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‘14 Yamaha Star Bolt – Hageman Motorcycles

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Andrew in Scrambler. 36 comments


Once in a while, the eyes of even the hardest of hardcore custom bikers wander. Sure, old custom bikes are the duck’s nuts – but what if one were to loose all sense of rhyme and/or reason and buy a brand new Japanese bike? Maybe one to keep in the garage next to the antique Far East classics you currently have. Have you ever felt the urge? We have. And guess what? There’s actually isn’t that much on offer. With the notable exception of the just re-released Yamaha SRs and the Honda CB1100, you’re pretty much up Soichiro Creek if you actually want something that looks half decent without a heap of work. Until now, that is. Japanophiles – meet your factory custom bike saviour. His name is Greg Hageman, and this is his rather masterful tilt at a 2014 Yamaha Bolt, factory warranty and all.


“So this bike is a 2014 Star Bolt 950. When I designed the Gold Bolt for the Star Bolt Build competition, my thought was to build something that could be reproduced and bolted on so as not to void the factory warranty. This bike is the first to receive the kit that I am building and selling on eBay.”


Greg went with a combination of styles on this build, or as he puts it a ‘TT500 look’. The wheels are 19x3s up front and 17x6s at the rear. Conveniently, he has two sets of tires to run on the bike. One is a set of Continental Attacks for sticky street use, the other (more experimental) set was the Continental TKC dual sports. Apparently both work well, but the TKCs have really been punching above their weight. “They actually handle the pavement very well. I read the reviews before buying and they are amazingly well-behaved. But throw on the Attacks and it’ll stick to the pavement like glue for some aggressive street riding.”


The rear shocks Greg chose are from Works Performance and are 1.5″ longer than stock. The combo number plate and headlight unit is something Greg will also be making and selling soon. The muffler is made using parts of the original set-up and a Cone Engineering ‘Quiet Core’ megaphone. The tail light is a repro TY style, with the bespoke seat, subframe, number plates, skid plate and tank decals all coming from Greg in a ready-to-buy format. We’re beginning to think that he just may have too much spare time on his hands.


“It can be recreated by any home garage mechanic and you should still be able to retain the warranty when you’re done. The parts I make aren’t too expensive; they run under $1500 for everything. Sure, the expensive bits like the wheels, tires, shocks and the like can get a little pricey if you the quality stuff. But hey, it’s a custom bike! Once you’re done one, you won’t see duplicates at your local bike night, I guarantee it.”


The bike is modern, reliable, and apparently very easy to ride. But its looks are deliciously retro, which Greg says that was pretty much his goal. “Not everyone who loves old bikes has the time to spend wrenching and fixing stuff. This bike is purely a ‘turn the key and ride’ proposition.” Sounds like a great idea to us.


[Photos by the ever-brilliant Erick Runyon]

  • Hien Nguyen

    the gas tank line to the seat line just doesn’t click, along with the flea collar for the headlights.

  • Glenn Casey

    That looks awesome. I want it.

  • bjax

    Great details, but wrong proportions. In other words, the build is faultless except for the choice of motorcycle.

  • Uke

    Any one else feeling the wheels are just too small? I would rather have a 21” up front and 18″ in the back. May help balancing the bulk of the motor giving it a good dose of “vintage dirtbike” looks.

  • drop the front fender and change the headlight and this thing would be perfect.

    • docschops

      mmmm, like this, or this?

      • Ryco Diawan

        both of them… are pretty….Awesome
        good looking..

      • BILL FERRY

        Thank you for posting the 2 above.
        Both are superb, but the yellow~gold one for me I think.

  • DeanD3W

    Don’t change anything. It’s great the way it is. The relationship between the tank and seat is unusual, but it looks good.

  • docschops

    Understand, the original bike looked like this. My goal was to change the bike into something more desirable to people who prefer vintage looking bikes, rather than a dropseat sportster wannabe. And to do it in a way that involved no cutting, just bolt on alteration as to not void the factory warranty. And a pic with the other Conti tires

    • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

      Absolutely beautiful, especially considering what it started out as. But please explain how a bike with “bolt on alterations”, either from your kit or from other vendors, is a custom. So tired of that word being thrown around.

      • docschops

        Ok, the parts to transform the bike are hand made and designed by me, you can’t buy them from the factory. Call it what you want. So it’s not a “Custom” in your world. What is it?

        • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

          See that’s the problem. Just because it isn’t OEM doesn’t make it “custom”. Modified would be the proper term, but that’s no longer a cool word.
          Cars and airplanes in the early days were hand-made, yet produced in large numbers and many of those were identical. That’s hardly custom in my book.
          The first bike with these parts you produced was very much a custom, but the moment you start churning out identical sets of parts, they seem to loose that denotation. Doesn’t matter what production method is used or who is making them.
          On another note, my favorite is the one with the Conti Attack’s, gives the bike a XT500 Supermoto look.

