I bought my scooter five and half years ago, about the same time I started this blog. The red and white Yamaha Mio Fino you see on the blog header is Chocobo, named after the gigantic bird-like creatures in the Final Fantasy video game universe which protagonists use to explore the world. Chocobos provide a faster way of getting from Point A to Point B than going on foot. They give you access to hard to reach areas, and open up new areas to explore.
I’ve gone on a lot of adventures with Chocobo. He’s been my faithful companion for weekend rides and everyday chores. Despite getting him secondhand, he’s survived a long trip to Bicol. Earlier this year, I shipped him by ferry and rode around Cebu as one of the 10 finalists of Wrangler True Wanderer 2016, a competition where motorcycle riders explore key destinations in the Philippines.
One of the reasons I joined True Wanderer was because the prize was a new motorcycle – a Royal Enfield Classic 500 to be exact. As much as I love Chocobo, the years have taken their toll, and it’s about time I got an upgrade. Well, I didn’t take home the grand prize. I know my entries were lacking, what with a trip conflict to Batanes causing me to miss a day in the 5-day ride. I could have done better in terms of photos and write-ups too, and I just couldn’t hustle enough votes online, which was a large factor for the overall score.
Anyway, it’s ok. The prize bike was not meant for me. The experience was a reward in itself and it introduced me to a whole community of people who are passionate about travel and motorcycling.
Post-event ride with some of the Manila-based True Wanderer finalists from 2015 (Dom, Sam Louie, Marvin, Carlos & EJ) and 2016 (Maki, Arnel & me) plus Mike of Cafe Racer Philippines. This is the ride that kickstarted my project bike.
One of the guys I met in the Wrangler community through the competition was Marvin Geronimo of No Barriers Just Horizons, the True Wanderer winner in 2015. After winning, he turned the bike he used into Wander One, a tribute motorcycle for the brand Wrangler that embodies the spirit of an adventurer.
I really liked the build he did and we ended up collaborating on a new custom bike for me, which is his second project to date. Officially, I’m his first client for Detour Motorcycles.
Initially, I wanted an exact replica of Daryl Dixon’s bike from The Walking Dead. But I’m glad we went in a different direction. Detour Motorcycles custom designed the bike for me based on what I like. The whole concept of my blog “Travel Up” was inspired by video games and leveling up. I think the result is an upgrade worthy of a boss level battle.
After several months of sourcing parts and working with Ador Lazatin of Adore Mechanics, I’m happy to welcome Fenrir to our fleet.
Fenrir is the name of the motorcycle used by Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy: Advent Children, the movie follow-up to the classic video game Final Fantasy VII. The bike has elements of the the Hardy Daytona in FF VII though it’s not as chunky and futuristic as that. We wanted the bike to still be practical for everyday use, while keeping the spirit of video game adventuring. I kind of think the bike also embodies Squall Leonheart, the main character of FFVIII (my favorite in the series), who is kind of dark and brooding.
The name Fenrir is also rooted in Norse mythology, as the wolf child of Loki, which is kind of fitting. I don’t really belong to any motorcycle group and have always thought of myself as a lone wolf rider (or at least with one companion) though I don’t mind riding with friendly packs every now and then.
Fenrir’s base bike is a Suzuki Thunder 125, which is a pretty beefy looking motorcycle with a large engine for a 125. It’s a sporty and durable bike ideal for city driving that usually appeals to male riders. Since the bike was kind of high, it had to be lowered for my height.
The whole color scheme is black and gold, which echoes Cloud Strife”s aesthetic. Since plain gold looked too polished, Detour Motorcycles made it look a bit more gritty by adding some battle battle scars and aging the paint a bit.
The tank was also changed to give it a more classic look. The capacity of the new tank is about 12 liters, which means I can take it for long rides without having to refuel. The top of the tank has this kick-ass Fenrir logo reflecting the video game inspiration. Belts straps on the tank can tie down gear if needed.
Instead of saddle bags or sporty Givi boxes, the bike has a couple of ammo cans, one of which was molded specifically to fit over the exhaust pipe. The ammo cans are one of my favorite features. It gives the bike a unique touch and this bad-ass battle-ready look. But these cans are also utilitarian and can be used as storage for tools and other random items.
According to Marvin, it’s quite common for custom builds to have their air filters replaced by pod filters. For this build, we decided to keep the air filter and find a way to incorporate it on the whole look of the bike.
The bike’s grips are Biltwell, with a classic diamond pattern that’s echoed in the padded seat. The headlight is covered in this tough-looking grill. It even has a custom gauge with Final Fantasy style numbers and my name on it!
I’m very happy with the overall build. Full credit to the legwork, sourcing of parts, and design elements goes to Marvin of Detour Motorcycles. I’m really glad he took this project on despite his busy schedule and day job.
Overall, I think Fenrir looks really bad-ass. The bike has this cool factor and apocalyptic feel to it, but it’s not too over the top. I plan to use it for weekend rides and urban events around the metro for now. We might still tweak a few things next year with knobbier tires to take it on off-road trails, but right now I feel like I’m ready to take on anything in 2017 with this bike.
Aside from building custom bikes, Marvin also took pains to document the whole build process from scratch and the finished product, including all of the product photos I used here. For inquiries on how much the whole project cost and other technical specifics, please get in touch with DETOUR Motorcycles on Facebook.
Photos courtesy of Marvin Geronimo for Detour Motorcycles.
CAFE RACER PHILIPPINES FEATURE
Fenrir was recently featured on Cafe Racer Philippines, the top Philippine website on the growing custom moto scene and cafe racer culture in the country. I’ve been drooling over many of the bikes featured on their website for the longest time, so it’s a huge honor for Fenrir to be featured here. Thank you to Mike Eijansantos and Alwyn Uytingco of Cafe Racer Philippines for featuring the bike. Here’s the teaser video they posted on Instagram:
You can read the full feature and interview here.
Behind the scenes with Michael Eijansantos of Cafe Racer Philippines and Marvin Geronimo of Detour Motorcycles