This Blog update is coming to you from the Island of Indonesia (that’s between China and Australia for you geographically uninformed fighters). There is a surging streetfighter scene there that is very creative and different! Theo Burggraaff has started his own blog to keep tabs on whats going on in the land of MF, so we’ll let him explain their story…
The most common way of transportation here in Indonesia is the scooter. It is simple, effective and gas is quite cheap. Indonesia is one of the biggest consumers for these little scooters in the world. Nearly everyone owns a Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki scooter. With the given fact that there are 260 million people living in Indonesia, that is a LOT of scooters.
Bigger bikes are limited here, because the government restricted the maximum CC’s to 250. Any higher than that, and you have to pay a whopping 100% tax! If you then also want to drive it legal on the road, it will cost an additional 50 million IDR (exchange rate being 1$ is 8000-9000 IDR). My friend owns a Yamaha R1 that he imported new and paid 280 million IDR for it. Needless to say many people, the majority actually, will never be able to pay for a nice and shiny Ducati or Suzuki. (that friend is plenty rich, being the son of the Governor of Bali).
Having bikes limited to 250cc is disappointing, but nonetheless the Indonesian people can’t be bothered. What happens is that you will see some crazy modified bikes around here. They will go to great lengths to have that big bike look, replacing stock swing arms of a 200cc bike with a swinger from a GSX1000 or a stock telescopic shock with a R1 USD. Call it crazy, but that’s how it goes down here.
Bigger bikes are rare, so where do these bike parts come from then, one might ask. Well, this is all imported, mostly from Singapore. The most common bigger bikes, we call them MOGE which is an abbreviation from motor gede which means big bike, are Honda’s CB400’s and Suzuki Bandits.
There are a lot of importers here where you can find really old spare parts as well as the newer spare parts. One of the most trusted importers is Evolution Custom in Pontianak. When it comes to swing arms, front forks and any other big bike part you are in need of to pimp your 200cc bike, they are the ones to see.
This bring me conveniently to my next point, because modifying a Honda Tiger 200cc bike into a mean looking streetfighting machine requires some knowledge. The man who started to do this is one of the very first, was Agus Djanuar. He is also known in Indonesia is the ‘Father of Streetfighters’. Not only giving name and face to Streetfighter bikes, but also founder of Indonesia’s biggest Streetfighter club, the Minor Fighters. This is THE club when you have a Fighter and want to hang out with like-minded. The club has more than 10 chapters, spread out all over Indonesia.
There are a lot of Streetfighter gatherings here, organized by the Minor Fighters, which are good fun! Indonesia has beautiful landscapes with nice hills and mountains surrounded by rice paddies. However, these roads are also scary dangerous with wild dogs, cows walking in the street and overall people who totally ignore the (almost non-existent) road rules. It is literally total anarchy on the streets! I come from Holland, and there we do have rules, but here it is just, go whenever, pass on the left or the right whatever you like and seeing more than 4 people on one scooter, well that’s just common practice. When I drive to work, 80% of the time I see some accident happening. It’s not your ordinary traffic scenario, and it has gotten me into fights more than once.
So with the roads being dangerous and with no disciplined drivers, at all, makes restricting bigger bikes not such a bad idea after all. However, shouldn’t a streetfighter bike be all about horsepower that can back up the crazy looks of a mean looking bike? Yes, it should. I mean, putting a big ass swing arm, heavy UDS’s and rims that are 5” wide (stock is around 2,25” on a 200CC) kinda slows the whole bike down. So, people tune there bike until they have at least the acceleration they look for. Giving a big 100cc extra will set you back around 100-200 dollar, so that’s no biggie compared to the prices you need to pay for USD’s or a nice swingarm. A complete set off a fairly new R1 can cost more than 1000$ here. Yes, shipping is a bitch.
Fiber also plays a big role here in creating the Fighter look. Being stock parts from a bigger bike not only costs a lot (yup, shipping again) but it is also hard to make it look right. Small fuel tank and big and wide back fairing don’t match, so everything will be custom done. You can get everything made here, fuel tank cover, added cover over your swingarm (creating that bigger look -pictured in gallery), race fairings and even headlight masks.
Good quality however is rare, maybe because of the price. Quality like, for example Showyomoto, is hard to find. I only know a few good fiber guys here in Indonesia, one of them being Pak Agus and the guys in his shop, XK-bike design. Custom bodywork will costs you around 100-300 dollar depending on what needs to be done.
I am sure many of you have an opinion now about the scene here in Indonesia. It might sound silly putting expensive parts on a small bike, but we make do with what we have. Most important here is that we have great fun while modifying bikes and DO stand out from the crowd. Who cares we can only drive those 200CC bikes? We make them look tits, and we sure drive them hard!
Thanks Customfighters for allowing us to share about the Fighter scene here in Indonesia!
Theo Burggraaf f is born in Indonesia but raised in The Netherlands. Destiny brought him back to Indonesia after 24 years of staying in grass filled Holland, to his lovely Indonesian wife and daughter. He set up a small website and forum at www.indorider.com/globalfighters .