SPKS Lab Turns a Vintage Suzuki TS185 into a ’90s-Liveried Street Tracker Moto

Photos: Jordan Leist

No matter the discipline, race motorcycles tend to be comprised of the absolute bare essentials needed to ride and nothing more. This not only offers distinct performance advantages but also results in a minimalistic, purpose-built aesthetic — a look that’s been widely embraced by the custom motorcycle scene. Case in point, this one-off Suzuki TS185 street tracker from Perth, Australia-based builder, Cheyne Speak — a motorcycle postal delivery officer by day that wrenches on custom bikes in his spare time under the banner of “SPKS Lab,” a twist on his high school nickname, “Speaksy.”

Starting out as a particularly tired and decrepit 1976 TS185, the plucky little tiddler had been completely torn down to the frame before being built back up with the front end off of a KTM 450 SX-F dirtbike and a custom stretched swing arm that’s now paired with a set of rear shocks plucked from a Kawasaki Zephyr 750. The 17.5-hp oil-burning single at the heart of the build has also received an old-school-looking, custom expansion chamber exhaust with Pro Circuit internals. The bike has also been bestowed with a tiny fuel cell off of a 1975 Suzuki TM75, along with an ultra-low-profile take on a tracker tail section with bespoke aluminum number boards — the latter of which is now supported via a custom subframe and capped off with a bespoke MX-style seat.

Up in front, the KTM fork has been equipped with a traditional tracker front number board that’s been modified to accommodate an LED light bar that now serves as the project’s headlight. The TS185 tracker has also been gifted a set of spoked 19” Excel hoops shod in Dunlop K180 flat track rubber. The SPKS build also demonstrates just how well the right livery is able to add gobs of character to a one-off build, with the one-man Aussie outfit treating the Zook to custom paint digs made up of a combination of custom SPKS decals and paintwork, and modified graphics borrowed from the 1992 Suzuki RM125’s unapologetically early-‘90s design.

All in all, the TS185 tracker took SPKS Lab roughly a year-and-a-half to build. And while that may sound fairly typical, the fact that the entire project was completed for around $2,500 is beyond impressive — though this low price point is also due in part to Cheyne calling on a few friends for help and favors. To learn more, head on over to the SPKS Lab Instagram page.

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Photo: Jordan Leist
Photo: Jordan Leist
Photo: Jordan Leist