Sam Edwards' TW200
By Gareth Charlton - 27 Aug 15
Q: Do you have any links we should connect readers to? A: No, not really, sorry, just a Facebook page that is full of pics of my beautiful wife and daughter. Excellent, a proper shed build. No talk of setting up shop, no hours wasted coming up with clever names or logo designs, just a man choosing to build a ride for himself because he has half a plan that he can. Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Sam Edwards spends his days as a timber trader, tripping around his beautiful country from saw mill to saw mill sourcing the finest lumber. It was on these excursions that Sam first encountered the donor motorcycle that would kick start his project. The sprawling plantations often utilise agricultural little Yamaha TW200's to get about their grounds, Sam admired the TW's resilience and saw it as a perfect starting point for something a little more refined. Away from the day job Sam's main passion is surfing and this was the part of his life in which the TW was to be deployed. "I wanted to build this street/surf tracker to get to waves around my hood, I chose this bullet proof work horse to get me over the sidewalks and goat paths to the quieter waves." Sam had spent a brief spell as marketing manager for Fox Moto Products but when it came to bike building he was a complete novice, it was time to locate some quality help. "I was given direction by a few beaut human beings: first Duke and Duchess - a custom bike shop, they hooked me up with Paz the guys that helped me put the pieces together and realize my creative canvas, and finally a mates father Mike B, who is the harshest critic and cleanest creative Moto mind who directed me on my journey." With a safety net of knowledge in place, Sam set about transforming his recently acquired 2007 TW into a South African wave hunting machine. He started out by completely tearing the bike down, and chopping the frame in half - no turning back now. The subframe was then rebuilt with gracefuly arced tubes that follow the line of the wheel and meet in a loop over the high rear guard. One of the biggest challenges was up next, the tank swap. "We went through about ten different tanks for this project, the creative look and line of the bike was important to me, we needed this simple little bike to flow." In the end a skinned down Kawasaki tank won-out for the clean line it brought to the top of the bike. The sprockets were switched up to assist acceleration and the engine was given a breath of fresh air with K&N filtration and a simple customised straight pipe. The original fat wheels were rejected in favour of more slender items running trials rubber, a KTM swing arm tricks up the rear and negotiates the revised clearances. A new seat was then fabricated and covered in supple hide, after trawling through catalogues to no avail in search of some complementary grips Sam decided to wrap the bars, bicycle style, with matching strips of the leather. Talk of clocks was curtailed and in reference to Sam's motocross past the TW runs with no gauges beyond the seat of the pants and the hairs on the back of his neck. "A cool little feature that makes the bike look so clean is that we fed all the electrical wiring through the handle bars, we found an old headlight that we liked from a junk pile and used that." The colourway was inspired by a design seen on the 'net, a retro 70s vibe was the order of the day with off-white and mustard combining with the lustrous black. Sam is hoping the steamy cool look will rub off on the owner. As with all true shed builds this TW's good looks were not accompanied by bank breaking costs, Sam reckons the total build price was a reasonable $3500 with just over 7 month's of his on/off labour thrown in for free. Now he is simply getting on with enjoying the fruits of his labour. "The bike is responsive, loud and sits comfortably at 80-90km/h, she doesn’t like to be held at the top end for a long time, it’s meant for cruising back roads looking for coffee or surf. It was a monster project for me, very frustrating and very rewarding at the same time." "I built this bike because I am a creative person and wanted to express myself in a functional manner, I also wanted to learn how to build something, to have something to show at the end of a creative process. I wanted to make something beautiful from the mundane. I learnt so much on this build & I cannot wait to do another." At this point I would normally refer you to Facebook to see more, but in this case take a leaf out of Sam's book and just head to the shed and get on with it.