It’s not a common sight to see an extremely modified bike that takes you a moment or two to recognise. But surprisingly a bunch of these exist in the country. We pick the good looking ones, and also give you a little detail about how they came into being. And of course what they’re based on, too.
Base bike: Hero Karizma
Hero Moto Corp needs to have a more interesting line-up because the current one fails to excite the enthusiast. And their flagship motorcycle (now reported to be discontinued) Karizma ZMR might have been very capable, but good looking, it wasn’t. So when Punjab-based Grewal Custom made an effort to redesign the thing into what looks like a mix of barebones styling and a lot of aggression, it wasn’t going to be any less impressive.
While the panels are gone, the seat’s flat, the appearance stealth, and the exhaust a custom unit, it’s the small, single light popping from the ‘fairing’ that catches our attention the most. In fact it defines what this custom motorcycle is all about.
Base bike: Hero Honda CBZ
The original CBZ is from the time when Hero Moto Corp (known as Hero Honda then) made an effort to move away from the price- and economy-conscious category, and headed to lure the enthusiast. The CBZ was nothing short of a legend, and the custom example here just takes it to a level further.
The Honda Hornet like muscular looks — thanks to USD forks, a custom swingarm at the rear, modified panels, and a round headlamp up front — just makes it easily one of the best tastefully modified example in the country. It manages to offer big bike looks while retaining the CBZ’s elements, and that’s quite an achievement. Hero, are you listening?
Base bike: Bajaj Avenger
Custom Royal Enfield-based bobbers aren’t uncommon, but it’s surprising how the Bajaj Avenger has gone rather unnoticed. Or has it? Well, J&D Custom’s modified Avenger is easily one of the finest examples in the country.
And while it may take you some time to recognise that it’s an Avenger underneath, its high handlebars and old-school styling make it quite a unique thing. And that’s until you notice the stainless steel finish on the tank, brass details, a leather seat, and good looking alloy wheels, all of which make it comparable to some of the RE-based customs.
Base bike: Bajaj Pulsar 220
There’s clearly a dearth of fully faired bikes on sale in the quarter-liter class, but an Indonesian example shows how it’s supposed to be done. Called Rouser and based on a Pulsar 220, this custom bike has bits coming from bigger bikes, but thankfully flaunts the ‘Pulsar’ name loud and clear.
The headlamp is straight off the donor bike but panels around it are said to be from a Gixxer, USD forks and disc brakes from an R6, frame from an Aprilia, and rear swingarm off a Honda.
And that’s how we would want the upcoming Pulsar RS400 to look…
Base bike: TVS Apache RTR
The Apache RTR might be the star of TVS’s line-up, but there’s no faired version to talk about. That doesn’t just put off some tourers, it’s a setback for TVS if it wants some style-conscious buyers to consider the brand. In such a case, the best thing is to take things in one’s own hands. And that’s what the Indonesian custom-built Apache RTR is.
Based on the RTR 160, the fully faired bike comes with the original headlamp but well-integrated in the fairing, a custom exhaust, new swingarm and a monoshock at the rear, and of course new panels and fuel tank. It looks great, to say the least.