Laid Back: Proof that you can turn a Cub into a chopper

They represent a

thriving sub-culture, but we don't feature a whole bunch of custom scooters here. And we probably showcase even fewer choppers. But the cult Taiwanese shop 2LOUD Custom has just mashed the two genres together, and we're blown away with the result.

This super cute scoot is right on brief. 2LOUD's customer, a young woman, was very clear on what she wanted: "Cub plus chopper plus love." And builders Ma 'Max' Yicheng and Lu Yongyu were all too happy to oblige.

They picked a SYM Cub clone as a donor. SYM is a Taiwanese manufacturer that built the beloved Honda Cub under license from Honda in the 60s, and then carried on using the blueprints after the deal ran out in 2002.

This one came with a 90 cc motor and a three-speed gearbox, but Max and Lu quickly wedged in a 190 cc Zongshen mill with a five-speed box. With most of the bodywork gone, the engine's now on full display. It's been 'upgraded' by way of a new filter, and a simple, yet elegant, custom-made exhaust.

The big trick was perfecting the Cub's stance. 2LOUD ditched the original front-end, and installed the forks from a Hartford HD200. That helped lift up and rake out the front, with a new set of aftermarket shocks adding more compliance at the rear.

Max and Lu upgraded the wheels too, by lacing a set of 18F/17R aluminum rims to the stock hubs, with fresh stainless steel spokes. The guys kept the stock drum brakes, but refurbished them, and picked a set of vintage treads from Duro for the tires.

All of the original Cub bodywork is gone, save for the bit around the fuel tank. 2LOUD trimmed it down though, leaving just a hint of a fender at the back. Then Max shaped up a backrest for the new seat, integrating it seamlessly into the existing bodywork.

It's capped off with a gorgeous caramel-colored leather seat, which has a custom-built opening mechanism to access the gas tank. A knurled stainless steel knob up top releases the seat, which then hinges forward on a stylish hand-made stainless steel hinge at the front.

There's more detail out back, with an integrated tail light and ignition switch, and a license plate bracket that has the shop's '2' logo cut out of it. Peek lower down, and you'll spot a pair of LED turn signals embedded into the sides of the swing arm.

With the scoot's original side panels gone too, Max and Lu had a couple of holes to fill on the sides of the bike. So they fabricated a pair of 3D heart-shaped covers to fill in the gaps.

The SYM got another chopper hit courtesy of 'bunny-ear' handlebars. Max shaped them from stainless steel tubing, then polished them up. They wear diamond grips to match the seat, a simple switch for the turn signals, and classic levers. The headlight's an off-the-shelf part, mounted upside-down on a custom bracket, and adorned with a 2LOUD badge.

Thoughtful little details are strewn throughout the build, just as we've come to expect from this Taiwanese powerhouse. Note the cross-brace on the bars, the exhaust hanger and the main frame tube gusset; all of them have been drilled out to complement each other.

Finished off with a simple cream paint job, this chopped Cub has to be one of the cutest two-wheelers to grace these pages. If you aren't smiling right now, check your pulse.

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