Street Use reader Michael Carnassus, who has lived in Korea for 5 years, sent these snapshots and report:
These motor bikes (motorcycles in US English) and bicycles are used to transport stuff around Dong Dae Mun Market in Seoul. I love the way that the people in the market have this fiercely independent spirit of free enterprise but also have these complicated symbiotic relationships with one other. These bikes are the grease that make the market smooth, you see them ferrying ridiculously big loads for 500 metres or so to where the products are needed.
Note the carefully street modded/welded carrying beds with 90 degree load supports. I’ve seen fridges, washing machines and dish washers carried on these things without trouble, even the bicycles. Note the extended rear swing arms with twin suspension coils/springs.
Only the rear suspension is modded usually, however. Look closely at the bike that has a pale blue fuel tank and is stretched out. I actually offered to buy it. That thing is so heavily modded it’s ridiculous, it’s about 100 cc but the engine is obviously not original. NOTHING is original!! The reason I wanted it was for the McGuyver cool of it all. I was gonna ship it home and just love it. The old dude who owns it got me drunk on cloudy rice wine this afternoon (it was a crappy rainy day) and it’s his life. He loves the thing and so do I. I have an appointment to ride it happily enough!
I’m a keen cyclist and motorcyclist and I have to give respect to the guys who ride the rickety contraptions in that market, it can’t be easy moving all that crap on your back!