Bikes > Motor

Iron Macchina Customs makes 3 PG-1 custom builds for Yamaha Vietnam

From sketch to finished products in 20 days

The Yamaha PG-1 has so much potential for customization. PHOTO FROM IRON MACCHINA CUSTOMS

Paul Anthony Symon Cantos is no stranger to special requests, but this latest accomplishment may be his most remarkable yet. As the founder and owner of Iron Macchina Customs—which we’ve featured several times in the past—Paul has done special projects for manufacturers and distributors in the Philippines. But this Yamaha PG-1 project figuratively came out of left field.

“We were in Davao and had just recently finished the launching of the new Yamaha Fazzio with Yamaha Motor Philippines,” recalls Cantos. “Someone called me through WhatsApp saying he was from Yamaha Motor Vietnam and wanted to do a project with us. At first, I was skeptical because I wasn’t sure if it was legit or just a scam.”

He continues: “He wanted me to come to Vietnam the next day to discuss a project. But I said I needed more information about the product and their profile just to make sure. A few hours later, he sent me their company profile, and it turned out he was from the agency that manages Yamaha Vietnam’s marketing and events account.”

Paul had to fabricate parts for the bikes without actually having a single PG-1 to work on. PHOTO FROM IRON MACCHINA CUSTOMS

After an online meeting, Paul and his team flew to Vietnam a few days later to personally meet with them and to see the actual bike for the first time. “They showed me their plans and how to go about the design for the Vietnam market. It was mind-blowing at first since it was the first production unit they had made.”

The client wanted Paul to create three concepts: Casual, Tracker, and Camper. They gave him a preview of what they had in mind, but Paul had the freedom to conceptualize the design based on the concepts.

“But there was a catch!” says Paul. “Our timetable was only 20 days, and we were not allowed to bring the bike itself or even the engine. We could only bring home a few parts as a basis, like the fairing, the suspension, and the swingarm. We didn’t have a model bike to work on, just the parts and the photos that we took for us to modify.”

Back in the Philippines, Paul purchased a Yamaha Sight since it used the same engine as the PG-1, but the frame was different, and only the placement of the engine was similar.

A Yamaha Sight served as an imperfect stand-in for the PG-1. PHOTO FROM IRON MACCHINA CUSTOMS

Still, Paul and his team made do with what they had, using only their photos and what few parts they had for measurements, eyeballing each item for fitment. A few days before the launch event in Vietnam, the team brought the custom parts in 20 boxes to Vietnam as check-in baggage and hoped for the best.

“Everything ended up fitting perfectly!” he shares.

The finished products are typical Iron Macchina, meaning exquisitely detailed and precisely machined. All of the custom parts are made of hand-built stainless steel and aluminum.

Each custom part was hand-built and individually wrapped to fit in 20 boxes as check-in baggage. PHOTOS FROM IRON MACCHINA CUSTOMS

The first concept, Casual Women, is painted metallic yellow with a floral design, then finished with a matte topcoat for a monochrome finish.

The custom parts include a new rear carrier with custom luggage, exhaust, undercowl, skid plate, front basket, carrier, handlebar, refabricated front and rear fender, taillight, headlight mount, LED headlight, and micro turn-signal lights, among others.


The second concept, Tracker Men, is meant to appeal to the Gen Z or the younger rider market. It has an aggressive and sporty look with a new front headlight plate and a floating headlight bracket that also serves as a small crash guard.

Additional custom pieces are the front and rear fenders, tracker cowl, exhaust, undercowl, skid plate, drag bar, side pannier and brackets, bigger tires and rims, and more.


Finally, there is the Camper. “This is where we put in the works,” says Paul.

As an outdoor, ready-to-use, and go-anywhere bike, it has tons of custom parts like rear carriers, pannier brackets, body railing, fenders, front headlight crash guard and stone guard, LED headlight, mounts, undercowl, skid plate, rear disc brake conversion, handlebar, hand guards, shifter, seat, and many more.


The end result is stunning. All three concepts show just how much potential Yamaha’s newest small bike has for an imaginative and adventurous market.

The experience itself was unforgettable for Paul.

“Long working hours, the designing process, and sleepless nights, but we learned a lot,” he states. “Anything is possible as long as you plan things properly, work as a team, put dedication to what you do, and keep integrity and professionalism regardless of the circumstances. At the end of the day, it’s not just a job. It’s a passion that you want to share for everyone to appreciate. Seeing our client’s satisfaction and people’s positive reactions and comments is what we value the most.”

If Yamaha Motor Philippines decides to bring in the PG-1 here, you can be sure that Paul and his team will have another go at it.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.