The 2019 Moto Builds Pilipinas custom bike show was held in conjunction with the Makina Moto Show last weekend at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City from June 15 to 16, 2019. This year's Moto Builds Pilipinas marks the fifth of its kind, with the manufacturer-friendly Makina Moto Show in its second year. As usual, motorcycle builders got to show off their creations and skill sets at the center of the hall, with dealers displaying their new wares in surrounding booths. Those in the main event, the Biker Build-Off, competed for the annual crown by customizing rides supplied by Yamaha Motor Philippines.
Moto Builds Pilipinas had its humble beginnings at the Tiendesitas shopping center in 2015. It exploded over the years, galvanizing the local custom bike scene. The show grew exponentially, requiring the main organizer, Zach Lucero, to pare down displayed entries the past couple of years in order to maintain quality over quantity. The Philippines may be a decade behind our Asian neighbors, but Filipino builders have been working double time to catch up to those overseas, with pretty awesome results. Below are some highlights, along with the full list of winners.
The café racers were split into two categories: “750cc Up” and “600cc Below” — featuring a good mix of traditional, minimalist examples, and imaginative concepts. Kratos Custom Cycles turned the Yamaha XV250 Virago cruiser into a stunning custom café fighter — rocking surprising high-tech modificiations with an aggressive, scorpion-like, wild style. STKD showed a neo-retro MV Agusta Brutale 800 with custom bodywork, under-seat Toce-style quad exhaust tips, and a premium finish. Meanwhile, Coco Moto gave a Yamaha XSR900 an ambitious, rough aluminum treatment.
Cafe Racer 600cc Below
1st – #57 Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 by Iron Macchina Customs
2nd – #13 Yamaha RXT135 by Nonoy Serano
3rd – #38 Yamaha XV250 Virago by Kratos Custom Cycles
Café Racer 750cc Up
1st – (Tied) #27 MV Agusta Brutale 800 by STKD / #29 Yamaha XSR900 by Coco Moto
2nd – #48 Honda CB900F Hornet by KCC x Kickstart
3rd – #61 1978 Honda CB750F by Father & Sons Customs
The scramblers committed to the retro aesthetic, with many sporting cheerfully nostalgic liveries, off-road components, dual-sport tires, and high exhaust pipes. Most of the entries opted for dirt-ready chassis, while a handful revised standard roadsters. The industrial Honda TMX 155 by Iron Macchina Customs was plucked from this category and rewarded “Concept Bike of the Year.”
1st – #46 Honda XR200 by Marfori Customs
2nd – #52 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 by Tokwa Party Garage
3rd – #31 Honda XLR200 by Free Spirit Moto x Jets Q Customs
Again, there were a lot of cruiser-type bikes this year. After all, the chopper tribe really spearheaded custom culture around the world — dominating the show circuit before the current retro renaissance. Not only did the sparkling gold Harley-Davidson Softail, upgraded to 1,800 cc, by Marfori Customs bag first place in the “Custom Cruiser” category, it also won “Best in Paint” overall. The bobbers and choppers were really cool this year, especially because several were built on roadster chassis. Meanwhile, Ylagan Kustom and Japan’s Masa Mark Muto collaborated on a grungy Royal Enfield Classic 350 chopper that quickly became a crowd favorite.
1st – #47 Harley-Davidson Softail by Marfori Customs
2nd – #14 Harley-Davidson Fatboy by Fart Monkeez Garage
3rd – #64 American IronHorse 1800 by Marfori Customs
Bobber 500cc Up
1st – #10 BMW R65LS by Fart Monkeez Garage
2nd – #45 Honda CMX500 Rebel by Tokwa Party Garage
3rd – #8 Yamaha XV750 Virago by Fart Monkeez Garage
Bobber 400cc Below
1st – #59 Motorstar Cafe 400 Bobber by Jerry Formoso Kustoms x MC
2nd – #60 Motorstar Cafe 400 Bobber by Jerry Formoso Kustoms x MC
3rd – #50 Honda VT250 Spada by Brothers Garage
1st – #53 Royal Enfield Classic 350 by Ylagan Kustom x Masa Mark Muto
2nd – #56 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 by Hardcore Brothers
3rd – #23 SYM Husky 150 by Norman Saliot Kupal
The nomenclature for the “Brat Café” category was confused. The genre has always been rather vague to begin with. This category really just included all the motorcycles transformed into street fighters, retro superbikes, and other sporty roadsters. Any street bike that was either ambiguous or genre-bending seemed to be lumped into this category.
1st – #40 Yamaha XJR 1300 by Tokwa Party Garage
2nd – #28 BMW K 100 by Garages Monkey Kustoms
3rd – #17 BMW R 100 by STKD
The small-displacement motorcycles, underbones, and scooters really made a splash this year. They were probably the funnest builds to check out, with a healthy variety of gorgeous scooters, mean underbones, urban runabouts, and colorful commuters. The scooters got their own “Resto-Mod” category, but the supposedly-stricter “Vintage Restored” section only included a couple of faithful examples. The show would have benefitted from a separate category for motorcycle restomods, as well as inviting more serious restorers to participate. The over-the-top mod machines were the stars, while Iron Macchina's clean CD125 showcased “the Power of Dreams” while taking liberties with a beautiful gray and white color scheme.
Custom Small Displacement
1st – #18 Vespa Tracker by STKD
2nd – #34 Honda Street Cub by Free Spirit Moto x JetsQ Custom
3rd – #41 CPI Tyke 100 by Kratos Custom Cycles
1st – #22 Lambretta Li Special 150 by Agnus Scooters
2nd – #19 Lambretta TV 175 UK Mod by Agnus Scooters
3rd – #7 Lambretta Series III by Laguna Choppers
1st – #4 Honda CB750 K2 by Laguna Choppers
2nd – #16 Lambretta Series I by Laguna Choppers
3rd – #25 Honda CD125 by Iron Macchina Customs
This year’s Biker Build-Off tasked four builders with turning the fuel-efficient Yamaha Sight 115 uderbone commuter into an off-road capable custom. The base machines were supplied by Yamaha Motor Philippines, and the contestants didn’t disappoint. The entries were all little dual sports vastly different from each other. Dirty Lokal’s 1955-numbered Taco-style mini bike with its rectangular proportions made the judges swoon, but unfortunately it was disqualified for disregarding the rules of maintaining the original frame. Masa Mark Muto made a quilted moped with cream and brown upholstery, while STKD produced a classic trials tribute to the Yamaha TY. Laguna Choppers was crowned the winner, for its scrambler with leading link forks inspired by vintage dirt bikes. Like all winners before the San Pablo-based shop, Laguna Choppers gets bragging rights for the next year and beyond.
Biker Build-Off Champion (Yamaha Sight Off Road Bike Challenge) - Laguna Choppers
Best in Paint - #47 Harley-Davidson Softail by Marfori Customs
Concept Bike of The Year – #33 Honda TMX125 Alpha by Iron Macchina Customs
Best of Show - #22 Lambretta Li Special 150 by Agnus Scooters
People’s Choice – #54 Bristol 400 by Wild Custom