Every now and then, I’ll be catching up with a friend who’s just returned from a vacation in a developing country. And there’s a recurring theme to the conversation: they hired a bike, “nothing special” and had a blast on it. The bike is invariably something light and Japanese, and equally at home on asphalt or dirt roads. And everyone loves these bikes and how easy and simple they are to ride—even regular riders used to considerably more expensive and powerful machinery.
Deus’ Bali outpost has been ploughing this furrow for a while, and now there’s another outfit several thousand miles away in Costa Rica. “The Cariblanco” is based on the Suzuki GN series, and designed by Arnau Sanjuan Román—who helped design the Bottpower Moto2 race bike while at Anime Design in Spain.
Román is developing a family of custom motorcycles with Costa Rica Hot Rods for the Central American market, and this is the prototype, a lightweight blend of street tracker and cafe racer. “The Cariblanco” is based on the air-cooled single-cylinder Suzuki GN 125, but can easily be adapted to the GN 250.
Román has tweaked the geometry of the bike, chopping the rear frame and dropping the front suspension by 80 mm. The stance is improved further with longer rear shocks, and new 18” wheels with dual-sport tires are installed. The lights and blinkers are Harley-Davidson, but the fuel tank has been repositioned and the fenders are custom fabricated. A new disc brake system is fitted to the back end, and surf rack supports are hooked up to the frame.
Looks like fun, doesn’t it? Just the thing for whipping around beaches, volcanoes and coffee plantations in search of the perfect wave.