Lowering, speeding up, increasing performance, remodeling – all of this is customizing. Or is it rather the expression of an attitude towards life?
If we look in the Duden, the rules of the German language define customizing as things or processes that have been tailored to the wishes of the customer. You can even create perfume according to your own wishes, for example. Customizing on vehicles usually serves to increase performance, but also to implement all other wishes of their owners.
The basis is usually series vehicles that have been adapted for the use of their driver. For example by means of optical redesign, the addition of accessories or painting. The assembly of a rear case up to the conversion for a hunter with weapon holders and game baskets, for example, could be described as customizing in the sense of the meaning. In colloquial and scene language, however, we understand the often technically complex conversions of quads for road use. Series production such as Exeet, for example, or support from a dealer fall into this category. Likewise, the tinkering in the garage at home.
David and the quads
The 20-year-old David Krohn from Jülich has been enthusiastic about four-wheelers since childhood because his parents are both quad-riders. “My mother drives a 300 Kymco and my father drives a TGB Blade,” he says. “I was often allowed to ride there and had a lot of fun with it. Above all, doing laps on my grandfather’s property himself! ”One day David was able to take over the blade from his father, who had switched to a larger machine. But thieves brought the then driver license holder to an abrupt end of his joy.
His ATV was stolen from him while on tour in the Netherlands. Good advice or an adequate replacement was expensive. “As a trainee, you don’t earn so much that I could walk into a shop and just order,” says David, who will finish his apprenticeship as a roofer in the summer. So it was searched. He finally found a Suzuki LTZ 400 online for 2,000 euros.
The condition was not ideal, and so the low price was one of the reasons for the purchase decision. The existing LoF approval was optically not implemented nicely. “The lamps looked impossible. They were also defective. ”What was due to the desolate electrical system, which was more or less inoperable due to various power thieves and cable breaks. “The cables came from a tractor!” Everything has to go was David’s motto when he got to work. Cable tangle out, plastic down, frame bare. “It was sometimes worse than expected,” remembers David, who then made a virtue out of necessity. “Fortunately, the engine was fine. Visually, I could do whatever I wanted. ”And since the financial possibilities were limited, he began to experiment.
A way of life
The frame was first primed and painted after it had been thoroughly cleaned of rust and dirt. All bearings outdated and fresh fat often works wonders. “It was important to me that Suzi initially stayed close to the original. First of all, I don’t have to worry about tuning parts that will die and secondly, the machine is technically and in terms of performance absolutely sufficient for me so far. ”But the LTZ should also reflect its owner. The grandfather has since passed away. David, who had a close bond with him, wanted to convey a bit of memory. The letter combination on the license plate pays homage to the old man, but above all the airbrush on the underrun protection. “My grandfather was a truck driver all his life and he did it with passion. I was often on tour with them. ”And so a trucker motif adorns the component.
But other areas of life can also be found on the Suzuki. The guild symbol of the roofers or the emblem of his boy scout group, for example, was sprayed on by David. The highlight, however, is that he has perfected the technology of the spray film. “A great method to protect the expensive plastic and at the same time to shape the color.” So he first applied the black mass evenly, in order to work on it later with stencils. “And when I’m tired of the design, I just pull it off and spray on new film.”
It is clear that the machine does not correspond to the common cliché of custom quads. “That may come at some point,” says David, “but at the moment I’m happy that I can do everything with the quad – from tours in the Eifel to cross-country rides. But above all I have gained a lot of freedom. ”Driving around with the buddies of the Quad & ATV friends Düren or friends on two and four wheels is one thing. The other is the “Quadkinder” campaign, which is very well received and supported by the scene. Take disadvantaged kids for a ride on the quads. “I know from childhood how beautiful it is. I am happy to give something back with my Suzuki. ”Customizing – everyone as they like. David likes it the way it is. Customizing in its original form.
Text: Ralf Wilke
Photos: Ralf Wilke, David Krohn