New Bell helmets in stock now

Part Scrambler, Part Chop: Knuckle Whackjob’s Scorpio

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
The Indonesian custom scene has a pretty low profile in the West—which is a crying shame, because there’s some really interesting stuff going down. Our eyes were blasted wide open when we visited Kustomfest two years ago, and discovered dedicated craftsmen forging unique paths.

We’ve been aching to go back since, and now we’ve got one more workshop to visit when we do: the marvelously monikered Knuckle Whackjob, in the Lebak Bulus province of Jakarta. They’re a four-man team that started five years ago, in the garage at co-founder Stan’s office.

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
We only discovered KW last week, when we spotted this Yamaha Scorpio Z on Gastank Magazine’s Instagram account, and began prodding.

The bike belongs to a guy called Suparmin, who hadn’t started the bike for years and was about to give it away. Then he visited Knuckle Whackjob’s shop, and had a massive change of heart. (Partially because the lads were willing to drive over to his house immediately to pick the Yamaha up—something that three other workshops weren’t willing to do.)

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
Supramin wanted the Yamaha to “look smaller, and cool,” but left the rest up to the team. KW’s lead builder, Ottir, started imagining a compact, practical version of an old-school Japanese street chopper for the 2012-model Scorpio.

“We wanted to create a bike that is comfortable to be used as a daily commuter,” says Stan, “but at the same time can eat up semi-off-road terrain with ease. So call it a scramble-cruiser.”

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
The little Yamaha Scorpio commuter has a decidedly plastic vibe in stock form, so Knuckle kicked things off by ditching the bodywork, wheels and back part of the frame. The bike now rolls on 18” rims from TK Japan, fitted with oversized 4.00 Pirelli MT43s.

There’s a new handcrafted subframe out back, supporting an appropriately skinny perch that’s tucked neatly into the frame’s kicked up rear loop. To emphasize the chopper feel, Knuckle dropped the bike by 20mm in the rear, leaving the forks at their stock height.

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
At a glance, the fuel tank looks like it could have come off a vintage enduro, but it’s a one-off for this build. Oh, and Knuckle handled the paint and upholstery themselves, and knocked out a couple of fenders too.

Even though the Yamaha Scorpio packs a mere 225cc, there was no need to beef up the power for its intended use—and the air-cooled single was in good condition. So Knuckle left the internals alone, simply ditching the airbox and adding a new header and a cocktail shaker-style muffler.

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
They also re-worked all the wiring into a new battery box under the seat. And if you’re wondering where exactly the air filter is, take a closer look, and you’ll see a section cut out of the box to accommodate it.

The cockpit’s rocking a requisite set of chopper bars, along with a mini speedo and some Daytona goodies. The headlight is from Posh Japan, and the bike’s fully street legal with turn signals, a taillight and a plate bracket.

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop
It’s no secret we’re susceptible to the charms of small bikes, and this one is as charming as they come. Just imagine cruising through downtown Tokyo on it, or bumbling along a sandy Indo beach. What could be better?

Knuckle Whackjob | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Gas Tank Magazine, with thanks to our good friend Ullie.

Knuckle Whackjob's Yamaha Scorpio is Part Scrambler, Part Chop