It’s funny how two seemingly incongruous things can go really well together. Like pickled fish and sour cream, tractors and drag racing, or hot girls and samurai swords. At first glance you’d dismiss the match-up, but once you see (or taste – and I mean the fish, not the girls) it in action, you’re sold. Likewise for motorbikes and deserts. From a tarmac-centric point of view there’s not much to be said for turning you back on the smooth, safe blacktop and heading towards the cacti. But once you get a taste of the dirt in your mouth and you loose the road, you realise that the whole planet is yours to conquer. Just ask Steve McQueen. And Ren de Haas, of Sydney’s Renegade Customs.

Go Ren. “The bike is a 2008 Yamaha Scorpio with 8000k on the clock. Mint condition, just super ugly (my opinion). The client was young scaly wag surfer dude from Western Australia who works offshore and has too much money and no sense of, um, sensibility. The brief was to build a bike that is a head turner with some slight off-road capabilities so he can find that ultimate surf break (this thing’s going to have some custom racks on it too) – oh and it had to be able to carry a pillion (much to my disgust, I would’ve made the seat shorter otherwise).”

“We started with a ground-up transformation, removing all the crap that looks ugly and changed the stuff that was needed. The major mods were obviously all over paint in 2 pack. A new (old rd200) tank with some respect given to the original paint style. A custom fibreglass seat and some really nice diamond stitch, and old skool BMX bars. A full compliment of lights and some custom indicators (the po-po may not like these) and the bike is finished with a painted engine, some sweet little grille work on the front sprocket, a wrapped header (which people either love or hate) and a simple slip-on pipe.”

“The tyres on this build are Metzeler Enduro 1s, and were a perfect choice as the pattern is similar to the Australian desert floor (this bike is gonna look sick fanging across the Nullabor). I have used (for the first time) a magnet driven speedo from Dan Moto and attached the drive to the rear wheel. And the head unit is attached directly to the headlight housing. All in all, it’s a really nice build and by far the best paint job I have done yet! It’s ain’t the fastest bike on the block but jeez it’s a fun lil’ blaster around town and on dirt roads too. It’s loud, turns heads, and is quite effective at the off-road stuff! Most importantly the customer is happy… I hope – he will collect in the next couple weeks. Please let the next build be a big one (oh wait – there is a CB750 just waiting in the workshop) more on that next time.”

“This is the 6th bike to exit the Renegade Customs garage and each one is getting more and more refined. I also cut my teeth with some TIG welding on this build – both steel and aluminium with mixed results. They are getting better though, and I am happy with my progress. My painting is almost awesome and I reckon my fibreglass skills are up there now, too. I hope you like it.”