About the workshop
TOMA is a Brussels-based custom workshop. We transform, customize and hand finish motorcycles to create unique and personalized machines. Our artistic approach strives to extract the best potential of each bike and match the vision of their future owner’s. We aim to create unique, one-of-a-kind machines, with a clean and efficient style.
Our work mainly focuses on tracker, scrambler, and bratstyle projects. Customising goes hand in hand with transforming to us. We do not only modify the bikes, we give them a new life, a new look. We always work starting with an older, existing base and then begin adding new parts (tanks, wheels, handlebars, lights). Given the complexity of certain projects, we often create and adapt some of these parts ourselves, especially when they’re metal.
Before we even get going, we spend a lot of time with the future-owners to see where they come from, what their interests are, where and how they grew up, their tastes, what they’ve been doing in life etc. All these elements, along with a ton of aesthetic and artistic research, allow us to create the motorcycle of their dreams.
About the Owner
I’m the owner of TOMA CUSTOMS, my name is Thomas Jeukens. One and a half year ago, I decided to leave my job as Strategy Manager for a big consulting firm to open TOMA CUSTOMS and fully live from my passion, transforming and customizing motorcycles.
Mixing mental and manual activities generates a level of freedom and satisfaction that I’d never experienced before. Working as a manager at a big consulting company enriched me personally and professionally, while it also made me grow and evolve as a person. Yet, I felt it was time for me to achieve one of my dreams and to fully live my passion: combining my intellectual abilities with creativity and manual work. That’s why I decided to turn my passion into my job.
About the project
Why did you build this bike?
Gregory wanted a motorcycle that is easy to ride in town but also allowed him to go off road in the countryside. The briefing was not exhaustive but he wanted a motorcycle of small capacity, easy to drive and with strong personality.
Why did you pick this base bike and where does it come from?
After several meetings to understand the customer’s desires, we made several transformation proposals, and finally agreed on the Suzuki vanvan125 project.
What was your idea or vision?
Before we even get going, we always like to spend a lot of time with the client to know him better and understand his desires and what would be his dream motorcycle project. All these elements, along with our aesthetic sensitivity allowed us to first imagine a general guideline for the bike transformation. After that, the client gave us “carte blanche”.
Where did you find inspiration for the project?
It all happened in our workshop, in front of the bike. When the bike arrived at the workshop, we directly remove a lot of parts in order to only keep the frame, engine and wheels. That way we could analyze and imagine the general line that we wanted to give to the bike. At that time, we had to finish 2 other projects, so we let the bike naked for few days and let us the necessary time to imagine the final project in our head and by testing several combinations of tank, saddle, and parts.
Any interesting challenges?
It is not easy to tackle a transformation of a 125cc in order to make it a custom bike with strong character. Our workshop is more used to work on motorbikes with medium or large engines. But we love the challenges. And we do everything ourselves and don’t outsource anything.
What modifications are made and what parts are used?
We modified the muffler to get it under the bike, lowered the handlebars and removed any original accessories that were superfluous. All electronic components have been modified to make the motorcycle more modern and minimalist and we tailored front and rear mudguard as well as add side covers
What do you like the most?
What we like the most is the general line of the bike. The most important first step, according to us, was to modify the driving stance of the bike and rework the “v” line formed with the tank and the original huge saddle. So, we straightened the tank and made a custom seat base that we then sewed by our workshop to have the new general line of the bike.
Anything, in particular, you want to share about the project?
The rear tire for us was initially one of the weak points of the original bike, that we had proposed to change. But then after a lot of thinking about it we decided to finally keep it and do exactly the opposite, we decided to make it the most visible possible. It was at this point that we completely changed the direction of the project, we decided to make the project as minimalist as possible and visually lower and more compact than the original bike.
And last but not least: how does it ride?
This bike is so fun to ride, with such a fat rear tire and the more aggressive driving stance
List of modifications
- bespoke seat with Alcantara leather
- bespoke front and rear mudguard
- adapted muffler to get it under the bike + black exhaust wrap
- new flat/lower handlebars
- removed a lot of original accessories that were superfluous
- tailored side covers
- modification/ shortening of the rear part of the frame
- bespoke plate holder
- new bates headlight and rear light
- new bar end mirror
- new speedometer
- new set of indicator lights