Yamaha RX-100 : VERONICA
Wikipedia defines the RX100 as a ‘98 cc two-stroke single-cylinder air-cooled motorcycle that was manufactured between 1985 and 1996 in Japan and India.’ Personally, I think it’s more ‘Sutli Bomb’ than motorcycle. Not that it’s like remotely fast or anything but it still manages to blow you away. Hah, wordplay.
Me and two of my friends drove up to a garage on the highway to Chikli and we managed to drive this thing back. A scratched up, rattling chassis housing a fume spurting engine with a proud ‘Made in Japan’ embossing on the gearbox. On either side were a pair of wheels and a million other things that could leave F1 technicians demanding an explanation. The bike was incredibly nimble and the 10-point-something bhp engine was helped along by the five-speed transmission. And that noise! Ohh, THAT NOISE!! Braaaap Brap!
The mission was simple. Get as much stuff off the bike as possible till it’s still rideable. We left the chassis as stock as possible, making minor modifications to the subframe and welding on points for electronics mounts. This was the first time we rebuilt an engine and I still have nightmares about the number of parts that kept coming off that tiny little powerhouse. I think that is the day I developed OCD. If it’s possible to develop OCD. I don’t know. We rebuilt the wheels, front suspension, hand controls, foot controls, cropped the front fender, built a custom exhaust and then got around to what we think was our USP for making the bike happen.
You see that little triangular space below the seat, right behind the engine and carburettor? Yeah, cluttering that annoys me. On all motorcycles, stock or custom. Even more so on the RX since it’s supposed to be a minimalistic motorcycle. The space usually houses three vital components - the battery, oil tank and air filter. So we split the fuel tank and make a section that holds the oil. (See also: petrol proofing a fuel tank aka headaches). We mounted the battery on the spine of the chassis under the fuel tank. And we replaced the stock airbox with a nice little K&N performance air filter.
The stripes and the Veronica stencil on the tank and front fender were painted in-house. Everything else was either powder coated black or chromed. The seat pan was mocked up and upholstered via an acquaintance.
Things got really crazy when we got to doing the electronics though. The entire wiring harness is custom running of an Arduino-Uno. The ignition is bypassed through a fingerprint sensor housed inside a one-off 3D printed board. This also is home to the three way pilot switch that controls the headlight (Off-Upper-Dipper). The headlight clamps were 3D printed as well. Fun fact: My internet died when I was looking for a Yamaha logo to print on the control board. The ‘Unable to connect to the internet page’ is what inspired the ‘R(e)X-100’ that I ended up using. Clever huh? Just like my first Yammy. God, I love this bike.