This Avenger goes from bloated stocker to old-school bobber.
Chopper builders in the US have a monopoly on big-rating television series. Japanese and Euro builders are the go-to sources for classy custom photospreads in artsy magazines. It’s only a matter of time, though, until India catches up. The whole country is crazy about bikes, and videos like this show where the scene is headed next.
For now, many Indian builders are hampered by low budgets (although, in a country of a billion people, that’s not true of everyone). To build a custom bike on the cheap, you’ve got two options. First, you can buy an old junker, get it back into running order, and use that as your base. Why do you think so many of those bikesploitation films from the 1960s used ratty old Panheads? It wasn’t just because the builders liked the look of the engine (although that’s what they’ll tell you). It was because Pans were cheap at surplus auctions—that's where the bikes in Easy Rider came from, an LAPD sell-off. If you watch those greasy old drive-in flicks carefully, you’ll see a lot of customized Brit bikes for the same reason: They were affordable. The Fonz’s “chopper” was actually a Triumph.
Your second option, when building a custom bike on a budget, is to just start with a low-priced, newer motorcycle, with a small engine. This isn’t quite as exciting; a little single-cylinder engine doesn’t have the same rumble as a vintage V-twin. If that’s all you’ve got, though, then why not?
That’s what this Indian builder did. Seems he wanted to chop a Harley-Davidson, but all he had was this Bajaj Avenger Street 220. That didn’t stop him from building a bike that looks decent, at least from a distance. The paint work is fairly agricultural—it has a John Deere look about it—but other than that, this machine has undergone a considerable transformation. In stock form, the Avenger Street 220 has sort of a scaled-down FX Superglide look, complete with boat-tail rear end and sari guard. Now, it’s a cool retro bobber.
One thing that’s got to go: that fake Harley-Davidson badge on the tank is silly. Otherwise, it’s an interesting look at the grassroots scene in India.