The Tiger

This was the first motorcycle I ever owned. The donor bike, a 2001 Honda GL200, is a very simple and popular machine wrapped in a whole lot of unnecessary plastic. No sooner had I learned to ride than I was unbolting (and pondering the absolute necessity of) many of her parts. What I would now see as a pretty straightforward chop-job was instead a year-long introductory course in what it means to do custom work.

We ended up with a handsome and functional bike, with the 200cc SOHC engine front and center. Almost all the spares, from mirrors to shocks to rims, hubs and bars, are factory original from some bike or other. Unlike other places in the world, where aftermarket parts might be an improvement, here in Bali the opposite is generally true.

Doel hammered the fenders from 2mm sheet metal. Charging and ignition wiring were routed through the frame. We copied the tank from a Honda CG125 in 1mm steel, and used a domed oversize piston for a bit more pep at low RPM. She handles like a big heavy bicycle, sure, but nobody’s perfect!