Story by Glenn Roberts// Photos by Laura Federau
August 1 2013

custom bike Rooster In many cases, the need to change direction in life is steered by a much-loved hobby and the desire to quit your day job. With a strong history in the off-road scene with dirtbikes, quads and rock crawlers, Tyrel and Jack did just that.

Tyrel, his wife Michelle, and good friend and fellow off-roader Jack sat down to ponder their future. Tyrel and Jack had tinkered with every type of off-road vehicle all their lives, and as a result of that meeting, they decided to quit their day jobs and open an off-road store and repair shop. Given their history and the business’s name and chosen direction, it seems unlikely that a custom-built motorcycle with unproven technologies would emerge from this Kamloops, B.C., shop.

the rooster bikeBack in the fall, as incoming work began to slow down, the guys’ thoughts turned to keeping busy. With a bit of time between paying customers, they took on an improbable project. Although they had dealt with turbochargers in some of their four stroke–powered, rock-crawler creations in the past, neither one of them had experimented with a turbo on a two-stroke engine before. The pair took on the unlikely task, not only because they had never seen a turbocharged, two-stroke motorcycle before, but also because they wanted to challenge themselves.

It was fairly easy to modify the bike’s tail section, lowering the overall stance of the bike by 13 cm, and to create a new swingarm that stretched 15 cm farther than the original. So was the custom engine work of porting and polishing the head, and creating a manifold to make sure the high volume of the air and fuel mixture would flow efficiently. The biggest challenge that faced the pair of fabricators was modifying the turbo to operate properly.

The turbo setup was labour intensive and not without frustration and a few headaches, including the final realization that they needed to ditch their first attempt, which involved a Chinese knock-off turbocharger. But even with this setback, they weren’t about to give up. Turbo manufacturer Garrett had just introduced the GT-06, the smallest turbo in their inventory. Tyrel and Jack jumped at the chance to be a North American guinea pig for the brand-new, lightweight product.

engine view of RoosterAfter purchasing the expensive piece of kit, they cut off the mounting flanges and TIG welded on their own mounting brackets. They created intake and exhaust systems that swept back under the seat to meet up with the GT-06 turbo. This left them with yet another challenge: feeding the turbo with a steady oil supply.

By nature, turbochargers spin unbelievably fast, like at hundreds of thousands of revolutions per minute, so they need good lubrication. The problem with a two-stoke engine is that it doesn’t have a traditional oiling system, since the oil is mixed with gasoline. The boys at Rooster’s mounted a separate oil tank and then converted the bike’s 6-volt electrical system to 12-volt in order to install an electric oil pump to keep the air induction unit lubricated.

Four months later, as the spring sun began to shine a little longer and the days got a little warmer, the shop doors opened up to reveal this unlikely product of ingenuity from an off-road specialty shop. Word of the build spread like wildfire, and Tyrel tells me that this spring, they are getting more and more requests for various custom work.

It just goes to show that you can’t always judge a book by its cover, or the shop by the name above the door…

Builder: Rooster’s Offroad
Time: 4 months
Year: 1980
Builder: Kawasaki
Displacement: 175 cc
Cases: Ported by Rooster’s
Head: Modified by Rooster’s
Lower end: Stock
Carburetor: Keihin
Air cleaner: Rooster’s
Ignition: Stock, modified timing
Exhaust: Rooster’s
Turbocharger: Garret GT-06 modified
Year: 1980
Type: 5-speed
Year: 1980
Builder: Kawasaki
Type: Enduro
Rake: Stock
Shocks: Stock, relocated mounting
Modifications: Tail section reworked and cleaned up
Front end  
Year: 1980
Builder: Kawasaki
Type: Stock, lowered approx. 13 cm
Triple Trees: Stock
Painting: Ken Coupland, Kamloops, B.C.
Pin Striping: Kelly’s Kustoms Pinstriping, Westwold, B.C.
Front Builder: Kawasaki Tire: 90/90-21 Kenda Big Block
Rear Builder: Kawasaki Tire: 140/80-18 Kenda Big Block
Gas Tank: Paughco, modified
Fenders: Bike Master, modified
Seat: Custom pan, Versatile Upholstery, Kamloops, B.C.
Handlebars: Drag bars
Headlight: Stock
Taillight: KTM

Copyright ©2002-2024 Motorcycle Mojo | Privacy Policy | Built by Gooder Marketing