How to build a custom dragster from a 150cc garden-variety utility bike, and win a prize in the process.
We don’t hear much about custom builds from the United Arab Emirates. That might change soon though, thanks to places like Bikers Cafe. Each year the Bikers Cafe in Dubai sponsors a build-off wherein three local customizers are given the same bike – this year it was an Indian-made pizza delivery bike called the Hero Xtreme 150 – and told to go to town. This year’s winner, according to Bike Exif, was a stretched, slammed, and blown drag-style bike from VR Customs.
READ MORE: The Hero Hastur
“We are not a shop,” Marc said, “just two guys with basement space that enjoy building bikes. But we were lucky enough as a private team to be given a bike to build. The rules of the competition said that the engine must remain standard, but that was about it. It gave us the opportunity to go a bit crazy and build something unique. As our bad ideas grew it became a turbo, and we made some other changes as well.”
The team gusseted the frame to add some strength, then fabricated the hardtail rear end and redesigned the lower engine mounts. With the engine internals off limits, they added a Keihin PE30 carburetor, a new oil tank, and the small turbocharger.
“Being only 150cc with the turbo on it’s not exactly scary,” said Marc. “The jetting was actually quite easy to get on our second attempt and she runs well up to the limiter. Ideally we would put a CR150 cam in and trick up the engine for more horsepower, but we were not allowed to.”
The front fork and brake caliper came from a Suxuki GSX-F750, and the front wheel is a 17-inch Honda CRF supermoto wheel wearing a Metzeler Racetec tire. The rear wheel combines a Honda CRF supermoto hub and an 18-inch CRF MX rim. The Hero’s front caliper was moved to the back wheel, which wears an M&H vintage drag slick.
“We had most of the parts laying around from other builds,” Marc said. “We really only purchased the fairing, turbo kit, and rear tire.”
The fairing replicates an MV Agusta design from the Fifties, and the two-gallon peanut tank was originally intended for another project. Alan made the seat pan, and the pad came from a Honda CB750 cafe racer. A set of aftermarket Triumph Bonneville rearsets and billet clip-ons complete the dragster theme.
“All the bikes we build, we build for racing and track time,” said Marc. “This bike has actually spent more time doing burnouts than miles ridden so far. We finished the bike and had one day to get a video shoot and burnout done, before it went on show for three months. Once we have it back in January, it will be straight off to the drag strip to see what it can do.”