    • Ken Lindsay

      Mr. Hageman, I like what you’ve done and I’ve long felt that this is almost exactly what the OEM should be doing; make a standard bike and give the public the option to convert it inexpensively to the style they prefer (Cafe, Tracker, Scrambler, etc.). Normally, you wouldn’t start with a cruiser, but…

      Did you by chance contemplate having a kit with longer forks and rear shocks to give it a bit more of an offroad presence, say a stage 2 kit?

  • docschops

    Original, and with street tires

  • Eraklis

    i can exchange this with my Vmax 1700 ! boom

  • Wrangler 47

    Pretty cool lookin for an overweight Motor bike , Too much bike for this treatment , BUT still rather have this than original except for the scrambles tires . Here’s my 84 Ascot reinvented by John Mcdermot

    • docschops

      I will admit yes, it’s quite a handful of bike, but compare the specs to a 2014 Triumph Scramber, The Bolt WITH MY KIT weights 509lb wet, Wheelbase 61″, the Scrambler 507lb wet, wheelbase 59″. Or a Sportster 562lb dry! wheelbase 59.8. Is it good for serious off road, definite no. Is it a lot of fun, hell yes. Brand new, turn key, ride across the country worry free, has a warranty because its not 30 years old, it’s that kind of bike. If you like the way motorcycles looked 30 years ago, but want new and reliable, what are your other choices? There are a few, I just want to add a custom to the list.

      • Wayne Morris

        Greg: Regarding the comment about your offering a headlight/number plate unit. Yes? When? Price? That’s exactly the setup I’ve been planning to fabricate for a CB750 Street Tracker project, but if you have them on the shelf…

  • emeglasson

    Greg, I like it, a LOT. Nice work.

  • Randy Moran

    I like it.

  • arnold


  • My take is, the Virago series of bikes previously reworked by Doc had an inherent “Balance” and proportion from the factory which meant, keep the same basic lines and you can’t go wrong. The Bolt however, is an entirely different animal. Simply changing the paint and tire/exhaust doesn’t quite achieve the appearance “Overhaul” that you would expect. The proportions are extremely odd to say the least. If you look at the Pelhegyi Bolt streettracker build and the Roland Sands build to a lesser extent, the proportions were the first thing they fixed. I’m thinkin’ if you’re gonna build Bolts, ya gotta address that first. Or…cater to customers who can’t tell the difference.

    • docschops

      Ok, do I need to sell a whole different frame like Jeffs bike? Everything on that bike is one off and not reproduced. If you don’t like it, or it looks unbalanced, then I guess its not for you and see right thru. I’ll just cater to those that actually get what I’m trying to accomplish with this model. Gotta be honest with you, Mule you have busted my balls on pretty much every bike I’ve had posted. Sorry, but your “Flat track” style, just isn’t what I like either. But I don’t bust on your designs every chance it get.

      • I’ve actually liked all the bikes you’ve built and the gold tanked and red/white tanked Viragos you built (As I said above) are the best Viragos anybody has built ever. If that’s bustin’ your balls, I don’t know how else to say they look good. My point was, the stock Bolt sits weird. The tank sits super high like a Praying Mantis, sort of chopper-esque. That was my point. Not that you didn’t do it right, but more that it kinda has a chopper dirtbike look. I didn’t realize at first that that was the goal. As far as ball busting goes, I welcome criticism on every bike I build and I listen to it. It’s how you improve. You’ll figure that out eventually. If a builder thinks everything he does is the end all, he’s living in a vacuum.

        • docschops

          My apologies, sometimes I’m too quick on the keyboard to respond. Criticism taken, I appreciate it.

          • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

            Defending yourself so aggressively really isn’t great marketing. Let your work speak for itself, and be accommodating towards constructive criticism and debate, especially as as far as I can tell, everyone seems to like your work, myself included. I know only too well how hard it is having something one has worked very hard on openly critiqued, but if you can’t handle that, you probably shouldn’t have posted it here.

          • A passionate artist? Well I never…

  • Chris Saddler Sam

    I JUST LOVE IT!!!!

    it should be called: XV-TT


  • XT 500

    Love it! Everyone has it’s own taste on how a bike should look. Just keep building these cool bikes!

  • Looks great, much nicer than stock. You’re going to sell a lot of headlight kits.

  • jsu6886h

    This bike really speaks to me. Great build.

  • Zac H.

    So is a tracker all that can be done with the bolt? They were advertising it to be easily customizable. Let’s see something different!!

  • Martin

    Just love this ride I did have many XT500 in the day

  • jeff fearnow

    As poster below said- this is what OEMs should be doing.

    That is a super fun mod right there. Great groundwork/stepping off point for customizing.

  • Todd Guillory

    Great looking bike. I like it.