Last February, we've talked about Suzuki's latest model, the Raider J Crossover. Suzuki's new dual-sport underbone clearly has its eyes set on Honda's segment starter, the XRM. It may be late to the party, but better than nothing at all.
But did you know that YRS Motorcycle Modifications had built and raced a similar prototype 7 years before the production model was launched? The proprietors of the Mandaluyong-based shop shared a photo of their creation on their social media account. This revelation was shared by Barny Buncio, son of YRS proprietor, Gregorio "Ka Yoyong" Buncio.
“Bago pa nila na launch yan nagawa na namin yan 6-7 years ago pa, (before they [Suzuki] launched the [Raider J Crossover], we've already built it 6-7 years ago),” said Barny on his post.
He shared with MotoPinas.com that, back then, Ka Yoyong, broached the idea of an off-road underbone to key Suzuki Philippines executives. A model could easily be built based on an existing underbone platform. They were then handed over a Raider J 110 as the donor bike for the project.
Ka Yoyong and his team wasted no time in modifying the motorcycle for the then-upcoming motocross races at the MX Messiah Fairgrounds (MMF) in Taytay, Rizal. Some of the modifications include an extended front suspension, handlebar risers, modified swing arm, angled suspension to better absorb the jumps involved in motocross (MX) riding, 17- and 14-inch front and rear wheels, coupled with knobby tires, and many more. The frame was also reinforced with an additional support bar to prevent it from “warping” due to the stress involved in MX racing. Finally, the engine was modified with a 180cc bore kit for more power, and matching drive sprockets were fitted for better power delivery on off-road.
“This bike [YRS Raider J] was the champion of the underbone category at the time, ridden by Adong Mendez of the Suzuki Phoenix-YRS Racing Team,” added the younger Bucio in Filipino. Luckily, even after 7 years, the idea of a dual-sport underbone has finally become a reality for Suzuki.
“Maybe the idea of an off-road underbone [was] not a priority of Suzuki at the time, that's why they've only released it this year.”
YRS Motorcycle Modifications
For those who are not familiar, YRS Motorcycle Modifications is a motorcycle shop in Mandaluyong City that specializes in aftermarket and custom parts for motorcycles. Its patriarch, Gregorio “Ka Yoyong” Buncio is considered by many as one of the pillars of the off-roading community. His daughters Des and Jacq were former Philippine Superbike (PSBK) racers. Their brother, the late Maico Buncio, was a Superbike champion and prodigy, once considered the Philippines' best bet for a seat in MotoGP.