SEVENTEEN SAMURAI. Smoked Garage’s ‘Ronin’ Honda CB500X Off Road Racer
As any pimply teenager with too many hours on their gaming console will tell you, a ‘Rōnin’ samurai is an ancient Japanese swordsman without a lord or master. Mythologised to a crazy extent, them and their ilk have become common naming fodder for moto manufacturers and customisers alike. But in the case of Bali’s Smoked Garage, we’d like to raise our hand and point out the fly in this Far Eastern ointment. For a rōnin samurai to be legit, they have to be ‘without a master’, and from what we can tell this Honda CB500X has had quite a few masters involved in its creation.
All jokes aside, the transformation that has taken place in the Indonesian workshop of Smoked Garage looks to be just as spectacular as any deft swordsmanship from a Kurosawa masterpiece. Those that know the donor bike may have turned up their noses at the prospect of owning a stock one. Covered in plastic and trying very hard not to be much of anything, it appears to have been designed for riders who are either too scared to stand out or simply can’t make up their minds as to what bike they want. But reviewers have noted that it feels like there’s a little magic beneath all that injection moulding.