bike to the frame, causing chaos in his workshop. We’ve all been there, planning and method replaced by enthusiasm and a complete haystack of redundant, mass produced crap.
Once the frame was free from clutter and blessed with a fresh coat of paint reassembly could begin. A Suzuki GT250 fuel tank was sourced from a breakers and united with some fresh paint, and the all important logo. Another breakers yard yielded the muffler, it’s from a Honda but answers on a postcard as to which one.
Luckily craftsman are still plentiful in Faro so António fabricated a seat base and took it to a local outfit to be upholstered. It’s good to see comfort finally making a more frequent appearance on the subframes of customs in recent months.
A mini speedo and similarly diminutive indicators ensure some legal requirements are met whilst a generic chrome lamp differentiates the front end from the DR’s original angular unit.
The forks were refreshed with new oil and seals, gaitors suggesting a degree of off road desire, even if the trimmed down front mudguard hints otherwise.
Tarmac biased rubber is a rare feature on street trackers these days but I’m sure António has a blast drifting the tail out on Faro’s cobbled thoroughfares.